Not having enough coverage at home or in the office can be a real hassle. In some situations, it seems like an insurmountable problem, but in reality, a Wi-Fi amplifier is enough to extend the signal and reach all corners of the home or office. It is a very easy device to install and also very affordable.
It is important to acquire a good quality Wi-Fi repeater that offers a good connection speed and that does not require long and tedious setup processes. If you want to know how to choose the right Wi-Fi amplifier for you and how to best use it, keep reading our guide because we have prepared a lot of interesting information for you.
The most important things in a nutshell
- Wi-Fi amplifiers, also called Wi-Fi repeaters, are small electronic devices designed to amplify the router’s wireless signal and make it go further.
- Two types of Wi-Fi amplifiers can be distinguished: wall-mounted, much more popular, and table-top.
- The purchase criteria that can best help you in choosing a Wi-Fi amplifier are its range, its speed, and the level of security it offers. We will talk about this in the final section of the article.
The best Wi-Fi amplifiers on the market: our selection
If you are looking for a Wi-Fi amplifier or repeater, you may be interested in seeing some of the best devices currently available on the market. This is why we have prepared the following selection, in which we have included products with an excellent quality-price ratio. Take a look!
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- The best value for money Wi-Fi amplifier
- The cheapest Wi-Fi amplifier
- The best Wi-Fi booster for the fastest connections
- The best high-end Wi-Fi amplifier
- The cheapest Wi-Fi amplifier with an integrated 230 V socket
The best value for money Wi-Fi amplifier
One of the favorite Wi-Fi amplifiers for online users is certainly the TP-Link AC1200. It offers a speed of 300 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band and 867 Mbps on the 5 GHz band, perfectly adapting to normal ADSL and fiber optic lines, and supporting the most modern mobile devices.
It is also equipped with a LAN port and an indicator light, which indicates when the connection is good or if there are problems (you can still disable it if it bothers you during the night). Buyers generally do not encounter any problems with the amplifier under consideration, which is one of the best sellers ever.
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The cheapest Wi-Fi amplifier
The Xiaomi Mi Wi-Fi Range Extender Pro is a 300 Mbps speed booster, small and inexpensive. It guarantees an amplification of 2 dBi thanks to the 2 external antennas and is connectable to 64 mobile devices.
In addition to the very affordable price, buyers also spend good words for the aesthetics, simple but effective, and the simplicity of the configuration, which takes place via a smartphone app.
The best Wi-Fi booster for the fastest connections
Among the mid-range proposals, the FRITZ! 2400 is proposed as one of the best quality alternatives and enjoys hundreds of positive reviews. It supports connection to Mesh Wi-Fi networks, guarantees dual-band connections (up to 600 Mbps on 2.4 GHz networks and 1733 Mbps on 5 GHz networks), and has a Gigabit Ethernet port.
Buyers are very satisfied with it and encounter no compatibility issues, appreciating instead the simplicity of the setup.
The best high-end Wi-Fi amplifier
The Netgear EX8000 AC3000 is an option intended for larger dwellings or smarter, supporting Internet connections in optical fiber up to 1 Gbps and amplifying the Wi-Fi signal for 180 square meters. It supports mesh technology networks and up to 40 connected devices, while also offering 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports. To ensure maximum speed for wireless devices, it also uses tri-band technology, according to which one band is dedicated to the direct connection with the router.
The reviews are generally positive and it is undoubtedly a valid and versatile product, able to satisfy even the most demanding users and the largest families. However, the configuration can be a bit complex, and there is no wall installation.
The cheapest Wi-Fi amplifier with an integrated 230 V socket
The TP-Link TL-WA860RE is a 300 Mbps Wi-Fi repeater and supports the 802.11b single band standard. It is also equipped with a LAN port and power socket, making it a great candidate for amplifying the Internet signal in smaller, more difficult-to-reach small rooms.
Buyers generally express positive opinions and find it a practical and affordable product.
Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about Wi-Fi amplifiers
The use of Wi-Fi amplifiers is becoming more and more common both in the home and in the professional environment. However, many people are still not clear about the benefits and benefits they offer. If this is the case for you, don’t worry as we have prepared this section for you so that you can clarify your doubts.
What exactly is a Wi-Fi amplifier and how does it work?
Wi-Fi amplifiers or repeaters are small electronic devices whose function is to amplify the wireless signal of the router to get it further. So basically what they do is collect the Wi-Fi signal from the router and extend it to allow devices further away to connect and do it with a better signal.
How do I know I need a Wi-Fi booster?
The most obvious sign of the need for a Wi-Fi booster is that there are areas in your home, business, or office where the wireless signal is not reaching. Another important reason for wanting one of these devices is that the Wi-Fi signal while arriving is very weak and you can’t enjoy all the bargained speed. Or maybe it stops from time to time.
How many types of Wi-Fi amplifiers are there?
We can distinguish two types of Wi-Fi amplifiers: wall and table. Below you can see their main features.
- Wall-mounted Wi-Fi Amplifiers: These are by far the most used. They plug directly into an electrical outlet and feature a very compact design.
- Desktop Wi-Fi Amplifiers: They are similar to routers. Generally, they are more powerful than wall-mounted ones, so they allow you to further expand coverage. They are also larger.
What is the difference between a Wi-Fi amplifier and a Powerline adapter?
An interesting alternative to amplifiers is powerline or PLC (Power Line Communications) adapters. What these devices do is take advantage of electrical cables to transmit the wireless signal across the electrical network. To do this, what they do is modulate the data signal of the router through an adapter connected to it and transmit it via the electrical network.
This signal is retrieved by another adapter plugged into a socket and then sent to different devices, via an Ethernet or Wi-Fi connection. Amplifiers, on the other hand, directly take the Wi-Fi signal from the router within range of the router and amplify it to reach the furthest devices.
How can I install and configure a Wi-Fi signal amplifier?
Setting up a Wi-Fi amplifier or repeater is usually a very simple process. Mainly, there are three ways to do this. Of course, whichever option you choose, the first step is to plug the device into a power outlet.
Configuration via WPS: therefore both the router and the amplifier must have a WPS button. This is perhaps the simplest method, as it consists of pressing the button on both devices. First, you press the WPS button on the repeater and then on the router.
Configuration via browser: To use this method, the router must have a browser button. It is also a fairly simple method. It requires the following steps:
- The amplifier URL is accessible via the browser.
- It searches for the router signal on the computer and connects to it.
- You enter your username and password.
- Follow the setup wizard instructions.
Setup via the app: just install an app and follow the setup instructions.
Now that you have enough information about the Wi-Fi repeater, it’s time to choose one to improve the signal in your home or wherever you need it. Below are the main purchase criteria you should keep in mind to buy the best Wi-Fi amplifier for your needs.
- Ease of connection and configuration and coverage
- Speed and Wi-Fi compatibility
- Dual-band or not
- Additional functions
Ease of connection and configuration and coverage
The Wi-Fi booster you purchase must have a feature called WPS. What this function does is synchronize the device with the router, making its configuration as easy as pressing a button. To take advantage of this function, the router must also have a WPS button.
Also, if you want to ensure a good range of coverage, it must have two or more external antennas. Some manufacturers offer information on the coverage range of the repeater in square meters. Others do it more generally and only indicate that it is capable of transmitting the signal through multiple rooms.
Speed and Wi-Fi compatibility
The connection speed you can achieve using a Wi-Fi repeater will be limited by several factors. On the one hand, of course, due to the transfer speed of the router and the internet speed you have contracted. And, on the other hand, also for the speed of the Wi-Fi amplifier, you install.
So even if you have an internet connection at 200 Mbps, if the repeater only works at 100 Mbps, that will be the speed that the devices connecting to it will get. Our advice is to opt for one that can work, at least, at three times the speed of what you contracted. With one that is compatible with the Wi-Fi N standard, you ensure a speed of 300 Mbps, although the latest standard is WiFi 802.11ax or Wi-Fi 6.
Dual-band or not
Today, virtually all routers have Wi-Fi AC connectivity, which has two independent connection bands of 2.4GHz and 5GHz.
- 2.4 GHz band: It is slower, but offers a longer range.
- 5 GHz band: it is faster, it is also less saturated. However, it has a lower range.
If you have an older Wireless-N type router, then a 2.4 GHz single-band repeater is sufficient. If not, a dual-band repeater is convenient to take advantage of all the benefits it offers you.
If you don’t want anyone to be able to access the amplified wireless connection from your Wi-Fi repeater, you are advised that it has security encryption features. For this, the most important protocols are:
WEP: It is quite weak and vulnerable. It offers insufficient protection. It is not recommended to purchase a Wi-Fi amplifier that only supports this protocol.
WPA-PSK: Significantly better than the previous one, even if it was still vulnerable. There are several versions, but they are all obsolete.
WPA2-PSK: It is the safest of the three and the most used today. This is what you should use to avoid taking risks. Of the two possible options for this protocol, WPA2-PSK (TPIK) and WPA2-PSK (AES), the latter is the most secure and also the most common.
Wi-Fi amplifiers can be equipped with one or more Ethernet ports, which allow you to connect different devices, such as video game consoles, Smart TVs, and computers, among others. The main benefit of connecting to your devices through these ports is that you don’t lose connection speed. Additionally, some amplifiers are equipped with a socket so you don’t miss out on a usable plug of power.