The best WiFi extender is a life saver if your Wi-Fi slows down or drops out in particular parts of your home. Because let's face it, many WiFi routers struggle to transmit a strong signal to every place in their house.
So if you find your video calls are freezing, your web pages keep crashing, or you're getting that annoying scrolling wheel in the middle of Netflix shows, it's a good time to check out the best WiFi extenders. They're very simple to set up. You just place them in a strategic spot around your home, and they'll boost the signal to where you need them to reach.
Below, we've listed the best WiFi extenders available today, across a variety of budgets. We've also included the maximum speeds they support. However, note that they won't make your existing connection go faster; they'll only match it. (To delve deeper into the tech, read our section on How to choose a WiFi extender.)
The TP-Link RE700X WiFi Range Extender is our pick as the best WiFi extender on the market today. It's simple to set up. It does a great job of getting into those hard-to-reach 'dead zones' around your home. It supports WiFi 6 and speeds of up to three gigabytes of data per second. And it doesn't cost a fortune. So really, what more do you need?
To use it, you first need to scan a QR code and download the free companion app to your Android or iOS device. The app automatically detects the Wi-Fi signal from the TP-Link RE700X and guides you through the setup, which only takes a few minutes. It even tells you the best location for you to place the RE700X, for optimal coverage.
There's an Ethernet port, too, should you wish to add a wired internet connection to the RE700X. And you can even save on the energy the RE700X uses, by limiting the Wi-Fi to just one or two rooms.
In short, there's a lot to like about this WiFi extender, and little to dislike. Yes, you can find cheaper WiFi extenders than this, but the value you get here is phenomenal. So as long as you can afford it, we'd heartily recommend it.
Short on cash, and can't stretch to the TP-Link RE700X, our pick as the best WiFi extender overall? Don't worry: the TP-Link AX1750 costs less, but still does an excellent job. With three adjustable external antennas, this extender offers an expansive 2,000 square feet of coverage and supports up to 30 devices. It supports speeds of up to 1,750mbps, and we also like the smart indicator light, which helps you to install the device in the best location. Okay, there's only one Ethernet port, but for this low price, you can't complain too much about that.
Don't have much money at all? Never fear, we've still got you covered. You can get a decent WiFi extender for very little, in the form of the TP-Link AC750. Despite its strikingly low price, this capable device has a lot to offer.
It's compatible with a wide range of routers, and although it doesn't support WiFi 6, it does support WiFi 5, aka 802.11ac. It offers dual band speeds of up to 750Mbps, which is slower than most on this list, but still pretty decent. (To put that into context, Netflix state that 25Mbps is enough to stream 4K HDR video.) And its compact size – 11 x 6.6 x 6.6cm – and wall-mounted design make it easy to store, too.
On the downside, there's just one Ethernet port, and the manufacturers recommend this model for HD streaming rather than 4K, so that gives you an idea of its limitations. But for this price, it's still a real bargain.
WiFi extenders work by sending out wireless signals to devices around your house. However, some homes are annoyingly filled with obstacles that disrupt these signals, such as thick walls and copper pipes. One solution that's easier than remodelling your home is a powerline extender. This harnesses the electrical wiring in your house to help your internet travel to places that radio signals can't penetrate.
The Trendnet Wi-Fi Everywhere Powerline 1200 AV2 offers the best of both worlds, offering a powerline connection through your electricity network, and also doubling up as a WiFi extender. It's quite a technical solution that won't for everyone (for example, it requires your electrical wiring to be on a single circuit.) And it's definitely overkill unless you've had problems using normal WiFi extenders.
However, it is quite affordable. And so if you're tearing your hair out because nothing else will work, this is definitely worth a go.
Got a big house? Then coverage is the thing you'll be most interested in, and the TP-Link RE650 AC2600 offers the most on this list: an impressive 14,000 square feet. It also promises speeds of up to 1,733Mbps.
Overall, this is quite a basic model. But on the plus side, it's easy to set up, with an intelligent signal indicator to help you position it optimally. It can serve up to four wireless devices at once. And an Ethernet port lets you connect a wired device, such as a game console.
Like the Trendnet Powerline 1200 AV2, number 4 on our list, this Wi-Fi extender harnesses your power lines, so it's another good choice if you have very thick walls that a normal Wi-Fi extender can't penetrate. The Trendnet option is cheaper, and a little easier to set up, so we have that higher up our list. But on the plus side, the promised 1,800 Mbps speeds to the former's 1,200 are significantly faster, so depending on your needs that might make it worth the extra spend.
How to choose a WiFi extender
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How do I buy the right WiFi extender for my router?
The main thing to consider when choosing a WiFi extender is whether it supports the WiFi standard offered by your router: this will usually be written somewhere on the actual device and be something like 802.11a or 802.11b. You don't need to know what this means, only that it's supported.
If you have only recently bought your router, though, it's probably got a faster standard than most, and you'll want a WiFi extender that can take advantage. The slightly confusing thing here is that the latest standards – 802.11ac and 802.11ax – are also known as WiFi 5 and WiFi 6 respectively. But as long as you understand they're the same thing, you'll be fine. (Note that WiFi 7 isn't expected to arrive until 2024).
Beyond that, the main way to choose your WiFi extender will come down to price, the amount of area it covers (usually measured in square feet or square meters), and the speeds it offers. Plus, if you want to plug in wired devices to your WiFi extender, you'll need to know what ports it has.