You don’t always sit in the living room while surfing the internet or watching your favorite shows online. Therefore, unless you live in a small home, you have more often than not experienced a situation where certain parts of your home have a dark spot when it comes to Wi-Fi coverage.
To solve this, first, explore the capabilities of your router. If it is some years old, you should consider upgrading it and get a mid-high range powerful router. However, it may still not work for you if your home is built with thick materials such as concrete, brick plaster, metal etc. and has many walls. In such a case, signal degradation is inevitable. You can also consider adding a few wired Wi-Fi access points if your house is Ethernet wired, or if you won’t mind placing cables along the walls.
If these don’t solve your problem or you don’t want to clutter your house with cables, then there are three best ways on how to can solve the situation. You can get some powerline adapters, use a Wi-Fi mesh system or you can buy the best Wi-Fi repeaters. While the first two are a little more efficient, Wi-Fi repeaters are often the cheapest and quickest fix to get your Wi-Fi black spots all lit up.
A Wi-Fi extender simply works by picking up your router’s signal, amplifying it and rebroadcasting the boosted signal. Wi-Fi repeaters are easy to install, and they usually come in various shapes, sizes and technologies.
Wi-Fi repeaters also come in two types; desktops and plug-ins.
These range repeaters just resemble a typical Wi-Fi router, and they are in most cases equipped with external adjustable antennas, more than just a single LAN ports for connecting devices, and USB ports that can be used for the connection of peripheral devices e.g. printers and storage drives.
These repeaters, on the other hand, are usually much smaller than their counterparts. Some have external antennas, while others don’t. Due to their size, they more often than not possess only a single LAN port and no USB ports. Though this makes them less versatile, they are cheaper than the desktop repeaters. If you don’t want to sacrifice an extra power outlet, you can get a model that comes with a pass-through outlet.
The most important thing to consider before you buy a router is the Wi-Fi standard that it uses. Wi-Fi standards have transformed from A to B then G and N, and now AC with each advancement in featuring increased speeds. When considering these, it is important to choose a Wi-Fi repeaters that matches with the specifications of your router. Remember that there is no point in buying a fancy 12000 Mbps AC Wi-Fi extender if you only have a 300 Mbps N Wireless router.
For instance, if your router is a dual-band AC1900 model, then make sure that the range extender you buy is a dual-band AC1900 device, or an even more advanced one. If your router again supports Multi-User Multiple Input Multiple Output (MU-MIMO) data streaming, then your Wi-Fi extender needs to be MU-MIMO enabled so as for it to be able to extend the MU-MIMO network (Technology that offers enhanced performance by sending data to compatible clients simultaneously instead of sequentially).
The best Wi-Fi repeaters also operate with two radio-frequency bands; the standard 2.4 GHz and the newer 5 GHz band. Dual-band Wi-Fi repeaters are more efficient in that they use the 2.4 GHz band to communicate with the router and use the more advanced 5 GHz band to transmit the signal to devices.
NETGEAR Nighthawk X4 (EX7300)
Amped Wireless (REC44M)
NETGEAR Nighthawk (EX7000-100NAS)
Extollo LANSocket 1500
The Netgear Nighthawk EX7300 is one of the best range repeaters that you can get in the market today. It is a class AC2200 router and being from Netgear, a company which specializes in routers and related devices, you can only expect efficiency from it. It features great signal strength and speeds.
Nighthawk x4 AC2200 is a plug-in Wi-Fi extender and uses a 3-prong plug. Although it’s significantly huge and doesn’t have a pass-through outlet, it doesn’t block the second power outlet on a standard wall socket.
This Wi-Fi booster doesn’t use external antennas like the Netgear x7000 and the TP-Link RE450, but instead packs an internal antenna array into its slightly tapered chassis. It operates on two bands, and can score up to 338 Mbps on a same-room set up. It also supports technologies that enhance performance like beamforming and MU-MIMO streaming.
Nighthawk EX7300 is very easy to install. All you need to do is power it on using a power socket, and then press the WPS button. After it starts blinking, go to your router and press its WPS button. After linking successfully, it will show a solid green light. You have connected the devices on the 2.4 GHz band. To connect to the 5 GHz one, you just need to repeat the process.
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This is another great product from Amped, which also operates on a dual-band. While it’s a bit bulky and not the most aesthetically pleasing Wi-Fi extender, it’s powerful enough to fix your Wi-Fi dead zone problems and far more than the average extender.
The Amped REC44M is a High Power AC2600 Wireless range extender, and has 4 antennas. Out of these four, two are external and although they stick out in a somewhat average manner, they are still adjustable and removable. On the bottom side of this Wi-Fi extender is a Gigabit LAN port and a reset button. There is also a power and a signal strength LED button on the upper side, along with a WPS button.
The REC44M uses a two-prong plug, and although it’s bulky in size and doesn’t have a pass-through outlet, it is designed such that it doesn’t block your extra power source in a standard power socket.
This range extender also incorporates the latest technology in its performance and offers both beamforming technology and MU-MIMO streaming. It also supports the manufacturer’s Wireless BoostBand Technology, a type of technology that is meant to improve performance by streamlining the network traffic between the router and the extender, using the less-crowded 5 GHz band.
Regarding speeds, the Amped REC44M is pretty impressive, with speeds of about 53.8 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band, and an average of 288 Mbps on the 5 GHz band. Both are speeds based on a same-room connection.
Installing this extender is easy. You just need to power it on and connect to your computer using the wireless signal or an Ethernet cable. After that, navigate to http://setup.ampedwireless.com using your browser and the Dashboard will launch. There is a Scan button that you will need to click and select the 2.4 GHz network. At that point you can decide whether to use the default settings or create new ones.
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The Netgear Nighthawk EX700-100NAS is a dual-band router under the Ac1900 class. It is known for its ability to deliver outstanding throughput on both bands. Though considerably bulky, it comes with multiple connectivity ports and offers media Server and access-control features. It’s the range extender’s top-shelf performance and robust features that have earned it many recommendations since it appeared in the market.
The range extender sports a shiny black finish with three adjustable antennas. It supports 802.11 ac Wi-Fi and has 5 Gigabit LAN ports, a WPS button, a Power Switch and a Reset Button, all of which are found on the backside. The 5 LAN ports come in handy if you have many devices to connect like gaming consoles, HDTVs, Computers etc. The front side has a USB 3.0 port, and the top side has 9 LED status indicators. Each band has one, there is one for each LAN port, one for Router-Extender connection, and a USB activity LED.
The Nighthawk Ex7000 also offers access control scheduling and FastLane technology, which is technology that allows you to optimize your bandwidth by directing wireless traffic to a specific band.
Installing this range extender is quick and easy. First, power up the device and I the Wi-Fi control panel, select the NETGEAR_EXT SSID. This will open a New Extender Setup page where you will be required to create an account. You can then select a mode (Access Point or Extender) and a Wi-Fi network from your router to connect to. You can then choose to use the default Netgear settings, or create yours.
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The TP-Link RE450 is donned with some glossy white and gray colors. It has two fold-out antennas, on either side of the device, and there’s also one on the top side. It uses a two-prong plug for power.
The WPS button is found on the front side, and it’s surrounded by an LED light ring on the outer edge. This ring indicates the proximity of the TP-Link extender to the router, with a blue color showing when there’s a good connection, and a red color indicating that it’s far away. There are also the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz indicator status indicators below the WPS button, as well as a power indicator. The power, Reset and LED Buttons are found on the left side. The right side has the Gigabit LAN port.
The extender is however bulky enough to block the extra outlet in a standard power socket, and it lacks a pass-through outlet to make up for it.
Installing the TP-Link RE45o is pretty easy. First, plug in the extender to an outlet near the router, and wait till the power light turns blue. You can then press the WPS button on the router, followed closely by the WPS button on the extender. After a successful connection, the LED ring should turn from a blinking blue to a solid blue. You can then place your extender at a strategic position that will serve your dead spot well. Make sure that the LED light doesn’t turn red which will mean you have moved it far away.
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This is another plug-in extender and it uses a three-prong plug. Though a bit bulky, it doesn’t prevent access to the adjacent wall outlet and as if that isn’t enough, it still has a pass-through outlet. It also has two adjustable antennas which are positioned on either side of the extender, with the WPS and power buttons being found on the right side. The LED status indicator is on the front side, and the LAN port and audio output for streaming audio on the bottom side.
The Linksys RE6700 operates on the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands and features Beamforming and Cross band technologies.
Installing this extender is simple and easy. First, power it on at a strategic area between your router and the dead zone. Wait for the light to turn solid green then connect to its signal using a wireless device and navigate to enter http://extender.linksys.com. It will launch a setup wizard that will then scan your network and ask you to connect to both bands. Once you enter the password, you are good to go!
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Our WiFi repeaters reviews gave you more than a basic understanding for each device. They are a good way of boosting your signal strength to reach those areas where your router cannot cover. They are a cheap and easy fix. However, if you are just looking for the best new connection, you may need to consider having a Mesh Wi-Fi system.
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