Antonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider
I can't stress enough how much better WiFi mesh systems are compared to traditional WiFi extenders.
WiFi extenders may work , but you're likely to experience half the speeds you're used to from your main WiFi router. Mesh WiFi systems, on the other hand, broadcast near-to-full internet speeds that you're paying for all over your home.
Plus, many traditional WiFi extenders require you to manually connect to the extender's own network, which isn't the worst thing, but you don't need to do that with mesh WiFi systems. Your devices will connect to mesh WiFi routers around your home automatically.
In this list, I'm suggesting you check out two or three-packs of mesh WiFi systems, as a single mesh WiFi router on its own isn't likely to fix your WiFi signal problems. After all, if you're reading this, you're probably looking to expand your WiFi network because your single router isn't reaching certain parts of your home.
I've included models that I haven't reviewed yet because, from my own experience, I'm confident that mesh WiFi systems generally work better than most standard WiFi extenders.
A WiFi repeater or extender is used to extend the coverage area of your WiFi network. It works by receiving your existing WiFi signal, amplifying it and then transmitting the boosted signal. With a WiFi repeater you can effectively double the coverage area of your WiFi network - reaching far corners of your home or office, different floors, or even extend coverage to your yard.
WiFi boosters, repeaters, and extenders are mostly the same thing - devices to improve WiFi coverage. There isn’t a clearly defined difference between devices that manufacturers describe as “repeaters” and devices described as “extenders”. However, not all WiFi extenders work in the exact same way. There are several different kinds of devices available and below we aim to explain what those differences are and how they work, so that you can choose the best WiFi repeater for your circumstances.
There are a couple of solutions to try before opting for a WiFi extender. The simplest is to try moving the location of your WiFi router. It should be in the most central location possible. If that doesn’t help (or if changing location just isn’t practical) check if your router needs to be upgraded. If you’ve had an older model for many years, it could be time for an upgrade to a more powerful model.
One of the best options for a new router is the Archer C9 AC1900 Router from TP-LINK which offers 802.11ac, the next generation of WiFi. It's a dual band router with ultrafast dual core processors and four gigabit ethernet ports for use with Smart TVs or game consoles. It comes with unique Beamforming technology. This technology allows the routers to concentrate the WiFi signal towards your WiFi devices. By targeting the WiFi signal to where it’s being used, the speed and performance of your network is greatly increased.
This is a particularly great solution if, for example, you had a games console in the basement that wasn’t getting sufficiently fast or reliable signal. The kit can plug right into the console’s ethernet connection and connect it to the router in another part of the house.
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