Best Wi-Fi extenders for improving coverage in your home

If your wireless signal is weak, you're going to struggle.

Updated March 8, 2017: We refreshed this list with a couple of new items, including the TP-Link RE450, to ensure we included all of the best Wi-Fi extenders.

Sometimes it doesn't matter where you put your wireless router; the signal just won't be strong enough in certain areas of your home. In that case, you should pick up a wireless range extender, sometimes referred to as a "booster" or "repeater."

There are many to choose from, so we narrowed down our favorites to help keep you connected in every corner of your home.

If you're unsure about whether or not you need an extender, we can help you out with some things to consider before buying a Wi-Fi extender. Generally speaking, though, they are great for anyone who is happy with their router but needs a bit more range.

Also, don't forget about mesh networking kits — they are perfect for anyone who is in the market for an entirely new router, as they will replace whatever you currently have. If you're thinking of going this route, check out our roundup of the best mesh Wi-Fi setups.

Wi-Fi love!

TP-Link RE450 (AC1750)

TP-Link RE450

When it comes to Wi-Fi extenders, you want a combination of speed, price, and range, and the TP-LINK RE450 checks all those boxes. You simply plug it into an outlet in a room in your office or house, push the big button on the front to start it up, and it will get you through the simple process of extending your Wi-Fi. Chosen as the best overall extender by The Wirecutter, that site had this to say:

It was the only extender that hit triple-digit speeds on our easier long-range 5GHz test, and its long-range 2.4GHz performance was better than that of everything else we tested.

The TP-Link RE450 includes an Ethernet port so that you can hook up a wired connection to devices close by, or you can use it to connect the extender to the router through a direct cable. Toss in a two-year warranty for this extender, and you have an excellent option that is suitable for pretty much anyone with Wi-Fi woes.

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Netgear EX6100 (AC750)

Netgear EX6100

When first setting up a Wi-Fi extender, it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly where the best place is to set it up, especially if you're in a large area with many rooms. The Netgear EX6100 has LEDs on it that point you in the right direction when going through the setup process, and once you've found the right spot, you just plug it directly into the nearest wall outlet. You can, of course, access the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands simultaneously, and combined your speeds will reach upwards of 750Mbps. In their review, Top Ten Reviews had this to say:

Its discreet design, combined with its speedy dual-band capabilities, will largely cut out glitches and lags for smooth Wi-Fi connection on all of your wireless devices.

While there is an AC1200 version of this extender, plenty of people will enjoy the small form and low price — only about $67 — of the EX6100.

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Netgear Nighthawk EX7000

Netgear Nighthawk EX7000

If you're looking for a powerful Wi-Fi range extender, the Netgear Nighthawk EX7000 will be more than you need. It has a dual-band setup that supports speeds of up to 1,900Mbps. For reference, the FCC considers 25Mbps to be broadband internet.

The Nighthawk features high-power amplifiers and a high-gain antennae to maximize coverage in your home, and it employs FastLane technology, which uses both Wi-Fi bands to create one super-fast connection, which is ideal if you're streaming HD video or gaming. Chosen as the best Wi-Fi extender by Tom's Guide, that site remarked:

It may be a little tough to set up, but the EX7000's top throughput and excellent range combine to ensure that every family member remains connected and happy.

The Nighthawk also includes five gigabit ports for connecting devices to your network via ethernet, as well as a USB 3.0 port for access to your stored media. If you're looking for a powerhouse Wi-Fi extender, the Netgear Nighthawk EX7000 is top dog.

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ASUS RP-AC52

ASUS RP-AC52

Another great budget choice, the ASUS RP-AC52 is the successor to the last-gen RP-N53, which was strictly 802.11n. This extender has been upgraded to handle 802.11ac, and it does quite well offering some Wi-Fi coverage in a far corner of a home. Though it is cheap, at about $55 after a rebate, it has plenty of features. You can create a blacklist for devices you don't want connected, and you can also set it to drop devices when the connection becomes too weak.

In a review in which the site chose the last-gen ASUS RP-N53 as the best budget option, The Wirecutter said:

This wall-plug 802.11n extender is notably small, but it offers better performance and features than other extenders in its price range, including an easy-to-use Web configuration screen, music-streaming capabilities, and the ability to function as a night-light.

The newer version of the extender is physically the same, with an Ethernet port and a night-light, plus its wireless-ac capabilities mean it can use both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. This extender is worth the money for anyone who doesn't need a ton of Ethernet ports or a ton of outer antennas.

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Linksys RE6500

Linksys RE6500

The Linksys RE6500 is a solid extender with a quirky feature. It has an audio port to which you can connect your stereo system or speakers so that you can wirelessly stream music from your phone or computer. This extender was chosen as the runner-up to the TP-Link RE450 by The Wirecutter, where it noted:

In our tests it gave us around three-fourths the speed of the primary pick; of all the wireless-ac extenders we recently tested, however, it had the second-fastest average speeds and the second-best price-to-performance ratio.

If you're trying to boost your Wi-Fi signal but also have a bunch of wired devices, the RE6500 features four ethernet ports to ensure an uninterrupted connection. Each dipole antenna is adjustable, which actually matters when trying to extend your Wi-Fi range, so it's a convenient feature to have.

The RE6500 is great if you're looking for a fairly basic extender to maximize coverage but also have a few wired devices.

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Securifi Almond2015

Almond2015

Looking for an 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi extender that can double as a smart hub? Yeah, they exist, and they're pretty awesome. The Almond2015 from Securifi is your touchscreen solution to limited Wi-Fi range. It requires no computer or mobile device to set up; you just use the touchscreen to do it all. You can also access the router and connected sensors via the Almond app for Android and iOS.

The Almond2015's best feature is its ability to be used as a smart hub. You can use it to control smart lights, locks, thermostats and more, all while extending your Wi-Fi range to your entire home. In its write-up, Top Ten Reviews had this to say:

We're happy to see a new approach to wireless network devices that caters a little more to less tech-savvy individuals, as most people don't have much knowledge of networking.

If you're in the market for a router, extender or smart hub, then the Almond2015 is where it's at, and at around $60 it's a steal.

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