1. Netgear AC750-WiFi EX3700 (£33.96)
The Netgear AC750 EX3700 is an entry-level, dual-band Wi-Fi booster – offering good performance across, and support for, both 2.4GHz and 5Ghz bands – with speeds of 300 Mbps and 433 Mbps respectively. This booster also supports the latest Wi-Fi 802.11ac protocol – offering speed up to 3 times faster than the current standard – and is our pick for the best Wi-Fi extender retailing at around the £30 mark.
This range extender features a pair of external antennas – which can be positioned independent of each other, something that can help to increase range in different directions – and a single ethernet port, allowing for wired devices to be connected to your network via an ethernet cable.
Setting up the EX3700 is very easy – it can be connected to your network either by WPS, requiring no more than the click of a button, or through the devices browser software, offering a range of configurable options. In addition, this device includes Netgear’s Wi-Fi Analytics App – an app that makes finding the right location for the booster simpler, helping to identify weak spots in your Wi-Fi coverage to help you find the perfect place to get maximum range out of the device – as well as this, the app also works to identify crowded channels and to monitor the EX3700’s status through your mobile phone.
For a low-cost Wi-Fi range extender, they don’t get much better than the EX3700 – ease of setup, performance and price-point combine to make this booster one of the best options for those looking for a budget solution to increase the range and reliability of their home network.
2. TP-Link AC750 RE200 (£29.95)
The TP-Link AC750 RE200 Wi-Fi booster is a dual-band range extender offering support for both 2.4 GHz and 5GHz bands – with speeds of 300 Mbps and 433 Mbps across each band respectively – and offers a no-frills, easy-to-use solution to extending the range of your existing home wireless network.
This booster is incredibly easy to setup – either at the click of the button, by utilising WPS technology – or through TP-Link’s browser-based configuration software – a process that takes no more than a couple of minutes to set up, whichever method you choose. Once configured, you’re good to go – simply plug the device into an appropriated located wall socket – that’s it, simple.
Unlike many of the other Wi-Fi extenders on this list – the RE200 is on the small side and has internal antennas – making it a good choice for those with a lack of wall sockets, as it can be used in double socket plugs without blocking the other socket. That being said, Wi-Fi boosters with internal antennas tend to perform less well than those with external ones over longer distances – with the RE200 performing well at ranges up to 75Ft before performance notably drops off – something you’ll need to take into consideration depending on your needs.
On the under-side of the RE200 you’ll find a single ethernet port – useful for connecting wired devices, such as media players, game consoles and other devices, including older PCs that don’t support Wi-Fi – and on its face are a number of indicator LEDs, providing information on the RE200’s status.
All-in-all, as a home network Wi-Fi extender the TP-Link RE200 is a solid device – performing well enough, both in terms of range and speed, to provide coverage to dead spots over a couple of rooms – for office users however, this level of performance may not cut it, and subsequently we’d recommend opting for a higher-end extender.
3. Linksys RE4100W N600 Dual-Band (£32.69)
The Linksys RE4100W N600 is a dual-band Wi-Fi booster that boasts a range of up to 7,500 square feet – making it perfectly suited for most home users looking to extend the range of their home Wi-Fi network – and operates at speeds that allows users to stream their movies and play their games without interference or difficulty.
Setting up and configuring this device is easy and can be done automatically, via the press of a button – utilising WPS technology to connect to your existing network – and like other Linksys Wi-Fi boosters, is compatible with the company’s Spot Finder Technology, making it easier to pick the perfect wall socket location for maximum range and performance.
When it comes to performance – the RE4100W N600 is a fairly good Wi-Fi booster – supporting up to 300 Mbps on 2.4 GHz and 5GHz bands and has a range of around 75 feet. At ranges beyond this, there is a noticeable drop in performance – particularly when you approach distances of 100+ feet, after which web browsing steadily becomes all but impossible the further away you get. This device supports newer 802.11ac Wi-Fi protocol, as well as providing support for legacy 802.11n, 802.11g and even 802.11b, for older Wi-Fi enabled devices.
One particularly nice feature of this Linksys Wi-Fi booster is its being equipped with a 3.5 mm jack – making it possible to enjoy your music collection and other audio over your Wi-Fi network – something that could put this devices at the heart of your home entertainment system. The device also has a single Ethernet port, allowing you to connect devices to it directly with an Ethernet cable – perfect for connecting non-Wi Fi enabled devices, such as an old PC, to you home network.
All-in-all, if you’re looking for a low-cost, dual-band Wi Fi booster that does what it says on the tin – extending your home network and offering reasonable speeds and performance – at a budget price, then the Linksys RE4100W N600 definitely fits the bill.
4. Netgear N300-WiFi WN3000RP (£19.99)
The Netgear N300-WiFi WN3000RP booster is a popular Wi-Fi booster – offering an easy to use, setup and affordable solution to increase the range and performance of your home Wi-Fi network. There are undoubtable better options on the market – offering more in speed and range – however for home users looking to address the specific problem of dead spots in their home, the WN3000RP certainly delivers.
This Netgear Wi-Fi booster is fairly chunky – something which could be a problem for users with a lack of wall sockets, as its size makes it impossible to plug other devices into double sockets – and features two adjustable antennae, which can help to increase network range in different directions. On the front of the device there are four green LED lights – these lights are used to indicate status and diagnostics – however, and unlike some of the other boosters on the market, there is no way to turn these lights off when not needed. It’s worth noting that this device only offers 2.4 GHz band – 802.11, up to the N standard – but doesn’t support the 5GHz band.
Setting up and configuring the N300 WN3000RP is very easy – simply plug it into a wall socket and use WPS with your router to connect the booster to your network at the click of a button. Once setup, the WN3000RP uses a unique SSID that reflects your currently home network SSID, but isn’t the same – unlike some other boosters, which can cause problems by using the exact same SSID. Using WPS can be a little temperamental with older routers, however if your home network uses a router released within the last couple of years you should have no trouble. There is of course alternative configuration for users who experience difficulty – which can be a little trickier, although not too complicated – by using the devices web-based configuration tool.
When it comes to performance, the WN3000RP performs fairly well – providing good performance at ranges of 65-75 Ft, beyond this range however, there is a significant drop off making network connectivity unusable for web browsing. This range should be more than adequate for most home users, although for office users, this is likely not going to cut it and we would suggest opting for a more premium product that offers more range. The Netgear WN3000RP isn’t the fastest booster – being rated for 300Mbps – but considering its price, this device is a good choice for the average home user.
Overall, the Netgear WN3000RP is a solid Wi-Fi booster – being well-built, easy to setup and offering all the functionality needed to solve the problem of range for your home Wi-Fi network with minimal fuss and effort. For the money – the device retails at a price south of £20 – the WN3000RP is a good device, making it a great choice for home users looking for a cheap and easy solution to network range.
5. TP-Link TL-WA860RE with AC Passthrough (£17.98)
The TP-Link TL-WA860RE Wi-Fi booster with is a cheap, easy-to-use option for increasing the range of your home network – it also benefits from a low form factor, making it easier to deploy in your home than some of the bulkier extenders on the market. It’s AC passthrough is an especially nice feature – allowing you to utilise your wall socket and this deice at the same time – something that adds to the ease of deployment, as well as the flexibility that this device offers over others currently on the market.
Thanks to this feature, this device can be plugged anywhere, as you will still be able to plug any devices already uses sockets in you home into the mains, via its pass-through. There is also a single wired Ethernet port on the bottom of the device – something that could be equally useful, should you want to connect a PC, printer, games console, or other Ethernet-equipped devices. This port can be expanded, should you need to connect multiple devices, with the use of an Ethernet hub that can be purchased separately, effectively increasing the number of Ethernet ports.
Setting the TP-Link TLWA8RE up is simple – taking no more than a few minutes and supports setup via WPS – the device can then, after being configured and connected to your network, be placed in wall sockets throughout your home with the help of an LED smart light on its front, which works to help you easily determine the best location for maximum Wi-Fi range. In addition, this device is equipped with two rotating, external antennae, which can be adjusted in different directions to further improve the range of your home network.
In terms of range, the TLWA8RE performs well at ranges up to 75 Ft – providing usable internet connectivity – however, past this, the performance drops off considerably, making it all but useless at ranges approaching 150 Ft. It terms of speed, the TP-Link TLWA8RE is obviously not as great as other, more expensive boosters – offering up to 300Mbps – however, for your typical home user, who is mostly utilising their network for web browsing, the performance offered by this device should be more than good enough.
Overall, the TPI-Link TL-WA860RE is a great device – it’s inexpensive, retailing at under £20, and offers AC pass-through – an extremely useful function that is a rare edition for a Wi-Fi booster in this price range, being more common in Wi-Fi boosters over £50 and up. Whilst it isn’t the best device in terms of performance, it’s should be more than adequate for most home networks, with a reasonable range, and is easy to setup and use, even for less tech-savvy consumers.