Lightning-fast 6Gbps top speed. Covers 2,500 square feet. Features 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports. Easy setup. Can connect to over 30 devices at once. Rock-solid WiFi connection.
The only major issue with the EAX80 is its price tag.
Features 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports. Seamless roaming coverage for mobile devices. Great for streaming HD content and speedy web browsing. Affordable. Covers 1,500 square feet.
Not the best solution for extra-large areas.
5 Ethernet ports. Dual-band WiFi. 800 MHz processor for superior performance. Sleek design that fits easily on a desktop. Produces a strong, reliable signal that covers a large area.
Some users find the included setup instructions to be a little confusing.
Affordable. Compact. Dual band Wi-Fi speeds up to 1200Mbps. Optimized for gaming and streaming HD videos. Features 2 antennas for a better range. Quick setup.
Large buildings may need more than 1,500 square feet of additional coverage.
Extends dual-band WiFi up to 750 Mbps. Plugs into a wall outlet. External antennas help to boost performance. Easy for beginners to set up. Gigabit Ethernet port. Compatible with all brands of routers.
Users have complained that the extender sometimes loses its connection to the router.
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Having wireless internet at home is only a convenience if your network actually covers your entire home. Dead spots and slow zones can be infuriating. Losing a signal just because you walk into a different room can be exasperating. Fortunately, you can use a NETGEAR WiFi extender to create a seamless whole-house experience.
Choosing a product that will enhance your home wireless network may seem daunting, especially if you’re not a wireless aficionado. Fortunately, NETGEAR products are easy to install, and many consumers have found success with them.
If you'd like to learn more about how wireless service works and how a NETGEAR WiFi extender could help improve your network, keep reading for information and recommendations on our favorite NETGEAR WiFi extenders.
If you’re in the basement and you’re trying to have a conversation with your spouse who happens to be in the office on the second floor, it's not going to be a very productive chat. It'll be even worse if someone left the TV on in the living room. Distance and extraneous noise can make it hard for people to communicate with their voices. The same goes for wireless internet signals: distance and other interference can weaken your signal and make it hard to access the internet in certain parts of your home.
A WiFi extender is like an intercom for people who want to talk to each other from separate rooms. It allows your router to have a “conversation” with a device that is otherwise too far away. The result: you can carry your laptop or tablet anywhere in your home and enjoy a high-quality internet connection.
The AC numbers (AC1200, AC2300, etc.) that you may see on the packaging of a WiFi extender is not direct a indication of speed. Rather, this number is a sum of potential speeds. Here’s an analogy: if you had a three-man relay team and the first man could run 10 mph but the second and third man could each run 12 mph, the fastest possible speed would only be 12 mph. When you add all three together, however, you could theoretically claim to have a 34 mph relay team. That is what that AC number is: the combined potential speed of all the bands on your extender. It is not the fastest speed, so don’t be misled.
It is important to look at the variables that would actually make a difference in your user experience. With that in mind, here are the key features you need to consider when shopping for a NETGEAR WiFi extender.
Do you have dial-up internet? If so, it’s important to know that you will not receive any benefits from a WiFi extender that features a speed of 1Gbps. Dial-up internet is measured in kilobits per second and is much slower. A WiFi extender simply cannot exceed the speed offered by your internet service provider (ISP).
Although you wouldn't need a 1Gbps extender for a dial-up connection, you would want one if you had fiber optic service. Speed is crucial for providing the best internet experience; you just can't expect to increase your internet speed beyond what your ISP is offering.
A band is the range of frequencies that your WiFi extender uses. All WiFi extenders work on a 2.4GHz band. Some also work on a 5GHz band, which makes them dual-band WiFi extenders. Others have two 5GHz bands and one 2.4GHz band, making them tri-band WiFi extenders. Having multiple bands can help increase performance.
NETGEAR's FastLane Technology dedicates a band from your router to the extender. It then dedicates a different band from the extender to your device, offering maximum WiFi performance for your particular system. This can be useful for the high demands of gaming.
Even though your NETGEAR WiFi extender has an antenna, the best way to transmit data is through wired connections. It is not the most practical way, though — you couldn't go very far with your phone if it was connected to a line in the wall. However, some devices, such as a gaming system, are ideal for an Ethernet connection. NETGEAR has a variety of options when it comes to extenders with Ethernet ports.
NETGEAR makes WiFi extenders that either sit on your desk or can be plugged into a wall outlet. Although there are physical limitations — for example, a smaller plug-in device can't have as many Ethernet ports as a larger device — the size of a WiFi extender mainly comes down to user preference.
Ease of setup
Most NETGEAR extenders are designed to have an effortless setup. If you run into trouble, it's more often a home network problem than a device problem. For that, NETGEAR offers extensive troubleshooting documentation online to facilitate setting up your WiFi extender in almost any situation you can imagine.
If you’re on a budget and have a smaller home, you can look in the $25 to $49 range for a compact, easy-install NETGEAR extender that plugs into an outlet. A NETGEAR WiFi extender in this price range might have one Ethernet port.
As you move into the $50 to $99 price bracket, you'll find plug-in extenders with added features, such as an additional outlet. You will also start seeing desktop models that offer more Ethernet ports and dual-band networks.
For $100 or more, you can obtain a NETGEAR WiFi extender with desirable features that include faster speed potentials, tri-band networks, and mesh capabilities.
Use the NETGEAR WiFi Analytics app to determine your network status, check your WiFi signal strength, measure WiFi channel interference, and more.
If available on your extender, use both the 2.4GHz and the 5GHz band.
Place your extender halfway between your router and your device.
Remember, your NETGEAR WiFi extender cannot work if it is out of the range of your wireless router.
An extender works best when there is a clear line of sight both to the wireless router and your device. Walls, doors, floors, ceilings, and other impediments can drastically weaken a signal.
Use your NETGEAR LEDs to determine signal strength. Solid green indicates the best connection; solid yellow indicates a good connection; solid red indicates a poor connection.
If you’re experiencing lost connections or slower-than-anticipated data transfers, try selecting a different wireless channel.
Keep some of your network wired, either using Ethernet cables or NETGEAR's Powerline products, which use your home’s wiring instead of cables.
To simplify your network, NETGEAR WiFi extenders have a "One WiFi Name" feature that allows you to use the same WiFi network settings as your router.
If you're looking for something on the higher end of NETGEAR’s offerings, there are two more products worth considering. NETGEAR's Nighthawk X6 AC2200 Tri-Band WiFi Mesh Extender is a universal extender that offers a seamless wireless experience and has a "One WiFi Name" feature to simplify your network. If you'd prefer an all-encompassing home experience, NETGEAR's Orbi Wall-Plug Whole Home Mesh WiFi System could be the answer for you. The system provides 5,000 square feet of mesh coverage utilizing one router and two wall-plug extenders. And, if you prefer using voice commands, NETGEAR's Orbi system is compatible with Alexa.
Q. What is the relationship between my ISP speed and the speed of my extender?
A. The speed of the Internet is measured in bits per second. This is the amount of data that can be transferred under optimum conditions. If your ISP offers gigabit service, that's one gigabit of data transferred in one second. However, if you purchase a WiFi extender that can only transfer one megabit of data per second, you will be making your network 1,000 times slower. Therefore, it is important for your WiFi extender to meet or exceed the speed that is being offered by your ISP.
Q. I'm having trouble setting up my NETGEAR wall-plug WiFi extender. Do you have any tips?
A. Yes. Often people try to set up their WiFi extender in the location where they think it belongs. Sometimes, this location is outside of your reliable service range, which can cause setup problems. It is best to complete your basic setup in the same room as your router to ensure the signal is strong. After you are sure your range extender is functioning properly with the rest of your home WiFi network, you can move it to a more strategic location — about halfway between your router and your device.
Q. What is the difference between an omnidirectional antenna and a directional antenna?
A. The answer is focus. A signal only has so much power, so the antenna doesn't increase the signal power — it just tells that signal which way to go. Think of omnidirectional signal range as a round balloon that goes equally in all directions. If you take that balloon and squeeze two of its sides, the balloon will get longer at each end. You are not adding air to the balloon; you are just directing where that air goes. A directional antenna does the same thing: it increases the signal range in one direction by limiting the signal range in another direction.
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