10 Best

Wifi Boosters

of February 2024

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WiFi Boosters--Connectivity in Your Entire Home

Andre Speransky

The world now operates pretty much through the Internet--all the time. People depend on the Internet for the smooth running of their phones, computer, TV, and other devices. It could be either for work, entertainment, or even just the proper functioning of home appliances. Your WiFi router’s signal may not be able to reach every part of your house. Even if it does reach, it may be very weak, slowing down your productivity. A WiFi booster (also known as a WiFi extender) is an effective solution to boost your WiFi signal and provide WiFi coverage in different parts of your house. Knowing the kind of WiFi booster you need is dependent on your current router. You might not be familiar with the features of your WiFi router and the booster type you should buy that will suitable for your house. This guide will provide you with the necessary information to make the proper selection.

Types Wifi Boosters

We can categorize WiFi boosters based on their setup and how they work:

By set-up:

  • Desktop: They mostly look like a wireless router. This type of booster usually has an external adjustable antenna and multiple ports for connectivity.

  • Plug-in: They are smaller than a desktop booster, and plug into your wall outlet. Some models use external antennas, while others use internal antennas.

Working process

  • Repeaters: They are sometimes called “WiFi extenders”. The working process is simple; once you plug in the repeater, it picks up the router signal, copies, and rebroadcasts it to different parts of your house. It only repeats the signal strength it receives.

  • Powerlines: They are a set of two or more units. The working process requires you to plug one unit into a power socket near the router and the other unit (or units) to your desired location in the house. The signal will use the building’s wiring to reach any part of your house.

  • Mesh network: The working process involves scattering various nodes around your house. The first node connects to your router to create a network. The other nodes act like additional routers and broadcast the same signal from your router. It ensures that you have a network that never cuts off; if one node is faulty, the others will handle the work.

What Reviewers Have to Say

  • Cost: Plug-in boosters are relatively cheaper than expensive desktop boosters. And mesh network boosters are more costly than repeaters. Your budget and Internet requirements will determine what type and brand you should buy.

  • Matching WiFi standards: When buying a WiFi booster, you need to focus on your router standard. If your router has an 802.11ac standard, your booster choice will be the same. You can also opt for a universal booster that matches any WiFi router standard.

Important Features

  • Frequency Spectrum: A WiFi booster could be single (2.4GHz) or dual-band (2.4 and 5GHz). The higher the frequency, the faster the transmission of data and the shorter the signal range. Lower frequencies can penetrate solid objects and get transmitted throughout the house, but it will be slower. Most boosters in the market are single 2.4GHz frequency. The dual bands are less popular, more effective, and more expensive.

  • Speed: A WiFi standard of 802.11ac has a fast network speed that allows streaming HD-quality videos and playing online games without experiencing any glitch. If your router does not support 802.11ac, the booster can still work with your existing router and add its speed to the network. It is an easy way to upgrade your network. The speed is easily determined from the label of the bandwidth:

    • N300 label signifies an 802.11bgn single band with a speed of 300 Megabits per second (Mbps).

    • AC750 label signifies an 802.11ac dual-band with a speed of 300 Mbps (2.4GHz) and 433 Mbps (5GHz).

    • AC1200 label signifies an 802.11 dual-band that has a speed of 1167 Mbps.

    • AC1750 label signifies an 802.11 dual-band with a speed of 450 Mbps (2.4GHz) and 1300 (5GHz).

    • AC1900 signifies an 802.11 dual-band that has a speed of 1900 Mbps.

    • AC2200 label denotes an 802.11 dual-band with a speed of 2200 Mbps.

  • Ports: Desktop boosters usually have up to five ports (three or more LAN ports and one USB port) to connect devices without WiFi connectivity. Most plug-in WiFi boosters have one or two ports (no USB port).

  • Additional features: Some boosters have LED status indicators to notify you whether it is too far from the router. Some boosters have advanced features like access scheduling, guest networking, and media server capability. These extra features help improve the performance of WiFi boosters.

Top-Rated Brands

  • Netgear is one of the leading brands of desktop and plug-in WiFi boosters. Their best desktop booster is the Netgear EX7000 WiFi range extender that is labeled AC1900. The brand's best plug-in booster is the Netgear EX7300 WiFi range extender that is labeled AC2200.

  • TP-Link, founded in 1996, is a global provider of networking devices and accessories. One of their best products is the TP-Link AC1750 (RE450). It can be plugged into any wall outlet and delivers a fast speed with a good signal range.

  • Linksys are one of the leading producers of high-speed WiFi boosters. Their best product is a plug-in booster called Linksys RE7000 Max-Stream AC1900. This booster supports Multi-User Multiple Input, Multiple Output streaming.

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