Looking to extend your wireless signal or eliminate WiFi dead zones around your home? Maybe you just want to extend the WiFi signal to your office at the far end of your home, or you would like to extend the signal all through your backyard. Either way, this guide will explain the different ways you can extend the WiFi signal inside or outside of your home or business.
There are many different devices that you can use such as wireless repeaters, signal boosters, and antennas. Each of these devices will offer different features and will be set up a bit differently.
Now, if you are looking to just extend your WiFi signal inside, buying a WiFi extender or WiFi booster can easily solve that problem. Most of them require very little to almost no setup. Basically, this uses some of its antennas to receive the WiFi from your primary router then it uses the other antennas to rebroadcast the signal.
If it has been a while since you upgraded your wireless router then you may want to consider a Mesh Router system. Mesh Routers are fairly simple to set up and can offer the most reliable speed for all of your devices throughout your home. If you are looking for a full coverage wifi network, then a Mesh Router will be best for you.
This would replace your current router and would also provide at least 1 other ‘satellite’ or 'node' that you can position in a different area of your home. These nodes will connect to the primary router using a wireless connection - no ethernet cable required - and can easily increase your WiFi coverage and improve the overall quality of your wireless network.
One feature that is very convenient is that it creates a seamless network. This allows you to walk throughout your home without having to manually switch between WiFi networks to maintain your internet connection. Your device will automatically switch to whatever node it is closest to.
Another way you can extend your WiFi signal is by using an Access Point or AP. Now, these can require a little more time to set up and you likely have to run an ethernet cable to it from your current router, depending on which one you purchase.
Some can be set up in ‘Repeater’ mode, which is very similar to a WiFi extender. Others can be set up in ‘Access Point’ mode, which will require you to connect an ethernet cable for an internet connection.
Both will create another Wi-Fi name or SSID (service set identifier) but will still allow devices to communicate with each other as it will still be 1 network. Access Points can offer the most versatility because they are sold with various antenna strengths as well as directions.
Access Points can also be used to set up a wireless bridge. Basically, this can allow you to use two Access Points to extend a WiFi signal several hundred feet or more, depending on the antenna strength and gain. It is more popular to set this up in a corporate environment rather than a residential one.
When you are looking to extend your WiFi signal, there are few things you will need to consider:
Are you extending the signal outside or just inside?
WiFi Extenders or Boosters typically do not have strong antennas to boost the signal outside. Extenders and Mesh Systems would be best to boost your WiFi signal inside your home rather than outside.
An Access Point would likely be the best option when looking to extend your WiFi signal outside. You can choose one that best suits the direction and distance you are extending the signal.
Whether you want the signal to cover a big backyard, or an exterior garage or barn, an Access Point will give you the most reliable connection. These are common in office buildings, warehouses, and large garages.
Is your priority the WiFi speed, coverage, or both?
For indoor use, Mesh Routers will offer the best overall speed and reliability inside your home. It would be able to provide the most consistent speed while extending your WiFi coverage.
A WiFi extender is a good indoor solution, however, it may not provide the same speed or reliability as a Mesh Router would.
Access Points can offer very reliable speed and coverage but I would recommend these mainly for outdoor use. Although, there are some Access Points that can be set up as a node if you already have a Mesh Router.
Are you comfortable with some network setup, or do you want something that is plug n play?
The simplest device to set up is going to be a WiFi extender. Most will require you to push a button on your router and the extender. It really is that easy.
A Mesh Router and most Access Points will both require some sort of network setup. You would have to access the UI of the router or AP to set up the internet connection. Even though these require you to set up the device, they will also include more features to help with the overall security and bandwidth across your network.
Are you looking for a complete wireless solution? Or is running an Ethernet cable an option?
If you are looking for a complete wireless solution then I would recommend a WiFi extender. All that is required is a wall outlet. They are very convenient when running an ethernet cable is not an option.
A Mesh Router can be considered a complete wireless solution if you are looking to replace your current router. It would require you to connect an ethernet cable from the base router to the modem and to a wall outlet, of course, for power. However, the 2nd and/or 3rd satellite does not require any ethernet cable.
An Access Point is not always considered a wireless solution as most require you to run an ethernet cable. You can purchase some Access Points and set them up as a WiFi extender, but it might be easier to just get a WiFi extender.
What is your budget?
This can easily be the determining factor for some of us. The most inexpensive solution would be a WiFi extender or booster. With that being said they are some very pricey extenders similar to the cost of a low-end Mesh Router.
Based on the products I am recommending, here is a range of the prices:
WiFi Extenders = $29.99 - $119.99
Access Points = $69.99 - $99.99
Mesh Routers = $89.99 - $699.99
As you can see by the range in price, when it comes to Mesh Routers, you’ve got plenty of options. Below, you will see the different products I recommend to see what best suits your needs and budget.
TP-LINK AC750 Compact Plug-in Range Extender
100 Mbps Ethernet Port
Up to 433 Mbps over 5GHz
Can be set up as Extender or AP
Inexpensive and simple solution.
TP-Link RE305 AC1200 Dual-Band Wireless Range Extender
Up to 867 Mbps over 5GHz
Affordable - With reliable speeds
ASUS RP-AC55 Dual-Band AC1200 Wireless Range Extender
Gigabit Ethernet Port
Extender mode only
Good WiFi coverage
These range extenders are also very easy to set up. These are a better option if you are looking for something that can provide a bit more speed.
TP-LINK RE450 AC1750 Dual-Band Wireless Range Extender
Up to 1300 Mbps over 5GHz
Can be set up as Extender
A simple, easy solution that can provide Gigabit speeds
Netgear EX6150-100NAS AC1200 Dual-Band Wireless Range Extender
Easy setup with the Nighthawk App
Tenda AC1200 Whole Home Mesh WiFi System
Covers Up to 2,500 sq. feet
TP-LINK Deco M4 AC1200 Whole Home Mesh WiFi System
Two Gigabit Ethernet Ports
Up to 867 Mbps on 5 GHz
Covers up to 5,500 sq. feet
Setup and manage your network with the Deco app.
TP-LINK Deco M9 Plus AC2200 Smart Home Mesh Wi-Fi System
Up to 867 Mbps over both 5 GHz
Covers Up to 4,500 sq. feet
Linksys VELOP Whole Home Tri-Band Mesh Wi-Fi System
Up to 867 Mbps over 5 GHz
Covers Up to 6,000 sq. feet
Easy setup with the Linksys app.
ASUS AX6100 Tri-Band Wireless Mesh Routers - AiMesh Support
Four Gigabit Ethernet Ports
Up to 4804 Mbps over 5 GHz
ASUS ZenWiFi Tri-band AX6600 Whole-Home Mesh WiFi 6 System
Three Gigabit Ethernet Ports
Up to 4804 Mbps over one 5 GHz
This Arris router below is the fastest Mesh system we sell at the time of writing this. The AX11000 is capable of reaching a total speed of 11 Gbps!
Arris Enterprises SURFboard mAX Pro Mesh WiFi 6 AX11000 System
Supports Multi-Gig WAN with link aggregation
Up to 4804 Mbps over both 5 GHz
Covers up to 6,000 sq. feet
The Access Points I have listed below can be set up either indoor or outdoor. These are best when you are looking to extend your WiFi outside of your home.
TP-LINK EAP225 V3 AC1350 Wireless Access Point
One Gigabit Ethernet Port
Easy management with the Omada app
Ubiquiti Networks UniFi AC Mesh Indoor/Outdoor Access Point
Works with UniFi Network Controller App
TP-LINK EAP245 V3 AC1750 Gigabit Ceiling Mount Access Point
Up to 1300 Mbps over 5 GHz
Seamless roaming between router and AP
My parents just purchased property out East and their internet is awful. Their router was placed in the garage at install. What is the best way to help them? I’m looking for an all in one, whatever will help maintain a stable connection at the fastest speed available. I’m worried the connection itself is just too bad out there but I’m willing to try anything.
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