Best Wi-Fi Extender 2022 – IGN

Router blues got you – or, more accurately, your internet connectivity – down? We’ve all been there. Especially if your router is serving a massive area, like a large home or a big office, it might not be able to beam its signal across the whole space. If you’ve got a perfectly good router, it might not be necessary for you to replace it despite its somewhat limited coverage. That’s exactly the connectivity conundrum for which the best Wi-Fi extenders are made.

Wi-Fi range extenders, as the name suggests, are designed to boost your Wi-Fi signal beyond your existing router’s reach. They are a much simpler plug-and-play solution, especially for folks who aren’t well-versed in network connectivity.

However, it’s essential to know that not all Wi-Fi range extenders are created equal. Some are a pain to set up, requiring you to create a new network with a different SSID, complicating things on the user end. The cheaper ones might not repeat the same signal strength, which beats the purpose. Luckily, you’ve got us to find you the best Wi-Fi extenders that will make connecting to the internet a breeze, regardless of which nook or cranny of your space you may find yourself.

TL;DR – These are the Best Wi-Fi Extenders:

1. Netgear AX1800 Dual-band WiFi 6 Mesh Extender (EAX20)

Best Wi-Fi Extender

Netgear EAX20

Fast, boasting Wi-Fi 6 support and mesh compatibility, plus online security – the Netgear EAX20 does more than boost your router’s signal up to 1,500 square feet. It also ensures that you’re still getting the same level of connectivity even when you’re far away from the router’s original reach while enjoying an extra layer of security when you’re online. That’s while using the same Wi-Fi name and password for convenience.

It also supports Wi-Fi 6, the latest standard, for your modern laptop or smartphones, and other devices. This allows you to stream in Ultra HD 4K/8K smoothly, for example, while sharing the network with other users and devices connected. It also comes with Nighthawk app support to guide you through a pain-free initial setup and easily manage your extended connectivity when it’s up and running. It is a little on the pricey side and won’t blend seamlessly in your home due to its size, but none of those are deal-breakers for what you’re getting in return.

2. TP-Link AX1500 Wi-Fi Range Extender (RE500X)

Best Budget Wi-Fi Extender

TP-Link RE500X

You don’t have to buy something pricey if you don’t need the fastest connection. Something like the $79 TP-Link RE500X give you the signal extension you need to reach the far corners of your space without shelling out a lot. This cheap Wi-Fi range extender is the best inexpensive option, but that doesn’t mean you won’t get the latest tech. It supports Wi-Fi 6, which already helps future-proof your network even if you don’t have a lot of Wi-Fi 6 devices right now and your network isn’t congested. And it still offers a signal rate of up to 1,200Mbps at 5GHz.

There’s just one Ethernet port on hand. But again, if you don’t require the speediest and most stable connections, you don’t need more than that. Other cool extras here are the Intelligent Signal Light, which tells you where best to set it up to deliver the optimal coverage and the strongest signal, and TP-LINK Tether app support to manage your network without hassle.

3. Netgear Nighthawk AX6000 Wi-Fi Mesh Extender (EAX80)

Best Wi-Fi 6 Extender

Netgear Nighthawk EAX80

Some consumers require a premium Wi-Fi range extender that’s at the top of its line, and if you’re one of them, you should consider the Netgear Nighthawk EAX80. It’s a little more expensive than most would spend, with an asking price of $250. However, its state-of-the-art features are precisely what people with a massive area and a busy network need.

This Wi-Fi mesh extender will expand your router’s original area of coverage and help ease the congestion if you have multiple devices with demanding network needs using it. Among its marquee features is the combined WiFi 6 speeds of up to 6Gbps, up to 2,500 square feet of extended coverage, and Smart Roaming, which lets your devices automatically connect to the strongest Wi-Fi signal when you’re moving around your space. It can also handle up to 30 devices simultaneously and has four Gigabit Ethernet ports for much more robust connectivity for devices that need it.

4. Linksys RE9000 MU-MIMO WiFi Extender

Best Wi-Fi Linksys Extender

Linksys RE9000

With a ​​10,000 square feet maximum range, the Linksys RE9000 MU-MIMO is the Wi-Fi extender you need if you have a multi-million dollar mansion or are running a mid-sized company. It’s not just its area of coverage, however. It also boasts a tri-band frequency, which ensures you get the fastest Wi-Fi connection while juggling a long list of devices. MU-MIMO technology also works to maintain a smooth internet experience even if you have a busy, crowded network. Of course, if a device does need a speedier, more robust connection, one of the four Gigabit Ethernet ports should do the trick.

All those premium features and the best part about the RE9000 might be that it doesn’t cost as much as you think. It happily sits in the $150 price range, so although it isn’t what you’d consider budget, it’s still pretty accessible for most people.

5. TP-Link AV2000 Powerline Adapter

Best Wi-Fi Extender Powerline Adapter

TP-Link AV2000 Powerline Adapter

If you’re considering a more wired alternative, there’s always a powerline adapter range extender. Such a range extender piggybacks on your space’s electrical current, allowing it to theoretically move data anywhere where there’s an AC outlet. For that, the TP-Link TL-PA9020P is a terrific option, boasting a range that’s longer than most powerline extenders out there (up to 1,000 feet over existing electrical wiring) as well as extras like AC passthrough so you don’t lose an outlet. It also features a pair of Ethernet ports so you can hard-wire up to two devices. 2×2 MIMO with Beamforming also has your back so you never have to worry about a thing when it comes to connectivity, no matter the number of devices.

Don’t let the term “powerline adapter” intimidate you. This feature-rich powerline extender is so easy to set up, even the least tech-savvy folks can do it. In fact, it’s really just mostly plug and play, with virtually no configuration or special surge protector required.

6. A Mesh Network

Asus ZenWiFi AX6600 XT8
Netgear Orbi Pro Wi-Fi 6 Mini Mesh System

Sometimes, you need more than just a Wi-Fi extender. Drastic times call for drastic measures, and if that’s what your current network needs, you might find upgrading to a mesh router for your Wi-Fi system is the most ideal solution. A good mesh system uses tri-band technology and provides seamless connectivity as you move around the house. Many also have Ethernet connectivity for even better performance and network management via an easy-to-use smartphone app.

If you opt for a mesh router system, however, bear in mind that you might have to spend a little bit more than you’d spend on a range extender. The Asus ZenWiFi AX (XT8) will set you back $450 for a pack of two. Meanwhile, the slightly more affordable Netgear Orbi Pro Wi-Fi 6 Mini Mesh System wants $400 of your hard-earned money for a three-pack.

Michelle Rae Uy is a freelance tech and travel writer, part-time production editor, and a full-time traveler from Los Angeles, California. She currently splits her time between Los Angeles, London and the rest of the world. Follow her on Instagram @straywithRae.

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