With every year passing, routers are coming with more and more signal strength so that they can cover your entire house under WiFi blanket.
But more often than not, due to non-optimal placement of these routers, interference, and weird designs of some houses, there can a dead-spot or two left in your house.
There are different solutions to counter this problem. You can either opt for a secondary router, a mesh WiFi system, or even add an access point or two.
One of those solutions is adding a WiFi extender in your existing home network.
Best WiFi Extenders 2019
A WiFi extender (also called by many as WiFi repeater or WiFi booster) is wirelessly connected to a router or an access point (which means extender should get strong WiFi signals in first place), receives the WiFi signal, and re-transmits them.
Ideal location of these extenders is the halfway between your main router and a dead-spot.
The re-transmitted signal won't be as powerful though, and with each hop, the latency will increase which is not so good for tasks like online gaming.
That is the reason why you can't have too many WiFi extenders around your house. Because doing this may make the situation even worse.
However, these are one of the easiest way to increase WiFi reception around your home - if done right.
Most people found themselves clueless when out in the market for a WiFi repeater. That's why we have written this round-up about the best WiFi extenders in the market right now.
Good thing about these extenders is that all of them target different types of users. Some are of budget users, while the other ones are for those who can spend a little extra.
So, without any ado, let's begin.
Best WiFi Extender 2019 Review Guide
Best Budget WiFi Extender 2019
When most people think of Motorola, they think of it just as a smartphone-manufacturer, which is pretty odd considering they make many types of networking products such as cable modems and WiFi extenders etc. (In fact, one of their modems is recommended by us as the best one for gaming.)
One of those devices is MX1200 - a WiFi extender for those who are on a tight budget.
But even if we don't consider price, it's different than most of other extenders out in the market - in more than one ways.
For starters, it's a plug-in WiFi extender which means it is plugged directly into an AC outlet which can be both a good and a bad thing.
Main advantage of it is the quick and easy setup, while the bad thing is that there's no network monitoring app.
In terms of design, MX1200 is smaller than most extenders, and has a two-pronged plug that is compatible with every outlet style in the US.
If you're outside of the US, you'll probably have to buy some converter which'll make it compatible with your country's outlet design. I would also recommend to ask about its compatibility from your local retailer.
On the front side, there are six LEDs, of which five are arrange in a semi-circular position to form a signal-strength meter. Ideally, you should plug in an outlet where it LED number 3 is green, which has the label 'good'.
The sixth LED light is to show the Power Status of this extender.
On the top side, there's a WPS button which lets you quickly connect to the router, a host toggle which lets you switch between 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Bands, an on/off button, and an Ethernet port.
In terms of hardware, this one comes with dual-band 2x2 stream setup and AC 1200 WiFi Rating which is good enough to give you a theoretical top speed of 1200 Mbps.
Among advance features, MX1200 surprisingly features beamforming but MU-MIMO is absent. If you don't know what these terms are, head over to our WiFi router guide.
It comes with 2 internal antennas but there's none outside.
From inside, mx1200 has a MediaTek MT7620A Wi-Fi chip featuring a 580 MHz processor.
One big disadvantage of mx1200 being a plug-in extender (as we discussed above) is that it can't be set up via a mobile app.
Instead your only option here is the Web browser based admin panel. For first-time setup, you need to plug it near your router.
You'll ask for a password, type 'motorola' which is default password that you can change later.
After this, you can either set it up manually by connecting it with your PC via an Ethernet cable or you can type 'setupextender.net' to start the 'setup wizard' which will guide you though whole process.
In terms of performance, we had mixed results. While it was outperformed by more expensive extenders in the long range (as expected), its performance was impressive in a relatively short distance.
Still, mx1200 is a very good product in its price range, which is less than 40 bucks at the time of this review.
Best Multi-Purpose WiFi Extender 2019
D-Link is a very reputed brand when it comes to networking solutions. Time and time again, I have bought their products and it didn't result in any regrets.
Seriously, a roundup review related to home networking products is incomplete without mentioning D-Link.
So let's see how its 3-in-1 DAP-1650 booster performs.
I said 3-in-1 because it's indeed a multi-purpose WiFi booster that can act up as access point and media bridge as well.
Media bridge is a functionality lets you connect an extender with a wired-only device (such as your PC, NAS or gaming console) and provide WiFi connectivity to that device.
Access point, on the other hand, is a device which is connected to your router through an Ethernet cable and provide broadcast WiFi signals to other devices.
An access point is only slightly different than a WiFi repeater because it requires wired connection while a repeater can be connected wirelessly to a router.
Anyways, seeing all of these different functions in a single device was really amusing for us.
Unlike many other repeaters that come in rectangular shape, this one has a cylindrical design with a glossy black finish.
The front side has two status indicators: power indicator and Internet indicator.
Back side, however, is loaded with things like WPS button, 4 Ethernet ports, a reset button, a power button and a USB 2.0 port. There's no external antenna but inside, there are four.
DAP-1650 comes with a web console which lets do things like changing SSID, switch between networking modes, customize transmission rates and change channel width for each of its four bands.
There are some extra settings as well, like media server settings, IPV6 settings, QoS, Mac filtering, as well as guest networking.
In our testing, we performed pretty well in 5 GHz band, but faltered when switched to 2.4 GHz. Also, since the USB port is only 2.0, don't expect file transfers to be blazing fast.
That being said, it's good for you the money you're putting into it. Also, having access point and media bridge functionality is an added bonus.
All in all, this is best multi-purpose WiFi extender you can have in 2019.
Best WiFi Extender For Large Homes
Most people think that TP-Link only makes budget-oriented networking products.
And those products, while great for those on low-budget, don't compared to the prowess of flagship products.
This is simply not true, and to prove the point, here we have the TP-Link RE-650, a slightly high-end extender but also a total beast.
Measuring 6.3 x 3.0 x 1.8 inches, this one is a little too big for a plug-in extender. Its large size may block you from connecting other devices in nearby power outlets.
Having a white and grey color scheme, it looks simple without being dull. There are four external, non-removable antennas which add to the overall large size of this RE-650.
On the front side, there are four LED indicators. The top one indicates the optimal location for the repeater. On a sweet sport, it'll indicate blue light, and red color will be for other scenarios.
Below this location indicator are power indicator, 2.4 GHz indicator and 5 GHz indicator. Being an AC 2600 extender, it can provide you a maximum speed of 1733 Mbps over its 5 GHz Band, and 800 Mbps over its 2.4 GHz Band.
There are two ways to set up this extender. You can either use the WPS feature of your router, or go over same ol' Web admin panel.
If you choose the latter, you just need to connect the RE-650 in a power outlet near your router, connect to a new password-free network called TP-LINK_EXTENDER_2.4GHz and type tplinkrepeater.net in your web browser.
After completing this process, you can change the password and SSID for this repeater.
Being equipped with beamforming and MU-MIMO features, this extender can easily cover the area over 14,000 sq. ft.
In terms of performance, RE-650 is second only to Nighthawk EX8000 (the best extender we have ever tested) but RE-650 also costs almost 60 bucks less than the EX8000. We were able to get decent signal strength despite being 75-feet away.
The only downsides in this extender, in my opinion, are a large size for beign a plug-in extender. But if you're comfortable with it, the second-best WiFi extender can be yours in less than 120 bucks.
NETGEAR Nighthawk EX8000
Best WiFi Extender 2019 Overall
Nighthawk EX8000 is different than most of the other WiFi extenders in the market, and price is just one factor out of those differences.
Yes, priced at almost $180, EX8000 is definitely expensive, costing you as much as a full-fledged high-end router.
BUT, Netgear has worked hard to justify every single penny out of that amount.
Being bigger than any other extenders in this roundup, it doesn't get plugged directly into a power outlet. Instead you would have to place it on a desk and connect to a power outlet via a two-pronged AC adapter that comes as an accessory.
Design wise, EX8000 looks like Netgear's own Orbi mesh WiFi system released in 2016, except the color. Both of them have the same curvy design, in addition to the same amount of ports and buttons.
Speaking of which, it has four Gigabit LAN ports, a single USB 2.0 port, a WPS button and an on/off button.
At the top side, there are different LEDs to indicate different statuses like USB activity, Ethernet activity, or whether the extender is working well or not.
If you're thinking about raw power, this one is Tri-band wireless repeater capable of giving you a maximum theoretical speed of 400 Mbps on its 2.4 GHz Band, 867 Mbps on its 2x2 GHz Band and 1733 Mbps on its other 5 GHz Band with 4x4 stream setup.
All of it means that it is an AC3000 4x4 wireless repeater.
In terms of compatibility, it should work fine with any AC router, but we recommend having a 4x4 AC router for better utilization.
Another useful feature of this extender is that you can easily convert it into an access point by connecting it to your main router through an Ethernet cable.
Setting it up is really easy. You just need to press the WPS button of your router as well as that of EX8000, and an automated process will start. The SSID and the password settings of your router will be copied on this extender, but you can change them later.
If you don't wanna use the WPS button anyhow, you can set EX8000 up using its web admin panel. Just type 192.168.1.250 after plugging an Ethernet cable from your PC into one of the LAN ports of this extender, and the setup process will start.
In this panel, you will also find other settings which you can customize later, such as WiFi channel selection, firmware update etc.
As you know, placement is necessary when it comes to WiFi extenders. This is why there's the Netgear WiFi Analytics mobile app which will let you know the optimal placement for this beast.
As far as different bands are concerned, this extender will automatically choose the best band based on the distance it has with you main router.
In our testing, EX8000 performed heads and shoulders above any of its competitor. In fact, it performed even better than Linksys' Velop mesh WiFi in close range testing.
In longer range however (75+ feet away), the results weren't as impressive and it performed only marginally better than the TP-Link's RE-650. But still, it will provide sufficient speed and range for any home-based network.
My only gripe here is the USB 2.0 port which makes file transfer pretty average.
All in all though, this is best WiFi extender you have in 2019 - if money isn't issue for you.
Big, expensive and worth every penny, Netgear's Nighthawk X6S Tri-Band Range Extender leads the pack in data speed and range. It's powerful enough to put speedy Wi-Fi in every corner of your house.
Best WiFi Extender 2019 Under 70
You can think of RE450 as a minified version of the expensive RE650.
It's because this one got almost all the aspects found in its more costly sibling. It has same design, small color scheme, same style for LED indicators, and it goes straight into a power outlet too.
But almost all of these features are more limited than they used to be in RE650, which actually makes sense because this extender is geared for people on a tight budget.
There are three antennas at the top, unlike in RE650 where there were two antennas on both the left and right sides.
On its left side (when viewed from the front), there's a single Ethernet port (not bad for an extender but more would've been appreciated) using which you can connect it with your main router through a wired connection, and turn it into an access point.
At the top of its front, there's a big RE-button, which basically acts as the WPS button to instantly connect this extender with your router. Apart from this, it comes with a smartphone app which lets you make slight adjustments and monitor your network.
In case you don't want to use the app, the good ol' web admin panel is here, which lets you tinker even more with the network. You can created SSIDs for both of your WiFi Bands, change WiFi encryption method or update the firmware etc.
To set it up for the first time, you'll have to follow the same steps mentioned in RE-650 review above.
In terms of WiFi connectivity, this is an AC 1750 extender which can give you a maximum speed of 450 Mbps on its 2.4 GHz Band and 1300 Mbps speed on its 5 GHz Band.
In our testing, it performed well in terms of range and throughput but simply couldn't match the likes of RE-650 or Nighthawk EX8000, which isn't a bad thing considering how less it costs than than fore-mentioned two extenders.
It's not without any cons though. Being bulky at the top side makes it occupy the nearby power outlet when connected.
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