While WiFi connectivity is convenient, there are tons of pain points that come along with it. There are always some corners in our home that are devoid of internet connectivity, no matter how great the WiFi connection is. Most of the time, a low connectivity issue is because of ineffective hardware. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on a brand new wireless router, you can enhance the signals in your home with some of the best WiFi extenders available in the market. We tried the best options in the market right now and came up with a list of the best WiFi extenders 2021.
How to Pick the Perfect WiFi Extender?
To make sure that you get the best WiFi extender for your home, you need to consider a few factors such as:
- WiFi range
- WiFi specification
Your extender should support the latest WiFi versions like WiFi 5 (Wireless AC) & WiFi 6 (Wireless AX). WiFi extenders that are based on WiFi 4 can also be sufficient but if you have the budget, we’d suggest you go for the WiFi 5/6 option.
Consider the range of your extender, there’s no point in getting a new extender if it doesn’t extend your range. Most WiFi extenders will provide you clear information about the range on the product listing.
Ports are very important, the more ports you can get, the better. Most WiFi extenders offer 1 ethernet port that can support speeds up to 1,000 Mbps which you can use for any number of devices.
Best WiFi Extender 2021
1. Netgear Nighthawk X6S: Best Overall
The Netgear Nighthawk X6S WiFi extender (EX8000) is a serious piece of machinery. It comes equipped with 3 different bands that can support all your devices. One dedicated band (5 GHz) is for the extender to communicate with the router, and the other two (2 GHz & 5 GHz) are for your devices.
The dedicated 5 GHz line is perfect because it doesn’t use the same band to communicate with the router and the devices. A clean, separate line means a faster and more stable transfer of signal to and from the router.
The extender is also equipped with a state of the art MU-MIMO (Multi-user, multiple-input, multiple-output) technology) that allows the extender to communicate with the devices. However, all these features come at a certain price point, if you have the money for it, don’t wait to get this extender.
|Employs MU-MIMO technology||Expensive|
|Dedicates one band for the router only||Doesn’t use USB 3.2|
2. TP-Link TL-WA855RE: Best Budget Option
If you’re on a strict budget, then you may have to compromise some of the features. The price of TP-Link is low, yet it still helps in extending the range of your WiFi connection.
The TP-Link TL-WA855RE offers just one 2.4 GHz band that supports speeds of up to 300 Mbps. This helps in keeping the price low and still offers enough features. The Ethernet port is old-school, too limiting the wired connection’s speed. The max range of the extender is up to 866 square feet, which is lower than the extenders on our list but still impressive.
Another great feature is that the extender can switch to AP (Access Point) mode. Generally, extenders repeat the WiFi network, including the name (SSID). With AP mode, users can connect the extender directly with the router using an Ethernet cable. In turn, the extender creates a new WiFi connection for your devices in the far corners of your home.
|Has a low price tag||Offers just one band (2.4 GHz)|
|Supports access point mode||Doesn’t have as wide a range as other options|
3. TP-Link RE450: Perfect for Large Homes
Let’s be honest, the TP-Link RE450n has a bad design, but it has amazing reviews on Amazon. When it comes to extending the WiFi signals, it gets the job done amazingly and even to the other floors.
The WiFi extender has one special feature is the High-Speed Mode. Most of the time, a router and an extender sends and receive data using the same band, but while using “high-speed mode”, the extender uses one band to communicate with the router and one band to communicate with devices.
The extender also contains an Ethernet port, the positioning isn’t great. The port is available on the side of the extender which makes it tougher to connect to the devices. You can pair it by pressing the RE button on the front or if you want you can directly connect to the router using cables.
|Offers great range||Ethernet port is on the side which makes the connectivity difficult|
|Combines both bands in high-speed mode||Features an awkward design|
4. Linksys RE7000 Max-Stream: Perfect for Multiple Users
The Linksys RE7000 is a close alternative to the Netgear Nighthawk X6S and it comes equipped with MU-MIMO technology. The only major difference is that the Linksys comes at a much lower price.
The speed and connectivity are other major factors, the RE7000 has two fewer external antennas which reduce the max speed to 1,300 Mbps. The WiFi extender takes up much less space in comparison to the Netgear Nighthawk. If you’re a bit clumsy, then the Linksys RE7000 may require some extra care.
|Offers incredible range||Doesn’t have a USB port|
|Comes packed with an Ethernet port|
5. Netgear EX6120: Best Compact Extender
Looking for a cheap WiFi extender that can extend the WiFi signal? Then the Netgear EX6120 can make it happen. If you have a particular place in your home or office that always has a spotty connection then extending your WiFi signal strength can do you wonders.
Out of all the options we have mentioned on our list, the EX6120 is the least wide and shortest. That doesn’t mean you can’t have the device in your home. It still is a great solution that will eventually blend into the background of your home. Regardless of its size, it offers decent speed and range for the price you pay for it. However there is one major weak point and that is the Ethernet port, it only supports speeds up to 100 Mbps, which is fine as long as your router and extender can transmit data with stability.
|Offers a compact design||Supports 100 Mbps wired connections only|
|Provides a decent enough range to cover most of your home||Lacks a USB port|
Final Take: Best WiFi Extenders 2021
When you compare all the options side by side, the Netgear Nighthawk EX8000 stands tall. It is without a doubt one of the best WiFi extenders you can get. It offers 3 different bands, 1 of which is a dedicated line to your router. While the cost may be a bit on the high end for some users, it is still an excellent way to increase the range of your WiFi connection without upgrading your plan or the router.