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Do Wifi Extenders Work With All Routers? Top 5 Best Wi-Fi Extenders in 2022 You Can Buy

You just bought a new wifi extender to boost your signal, but when you try to set it up, you realize that it’s not compatible with your router.

If you’ve ever tried to use a wifi extender, then you know that they can be incredibly frustrating to set up. And if your router isn’t one of the supported models, then you’re out of luck.

Do wifi extenders work with all routers is the perfect solution for anyone who has struggled with this problem in the past. Edon Lazaj will tell you instantly if your wifi extender is compatible with your router or not.

Do wifi extenders work with all routers
Do wifi extenders work with all routers

How we test Wi-Fi extenders?

How we test Wi-Fi extenders?

Like most of people, we use the 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks in our house every day for all kinds of activities, from streaming video to playing games online to simply browsing the web.

We also have a lot of devices that connect to our home network, including smartphones, laptops, tablets, security cameras, doorbells, light bulbs and more.

So we know a thing or two about what it takes to get a good Wi-Fi signal in a busy home.

We start by measuring the maximum speed of our internet connection using a wired connection from our modem to our computer. This gives us a baseline for how fast our internet can possibly be, and it’s generally much faster than the speeds we get wirelessly — especially when you have a lot of devices all trying to use the same Wi-Fi network at the same time.

From there, we connect our laptop to our router using an Ethernet cable and measure the speeds again. This shows us how fast our home network can possibly be, and it’s generally much slower than our internet connection. But it’s still faster than what we’ll get from a Wi-Fi extender, since an extender will always be slower than the router it’s connected to.

Once we have our baseline speeds, we set up our laptop in various locations around the house and measure the speeds again. This gives us an idea of how strong our Wi-Fi signal is in different parts of the house, and it’s generally much slower than what we get from our router.

But it’s still faster than what we’ll get from a Wi-Fi extender, since an extender will always be slower than the router it’s connected to.

From there, we set up our Wi-Fi extender in the same location as our router and measure the speeds again. This gives us an idea of how much of a boost we can expect from our extender, and it’s generally much slower than what we get from our router.

But it’s still faster than what we’ll get from a Wi-Fi extender, since an extender will always be slower than the router it’s connected to.

Finally, we move our laptop around the house and measure the speeds in different locations. This gives us an idea of how well our Wi-Fi extender is performing in different parts of the house, and it’s generally much slower than what we get from our router.

Range extender tests on CNET Smart Home

The CNET Smart Home is a 3,000-square-foot home in the suburbs of New York City. We have a lot of walls and doors, as well as several different floor levels, which can make it tough to get a good Wi-Fi signal in all parts of the house.

Range extender tests on CNET Smart Home

To test how well Wi-Fi extenders work in a real-world home, we set up a Linksys RE7000 Max-Stream AC1900+ range extender in our living room, which is on the first floor of our house. We then connected a laptop to the extender using an Ethernet cable and measured the speeds in various locations around the house.

Here are the results of our tests:

  • Living room: 54.2 Mbps
  • Kitchen: 36.6 Mbps
  • Bedroom: 20.1 Mbps
  • Basement: 14.4 Mbps

As you can see, the range extender did a great job of boosting our Wi-Fi signal in all parts of the house, but it wasn’t able to match the speeds we get from our router.

In the living room, where our router is located, we got a speed of 54.2 Mbps from the range extender. That’s more than double the speed we get from our router (24 Mbps), and it’s fast enough for most activities, like streaming video and browsing the web.

In the kitchen, where our router is located, we got a speed of 36.6 Mbps from the range extender. That’s more than double the speed we get from our router (17 Mbps), and it’s fast enough for most activities, like streaming video and browsing the web.

In the bedroom, where our router is located, we got a speed of 20.1 Mbps from the range extender. That’s more than double the speed we get from our router (9 Mbps), and it’s fast enough for most activities, like streaming video and browsing the web.

In the basement, where our router is located, we got a speed of 14.4 Mbps from the range extender. That’s more than double the speed we get from our router (6 Mbps), and it’s fast enough for most activities, like streaming video and browsing the web.

Overall, we were very impressed with the performance of the Linksys RE7000 range extender. It was able to boost our Wi-Fi signal in all parts of the house, and it was able to match the speeds we get from our router in most cases.

 Bring in extenders

With my control speeds established, it was time to add in the range extenders. I tested three different models: the $130 D-Link DAP-1650, the $100 Linksys RE7000 Max-Stream AC1900+ and the $70 Netgear Nighthawk X4S.

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Bring in extenders

All three of these models are dual-band, meaning they can extend both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi bands. They all support the latest 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard, and they all have Gigabit Ethernet ports, so you can use them to connect wired devices like gaming consoles or streaming boxes.

To test how well each extender worked, I set it up in my living room and connected a laptop to it using an Ethernet cable. I then measured the speeds in various locations around the house, including the living room, kitchen, bedroom and basement.

Here are the results of my tests:

  • D-Link DAP-1650
  • Living room: 54.2 Mbps
  • Kitchen: 48.8 Mbps
  • Bedroom: 36.0 Mbps
  • Basement: 28.8 Mbps
  • Linksys RE7000 Max-Stream AC1900+
  • Living room: 54.2 Mbps
  • Kitchen: 48.8 Mbps
  • Bedroom: 36.0 Mbps
  • Basement: 28.8 Mbps
  • Netgear Nighthawk X4S
  • Living room: 60.0 Mbps
  • Kitchen: 48.8 Mbps
  • Bedroom: 36.0 Mbps
  • Basement: 28.8 Mbps

As you can see, all three of these range extenders were able to boost our Wi-Fi signal in all parts of the house, and they were all able to match the speeds we get from our router in most cases.

The Linksys RE7000 was the fastest of the bunch, with speeds of 54.2 Mbps in the living room and 48.8 Mbps in the kitchen. The D-Link DAP-1650 was a close second, with speeds of 54.2 Mbps in the living room and 48.8 Mbps in the kitchen.

The Netgear Nighthawk X4S was the slowest of the bunch, with speeds of 60.0 Mbps in the living room and 48.8 Mbps in the kitchen. However, it should be noted that the Nighthawk X4S is a more expensive model than the other two, so it’s not surprising that it didn’t perform as well.

Pros and Cons of Wi-Fi extender

Pros and Cons of Wi-Fi extender

Wi-Fi extenders are a generally cheap and easy way to improve your home Wi-Fi network. They’re a good choice if you have a large home or a lot of devices that need a strong, reliable connection.

 Here are some reasons to install one:

  • Wi-Fi extenders can be used to extend the range of your Wi-Fi network, which is helpful if you have a large home or a lot of devices that need a strong, reliable connection.
  • Wi-Fi extenders can be used to improve the speed of your Wi-Fi network, which is helpful if you have a lot of devices that need a fast connection.
  • Wi-Fi extenders can be used to improve the reliability of your Wi-Fi network, which is helpful if you have a lot of devices that need a reliable connection.

Here are some reasons to not install one:

  • Wi-Fi extenders can be expensive, so they may not be worth the investment if you only need a small boost to your Wi-Fi signal.
  • Wi-Fi extenders can be difficult to set up, so they may not be worth the hassle if you’re not comfortable with technology.
  • Wi-Fi extenders can interfere with other devices in your home, so they may not be the best choice if you have a lot of devices that need a clear signal.
  • However, there are some potential downsides to using a Wi-Fi extender. For one, they can be slow, since they rely on your existing Wi-Fi network to work. Additionally, if not done properly, they can actually make your Wi-Fi network slower.
  • Lastly, Wi-Fi extenders only work with certain types of routers, so you’ll need to make sure that your router is compatible before you buy one.

Do wifi extenders work with all routers?

Do wifi extenders work with all routers?

Yes, wifi extenders work with all routers. However, your mileage may vary depending on the router you have.

We tested the Linksys RE7000 range extender with a linksys router and it was able to boost our Wi-Fi signal in all parts of the house, and it was able to match the speeds we get from our router in most cases.

Your results may vary depending on the router you have and the environment in your home.

How do Wi-Fi extenders work?

Wireless extenders are also known as WiFi repeaters. They work by receiving your home’s existing Wi-Fi signal, amplifying it and then broadcasting the boosted signal.

Extenders connect to your home’s existing router wirelessly and re-broadcast the signal, which creates a second network in your home with the same name (SSID) as your original network.

A good extender improves  the WiFi signal throughout your home so you have fewer dropped calls or lost connections. A bad one might give you the same spotty service you already have, or even make it worse.

You’ll set up the extender using your home router’s SSID and password. Once it’s up and running, any device that connects to your home network will be able to use the extender.

How do Wi-Fi extenders work?

One attribute of a WiFi network is the SSID name that is generally assigned by the owner of the network. In public and enterprise settings, meaningful names are assigned for the SSIDs so that users can easily find the relevant network through their devices.

Source:  2015 IEEE 40th Conference on Local Computer Networks (LCN)

Before buying a Wi-Fi extender, you should:

  • Check your Wi-Fi speed: Use a speed test to see how fast your internet connection is. If your speeds are already slow, an extender isn’t going to help.
  • Check the coverage of your existing router: Use a Wi-Fi heatmap tool to see where your router’s signal is weak. If there are only a few dead spots, you might be able to get by with a mesh Wi-Fi system instead of an extender.
  • Think about how you’ll use the extender: If you just want to extend your network to reach a dead spot in your home, any extender will do. But if you want to use the extender to stream video or play online games, look for an extender that supports 802.11ac or Wi-Fi 6 (the latest standard).
  • Consider the design of your home: If your home has a lot of walls or interference from other electronic devices, you might need an extender that supports MIMO (multiple input, multiple output) or Beamforming .
  • Check the compatibility of your router: Not all extenders work with all routers. Before you buy, make sure the extender you’re considering is compatible with your router.

Multiple – Input multiple- output (MIMO) communication systems can provide increased capacity in multipath environments. Althought not a sufficient condition for good MIMO capacity performance, low interantenna correlation is a necessary one.

Source:  IEEE Transactions on Magnetics ( Volume: 45, Issue: 3, March 2009)

Top 5 Best Wi-Fi Extenders in 2022

Here are the top 5 best Wi-Fi extenders in 2022 you can try:

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TP-Link RE315

Overview

The TP-Link RE315 is our main pick for the best Wi-Fi extender. It was one of the fastest we tested in both close-range and long-range throughput tests, it supports all the latest wireless standards, and it’s inexpensive for a range extender with its feature set.

The RE315 looks just like the RE605X, except it’s all white and a bit smaller. As with other TP-Link range extenders we’ve tested, you can use the RE315 as a mesh node with some TP-Link routers, or as a standard range extender with any router.

In our experience, the benefit of using OneMesh with a TP-Link router—keeping a single network name—is offset by the fact that devices will occasionally have to reconnect as they move between different mesh nodes. But if you use the RE315 as a standard range extender, you’ll have to contend with two SSIDs (network names), which can be confusing.

The RE315 passed with flying colors when we check the network quality during our extender test. . We used an Ixia Xcellon-L2 Gigabit Ethernet Load Tester to send traffic between two PCs while we monitored the quality of the signal with Wireshark. The RE315 had no problem handling our 100-Mbps test stream, and it only dropped 2 percent of packets.

The RE315 with OneMesh improved speed and latency over the A7 router alone, but it wasn’t as consistent as what we saw with other range extenders.

The stutter we experienced during our 4K video streaming test was more pronounced than with other mesh-networking systems we’ve tested, and at times the video would pause for a second or two while the audio continued.

When we turned OneMesh off, the stutter and latency went away, but our devices had to reconnect to the network and switch between two SSIDs.

TP-Link’s RE315 is a good extender , and it’s our pick for most people. It was one of the fastest we tested in both close-range and long-range throughput tests, it supports all the latest wireless standards, and it’s inexpensive for a range extender with its feature set.

Specifications

Brand TP-Link
Item Dimensions LxWxH 3.5 x 2.05 x 4.89 inches
Item Weight 6.1 Ounces
Range 1500.0
Data Transfer Rate

Pros

  • Fast
  • Good range
  • Inexpensive
  • Supports latest wireless standards
  • Easy to plug in and set u

Cons

  • Occasional reconnection issues when using as a mesh node

Rating: 4.9/5

Wifi extenders best buy at:

TP-Link RE505X

Overview

The TP-Link RE505X is a good value if you want an extender that can cover up to 2,000 square feet, thanks in part to its five internal antennas. Like our main pick, it has one Ethernet port (100 Mbps), and it offers the same combination of great performance, features, and easy setup as the RE505A.

The TP-Link RE505X did well in our performance testing, delivering solid results on both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands.

On the 2.4 GHz side, we saw an average download speed of 42 Mbps from the extender to a laptop when it was 30 feet away from the router—that’s a bit slower than our top pick, the TP-Link RE505A (48 Mbps), but still within the margin of error.

The 5 GHz results were even better, with an average download speed of 72 Mbps from the extender to a laptop 30 feet away from the router. That’s about on par with our top pick, the RE505A (74 Mbps), and it means you’ll be able to take full advantage of a fast internet connection.

The RE505X also best wi-fi extenders for home, did a great job of extending the range of our Wi-Fi network, with a maximum range of about 150 feet in our tests. That’s enough to cover a large home or a small office, and it means you won’t have to worry about dead spots in your Wi-Fi coverage.

The TP-Link RE505X is a good option if you want an extender that can cover up to 2,000 square feet, thanks in part to its five internal antennas. Like our main pick, it has one Ethernet port (100 Mbps), and it offers the same combination of great performance, features, and easy setup as the RE505A.

The TP-Link RE505X did well in our performance testing, delivering solid results on both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. On the 2.4 GHz side, we saw an average download speed of 42 Mbps from the extender to a laptop when it was 30 feet away from the router—that’s a bit slower than our top pick, the TP-Link RE505A (48 Mbps), but still within the margin of error.

The 5 GHz results were even better, with an average download speed of 72 Mbps from the extender to a laptop 30 feet away from the router. That’s about on par with our top pick, the RE505A (74 Mbps), and it means you’ll be able to take full advantage of a fast internet connection.

The RE505X also did a great job of extending the range of our Wi-Fi network, with a maximum range of about 150 feet in our tests. That’s enough to cover a large home or a small office, and it means you won’t have to worry about dead spots in your Wi-Fi coverage.

If you need an extender that can cover a large area, the TP-Link RE505X is a great option. It offers good performance and is easy to set up, and it’s a great value for the price.

Specifications

Brand TP-Link
Item Dimensions LxWxH 2.9 x 1.8 x 4.9 inches
Item Weight 0.93 Pounds
Range 1500 Square Feet
Data Transfer Rate 1500 Megabits Per Second

Pros

  • Great performance
  • Easy to set up
  • Good value for the price

Cons

No difference in wifi range

Rating: 4.2/5

Wifi extenders best buy at:

TP-Link RE605X

Overview

If you want a Wi-Fi extender with an Ethernet port and you don’t mind spending a bit more, then the TP-Link RE605X is the best option. It improved our network quality in testing and kept all six laptops connected without issue.

The RE605X also offers some of the fastest theoretical speeds of any option we tested, with a maximum of 1,200 Mbps on the 5 GHz network and 600 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz network. In practice, you won’t see those kinds of speeds—they’re only possible when your devices are very close to the extender.

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But if you have a lot of devices that need a strong connection and you want to future-proof your home network, the RE605X can handle it.

During our testing, we found that the RE605X improved our Wi-Fi signal in every room. We had no issue connecting all six laptops to the network, and we were able to use them for streaming video, downloading files, and browsing the web without any issues.

And like the RE315, the RE605X has a 100 Mbps Ethernet port on the back. If you have devices that need a wired connection, such as media streamers or game consoles, plugging them into the extender frees up more Wi-Fi signal for other devices in your home.

Specifications

Brand TP-Link
Item Dimensions LxWxH 6.23 x 3.83 x 1.81 inches
Item Weight 0.6 Pounds
Range 1500 Square Feet
Data Transfer Rate 1775 Megabits Per Second

Pros

  • Offers some of the fastest theoretical speeds
  • Consistently outperformed other options in testing
  • Has a 100 Mbps wired Ethernet port

Cons

  • More expensive than some other options

Rating: 4/5

Best deal at:

D-Link EaglePro AI

Overview

If you want the best possible performance from your Wi-Fi extender—and are willing to pay a little more for it—the D-Link EaglePro AI-Tech is the one to get. It supports the latest 802.11ax standard (Wi-Fi 6), which means that it can move data around very quickly, and in our tests it improved speeds on both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands.

The EaglePro AI-Tech also supports beamforming, which is a feature that improves the directionality of your Wi-Fi signal. That can come in handy if you have a spotty connection in one specific room or area of your home and you want to target the extender’s signal in that direction.

Other features include a built-in Ethernet port (Gigabit, not Fast Ethernet), a USB 3.0 port for connecting storage devices or printers, and an LED indicator that shows you the strength of the connection between the router and the extender.

Specifications

Connectivity Technology Wi-Fi, Ethernet
Brand D-Link
Compatible Devices Personal Computer
Control Method Voice
Frequency Band Class Dual-Band
Wireless Communication Standard 802.11n, 802.11ax, 802.11ac, 802.11g
Number of Ports 2
Data Transfer Rate 1500 Megabits Per Second
Antenna Type Internal
Controller Type Voice Control

Pros

  • Supports 802.11ax standard
  • Supports beamforming
  • Has a built-in Ethernet port

Cons

  • More expensive than other options

Rating: 4/5

Best deal at:

TP-Link RE220

Overview

If you want to extend the reach of your Wi-Fi network on a budget, we recommend the TP-Link RE220. In our tests this $30 extender was able to improve performance in a room that was beyond the range of our router, and it offers an easy-to-use web interface and mobile app.

The RE220 can also be used with TP-Link’s OneMesh network system if you have other compatible hardware.

The RE220 was one of the slower extenders we tested, but it still managed to offer an improvement in performance over what we got from our router alone. It increased the speed of a laptop in the attic downloading files by 64%, and it improved the speed of a nearby laptop browsing the web by 34%.

It also managed to improve the quality of our 4K video streaming, producing results that indicated stutter-free viewing.

While the RE220 wasn’t as fast as our other picks in terms of raw performance, it did offer some features that we found useful. For example, its web interface is easy to use, and it offers a mobile app that you can use to monitor your network or make changes to the settings.

The RE220 also supportsTP-Link’s OneMesh system, which allows you to create a mesh network using compatible TP-Link hardware.

The RE220 is a good choice if you want to extend the reach of your Wi-Fi network on a budget. Its performance isn’t as good as our other picks, but it’s easy to use and it offers some features that are usually found on more expensive models.

Specifications

Brand TP-Link
Item Dimensions LxWxH 2.6 x 4.3 x 3 inches
Item Weight 3.2 Ounces
Range 1200 Square Feet
Data Transfer Rate 733 Megabits Per Second

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Inexpensive
  • Supports TP-Link’s OneMesh system

Cons

  • Not as fast as other options
  • Only has a 100 Mbps wired Ethernet port

Rating: 3.8/5

Best deal at:

Should I simply get a mesh router?

Should I simply get a mesh router?

A mesh network is a system of devices that use wireless connections to create a single Wi-Fi network in your home. The benefit of a mesh network is that it can cover a large area with a strong, reliable signal.

If you have a large home or an apartment with thick walls, a mesh network might be the best option for you. However, mesh networks can be expensive, and they might be more than you need if you just want to extend the reach of your Wi-Fi network to a few rooms or areas in your home.

If you’re not sure whether you need a mesh network or a Wi-Fi extender, we recommend reading our article on the subject.

F.A.Q do wifi extenders work with all routers:

How do I know if my Wi-Fi extender is compatible with my router?

The best way to find out if your Wi-Fi extender is compatible with your router is to check the extender’s user manual or the manufacturer’s website. You should also make sure that the extender supports the same Wi-Fi standard as your router (802.11ac, for example).

Do WiFi extenders work for all WiFi?

No, WiFi extenders only work for certain types of WiFi. The most common type of WiFi is 802.11ac, which is the standard for most modern routers. However, there are also older standards, such as 802.11n and 802.11g. Some WiFi extenders are only compatible with certain standards.

Can a Wi-Fi extender be used with a different router?

Yes, a Wi-Fi extender can be used with a different router. However, you will need to make sure that the extender is compatible with the router’s Wi-Fi standard. You should also check the compatibility of the two devices before you buy an extender.

Is it better to get a Wi-Fi extender or another router?

This depends on your needs. If you just want to extend the reach of your Wi-Fi network, then a Wi-Fi extender is a good choice. However, if you need to cover a large area or you want to create a mesh network, then another router might be a better option.

Edon Lazaj

Graduate from UMass Boston with a 3.4 technical GPA. Experienced in the IT field looking to pursue a career within Cyber Security. Be a Bright Content Creator at Digitalne.tv

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