For those who don’t know, WiFi range extenders are basically handy little devices that people use in order to make sure that WiFi coverage in their place can easily be extended at places where it’s not available.
Needless to say, these range extenders are becoming more and more common in the modern age.
The reason behind that is rather simple, a wireless router usually gives up at one point, and there are normally one or two dead spots that either have absolutely no WiFi coverage, or have a very low internet speed. The best thing to do in such situation, and to provide WiFi access to the entire house, is getting a WiFi range extender.
Now a lot of people think that WiFi range extenders aren’t really good, and normally cost a lot of money. Well, believe it or not, there are countless benefits of these range extenders, and today, we will be looking at all of them. So, without wasting anymore time, let’s take a look at some really common benefits of WiFi range extenders that are normally overlooked by people.
Extends the Wi-Fi Range by a Great Degree
It doesn’t matter if the wireless router you’ve installed costs $400 bucks, the fact that even the beefiest wireless routers can still suffer from range issues can’t be denied, and that’s where WiFi range extenders come into play.
Now the good thing is that these range extenders come in two different types; you get the standard desktop version that is almost the same size as your modem or your router, and if that’s not what you’re after, you can get a somewhat cheaper version that gets plugged right into the power socket, and powers up.
Both range extenders cater to different users, and while the smaller ones are built to provide a comparatively less range, the larger ones are really good with covering almost the entire house. This is perhaps one of the biggest advantage of WiFi range extenders that are normally overlooked by a lot of people.
Unobstructed Wi-Fi Connectivity
It’s a simple fact that the more obstructions there are, the bigger chances of the WiFi range suffering, and while the range extenders won’t really prevent that from happening, installing the WiFi range extender at a point where there are no obstructions nearby is the smartest thing.
Doing so will allow the extender to provide the extended range evenly in all the corners, allowing for a much better experience with the internet connectivity and speed.
What You Should Look for in a WiFi Range Extender
Now that you’re fully aware of the benefits that a WiFi range extender will be providing you, the next step is to basically look at the things you should look for in WiFi range extender. Normally, buying a WiFi range extender is relatively easy and straightforward, especially if you’re a person who knows what they are looking for.
However, some people still find them confused amidst the wide range of range extenders in the market,and can’t decide what would be the best option for them. That’s why we are listing some of the things you should look for in a WiFi range extender before buying it. So, without further ado, let’s take a look.
Number of Ethernet Ports
Ethernet ports are basically ports that are used to provide wired connection to your computers or whatever other devices used the wired connections. Now, the range extenders that will plug straight into the wall won’t be having more than 1 Ethernet port mainly because the small form factor.
When you are buying a WiFi range extender, you need to know that the small ones will only a single Ethernet port, however, if you are looking at the desktop sized one, then the number of ports actually exceed to a maximum of five, allowing more flexibility. Of course, there are many network switches to increase the number of LAN ports
Just like your routers and modems, the range extenders also come with different bands, and the best way to understand this is knowing whether your devices are operating at 2.4 gigahertz, or 5 gigahertz band to avoid any confusions.This will help you choose the range extender much more efficiently, and you shouldn’t be having any major problems to begin with.
Once you’re aware of the situation, choosing a range extender becomes a lot easier. So, without wasting anymore time, we are going to take a look at some of the best WiFi range extenders that you can buy right now.
Best Wireless Range Extenders 2017
Linksys AC1200 Max Wi-Fi Range Extender RE6500
Kicking off the list with Linksys AC1200 Max, this desktop Wi-Fi range extender happens to be one of the best offerings from Linksys, and certainly one of our top picks because it combines great design with amazing performance through and through.
Do keep in mind that all the range extenders are personally tested, and the flaws, and the good things will be listed below. Considering how this one happens to be a desktop range extender, it will sit calmly next to your router, or wherever you want it to be.
The design is simple, and elegant; the extender comes with 2 antennas that can be replaced with something that has a higher amount of power, and in addition to that, you get 4 gigabit Ethernet ports for those having multiple connections.
Linksys has made sure that the whole installation process of this range extender is easy, and it actually is, there are no complicated setting up involved, and the device can be setup in less than a few minutes. Last but not the least, the performance is one of the best we have seen, with enough power to provide uninterrupted WiFi capabilities to everyone in the house.
Overall, the Linksys AC1200 is a pretty strong range extender, albeit a bit expensive. If you can overcome the high price point, you have got yourself a pretty amazing range extender that will work well with almost all the devices you have.
Easy to setup and install.
Antennas can be replaced.
4 gigabit Ethernet ports.
TP-Link AC1750 Wi-Fi Range Extender RE450
We have always admired TP-Link’s ambition on creating some of the best products that we have personally used, their routers are still running in our office, and the modems they provide are amazing too. Today, however, we’re looking at something different, we’re looking at the TP-Link AC1750 Wi-Fi Range Extender RE450.
This range extender is a small form factor, plug and play device that goes right into the power outlet, uses a single gigabit Ethernet port to connect to your router, and that’s all. The installation process is fairly simple, and rather easy to understand.
Despite being small, the device comes with 3 antennas that can be folded, making the size even smaller than it already is. When we laid hands on this device, we were a lot concerned about how the performance is going to be mainly because of the small size, however, to our surprise, the extender managed to defy our expectations.
The performance, including the speed consistency and throughput remained the best that we have seen in quite some time; in all honesty, TP-Link has outdone themselves when it comes to creating an amazing range extender that works well, is easy to setup, and performs like a champion.
In all honesty, there’s nothing really wrong with the RE450 (except single Ethernet port), it gives twice the performance of its size, and that is something that we have been waiting for quite some time. Needless to say, TP-Link’s has done a fantastic job.
Excellent performance for the small size.
Incredibly easy to setup.
Small form factor.
Only 1 Ethernet port
ASUS RP-N53 Dual-Band Wireless-N600 Repeater
Asus is known for many great things, as a matter of fact, when it comes to computers, Asus is more or less, a household name. The company has delivered some fantastic products over the past couple of years, and today, we are looking at their RP-N53 dual band wireless repeater/range extender.
Now, we were a bit surprised when we realized that this isn’t a desktop variant, however, as the testing proceeded, some amazing results were given to us. First of all, the range extender actually looks amazing, and the reason we’re saying that is because comes in a very simple white and grey design, with white being the dominant colour.
It’s plastic all around, but considering it’s the Asus we’re talking about, the quality of construction can’t really be doubted. As for the performance side of things, that’s when things get interesting; you see, the RP-53 doesn’t come with external antennas, that made us question its prowess.
However, we’re glad that the RP-53 proved us wrong, the range extender performed gracefully, and without breaking a sweat, it gave us an amazing throughput on both bands, and drastically increased the range of the Wi-Fi connection.
Do keep in mind that the speed increased too, mainly because the places where the Wi-Fi signals weren’t as strong, finally got all the signal bars. We did run into some issues with the connectivity in the beginning, but thanks to the quick firmware update, the range extender was back on track.
Overall, Asus has done a fantastic job in creating what it seems to be one of their best products to come out in recent years
Fantastic performance on both bands.
Great build quality.
Pretty easy to install.
Older firmware can create issues
Netgear Nighthawk EX7000
It would be safe to say that Netgear knows networking products like Asus knows gaming products; with that out of the way, today, we are looking at the Netgear Nighthawk EX7000, a desktop style WiFi range extender that offers a lot of functions, but for a price equivalent of a high-end router. Want to know more? Let’s find out.
There’s no denying that the Nighthawk EX7000 looks a lot like some of the other products in the company’s impressive Nighthawk lineup, and although it isn’t as angular as some of them, it still manages to look pretty sleek in the black design it comes with.
It comes with 3 antennas at the back, and for those with multiple wired devices, Netgear has provided a 5 generous gigabit Ethernet ports in order to make sure that no wired device is left without the internet connectivity.
We weren’t really doubting Netgear’s prowess with the whole web interface side of things, everything is easy, and simple to use, and there is a plethora of options provided that will help you in the best possible way.
The performance side of things was as expected, the range extender managed to perform like a champion, and didn’t slow down for a single second, providing us with one of the finest throughput we have seen in quite some time.
However, not everything was as good as we’d expected; the range extender has some common issues like the price, and of course, the size.
Overcome that, and you’ve got yourself, a pretty amazing range extender.
Easy to install.
Tons of control options.
TRENDnet AC1200 (TEW-822DRE)
We’re heading closer towards the end of our list, and we are now looking at a product from TRENDnet, a company known for delivering some of the best networking products to the budget oriented users. The TRENDnet AC1200 (TEW-822DRE) is a small, budget friendly Wi-Fi range extender that gets the job done gracefully.
When we say small, we mean that this basically a wall plug-in range extender, you don’t need to deal with making space on your desk as it can be plugged pretty much anywhere you’d want it to. You find the basics like an Ethernet port in the back, along with the reset, WPS, and the power button.
The whole extender is built nicely with white colour, and on each side, there’s a fairly long antenna in order to keep the signals nice and consistent. Apart from that, there isn’t much to look at as far as looks are concerned.
The performance side of things is definitely good, despite the low price point, the range extender performs relatively well, and gives a pretty decent throughput in both bands. The whole installation process was even easier; everything was pretty simple and easy to understand without really creating any major issues.
Overall, the TRENDnet AC1200 (TEW-822DRE) is a pretty decent Wi-Fi range extender that keeps everything simple without feeling the need to over-complicate things. It’s certainly not the best because the performance isn’t something to write home about, but the fact that you’re getting what you’re paying for is comfortable enough to know.
Small form factor.
Easy to install.
Impressive performance for the price you’re paying.
Pretty standard performance.
Amped Wireless TAP-EX3
We have come at a point that seeing something evolving in the wireless is a rare sight, and today, we are presenting that rare sight to you. Bringing in the Amped Wireless TAP-EX3, one of the best WiFi range extenders in our opinion. Now in case you are wondering why we think that way, let’s read ahead.
The TAP-EX3 is one of the very few Wi-Fi range extenders that come with a full sized touch screen that displays the information as well. However, this isn’t the first time Amped Wireless has released such an amazing product, but from all the testing, we can definitely tell that this has got has pretty excited.
For starters, the touch screen is fairly large, has options such as the settings menu for the 2.4 gigahertz band, and the 5.0 gigahertz band, and in addition to that, we also have network settings and broadband technology.
Everything about these options is self-explanatory, and the Amped Wireless has done a great job at it. On the back, you’ll find 5 gigabit Ethernet ports along with a USB port that will let you use network based storage capabilities that are provided to you.
Overall, the Amped Wireless TAP-EX3 offers extremely amazing throughput without slowing down at all, and even though the overall footprint is on the larger side, it’s the performance that makes us overlook most of subjective shortcomings.
There’s no objective issues with the TAP-EX3 that can break the deal, it’s an extremely powerful piece of hardware that performs with great finesses. The large footprint and the expensive price may put some people off, but these aren’t really related to the performance side of things.
Intuitive and easy to use.
Touch screen is a really good addition.
Blazing fast performance on both bands.
5 gigabit Ethernet ports.
Fairly large footprint
When it comes to networking products, D-Link has a relatively good history with the products, their long standing presence in the industry is a testament that they are good with their products, and the consumers are satisfied too.
With that said, today, we are looking at the D-Link DAP-1620, a small form factor range extender that is small enough to fit in your pocket. It comes with 2 antennas that can fold out from the sides, and it plugs straight into the wall. On the bottom, you find an Ethernet port, and a reset button, and that’s about it.
The installation process of this small device was relatively simple, D-Link has done a great job making sure that the consumers don’t run into any sort of issues when installing the DAP-1620. We were already pretty impressed by the performance provided by the DAP-1520, and the good thing is that everything got even better.
For starters, you’re getting a pretty excellent throughput on both bands, and while the range is not the best we have seen, it’s still admirable considering the size of this range extender.
Though one small issue is that despite the ease of installation, there isn’t much to look for when it comes to advanced features, and that would be the only downside of this otherwise brilliant range extender.
Amazing performance for a device this small.
Easy to install.
Simple and elegant design.
Not a lot of advanced features.
Apple Airport Express Review
The last product on our list is something different, and out of the ordinary, say hello to the Apple Airport Express. Now we all know Apple for being one of the leading smartphone and laptop creators in the market at the moment. However, the product we are looking at right now is neither of them.
The Apple Airport Express is basically a wireless router that can conveniently double up as a Wi-Fi range extender, and that is exactly how we are going to review it today. Do keep in mind that Apple doesn’t sell this as range extender, because it was never intended to be. However, it’s still pretty good at what it does.
The performance is relatively good, it’s not groundbreaking, and you certainly won’t be crossing any limits with this one. In simpler words, the Airport Express is something an Apple fan would be comfortable with, because as a standalone product, it doesn’t have much to offer.
We appreciate the easy installation that is provided, but move across that, and you’ve got a router/range extender that costs twice as much when compared to similar performing devices, and that’s just not how things should be.
Overall, we’d say that Apple’s attempt at creating something like was certainly bold, however, it could have been a lot better than it already is.
Easy to install.
So, there you have it, some of the best WiFi range extenders all reviewed and listed for your pleasure.Now choosing these range extenders was certainly not an easy task, and to add to that stress, we actually had a pretty hard time finding the best range extender.
With that out of the way, deciding the best range extender was another difficult task, however, the conclusion was required, and in our opinion, the Amped Wireless TAP-EX3 is the best Wi-Fi range extender there is in our opinion, with the intuitive touch screen, and easy to setup.
Muhammad Asfand Yar, or Asfand as his friends call, is Author cum Owner of List Enthusiast. Blogging is his old new-found love. He writes to boost his Knowledge - and yours too. He usually remains in front of computer screen - even when he isn't writing any Blog post - doing computer programming. C++ is his passion. Catch him on twitter @asfandyar12.