Best WiFi repeater / range extender: Buying Guide 2020
In this guide we will cover the best WiFi repeater and how to choose the range extender that best suits your needs.
These products are becoming increasingly popular, and the smart home market growth has only served to increase its popularity. In fact, the devices connected in our homes are becoming more numerous. E ‘therefore necessary a good coverage of the WiFi network, so as to ensure the perfect operation.
Best WiFi repeater
In our selection to find the best WiFi repeater we tried to cover different price ranges, obviously corresponding to different functionality and performance.
We begin our review of the best WiFi repeaters with entry level product Netgear, or the EX2700 range extender, with a maximum download speed of 300 Mbps.
This product, although the price is really affordable and competitive, provides excellent functionality, connection stability and coverage. E ‘in fact able to cover an area of approximately 30 square meters and support the connection of up to 5 devices simultaneously.
In addition, this WiFi repeater can operate as an access point, thanks to the LAN socket with integrated Fast Ethernet technology.
Among the entry-level, there is the TP-Link WA855RE, certainly among the best if not the best economic WiFi repeater.
This product is very compact, has two external antennas and is compatible with all of WiFi routers available. The antennas are equipped with the MiMo technology, with a maximum transmission speed of up to 300 Mbps declared.
In addition, the tange extender TP-Link WA855RE can also operate as an access point, exploiting the presence of the Fast Ethernet port.
The initial configuration is very simple (present the WPS button) and it is possible to remotely access to a control panel to monitor the operation of the repeater.
Excellent product for those who have excessive claims and want to extend your WiFi with good stability and power, without spending a fortune.
As mentioned above, to select the best WiFi repeater, you must evaluate the available budget, as at a higher price we will take home, as a rule, a product with superior performance.
Going up a notch compared to the models discussed above, we find the range extender D-Link DAP-1610. This repeater WiFi has two external antennas and declares a data transfer rate up to 1200 Mbps.Si is a range extender dual band classes that supports WiFi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac.
Thanks to the WPS button, the device is totally plug to play. To access and manage settings, instead just download the mobile app for iOS and Android QRS. Very compact and discreet, it can also take the access point function thanks to the integrated LAN port.
If you have a larger budget, Netgear EX7000 could be the option for you.
In fact, this universal repeater dual band WiFi (supports all wireless standards 802.11a / b / g / n / ac) offers good performance (data traffic up to 1900 Mbps). 3 Monta completely adjustable external antennas, which guarantee the coverage of areas up to 130 square meters.
Unlike the models seen before, this device also has five Gigabit Ethernet ports to which you can connect as many devices via LAN cable.
In addition, this range extender Netgear also offers mesh roaming: this means that it can also be used as a real mesh node: this will use the same network name and connect to the network in the best time.
Excellent control panel (also accessible via the mobile app Genie), from which you can customize and manage access,
Of course, there are also the bridge and access point functions.
A perfect booster for those seeking a stable and broad coverage of numerous peripherals: for this reason, it is a particularly popular device for gaming and streaming high-definition content.
Netgear EX7000 Ripetitore Wifi Mesh AC1900, Dual Band 2.4 & 5GHz, USB…
AVM FRITZ! 1750E
We close the selection of the best WiFi repeater AVM FRITZ! 1750E, a very popular product in the category, earning the label of Amazon’s choice.
This range extender has a data transfer rate declared 1750 Mbps and supports WiFi AC class. In fact, the total speed of transfer is given from 1,300 Mbps 5Ghz and from 450 Mbps to 2.4 Ghz, usable simultaneously.
It has an integrated Gigabit Ethernet LAN port, and may cover the access point function. The initial configuration is quick and intuitive, thanks to the WPS button.
From the point of view of the antennas, AVM FRITZ! 1750E well you mounts are and, although these are internally mounted, offer excellent stability and smooth connection.
What is a WiFi repeater
A repeater or WiFi range extender is a small device able to extend the WiFi network coverage. Very useful, therefore, to reach the corners of the home (or office) in the event of failure or a weak signal.
The WiFi repeaters may have very different shapes and prices among themselves. Let’s start with the most basic models costing a few tens of euro in similar boxes to be connected to the socket, up to more expensive products with different antennas and functionality.
These look like real router, even if the goals are very different. On the other hand, most of the routers can be set to function as a range extender.
How to choose the best WiFi repeater
Frequency bands supported
To choose the best router for their own needs, the first essential factor to consider is certainly the compatibility of WiFi range extender with class and frequency are supported by the router.
The most common frequencies are certainly the 2.4GHz and 5GHz. The first has a greater range, but a lower data transfer speed. The frequency 5Ghz instead has a more limited scope, but is characterized by improved stability and connection speed.
So, if a router is dual band and supports both bands, although the WiFi repeater must be dual band to take advantage of both frequencies.
WiFi transfer speeds Classes
Another feature that should guide you in choosing the best WiFi repeater is the range of WiFi supported classes. These exploit the frequency bands and differ in terms of data transfer speed.
Normally, it is good that the repeater supports WiFi IEEE 802.11n protocols for a network frequency of 2.4 GHz and a network for 802.11ac 5GHz.
The data transfer rate indicates the volume of data that the range extender is able to handle at the same time. However, the maximum speed specified in the specifications of a repeater will always be lower than the actual one. In fact, the WiFi repeater uses about half of the band to receive the WiFi signal and the other half for transmitting.
The range extender can cover different functions, of course depending on the price range of belonging. Of course, all repeater WiFi, even those of economic band, can hold the repeater function of the WiFi signal.
In this case, they are “limited” to receive the signal from the router and retransmit it in order to broaden the scope of operation.
In addition, many range extender allow the access point function. In other words, it is able to turn a wired network into a wireless reta, then wireless.
This feature could be very convenient if you are willing to “convert” an old modem that does not support WiFi or if you want to connect a smart TV to turn it into the transmitter.
Finally, the best high-end WiFi repeaters can function as a bridge (bridge). This means you can connect multiple wired devices to the repeater, through WiFi, it will make them accessible on the network from other connected devices.
Another evaluation criterion in choosing the best WiFi repeater is the number of antennas present. In fact, having to receive and will transmit the WiFi signal, these products are always equipped with antennas, external or integrated inside. In addition, the antennas can be present more or less numerous, of course, affecting the performance of the product.
Normally, WiFi repeaters with external antennas provide reliable operation and a better stability, and may be oriented at will, for better transmission and reception of the signal.
With regard to the number of antennas of a WiFi repeater, on the market are available models ranging from 2 to 4 antennas, until you get to models with 6 antennas with transmitter function.
The greater the number of antennas present, the higher the amount of data that the repeater will be able to process simultaneously. As a result, purchasing a WiFi repeater with 4 antennas there will be a greater speed in data transfer with respect to a 2-model.
Ports and Inputs
Obviously, according to the available functions, range extender may or may not present the inputs for the wired connection to other devices. The cheapest models have no doors and entrances, as they must exclusively perform the repeater function.
Products that instead of presenting the access point or bridge function must necessarily have an adequate number of inputs.
Surely, the most important is the network port or LAN port, commonly known as Ethernet. The relative technology can be a new generation, called Giga Ethernet (speeds up to 1 Gbps), while in the low-cost devices the technology used is Fast Ethernet, with a lower speed in the data transfer (up to 10 Mbps).
With a higher outlay on the other hand, you can buy the WiFi repeaters with USB sockets, which may be useful for devices with bridge function.
Where to place the WiFi repeater
The positioning of the WiFi repeater is an aspect to consider when purchasing a repeater. In fact, it must consider that the repeater receives and transmits the signal that is, in other words if the signal it receives is not of good power, so will the retransmitted signal.
Place the range extender in too peripheral points of the house could therefore affect the operation of the device. We recommend to connect the repeater in an area where the signal is of average power.
Repeater or WiFi mesh network?
For WiFi network mesh network we mean a conceptually different compared to the traditional one with a single central router. With the mesh network, all the nodes of the network (mesh router) participating in an active manner to the sorting and processing of data, in addition of course to cover a certain area from the point of view of signal extension.
The result is a kind of mesh network, extensible, where each mesh unit contributes to the operation of the network itself. Much more flexible and functional classic network, mesh networks are recommended for those who want to cover fairly wide area, even on different floors, with a powerful WiFi and well distributed.
For smaller environments, the choice of a traditional router architecture + WiFi repeater still provides good performance.