Today’s digital recreation — streaming movies and TV shows and online gaming — is placing a higher demand on our Wi-Fi networks than ever before. Whether you live in a large house or simply want a faster Wi-Fi connection (since Wi-Fi signals degrade the further you are away from your router — and walls and floors do nothing to help), a Wi-Fi range extender can be awesome.
There are lots of reasons to buy a range extender, actually. You might want to hardwire a gaming console or smart TV using an ethernet cord in a room that’s not wired for an ethernet jack. You might want to stream a lot of 4K content and your current Wi-Fi setup just isn’t cutting it. Maybe you need MU-MIMO support so everyone’s devices in the house aren’t sunk when someone starts gaming. Whatever your situation is, I’ve got you covered with some great recommendations.
In my house, streaming slows down around 6pm when everyone in the neighborhood starts streaming too. Wi-Fi congestion can be a real problem in dense neighborhoods and, depending on your ISP and internet connection type, digital traffic jams can happen too. And when they do, it’s best to move into the fastest possible lane you can; and that’s something a Wi-Fi range extender can help you do.
Since this is a roundup of “the best” range extenders on the market, I’ve included only those that are dual band (2.4Ghz and 5Ghz) and those with Wireless AC technology (which is backward compatible with all a/b/g/n technologies). AC is the newest and fastest wireless standard and is the best way to currently future proof your network setup as much as possible.
One final word on range extenders before we get to my top 3 picks. Looks matter. Seriously. Routers and range extenders are traditionally some of the ugliest tech products in a person’s home. At least the router usually lives in your home office or can be tucked away where visitors won’t see it, but the same can’t be said for range extenders. Wi-Fi extenders typically need to be placed in a living room, for instance, where they can be very visible and that is something I did take into account when making these selections. You’re welcome.
TP-Link AC1750 Wi-Fi Range Extender w/ Gigabit Ethernet Port (RE450)
After returning an Asus router I was very unhappy with I settled on a ...