TP-Link Wi-Fi Extender
Last updated date: December 21, 2018
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We looked at the top Wi-Fi Extenders and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Wi-Fi Extender you should buy.
Update as August 2, 2021:
Check out The Best Wi-Fi Extender for a detailed review of all the top wi-fi extenders.
In our analysis of 31 expert reviews, the TP-Link AC2600 Wi-Fi Extender placed 10th when we looked at the top 13 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.
From The Manufacturer
TP-Link AC2600 Dual Band Wi-Fi Range Extender w/Gigabit Ethernet Port, Extends WiFi to Smart Home & Alexa Devices, 4×4 MU-MIMO (RE650)
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Our Expert Consultant
Editor-in-chief of High Speed Experts
Patrick Ward is the editor-in-chief of High Speed Experts, a broadband connectivity-, search engine- and IT-industry education blog that empowers consumers by open-sourcing information about tech services. He earned his bachelor’s degree in commerce with an emphasis on communications at the University of Sydney. His expertise spans the digital, emerging tech and telecommunications fields.
Wi-Fi Extender Rankings
Wi-Fi Extender Overview
Chances are, your household relies heavily on a Wi-Fi network. Whether it’s doing homework or streaming the latest Netflix show everyone’s watching, a high-speed network is key. If your network is too slow, you could find that your shows constantly lock up or downloads take far too long.
Upping your network speed isn’t always the solution. You’ll likely still have the same problem, especially if you have areas of your house that are far away from your router. The easiest fix is a Wi-Fi extender. Quickly and easily, you can buy one of these devices, plug it in and, in a matter of minutes, extend your router’s reach to those “dead zones” in your home.
“As the name suggests, Wi-Fi extenders expand the range of Wi-Fi in your house or office by rebroadcasting your existing signal from your wireless router,” our technology expert Patrick Ward, editor-in-chief of the IT industry education blog High Speed Experts, explains.
But buying a Wi-Fi router can feel intimidating at first. You may fear that setup will be complicated, but with most of today’s extenders, installation is actually fairly easy. You just plug it in and follow the directions to connect it to your home’s router. The first step is finding the best area of your home for the extender. The goal is to extend the reach of the Wi-Fi signal being sent by your router, so you’ll be moving it to an area of your house where connectivity is poorest due to being too far away.
When shopping for a router, pay close attention to frequency. Many extenders use two frequencies: 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. You’ll see speed ratings that represent the theoretical maximum speed of the router you’re purchasing. Other factors, such as the size of the ethernet and compatibility with other devices, should also factor into your buying decision.
Another consideration is whether the signal rebroadcasted by your extender is different than the one your wireless router emits.
“This means that you have to manually switch over to your range extender network as your devices will automatically connect to your router,” Ward says. “This connecting and reconnecting can get tedious, particularly as you move back and forth between rooms.”
But one advantage of putting in a Wi-Fi extender is that it will allow you to get online in spaces you don’t traditionally think of as having an Internet connection.
“Backyards, garages or rec rooms can now have a strong Wi-Fi signal, allowing you to remain connected wherever you are in your house,” Ward points out.
Want to Internet surf while lounging by the pool? That’s a possibility — if you get the right Wi-Fi extender.
- Wi-Fi extenders can seem intimidating if you don’t see yourself as tech-savvy. The good news is, most extenders on the market today are easy to set up. You simply plug it into an outlet in the desired area and follow the instructions to connect.
- Once you get your extender set up, you’ll need an easy way to manage it. Some models even let you control your device using an app. You can create passwords, check your connections and more.
- Determining exactly where to put your Wi-Fi extender can be challenging. Some models include smart LED indicators that identify the best location in an area for optimizing your Wi-Fi reach.
- Wi-Fi extenders operate by using specific frequencies. Some extenders operate on two bands: 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz, offering fast performance. Other models only utilize one 2.4 GHz band.
- Some Wi-Fi extenders let you hook up items like smart TVs and Xbox game consoles to your Wi-Fi network through an ethernet port. If you’re interested in using this feature, go with a model that has it.
- Over time, you may decide just one Wi-Fi extender isn’t enough. Some extenders are compatible with a wide range of adapters, which means you’ll be able to expand your network even further by adding more routers.
- If you plan to add routers in the future, look for a router with a Wi-Fi clone button that copies your router’s network name and password. One press of the button automatically syncs one extender with all the other extenders on your network.
- A Wi-Fi extender is designed to be planted in a wall outlet, where it stays. Some models have internal antennas, which provide for a more compact look.
- Speeding up your network is great, but you’ll also want to make sure you keep your data safe. Look for a Wi-Fit extender that features either 128-bit AES encryption or WPA2/WPA wireless encryption.