You can use this extender to create a mesh network, so you have a single, large, Wi-Fi network, rather than smaller separate ones. This allows you to easily roam your house, and your device will.
Trouble streaming Netflix? The problem could be WiFi dead zones in your home.
Netflix Wifi Extender
- Before we begin looking at how a Wi-Fi extender can help your home network, let’s consider some of the descriptions you might have seen. Wi-Fi range extenders are sometimes called Wi-Fi boosters, Wi-Fi repeaters, internet boosters or Wi-Fi amplifiers.
- Linksys AC3000 Max-Stream Tri-Band Wi-Fi Range Extender. If you’re a fan of Linksys products.
Maybe your house is a little too spacious, or the layout of your apartment just isn't conducive to a consistent signal.
One possible solution: WiFi extenders. There are a lot of things you need to consider before going down that rabbit hole, though. Luckily, we're here to help.
Do I need a WiFi extender?
If you're reading this, it's safe to assume you have problems with WiFi connectivity in your home. You're most likely encountering dead zones in areas that are far away from the router, or spots in your home where your devices just won't connect to the network with any kind of stability.
That said, the range of your network signal might not be the culprit here. There are plenty of reasons why your WiFi signal could be funky. For example, plenty of people keep the same router around for years without replacing it, which is absolutely not the way to do it. If your router is more than three or four years old and your internet is acting up, you should probably replace it before doing anything else.
Even if your router is top-notch, it won't do you much good if it's placed poorly.
As an expert explained to HuffPo, physical distance between a router and a device isn't the only thing that can hamper its signal strength. Routers should be placed in a central location and preferably up high. You should also keep it away from metals and thick walls.
It might be prudent to arrange an appointment with a specialist from your service provider before trying to fix the problem yourself.
Which one should I get?
Assuming you've done your due diligence and decided you do, in fact, need a WiFi extender, there are way too many options to keep track of. They come in a variety of styles and prices, so searching can be a bit intimidating.
A ton of WiFi extenders tend to plug directly into wall outlets, which is probably going to be the most convenient option for most people. There are also extenders that lay flat on desktops, and while those come with their own benefits, flat surface space is at a premium in many apartments.
Last year, we ranked the Amped Wireless TITAN-EX AC1900 as the best overall extender you can buy. It's a desktop WiFi repeater with multiple ethernet ports if you care about wired connections, but it also costs more than $100. The TP-Link extender is a little more manageable at just over $60 on Amazon right now and it plugs into a wall socket, for added convenience.
Where should I put it?
Nextfi Wifi Booster
Just like how router placement is key for maximum signal strength, you need to make sure your extender is in the best possible place to actually do its job. This is fairly easy to figure out.
Linksys and Netgear both make WiFi extenders, and both companies have the same advice for extender placement: Meet in the middle. Put simply, you need to identify where your WiFi dead zone is and place the extender at a halfway point between the router and the dead zone. The extender needs to be close enough to the router to extend its signal and close enough to the dead zone to make a difference.
How should I set it up?
Netflix Range Extender
Setup is different from device to device, so carefully consult the instruction manual for whichever extender you end up buying. In general, the biggest step will be simultaneously pressing the WPS buttons on both the extender and the router to establish a connection between the two.
If your extender has an ethernet port on it, you should see if you can connect it to your router that way. Wired is always faster and more secure than wireless, after all.
Netgear N300 Wifi Booster
The last thing to keep in mind is that the network strength coming out of the extender is probably not going to match the signal coming out of the router. It's an unfortunate side effect of the extension process, but it's better than not having WiFi in your living room at all.