A seamless internet connection is a reality only when you are near the Wi-Fi router if you are in the direct line. Add standard building materials to the mix like brick walls, waterbodies, and concrete wall, and odds are the signals won't reach all the corners of your house. In such a situation, it makes sense to invest in Wi-Fi range extenders, instead of buying a secondary router altogether.
As you already know, Wi-Fi range extenders amplify the network coverage by connecting to the original network and then rebroadcast the signal. That's how they go about extending the network coverage. While most extenders look like typical routers, there are some small and inconspicuous extenders called wall plug-in extenders.
All you need to do is plug them to one of your electrical outlets and take of boosting your Wi-Fi network at home or office. Of course, some initial setup is required, but you get the rough idea.
Additionally, they do not take up much space and setting them up is pretty simple and straightforward. Sounds cool, right?
Hence, we have taken it upon ourselves to curate a list of the best Plug-in Wi-Fi Range Extenders.
Pro Tip: Usually it’s best to place the extender where the Wi-Fi network starts to break up.
Dual Band or Single Band?
Most advanced extenders come with dual-band Wi-Fi support of 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies. While the 2.4GHz band is used by a wide range of devices, it's also overcrowded and has limited capacity. That ultimately results in limiting the speed.
That is why most manufacturers of network devices include a second band (5GHz) which is less crowded as fewer devices (most modern) use it. That provides faster data rates with a much greater area coverage.
The good news is that even if you have a single-band base router, you can invest in a dual-band Wi-Fi extender.
With over ten thousand reviews on Amazon, the Netgear AC1200 EX6150 is one of our first choices. This small extender supports dual bands of 2.4GHz and 5GHz band. Setting it up as a straightforward job. Simply plug it to a power outlet and let it sync with the current router. What's more, the setup instructions are also fairly simple to follow. The crux of this extender is its simple setup process.
Apart from the above, there is one Ethernet port which certainly opens up a world of options. For one, you can connect your wired printer to it to or hook your gaming console. In a nutshell, you can relocate any device that needs a hardwire connection, to the location of your choice.
Reviews on this product have been good so far. It has over 57% positive reviews with many users praising the signal strength. This one is priced at $83.99.
We also have the TP-Link AC1750 Wi-Fi Range Extender which costs $20 less than the model listed above. This range extender is known to deliver good throughput speeds and a solid signal range. It has dual-band network capability and has a maximum data speed of around 450Mbps (2.4GHz) and 1300Mbps (5GHz). With its unique antennas (two fold-out antennas + one pull out antenna), it looks like a walkie-talkie from one of the sci-fi movies. Not to mention the fact that the little antennas do present a slightly unobtrusive profile.
There’s a Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) button at the top which makes the setup process easy. All you have to do is press the WPS buttons on both the router and the extender simultaneously, and once the connection is established the WPS light on the extender turns blue.
Signal wise, this one has a solid signal which has been echoed by several Amazon users. So, if you have a large house with extended patio or porch, this one will shoo away all your signal coverage worries.
Apart from that, this TP-Link router comes with a 2-year warranty and has more than 61% positive reviews on Amazon. It is priced at $66.85.
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3. TP-Link AC1200 WiFi Range Extender (RE305) - $39.59
At just 3.1 x 3.1 x 2.4 (LWH) inches, the TP-Link AC1200 is one of the smallest Wi-Fi extenders available. With its two antennas, it sure looks adorable. Keeping that aside, the TP-Link AC1200 is a well-built product with good ventilation and adjustable antennas. It has the usual bells and whistles like an Ethernet port, WPS button, dual-band compatibility, and a reset button, should the need arise for you to reset it.
The connection speed is quite decent, with TP-Link promising 867Mbps on the 5GHz band and 300 Mbps on the 2.4Ghz connection. Users have highly appreciated the network coverage and the speed boost.
This one has over 48% positive reviews on Amazon and also bears the tag of Amazon's Choice. However, do not expect this device to last you a lifetime. The TP-Link AC1200 is priced at $39.59.
If you do not want to invest much in networking products, you may want to consider the $29.99 Coredy N300 Wi-Fi range extender. This one stands out from the usual crop of plug-in Wi-Fi extenders with its bright purple exterior and a bunch of helpful indicator lights. The best thing is that these lights help you gauge the right location for the extender.
Plus, since it just measures 2.9 x 2.1 x 1.6 inches, you will have the neighboring outlets free. Other then that, it has two Ethernet ports for you to connect any wired device. On the downside, this N300 Wi-Fi range extender is a single band router. Hence, if you are sure that there isn’t much interference, you may consider buying it.
Again, like its counterparts, setting it up is a no-brainer. There’s a WPS button to sync it with your router/modem. All you have to do is make sure that the base router is set up on 2.4 GHz.
Last but not least, we have the Madpower WiFi Extender. Priced at $33.95, this one is a single band extender and provides speed up to 300 Mbps. Like the one above, this too has a bunch of LED indicators that make the job easy of setting it up.
However, at 4.2 x 4.1 x 3 inches, this one is a tad bulky compared to its counterparts. Hence, do make sure that you have a vertical power outlet in your house (or one that you do not need), should you choose to buy this product.
When put at the correct location, it does provide good network coverage. And as typical of most extenders, it also comes with an Ethernet port.
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That’s a Wrap!
If you notice that your phone or PC is losing the Wi-Fi connection too often, or struggling to get one in some corners of your home, getting a Wi-Fi range extenders is one of the best options. Not only are they affordable, but they are also compact. Plus, the wire-free setup is the cherry on top.
Next up: Is someone leaching off on your Wi-Fi network? Learn how to easily block devices on your network.