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Best Budget Wi-fi Extender

by BestBudgetAdmin
best budget wifi extender

Most of us now have wi-fi in our homes. It’s true to say that the speed we get may vary depending on how many devices are connected to it at the same time. If it’s particularly slow you may need to try to find a way to improve it.

One way to do this is with a Wi-fi extender.

Best Budget Wi-fi Extender: Our Top 10 Recommendations

1. TP-Link RE300 AC1200 Wi-Fi Extender

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This TP-Link Wi-fi Extender helps you reach those dead spots around the home.

It provides dual band wi-fi which operates over 300Mbps and 867 Mpbs, and is compatible with most routers. It supports smart roaming and can connect up to 32 devices, so it will help any family to maintain a stable internet connection.

It is easy to set up. Simply plug it in to a socket and connect using the WPS button. It has a light to show how strong the signal is, and this helps you find the best place to site it in the home.

Key Features
  • Covers up to 32 devices
  • 2 Internal antennae
  • Dual band wi-fi
  • Signal light
  • Power Schedule
  • LED control

Verdict

This Wi-fi extender will connect to up to 32 different devices, so it is suitable for any large family. It is easy to set up and fits discretely in to a socket in the wall.

2. NETGEAR Wi-fi Range Extender

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Another good wi-fi extender with excellent reach for the family home.

It can increase the range by up to 1200 sq ft and will connect to up to 20 different devices. This gives you plenty of options to improve the connection for streaming, browsing and simply chatting online.

It plugs in to a socket so it takes up minimal room and has 2 external antennae. It also comes with an ethernet connection, or you can connect to your router wirelessly. It supports WEP, WPA and WPA2 security protocols and is very easy to set up.

Key Features
  • Covers up to 1200sq ft
  • Connects up to 20 devices
  • 2 external antennae
  • AC1200 Dual Band
  • Wall Plug design

Verdict

This wi-fi extender is easy to set up, or devices can be plugged in to it using an ethernet cable. With a good distance and the option to connect to multiple devices, it will improve the connection in any home.

3. TP-Link AC1750 Wi-Fi Extender

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TP-Link have designed this wi-fi extender to provide you with exceptional range.

You can work or play anywhere in the house and even in the garden as it has a range of up to 10,000 sq ft. It has a signal indicator light so you can see how strong the signal is, and this will help you find the best place to locate it.

It has 3 adjustable antennae so you can make sure you always keep a strong signal, and it sits discretely in a plug on the wall.

It has an ethernet connection to connect other devices to it and can be set up with the touch of a button.

Key Features
  • Range up to 10,000 sq ft
  • Signal indicator
  • Works with any router
  • Ethernet port
  • 3 adjustable antennae

Verdict

If you like using your devices in the garden, this wi-fi extender will give you good range. It doesn’t take up any room and with 3 antennae you can be sure your signal will never drop.

4. Rockspace Wi-fi Range Extender

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Rockspace’s wi-fi extender gives you a reliable connection both inside the house and in the garden. With a range of up to 1292 sq ft, it will be able to find all your wi-fi dead spots so you can connect anywhere.

It has two adjustable antennae to help you get the best signal and is compatible with 99% of routers. It can be set up in seconds and has an ethernet port so you can connect directly to your router if you need to, or connect older devices to the internet.

The wi-fi extender plugs neatly in to a socket so it takes up minimal space and you will be able to put it in the right place for it to give the best signal.

Key Features
  • Range up to 1292 sq ft
  • Ethernet port
  • Plugs in to socket
  • Universally compatible
  • Dual bandwidth

Verdict

You can reach every area of your house with this wi-fi extender. It provides a reliable signal and is compatible with most routers.

5. Kosiy AC1200 Wi-fi Extender

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This wi-fi extender can help you connect up to 10 devices.

It is compact and fits in to a normal wall socket. It has 4 antennae so you can make sure you get the best signal to keep your connection stable. It even has a signal indicator so you can see the best place in the house to site it. The signal will also go through walls so you can use it in the garden if you need to.

It is compatible with most routers and is very easy to set up. If you want to connect an older device there is a port for an ethernet cable.

Key Features
  • 4 External antennae
  • Dual band wi-fi
  • Connects to 10 devices
  • Plug in
  • Compatible with most routers

Verdict

Whether you want to extend your signal in the house or in to the garden, this wi-fi extender will do the job. It works through walls and is compatible with most routers.

6. NETGEAR Wi-fi Extender

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This wi-fi extender from NETGEAR plugs in to a socket so it sits neatly out of the way.

It will improve the signal all over your house and in to the garden as it has a range of up to 2500sq ft. It includes smart roaming and is easy to connect to any router.

There are indicator lights so you can see how good the signal is and move it to a better place if you need to.

Key Features
  • Range up to 2500 sq ft
  • Dual band
  • Smart roaming
  • Plug in

Verdict

Setting this wi-fi extender up is quick, simple and it provides excellent coverage. You can work indoors or out and you’ll be sure of a reliable signal.

7. Amazon eero Wi-fi Extender

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The Amazon eero makes it easy for you to extend your Wi-Fi into every room of the house.

It is a tabletop wi-fi extender with a compact design. It connects to most routers and has a range of up to 1500 sq ft, so it will cover all dead spots in your house and even reach out into your garden.

It has an app which talks you through setting it up and you can also use this to check on Internet usage, pause your Internet connection or even share your network with friends.

Key Features
  • Range up to 1500 sq ft
  • Tabletop design
  • Control from an app

Verdict

This wi-fi extender comes with its own app allowing you to check your Internet usage and it will even talk you through setting it up.

8. WAVLINK AC1200 Wi-fi Range Extender

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This WAVLINK Wi-Fi extender will provide you with a reliable Internet connection anywhere in your home.

It is a plug-in device, is very easy to set up, and has a signal indicator on the front so you can see at a glance whether they are any issues with your connection. It has two adjustable antennae so you can secure the best signal and it is compatible with most routers.

If you need to connect any device directly, it has an ethernet port or you can simply connect it to your other devices via your router by pressing the WPS button.

Key Features
  • 2 adjustable antennae
  • Signal indicator
  • Plug-in
  • Ethernet port

Verdict

The signal indicator is very easy to see, so you will know straight away if you need to make any adjustments. The wi-fi extender simply plugs into a socket and can be set up in seconds.

9. BT Wi-fi Extender

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This wi-fi extender from BT really makes it easy for you to find the best spot to place it.

The front has a clear indicator which tells you if you are too far from the router, to close or if the distance is exactly right. When you have the right distance, you simply plug the extender in and it is then very easy connect what with the WPS button.

It works with most routers and connects all your devices around the home to make sure they get a reliable connection whenever needed.

Key Features
  • Plug-in
  • Signal indicator
  • Compatible with most routers
  • Ethernet port

Verdict

BT’s wi-fi extender is an excellent choice if you need help to make sure it is located in the right place. A small but powerful device it will make sure that you never lose your signal in a dead spot.

10. NETGEAR 11AC Wi-fi range Extender

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To extend your wi-fi range with this extender from NETGEAR, simply plug it in and connect your router.

It will then find all dead spots around your home and make sure that every device in use has the same reliable connection and speed.

It has two adjustable antennae so you can alter them if you find your signal wavers, and if you have any devices you need to connect straight into the wi-fi extender, it comes with an ethernet port.

This is compatible with routers using 802.11ac and b/g/n and can be upgraded if it needs to be.

Key Features
  • Plug-in
  • 2 adjustable antennae
  • Ethernet port
  • Supports 802. using

Verdict

Another very easy to set up wi-fi extender which eliminates all the dead spots around the home. You can use all of your devices safe in the knowledge that the connection will not suddenly drop.

Buyers Guide: What You Need To Know

If you’re looking to purchase a wi-fi extender, you obviously want to make sure you get the right one so that it does the job you need it to.

For many of us our wi-fi works just fine. If, however, we have a family or use wi-fi for streaming videos, music, games or chatting, this could put a strain on the connection. Your wi-fi signal will go through your router and the signal from this should reach anywhere in your house. If you find your wi-fi signal is weak in a certain area of your home, then you may need to look for a wi-fi extender.

A wi-fi extender is a way to improve wi-fi coverage for the whole house. They are generally very easy to set up but you do need to make sure that you buy the right one.

There are other ways that you may look at to boost your wi-fi

  • If your router is a few years old, then it may simply need to be replaced with a newer model.
  • A wi-fi extender is very useful for any wi-fi dead spots you may have in the house as it evens out the wi-fi signal to make sure that every area receives it equally well.

Here we look at wi-fi extenders, how they work and what they offer. As with all technological devices, there are always things you need to consider.

Frequency

First check your router. Wi-fi extenders are available as single 2.4 GHz, dual band 2.4 GHz, and 5 GHz. It’s no good buying a dual band wi-fi extender if your router does not support it.

Compatibility

When purchasing any device which affects an internet connection, you always need to check the compatibility of your device with those it will be connected to.

As your wi-fi extender will be connected to your router, check the specifications of your router to first find out what it supports. If you do not have the manual you can usually find this information online.

You’ll find that the compatibility will either be

  • IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • IEEE 802.11 b/e/n/
  • IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac

If you’re not sure, look for universal wi-fi extender which will work with any router which has 802.11 a/b/n/ac compatibility.

Profile

This basically means what your Wi-fi extender will look like and where it will go.

  • Desktop: these sit on top the desk and are very similar to a second router
  • Plug based: these simply plug into the wall. These take up the least space and are often the least obtrusive.

Antenna

  • External antenna: simply put, your wi-fi extender will not have a visible antenna
  • Dual antenna: your wi-fi extender will have two visible antennae
  • Internal antenna: this means you have no antenna visible on the outside of your wi-fi extender so you will be unable to adjust them if you need to.

Security

When looking at adding a wi-fi extender you need to make sure that it is secure. If you can, get one which supports WPA2-PSK security as this is the highest level currently available.

Ports

Another important consideration is that your wi-fi extender has the correct ports to connect it to your router. Most will connect wirelessly and you shouldn’t need anything else. If you wish to use an ethernet cable, you will need a wi-fi extender with an ethernet port. You will find that some Wi-fi extenders have more than one and these can be used for devices which do not have wi-fi connectivity.

Performance

Having found a wi-fi extender, you will need to make sure that it has the ability to provide the performance that you need. Performance is usually identified by bandwidth and these are all labelled.

Here’s a list of the labels and what they mean.

  • N300: 802.11 b/g/n compliant. This is single band offering up to 300 MBPS
  • AC750: 802.11 ac compliant. This is a concurrent dual band offering 300 MBPS and 433 MBPS
  • AC1200: 802.11 compliant. This is concurrent dual band offering up to 1167 MBPS
  • AC1750: 802.11 compliant. This is concurrent dual band offering up to 1750 MBPS
  • AC1900: 802.11 compliant. This is concurrent dual band offering up to 1900 MBPS
  • AC2200:11 compliant. This is concurrent dual band offering up to 2200 MBPS

Placement

One of the main reasons that people say their wi-fi extender isn’t doing the job, is because it’s quite simply in the wrong place.

It’s no use placing it where you think it looks right. You need to find where the wi-fi dead spot is and then set the wi-fi extender up halfway between your dead spot and the router. You need to make sure that it is close enough to the router to pick up the signal, and close enough to your dead spot to extend the range where it’s needed.

Set up your wi-fi extender

Once you’ve decided on the right one, you’ll find that it is amazingly easy to setup. First, connect it to the power source. Then press the WPS button on the side and push the same button on your router. When both lights of turn green your wi-fi extender is connected and ready to go.

If you have a wi-fi extender with an ethernet port, you can simply connect this direct to the router but you may find this affects where it can be positioned.

FAQs

Is a wi-fi extender the same as a wi-fi booster?

You will find wi-fi extenders are also called wi-fi boosters and wi-fi repeaters. They all act to eliminate any dead spots in your home where the range of your router may not be good enough to provide a reliable connection.

Do I need to connect with a cable?

Most wi-fi extenders will connect directly to your router without the need for a cable. Your router and wi-fi extender will each have a WPS button, and you simply press these to connect them wirelessly.

You can connect your router using a cable if you wish, but as your wi-fi extender will likely be sited a fair way away from your router, you will probably not wish to use a cable as it will need to be rather long.

Does my Wi-fi extender need to be next to my router?

No. The object of a wi-fi extender is to increase the distance of your router. If you place the extender directly next your router that it won’t do much to improve how far the signal goes.

The perfect place for your wi-fi extender can be a little tricky to find, as you need to try to place it midway between your router and the dead spots to get the best coverage.

Will it extend coverage to my garden?

The signal from your wi-fi extender will generally pass through a wall and they can increase the strength of the signal outside. How far it reaches down your garden will depend solely on the range of your wi-fi extender and where it is sited in the house. If you intend to connect the device regularly while in the garden you will need to factor this in when you find the best place to locate your wi-fi extender.

If I extend the range will other people be able to connect to my Internet?

If the range is extended it is possible that other people may see your connection when they check down their lists of possible wi-fi connections.

Just because they see it, it does not mean that they will be able to connect. Your wi-fi extender is directly connected to the router in your house and in order to access your Internet connection, anyone else we need to have the password for your router.

Unless anyone has this, it is highly unlikely that they will be able to connect to your home Internet.

Conclusion

With everyone in the family using devices to connect to the Internet, most homes struggle to keep the connection stable. If two people are streaming videos and another is playing a game, you may find that buffering starts to occur or that the connection drops altogether.

A wi-fi extender will resolve this problem for you and as most of these are small devices which simply plug into the wall, you don’t need to worry about whether you have the room for one.

Once your wi-fi extender is sited correctly in your home, everywhere in the house should be able to experience the same strong, reliable signal so that everyone can enjoy all their online activities at any time of the day.

Wi-fi extenders do not add anything to the cost of your Internet, but they add a lot to the enjoyment you get from your tablets, games consoles and other streaming devices.

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