Got snail-pace Wi-Fi or wireless coverage that doesn’t actually cover? You might not need to buy a new router. Instead, an extender could be what would sort your woes, and we’ve rounded up nine of the best Wi-Fi extenders, starting from just £15, all the way up to high-end mesh networks.
STOP PRESS: £50 off the BT Whole Home Wi-Fi system, £99 at Currys
Don’t need to know the basics? Scroll past for our list of the best Wi-Fi extenders
The quickest internet connection can be massively hampered by a poor setup of your home network, leaving your 100Mbit/sec fibre broadband feeling like it’s dial-up. Whether it’s the result of a weak router, a particularly large home, or simply that you want to stretch that Wi-Fi right to the bottom of your garden, there are numerous scenarios that can leave you frustratingly short on signal.
Thankfully, there are several ways around the problem that don’t involve having to lay endless metres of network cable around your home. These include powerline adapters and whole-home Wi-Fi systems , but it’s the humble Wi-Fi extender that’s most often the cheapest and quickest solution. Just adding a single £50 Wi-Fi extender might be all you need to provide Wi-Fi coverage in those hard to reach places.
If you want optimise your home network before shelling out for a Wi-Fi extender, you could buy a long phone or network cable and run it from your phone wall socket to a more central point in your home. This would result in slightly better Wi-Fi connectivity in more areas within your home. This won’t help stretch the signal to the bottom of the garden, mind, but if it’s the furthest corner of that last room that you’re trying to reach then a more central placement of your router might work for you.
The Netgear AC1900-Nighthawk (EX7000) is the fastest Wi-Fi extender Netgear has produced yet, boasting a top speed of 600Mbps at 2.4GHz and 1,300Mbps at 5GHz. It also packs in a host of extra features, making it perhaps the ultimate Wi-Fi extender for home and small-business use.
Like other top-end Wi-Fi extenders, the EX7000 is a large device. It’s shaped like a router, with a separate power supply and multiple external aerials – it’s a far cry from the all-in-one plug units such as the ZyXEL WRE2205.
As a result, you’ll need 252 x 174 x 31mm of space to accommodate it – though it does come with an optional stand for mounting it vertically to keep its footprint to a minimum.
Largely built from plastic, the Netgear EX7000 is light for its size at just 635g. It isn’t the toughest design, although it’s not the sort of device that should take many knocks. It looks nice enough, featuring a glossy black and grey finish throughout. Realistically, though, The EX7000 isn’t the sort of thing you’ll ever want to make a centrepiece.
Related: Linksys EX6200 Wi-Fi extender
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