Best Wi-Fi extenders of 2021: top devices for boosting your WiFi network A set of wi-fi extenders against a gray background with the words best Wi-Fi extenders next to it

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Consider investing in one of the best Wi-Fi extenders if you’re having issues with your router not covering your entire home or office. These handy additions, also known as Wi-Fi boosters or repeaters, have come a long way since first entering the market. And, investing in one is the perfect way to get rid of dead zones in your office or home, as well as extending your router’s reach whether it’s for a large home or multiple floors in a building.

Not only do Wi-Fi extenders take your internet connection to the next level in terms of reliability and range, but they’re also cost effective since you won’t have to get a new router. That doesn’t mean a Wi-Fi booster is the best way to go for every situation. If you need to replace your router, it might make sense to upgrade to something with Wi-Fi 6 support or a mesh Wi-Fi router if you want that extended range. However, for most, getting an extender is just as effective while being cheaper.

To help you fix your router-related woes, particularly at the tail end of back to school season, we’ve gathered our top picks for the best Wi-Fi repeaters here. If you’re wondering if you should buy a Wi-Fi extender, the guide below should help you decide. And, take advantage of our price comparison tool included to get the best deals available. 

Netgear Nighthawk X6S EX8000 at an angle on a white background

(Image credit: Netgear)

1. Netgear Nighthawk X6S EX8000 Tri-band WiFi Extender

The best Wi-Fi extender in 2021

Bands: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 2.4/5GHz simultaneous | Connectivity: 4 x RJ-45 10/100/1000M LAN ports | Features: Tri-band

Fast speeds and dependable network coverage
Easy setup to create a mesh network
Large and bulky

If you're after a Wi-Fi extender that provides best-in-class performance for expanding your wireless network throughout your home, then the Netgear Nighthawk X6S EX8000 Tri-band WiFi Extender is the one for you. You can use this extender to create a mesh network, so you have a single, large, Wi-Fi network, rather than smaller separate ones. This allows you to easily roam your house, and your device will seamlessly keep connected. It's expensive, but it's the best Wi-Fi extender you can buy right now, offering fast speeds and dependable network coverage throughout your home.

TP-Link RE605X WiFi 6 Range Extender at an angle on a white background

(Image credit: TP-Link)

Simple set-up and solid performance

Bands: 802.11ax 2.4GHz + 5.0GHz | Connectivity: 1x Gigabit Ethernet | Features: Wi-Fi 6, Intelligent Signal Light, TP-LINK Tether App

Affordable Wi-Fi 6 range extender
Works with any router
Only dual-band support, and 1800Mbps speed

If you’re looking to extend your newly-minted Wi-Fi 6 network to all four corners of your home, TP-Link’s RE605X WiFi 6 Range Extender is worth taking a look. It’s as affordable and as easy to set up as the RE650 extender while being backwards compatible with older Wi-Fi 5 routers. It isn’t just for the less savvy users, however. The RE605X also provides a web browser interface for more experienced users who want more control over their network settings.

Read the full review: TP-Link RE605X WiFi 6 Range Extender

Netgear Nighthawk X6 EX7700 at an angle on a white background

(Image credit: Netgear)

3. Netgear Nighthawk X6 EX7700 Mesh Range Extender

The best affordable Wi-Fi range extender

Bands: 802.11ac 5GHz and 2.4GHz | Connectivity: 2 x Ethernet | Features: Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPS), Mesh connectivity

Small design
Powerful enough for 4K content
Pricier than most extenders

Bring the power and convenience of a mesh network to your home with the Netgear Nighthawk X6 EX7700. Not only does this extend the area of your Wi-Fi network, but it creates a seamless Wi-Fi network throughout your home or office – so you don't need to switch networks while moving around.

Thanks to the powerful hardware inside the Netgear Nighthawk X6 EX7700, you can stream 4K content, play games and hook up all kinds of devices to your Wi-Fi network without a hitch. The included Ethernet ports are also a nice addition for bringing your network to wired devices.

TP-Link RE350 AC1200 Wi-Fi Range Extender from a side angle on a white background

Simple and easy to use

Bands: 802.11ac 5GHz and 2.4GHz | Connectivity: 1 x Ethernet | Features: Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPS), LED shows connection strength for easy placement

Good Wi-Fi performance at a competitive price
Extra Ethernet port is really handy for older PCs
Set-up takes a little while

TP-Link is a Chinese networking company that has been steadily gaining popularity in the west, and for good reason. With devices like the TP-Link RE650 AC2600 Wi-Fi Range extender, it’s easy to get why: this extender – among the best Wi-Fi extenders you can buy right now – does the job well, and it’s affordable. It’s not going to be the fastest Wi-Fi extender out there, but with the range this extender provides at the price it’s available at, it’s a steal. Finally, thanks to an LED signal indicator on the front, installation is a breeze.

Read the full review: TP-Link RE650 AC2600 Wi-Fi Range Extender

Devolo Mesh WiFi 2 and two nodes on a white background

(Image credit: Devolo)

5. Devolo Mesh WiFi 2

All-in-one PowerLine and mesh networking kit

Bands: 802.11ac 5GHz and 2.4GHz | Connectivity: 4 x RJ-45 10/100/1000M LAN ports | Features: multi-user MIMO technology, future-proofed Wave 2 standard, access point steering

Mesh Wi-Fi networking
Two Gigabit Ethernet ports on each adaptor
Unhelpful app and documentation

Extend your network through thick walls and into the furthest corners of your space with the Devolo Mesh WiFi 2. Boasting both mesh Wi-Fi features and versatile powerline connectivity, this device can even follow you and your mobile devices around, automatically switching you to the closest adaptor and the fastest Wi-Fi band. It even has three adaptors that give you five Gigabit Ethernet ports for fast, wired connections. This is the best Wi-Fi extender for games consoles, smart-TVs and other devices that work best with wired connections.

Read the full review: Devolo Mesh WiFi 2

Netgear Orbi Whole Home Mesh WiFi System on a white background

(Image credit: Netgear)

6. Netgear Orbi Whole Home Mesh WiFi System

Fast, affordable, tri-band mesh Wi-Fi

Speed: IEEE 802.11ac dual-band with 1x 2.4GHz (400Mbps), 1x 5GHz (866Mbps) | Connectivity: 2 x Gigabit Ethernet | Features: Beamforming implicit and explicit for 2.4GHz/5GHz bands

Affordable dual-band mesh Wi-Fi system
Good performance for mid-sized spaces
Only one Ethernet port for wired connections

The tri-band Orbi Whole Home AC1200 offers solid performance at a reasonable price, and will be a good choice for most small and medium-size homes that need to improve their Wi-Fi coverage. It’s simple to set-up and use for newcomers, although Netgear’s decision to use Disney’s subscription-based Circle service for parental controls is discouraging, considering that rival routers and mesh systems have often provided better parental controls for free. The lack of Ethernet ports for wired connections as well as more advanced features in the Orbi app might turn off experienced users as well.

Linksys Velop Wi-Fi extender from aside angle on a white background

(Image credit: Linksys)

7. Linksys Velop Wi-Fi extender

Layman’s mesh Wi-Fi comes at a cost

Bands: 802.11ac 5GHz and 2.4GHz | Connectivity: 2 x Gigabit Ethernet per unit (1 WAN and 1 LAN each) | Features: App-based setup; dual-stream (2×2), 802.11ac networking; 716MHz quad-core ARM Cortex A7 processor, beamforming

Fully modular mesh network
Inconspicuous design
Performance too dependent on position

The Linksys Velop offers a solid argument for a wireless mesh network’s ease of setup. Looking to replace both your router and your now-antiquated range extender, the Velop comes at a time when companies like Google and Netgear are trying to accomplish the same thing. The main way Linksys hopes to stand out from its competitors in the wireless mesh networking space is with a user-friendly setup that anyone with a smartphone can easily do. With just a visit to the App Store or Google Play marketplace, you’ll have the Linksys Velop up and running in a matter of minutes. It's certainly a worthy addition to our list of the best Wi-Fi extenders.

Read the full review: Linksys Velop

Trendnet Wi-Fi Everywhere Powerline 1200 AV2 on a white background

8. Trendnet Wi-Fi Everywhere Powerline 1200 AV2

Two birds with one stone

Bands: : 802.11n (up to 300Mbps) 802.11ac (up to 866Mbps) | Connectivity: : 3x Gigabit LAN ports | Features: : 300m range over electrical power lines, Auto-connects to other TRENDnet powerline adapters, QoS Management support

Easy to set up and straightforward to reconfigure
Three LAN ports
Flawed Design

If you need a great way to upgrade your network so you can have fantastic coverage anywhere in your house, a powerline adapter is a remarkable option. Not only do they offer the same functionality as the best Wi-Fi extenders, but the Trendnet Wi-Fi Everywhere Powerline might just be a dream come true.

It’s not exactly visually pleasing, and the price tag may be a bit much. However, this unit more than makes up for those issues with sheer performance. And, unlike other powerline adapters, the Trendnet Wi-Fi Everywhere features a clone button that will clone the SSID and WPA key of your network so that it can double as a Wi-Fi extender.

Read the full review: Trendnet Wi-Fi Everywhere powerline 1200 AV2 

  • This product is only available in the US and UK at the time of writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Linksys Velop 

Linksys RE7000 Max-Stream AC1900+ from a side angle on a background

(Image credit: Linksys)

9. Linksys RE7000 Max-Stream AC1900+ Wi-Fi Range Extender

Another great compact Wi-Fi extender

Bands: : 802.11ac dual-band | Connectivity: : 1x Gigabit LAN ports | Features: Seamless roaming, deadspot finder

Easy to set up
Compact size
Can run hot
Not the best performance

If you want a small, discrete, Wi-Fi extender that will reliably spread the coverage of your network throughout your home or office, then the Linksys RE7000 Max-Stream AC1900+ Wi-Fi Range Extender is a great choice. It's small enough that it won't block other power outlets (like some larger Wi-Fi extenders can do), and it offers pretty good performance for a nice low price. Best of all, it comes with a 'dead spot' finder that allows you to locate where your network strength is the weakest. By installing it there, you should see a nice boost to your Wi-Fi.

Product Plume Superpods Netgear AC1200 WiFi Range Extender EX6150 D-Link Wi-Fi Dual Band Range Extender DAP-1520 TP-Link RE350 AC1200 Wi-Fi Range Extender 5. Linksys RE6500 AC1200 Dual-Band Wireless Range Extender D-Link DAP-1320 Wireless N300 Range Extender Linksys Velop Wi-Fi extender Trendnet Wi-Fi Everywhere Powerline 1200 AV2
Bands 802.11b/g/n/ac 802.11ac 5GHz and 2.4GHz 802.11ac 5GHz and 2.4GHz 802.11ac 5GHz and 2.4GHz 802.11ac 5GHz and 2.4GHz 802.11n 2.4GHz 802.11ac 5GHz and 2.4GHz 802.11n (up to 300Mbps) 802.11ac (up to 866Mbps)
Connectivity 2x Gigabit LAN ports 1x Gigabit LAN ports N/A 1x Gigabit LAN ports 4 x Ethernet, Audio Jack N/A 2 x Gigabit Ethernet per unit 3x Gigabit Ethernet ports

How do we test WiFi Extenders?

TechRadar tests Wi-Fi extenders in a variety of ways, from how easy they are to connect and setup, what apps or software they might come with, and of course, how much increase you get to the range of your wireless internet.

Features will be noted, we check to see if Wi-Fi 6 is supported, as well as if they're able to connect to any existing router and if the products are Dual-band or Tri-band compatible. As a Wi-Fi extender is designed to support an existing router, and not act as a dedicated router in itself, you'll likely want to check if your wireless router isn't up to scratch before you spend serious money on an extender.

A series of benchmarks are used to determine how effective a Wi-Fi extender is, using applications like the Ookla Speed test and the Steam game download client to test how many megabytes per second of data is achievable in different locations of a home, such as right beside the extender itself and behind partition walls that could block a signal.

How does a Wi-Fi Extender work?

Wifi extenders, repeaters and boosters – what’s the difference?

Wi-Fi extenders, also known as Wi-Fi boosters or repeaters, are largely the same thing under a different name. If you have areas of your home where your current wireless internet cannot reach, they’re the perfect piece of kit to boost your existing signal.

They’re typically easy to use and set up, with most simply plugging into an available AC outlet in your wall, though some can resemble a stand-alone router.

Naming conventions appear to be a branding decision, but there are a few different ways that Wi-Fi extenders work. The most common is that your booster or extender houses two wireless routers, much like the wireless router you already have at home, or in your place of work. One of these wireless routers picks up the existing Wi-Fi network and then passes that to the secondary router which transmits the boosted signal.

It’s worth noting that many Wi-Fi extenders broadcast on a new Wi-Fi network with its own name, so you’ll need to connect to a different Wi-Fi signal depending on where you are in your home. As most devices will automatically connect to a trusted signal, this isn’t likely to cause too much of an issue.

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