Whether you’ve just set up a brand-new wireless network in your home or just setting up an office space far from your trusty old router, you may find yourself with terrible signal, slow speeds, or no connection at all just where you need dependable service. A wi-fi extender is an affordable solution to the problem, letting you extend your wireless network where you need it without requiring you to toss your current router in the trash.
We tested seven well-regarded wi-fi extenders, and put them to the test in a typical home for several months, assessing range, signal quality, ease of operation and configurability. In the end we found two great affordable options to get you the coverage you need, whether you’re extending an older Wi-Fi 5 router or you’ve already upgraded to the latest Wi-Fi 6 equipment.
Best Wi-Fi extender overall
Easy to configure and use, the Wi-Fi 6 compatible TP-Link RE605X gave us consistent high performance and provided the best wireless signal over the widest area of all the extenders we tested.
Best Wi-Fi extender on a budget
If you’re looking to spend as little as you can and still get solid performance (and only need Wi-Fi 5 support), the TP-Link RE315 gave us better coverage in all of our tests than any other inexpensive option.
Best Wi-Fi extender overall: TP-Link RE605X AX1800 Mesh Dual Band Range Extender ($89.99, originally $99.99, target.com)
The TP-Link RE605X Wi-Fi range extender
We were blown away by the performance of TP-Link’s RE605X, a Wi-Fi 6 extender that does everything it needs to do without any extra fuss or software bloat. During our testing, it gave us consistent, high performance across 90 percent of our benchmarks, and though it wasn’t the fastest on every measure, no other extender we tested could keep up with its overall real-world performance.
- Protocol: Wi-Fi 6 (AX1800)
- Maximum theoretical speed (2.4Ghz): 574 Mbps
- Maximum theoretical speed (5 Ghz): 1,201 Mbps
- Ethernet Ports: 1x Gigabit
- Supported backhaul connections: Ethernet, dual-band Wi-Fi
Of all the extenders we tested, the RE605X gave us the best wireless signal over the longest range. Every other Wi-Fi extender we tested struggled at …….