Home is where the heart is … and where the Wi-Fi automatically connects to your devices.
In the era of working from home, the most important office supply is a steady stream of reliable Wi-Fi connectivity. Dropping an important business call or not being able to direct message instantly with co-workers can halt productivity, and bosses are most likely sick of hearing spotty, robot-sounding voices as a result of shoddy bandwidth. Moreover, for those of us who live with other work-from-homers or Zoom home-schoolers, sharing the precious Wi-Fi during work and school hours can be rife with even more issues.
A lot of WFH experts have figured out a good trick to avoid those problems. Instead of parking yourself as close as possible to your main router, they have found Wi-Fi extenders to be a great solution. In layman’s terms, this device takes your existing Wi-Fi router, picks up that signal and then broadcasts it to reach farther.
OK, now you know you want one so you can work from your upstairs desk and from your basement couch. Where should you purchase this magical device? Below are five Wi-Fi extenders on the market now, sure to fit any budget and bandwidth needs.
This three-pack from Amazon can replace your entire router and covers up to 5,000 square feet, surely enough to reach your home office, living room and wherever the kids are off doing their homework.
“Works with your internet service provider — Eero connects to your modem to bring your existing internet connection to every corner of your home,” reads the product description. “Set up in minutes — the eero app walks you through setup in less than 10 minutes and allows you to manage your network from anywhere.”
Sounds easy enough. To make it even easier, you can connect your Amazon Alexa and control which devices have access to the Wi-Fi and when. So when it’s time for dinner, you can ask Alexa to be the bad guy and turn off the internet for a screen break.
Next up is a classic extender that pairs with your existing router to create a powerful reach all over your home or office space.
“I had to update my Wi-Fi extender because my old one stop working. And let me tell you it was probably the best thing ever. Because now my internet runs so much smoother,” reads a review on Walmart’s product page. “And it also makes it one Wi-Fi instead of three different ones which is great with the mesh tech. Best upgrade I’ve done so far.”
Upgrading to this is a seamless process using the Smart Roaming and One Wi-Fi Name technology, as it pairs with your existing Wi-Fi router to create a powerful Mesh network.
Another Netgear product, but this one packs a punch when it comes to range and number of connected devices.
It was rated the best for homes with different devices by PC Mag, which said, “The TP-Link AC1900 Wi-Fi Range Extender (RE580D) brings solid Wi-Fi and wired connectivity to areas of your home that your router can’t reach.” Sounds good to us!
Sounding even better are its specs, listed on the B&H Photo Video store website. Enjoy dual band frequencies and five separate gigabit ethernet ports — and it supports wireless data transfer rates of up to 1900Mbps.
A budget option with some pretty cool perks, this Wi-Fi extender is a great band for your buck.
The D-Link extender plugs into the wall and can be used in any room in the house where you are experiencing spotty coverage. It features dual-band Wi-Fi and can also be paired with Amazon’s Alexa devices without slowing down your other browsing needs. It’s compatible with all standard Wi-Fi routers and ISP gateways, so all you need to do is plug it in and, with the one-touch easy setup, it’s good to go.
“This unit was easy to install, received strong 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz signals from our downstairs router, and now provides 40 Mbps download and 11 Mbps upload speeds, which is the maximum promised by our ISP,” reads a five-star review on Amazon. “The devices connected together by ethernet can now communicate with one another at a much higher speed, which was the point of the exercise.”
Rounding out the list is a versatile Wi-Fi extender that, according to C-Net, is the best for almost everyone.
“Plug it in and press the WPS button to pair it with your home network, and it’ll begin broadcasting its own networks on the 2.4 and 5GHz bands,” the article reads. “Both offered steady speeds throughout my entire home, including average download speeds on the 5GHz band of at least 75 megabits per second in every room I tested, along with strong upload speeds, too.”
Coming in at one of the most affordable options, if all you are looking for is a bit more range to get yourself from one room to the next, this plug-in device is the way to go. Sold on Amazon, it won’t break the bank and it will boost your signal.