Walls, doors, floors, ceilings, and other impediments can drastically weaken a signal. Plug computers, streaming devices, game consoles, and anything else you can into the router—or a network switch, if you need more ports—via Ethernet to reduce the number of devices competing for a wireless connection. Like most extenders, the RE220 has an onboard Ethernet port, though it’s only 100 Mbps instead of Gigabit (1,000 Mbps). That is what that AC number is: the combined potential speed of all the bands on your extender. An extender works best when there is a clear line of sight both to the wireless router and your device. Place your extender halfway between your router and your device. This inexpensive little Wi-Fi Extender is faster and covers a wider area than you may expect for the price. At around $120, the Netgear Nighthawk X4 EX7300 is a mesh extender priced and positioned between the EX6250 and the router-like EX7700. Unlike basic extenders, which repeat your Wi-Fi signal on a second network name—often trading speed for reliability—the EX7700 works like a mesh-networking kit. That makes for a disappointing combination. This is also the only way to set up the EX6100 if your existing router doesn't support WPS. It allows your router to have a “conversation” with a device that is otherwise too far away. A NETGEAR WiFi extender in this price range might have one Ethernet port. Even though your NETGEAR WiFi extender has an antenna, the best way to transmit data is through wired connections. The Asus RP-AC55 test results show that it favored the test laptops that were downloading large files and streaming 4K videos over the three test laptops that were browsing; if you were Web surfing on that network at the time, you’d complain of longer waits and “slow Internet.” The Netgear EX7300 was in last place, producing a generally unpleasant experience all around, as shown by its much longer than average latencies. , you can obtain a NETGEAR WiFi extender with desirable features that include faster speed potentials, tri-band networks, and mesh capabilities. Q. I'm having trouble setting up my NETGEAR wall-plug WiFi extender. After more than 30 hours of research and testing, we found that the inexpensive TP-Link RE220 will make your network noticeably more reliable in a small area. © 2020 Wirecutter, Inc., A New York Times Company, Rock-solid speedy connections, but pricey, our full guide to powerline networking kits, Our Wi-Fi range extender pick: TP-Link RE220, Pricier but much more capable: Netgear EX7700, measurably improved the performance of our network, Synology and D-Link Covr mesh kits we recommend, D-Link DAP-1755-US and D-Link DAP-1955-US. If available on your extender, use both the 2.4GHz and the 5GHz band. Wi-Fi 6 will bundle in lots of new features that should greatly improve networks with lots of active devices. Solid green indicates the best connection; solid yellow indicates a good connection; solid red indicates a poor connection. It allows your router to have a “conversation” with a device that is otherwise too far away. It then dedicates a different band from the extender to your device, offering maximum WiFi performance for your particular system. You will also start seeing desktop models that offer more Ethernet ports and dual-band networks. The Netgear Nighthawk X6 EX7700 costs several times as much as our other picks, but it’s worth the investment if you have larger dead spots in your home or if you want mesh features—such as a single network name—that can work with any router. EX6100 is not battery-operated, so I don't know why Netgear doesn't configure it for a faster 802.11ac spec. Like the Netgear mesh extenders, the two D-Link extenders are expected to be easier to set up and administer, with a unified network name. If you take that balloon and squeeze two of its sides, the balloon will get longer at each end. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. The cellar of our office building has the luxury of space, as well as a mix of Wi-Fi challenges: masonry walls and drywall construction, open spaces, glass windows, and metal-framed doors. The EX6100 is now connected to your existing Wi-Fi network and will extend the Wi-Fi via its own Wi-Fi networks. And, if you prefer using voice commands, NETGEAR's Orbi system is compatible with. It’s easy to connect to if you have the manual—which informs you to browse to tplinkextender.net while connected to the extender—but if you forget that URL and want to reconfigure your extender a year or two down the road, you’ll have to hope your router offers a “Connected Devices” screen to help you figure out what IP address to find it on. With the Netgear EX7700 you can improve your Wi-Fi’s speed and reliability in a larger portion of your home, almost as well as with a mesh-networking kit, without having to replace your current router or cable gateway. Fortunately, you can use a NETGEAR WiFi extender to create a seamless whole-house experience. You can use it as both a bridge and as a dual-band access point. Covers 2,500 square feet. When we compared the worst-case performance (that is, when you’re likely to be most annoyed at the wait) of the extenders we tested, the RE220 reduced latency by several seconds compared with what we saw while using only our test router. If your standalone Wi-Fi router does a good job in most parts of your home but your laptop or phone regularly drops the connection in one area, a good Wi-Fi extender is the quickest, cheapest fix. The TP-Link RE300 is more expensive, larger, and lacking an Ethernet port, but it performs slightly better than the RE220 in some situations. For those living in a home with a single electrical wiring network, I'd recommend the Actiontec PWR51WK01 , which is cheaper and delivers better performance. It lacks an Ethernet port for connecting devices (such as desktop PCs or gaming consoles) to improve performance, so it’s strictly wireless-only. Sometimes, this location is outside of your reliable service range, which can cause setup problems. Blazing speeds up to 36Gbps. Sleek design that fits easily on a desktop. If you're looking for something on the higher end of NETGEAR’s offerings, there are two more products worth considering. NETGEAR's FastLane Technology dedicates a band from your router to the extender. You can convert the EX6100 into a dual-band access point by using the switch on its side. If you place it too far from the original router (or access point), you'll get no improvement in range since the signal of the existing Wi-Fi network is too weak to be meaningfully extended. Plus, you can manage settings and firmware updates for both devices using the same interface on the Archer A7. It did poorly on our performance tests. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. You administer the RE220 (and other TP-Link extenders) through TP-Link’s Tether app or a Web interface. If you'd prefer an all-encompassing home experience, NETGEAR's, could be the answer for you. Jim Salter contributed to previous versions of this guide. If your existing router supports Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS), you can connect the EX6100 to it within a few seconds. If your router is more than a few years old, you’ll be better off skipping the extender and replacing your network completely with a mesh Wi-Fi kit. The speed of the Internet is measured in bits per second. If the extender was mesh-compatible, we used a single network name (or SSID) to enable roaming between the router and extender. The Asus RP-AC55, which supports Asus’s AiMesh, lagged in our performance tests. Cost is key, though—good mesh Wi-Fi kits start out just above $250 and offer more features, greater range, better roaming between access points, and generally higher performance.


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