The best Wi-Fi extenders

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With the number of smart and internet-connected devices in our homes and offices constantly increasing, it means making sure our Wi-Fi network provides a strong and stable connection throughout the building.

However, if you do encounter Wi-Fi blackspots in your home or office, where the signal is weak or non-existent, then you should consider investing in a Wi-Fi extender.

These devices connect to your existing Wi-Fi network and amplify the signal, providing access to the wireless network in corners of buildings where it previously struggled to reach.

There's a large market for Wi-Fi extenders out there, so to help you find the perfect device for your needs, we've made this list of the best Wi-Fi extenders.

Netgear is a well known brand in home and office networking, and it's put its expertise to good use here with the AC1200 WiFi Range Extender EX6150. The EX6150 model is a small device that you can plug directly into your power supply.

This Wi-Fi extender boasts a quick and easy setup, with no need to use an installation CD – just follow the simple instructions and you'll have fast and dependable Wi-Fi throughout your home or office.

D-Link's compact Wi-Fi Dual Band Range Extender (DAP-1520) is small and discrete, which means most people won't even notice it's there while it faithfully pumps Wi-Fi throughout your home.

The small and compact design does come at a price, however, as there's no Ethernet port for extending a wired connection. Unlike some Wi-Fi extenders, the antennae are internal, which makes for a neater looking device, but does mean range is impacted slightly.

TP-Link is a networking company that is slowly becoming ever more popular in the West, and devices like the TP-Link RE350 AC1200 Wi-Fi Range Extender prove why that is: it does the job well, it's affordable, and the design isn't too bad either.

While it's not the fastest Wi-Fi extender in this list, it offers a great range thanks to two external high gain antennae, and an LED on the front indicated how good the signal strength is, giving you a handy guide to placing this extender in the best place for superior results.

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If you're serious about expanding your Wi-Fi network, then the Netgear AC1200 Desktop WiFi Range Extender (EX6200) is definitely worth considering. While many other Wi-Fi extenders are compact devices that sit in a plug socket, the EX6200 looks more like a router or modem.

While the size might put people off, it allows it to offer a range of options – including five Ethernet ports for wired devices, which other Wi-Fi extenders cannot. High-powered amplifiers ensure your Wi-Fi reaches all parts of the building, and a quad-core processor helps make the networks faster and more reliable.

The Linksys RE6500 AC1200 is another Wi-Fi extender that looks more like a router. The larger design has allowed Linksys to include four gigabit Ethernet ports, which means you can also extend your network to internet-connected devices that need a wired connection.

It also has an audio output jack which allows you to connect it to speakers or a Hi-Fi, allowing you to stream digital music from your computer to your sound system.

If you want the cheapest way to extend your Wi-Fi network, and you don't mind making a few compromises, then the D-Link DAP-1320 Wireless N300 Range Extender is a great choice. This small device doesn't come with any Ethernet ports, and it doesn't offer dual bands or 802.11ac, currently the fastest form of Wi-Fi.

However, it is well built and designed, and it's a quick, easy and cheap way of extending your Wi-Fi if you don't expect too much network traffic.

Yep, another D-Link device. The D-Link Wireless AC1200 Dual Band Gigabit Range Extender DAP-1650 is a great mid-range Wi-Fi extender that brings some of the features of more expensive extenders, such as multiple Ethernet ports and USB, while also featuring a small and unobtrusive design.

Not only does it look good, but it's priced well. The only issue is that due to its compact size and internal antennae, its range isn't as large as it could be.

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The Linksys Velop makes a sound argument for a wireless mesh network’s ease of setup. With the aim of replacing both your router and your now-antiquated range extender, the Velop arrives at a time when companies like Google and Netgear are doing the same thing. The main way Linksys hopes to differentiate its contender in the wireless mesh networking space is with a user-friendly setup that anyone with a smartphone can understand. With just a visit to the App Store or Google Play marketplace, you’ll have the Linksys Velop running in a matter of minutes.

Read the full review: Linksys Velop

TechRadar – Networking news

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