In a society where the typical solutions to common problems require spending a bit of extra money for the latest and greatest in technology, it’s understandable why it might be easy to assume that a poor Wi-Fi connection can only be solved by upgrading said connection. However, by purchasing the proper Wi-Fi extender, you won’t only save money now, but will continue saving money in the long run through being able to opt for cheaper connections, being that you now have the power to give them a little boost.
11 mins to read
29 products considered
16 products reviewed
48 hours reviewing
Best Overall Wi-Fi Extender
When it comes to saving money, there are two major camps of thought. One tells you that you should pick up the cheapest product you possibly can, while the other tells you to put some extra money down on the right product, as this will save you money in the long run. If you subscribe to the second camp of thought, then the NETGEAR AC1200 WiFi Range Extender is just the Wi-Fi extender for you. Although it comes at an extremely high and downright intimidating price, it’s important to consider all of the factors at play here before running the other way. As you’ll find out, the product will (usually) more than pay for itself in the future. As such, you can consider it as being a long-term investment of sorts.
It truly doesn’t matter what your internet connection’s specifications are, the NETGEAR AC1200 WiFi Range Extender can handle it. It is this characteristic that ensures it will keep saving you money down the road. Sure, a unit at one quarter the price might be able to handle your current connection, but what about your connection ten or twenty years from now? If you firmly believe that internet technology will continue to flourish as it has been, you can be sure this product will be your best long-term solution.
Of course, savings aren’t the only thing to consider. The unit’s ability to tackle any given internet connection also makes the process of setting it up a whole lot easier. No longer will you have to worry about whether or not your Wi-Fi extender will be compatible with your current setup at home. Simply pick the unit up, plug it in and you’re good to go. It is the NETGEAR AC1200 WiFi Range Extender’s sheer power and versatility that makes it the best extender on the market. If you’d rather not read too much into whether or not your Wi-Fi extender will work with your current connection, or if you’re in the business of purchasing something which is sure to last a lifetime, no matter where internet technology may happen to take us, you’ll have a very hard time finding a product which even begins to match the quality of this unit. However, if you simply can’t justify spending one hundred dollars on an extender, take a look at the two below products. You’ll find their price tags to be much more agreeable.
– Darius Spieth
Best Overall Wi-Fi Extender – Runner Up
The first thing you’ll notice about the AHNR is that it comes at one quarter the price of its heavy-duty counterpart. It’s certainly hard to turn down savings like this. But, why is it so cheap anyways? Will you need to make any sacrifices to save this much money? Actually, no. At least, not any time in the near future. More often than not, the AHNR will do its job seamlessly in any home. Despite its low price, it does exactly what a Wi-Fi extender is supposed to do.
So, what’s the catch? The catch is that there’s no guarantee that this extender will continue to be even slightly useful ten years down the road. This is due to the maximum internet speed it can handle at any one time – 1200Mbps. Now, it’s very, very unlikely that this won’t be enough for you to take full advantage of it. However, if you one day decide to throw down as much money as you can on the most high-speed internet connection possible, you may find yourself in need of a new Wi-Fi extender.
However, if you’re less about World of Warcraft and more about checking your email before heading off to work in the morning, you’ll likely never have such a high-speed connection in the first place. For this reason, it helps to take the time to think about what the future holds in order to save the most amount of money possible. After all, these extenders serve only to provide a cheaper solution to upgrading your Wi-Fi connection. If you can’t even begin to imagine yourself ever acquiring an internet connection whose speed is higher than 1200Mbps (many folks never do), then the AHNR is an excellent choice.
– Darius Spieth
Best Budget Wi-Fi Extender
The TP-LINK N300 is identical to the above model we just covered in terms of how compatible it is with internet connections of varying speeds. Because it is able to handle speeds of up to 300Mbps, the odds that it won’t work with your current Wi-Fi connection are extremely low. Once again, this may change as does your internet connection. For the time being however, the TP-LINK N300 should prove to be more than enough. While the last model we covered might be somewhat more renowned for its convenience, the TP-LINK N300 sacrifices some of said convenience in favor of giving you a whole lot of control over what it is you’re able to do with it.
One such example of the control it gives you lies within its feature which allows you to set up a new access point for your Wi-Fi connection. This is somewhat similar to the “personal hotspot” feature found in many of today’s smartphones which allows you to connect other devices to your data connection. It also comes with an Ethernet port which allows you to use any internet-enabled device with your new extender, even if the device in question doesn’t actually support wireless connections.
Lastly, the TP-LINK N300 comes complete with a two-year warranty. While two years of coverage may not sound that impressive, when you stop to think of the fact that you’re getting a whole year of coverage for every ten dollars you spend, you’ll come to find that the TP-LINK N300’s warranty isn’t only one of the best among Wi-Fi extenders, but one of the best among almost all types of products. This makes it an even more frugal a purchase, being that you’re guaranteed it will stick around for at least two years. However, you’ll most likely find that it will outlive this warranty by quite some time. All of these features go on to make the TP-LINK N300 one of the very best Wi-Fi extenders on the market.
– Darius Spieth
Wi-Fi Extender Buying Guide
What is a Wi-Fi Extender?
If the above three units don’t seem to offer just what it is you’re looking for, you might just find it beneficial to expand your search beyond the above list. As it turns out, I can help you there as well! Try keeping the following buyer’s guide in mind when shopping for a new Wi-Fi extender.
Do you need an Ethernet port?
If you don’t need an Ethernet port but end up buying an extender which comes equipped with one, this isn’t really a big deal. It costs very little for a manufacturer to include one in their product’s make. However, if you do need an Ethernet port but end up getting a unit that doesn’t have one, things start to get a little more serious. Don’t assume that every single Wi-Fi extender comes complete with this feature, because this isn’t the case. If you can’t find out whether or not an extender comes with an Ethernet port, you’re best not taking the chance if you know you need one.
Are you computer literate?
If not, it’s essential that you buy a product which not only comes with a warranty, but with round-the-clock customer support. The last thing you need after picking yourself up a brand new Wi-Fi extender is to spend hours online trying to figure out just how to work the thing in the first place. One of the above products we reviewed earlier comes with such support, making it great if you’d rather not fuss around with getting your internet up and running. What’s more, you’ll be able to find a variety of Wi-Fi extenders whose prices seem to not have been marked up in the slightest on account of the presence of said support.
Common Wi-Fi Extender Features
It doesn’t matter what type of product you’re looking at buying – Wi-Fi extender or otherwise, there will always be features which are downright lifesaving for some and completely useless for others. However, there are a few features which are always a nice plus in a Wi-Fi extender. To ensure you get the highest level of satisfaction possible from your new extender, try to look for models which come complete with the below features.
- A Strong Ethernet Port – Of course, if you don’t plan on buying a unit which comes with an Ethernet port, you may skip this feature. However, when a unit does come with such a port, it should be able to handle speeds way higher than a few hundred megabytes per second.
- Antennas – Although transmission electronics without antennas can work great, those with antennas work better. Because we’re talking about a product whose sole purpose is to extend the range of your internet, there’s simply no reason for a unit not to have antennas.
That’s it! By keeping all of the above information in mind, getting the best possible product to meet your needs is a breeze. Remember, it’s up to you to decide whether you’d prefer to save some cash immediately or later on down the road. There is no right answer in this sense, only personal preference.