Booster wifi signal: 10 Ways to Boost Your Wi-Fi Signal

The 2 Best Wi-Fi Extenders and Signal Boosters of 2023

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Photo: Michael Murtaugh


After a new round of testing, we’ve named the Asus RP-AX56 as our new upgrade pick, replacing the TP-Link RE605X. We remain confident in our top pick, the TP-Link RE315.

Sometimes, there’s one spot in your home where Wi-Fi just doesn’t quite work right. If your standalone Wi-Fi router isn’t keeping your laptop or phone reliably connected everywhere in your house, a good Wi-Fi extender is the quickest, cheapest fix, though it’s most effective in an environment with just a single dead zone. After putting in more than 20 additional hours on a new round of research and testing, we’ve found that the moderately priced TP-Link RE315 can make a network noticeably more reliable in a small area.

  • Moving your router

    Make sure your router is centrally located before trying an extender or booster.

  • Replacing your router

    If your router is more than a few years old, replacing it may be a more reliable and effective option than getting an extender.

  • Installing mesh Wi-Fi instead

    Mesh-networking kits take the weight off a single router, spreading multiple access points around your house to improve Wi-Fi range and performance.

  • Using wired Ethernet

    The fastest internet always comes from a hard line into your devices. Connect directly and avoid Wi-Fi if you can.

Read more

No Wi-Fi extender can improve the speeds of an outdated or failing router or cover multiple dead spots in your home. If your router is more than a few years old, you may be better off replacing it with a mesh Wi-Fi kit instead.

Our pick

TP-Link RE315

TP-Link’s RE315 is a good extender for anyone who wants to boost a network, add an Ethernet jack to another room wirelessly, or install an access point in a prewired home.

The TP-Link RE315 reliably improved Wi-Fi connections and speed in our testing. It’s compact and easy to plug in and set up, and it has an Ethernet port for connecting wired devices. Typically priced under $40, it’s a good, relatively inexpensive fix for spotty Wi-Fi in a particular room of your home. If you have a compatible TP-Link router such as the Archer A7 or Archer A8, you can use the RE315’s OneMesh feature, which hands off the connection between the extender and the router. Otherwise, extenders create a second network name that you connect to when necessary.


Upgrade pick

Asus RP-AX56

The Asus RP-AX56 provides a stable and speedy connection to trouble-prone areas of a home. It works with any router but is also a mesh-compatible extender for homes with Asus AiMesh routers.

The Asus RP-AX56 topped our performance tests while serving a reliable network signal to a troublesome corner of our test home. It was almost as good as the dedicated mesh network we tested in the same location. This is the model we recommend to extend a Wi-Fi 6 network, especially if you installed your router in the past year or two.

Another way to bring Wi-Fi to harder-to-reach parts of your home is to use a powerline or MoCA (which uses the cable TV wiring in your home) networking kit. These kits use your home’s existing wiring to transmit data from one extender to the other. Such kits can be more reliable than Wi-Fi–only extenders, but they’re also heavily dependent on the age, quality, and complexity of your home’s electrical wires or coaxial (TV) cables. You can read more in our full guide to powerline networking kits.

Expand your Wi-Fi using wires already in your home

Everything we recommend

Our pick

TP-Link RE315

TP-Link’s RE315 is a good extender for anyone who wants to boost a network, add an Ethernet jack to another room wirelessly, or install an access point in a prewired home.

Upgrade pick

Asus RP-AX56

The Asus RP-AX56 provides a stable and speedy connection to trouble-prone areas of a home. It works with any router but is also a mesh-compatible extender for homes with Asus AiMesh routers.

The research

  • How do Wi-Fi extenders work?
  • When to consider something other than an extender
  • How we picked the best Wi-Fi booster
  • How we tested Wi-Fi signal extenders
  • Our Wi-Fi range extender pick: TP-Link RE315
  • Upgrade pick: Asus RP-AX56
  • An overview of the test results
  • What to look forward to
  • The competition

How do Wi-Fi extenders work?

If parts of your home or apartment don’t get a good Wi-Fi signal, a wireless extender connects to your existing Wi-Fi at a location with a strong connection and then rebroadcasts its own signals, improving the quality of Wi-Fi connections within its range. If you already own a decent router and simply want to improve your Wi-Fi and boost its signal in one or two extra rooms, an extender might be just the fix you’re looking for.

The catch with Wi-Fi extenders is the placement. The quality of the extender’s network can’t be any better than the quality of its backhaul connection to the router—which means you need to position the extender much closer to the router than you might think. Illustration: Wirecutter

Despite the name, a Wi-Fi extender can’t grow your network much farther than its current maximum range. A good extender improves the radio coverage of your network within its current boundaries, thus improving your web-browsing experience—and it’s great for bouncing the signal around obstructions like elevator shafts, reinforced walls, or foundations.

When to consider something other than an extender

Extenders are a cheap(ish), easy solution to a common problem, but they’re rarely the most optimal one. Before you buy a Wi-Fi extender, consider replacing a router more than a few years old with a newer, faster model—or going with mesh networking. If you already have a good Wi-Fi 5 or Wi-Fi 6 router, make sure you’ve positioned it as high up and as close to the center of your home as you can. Plug computers, streaming devices, game consoles, and anything else you can into the router—or a network switch, if you need more ports—via Ethernet to reduce the number of devices competing for a wireless connection.

If you’ve done all that and still have trouble spots, a wireless extender could help. Cost is key, though: Good mesh Wi-Fi networks start out just above $120 and offer more features, greater range, better roaming between access points, and generally higher performance. Replacing an older router while also adding a Wi-Fi extender costs enough that one of our mesh picks would be a much better choice at that point.

Recently, Wi-Fi manufacturers have been taking features from their mesh systems and applying them to Wi-Fi extenders. Usually, when you set up a Wi-Fi extender, it has to use a different network name, or SSID (like “routername_ext”), and you need to manually connect your devices to the extender instead of to the primary router. Typically, you also have to choose which of the two networks to connect to when you’re walking around in your home. A mesh-compatible extender, in contrast, uses the same name for your network, and as a result you can move around your home without manually disconnecting from one network and joining the next. Some mesh-compatible extenders work only with routers from the same manufacturer, while others work with any Wi-Fi router (even the one from your internet service provider).

One final warning: Avoid extenders that don’t use 802.11ac (Wi-Fi 5) or 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6 or Wi-Fi 6E). Old, 802.11n (Wi-Fi 4) extenders are cheaper, but when such extenders are running, they significantly decrease the speed of all devices on your Wi-Fi; in addition, for devices connected by Wi-Fi to the extender, such models provide less than half of the base router’s speed. None of our picks are 802.11n extenders.

How we picked the best Wi-Fi booster

Photo: Michael Murtaugh

In considering models for this guide, we wanted each device to have the following:

  • 802.11ac (Wi-Fi 5) or 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6 or 6E) support: Older, slower 802.11n extenders won’t cut it, even if they’re dual-band.
  • Good performance: The extender must improve coverage and connectivity compared with the router alone—otherwise you’re just adding another device that sits on your network (and you’re wasting money). Our testing takes into account the change in network performance when you’re adding an extender to a busy network, measuring both throughput (speed) and latency (the wait before a page loads).
  • Ethernet ports: These ports are convenient for wired connections to entertainment devices. In the past, we’ve accepted extenders without Ethernet support, but this time we’ve made the feature mandatory. They’re just that handy.
  • Mesh compatibility: Whether the mesh-networking features are compatible only with routers from the same manufacturer (TP-Link, Asus) or with all routers (Netgear), they can simplify setup and ensure that your devices are connected to the router or extender with the stronger signal, improving the stability of your network.
  • Moderate price: We didn’t consider many options over $150, and we paid special attention to extenders that cost $50 or less. We didn’t test any of the more-expensive extenders (up to $300). The cost of an extender plus a good router should be less than that of a mesh system—otherwise, you should probably get a mesh system instead.

Once we produced a preliminary list of all the pure Wi-Fi and mesh-capable extenders from major vendors, we narrowed them down by looking at Amazon customer reviews and previous professional reviews from sites such as CNET and SmallNetBuilder. This process left us with a handful of devices from Asus, D-Link, Linksys, Netgear, and TP-Link.

How we tested Wi-Fi signal extenders

Our Wi-Fi range extender pick: TP-Link RE315

Upgrade pick: Asus RP-AX56

Photo: Michael Murtaugh

Upgrade pick

Asus RP-AX56

The Asus RP-AX56 provides a stable and speedy connection to trouble-prone areas of a home. It works with any router but is also a mesh-compatible extender for homes with Asus AiMesh routers.

The price of the Asus RP-AX56 is about double that of our top pick, the TP-Link RE315, but in our tests it was as quick as a dedicated budget mesh-networking system when paired with our top-pick standalone router, the TP-Link Archer AX50. The RP-AX56 also tops the RE315 with forward-looking technology, including Wi-Fi 6 support and a Gigabit Ethernet port. If you don’t have many recent or higher-end devices that take advantage of Wi-Fi 6, and if you don’t have a gigabit internet connection, this Asus extender is probably overkill—the RE315, with its Wi-Fi 5 support and 100-megabit Ethernet port, is likely to work just as well for you.

The RP-AX56 is visually less intrusive than the RE315, thanks to its internal antennas. Whereas the RE315 looks like a piece of radio equipment, the RP-AX56 looks like a modest, if large, AC adapter.

The RP-AX56 is mesh-compatible with AiMesh (Asus’s mesh-networking standard), so it could connect seamlessly with our Wi-Fi router and mesh-networking upgrade picks. We tested it with a TP-Link router, and we can verify that it also works well as a standard Wi-Fi extender. As shown in our test results chart below, the RP-AX56 allowed our laptops to respond more quickly than when they were connected to a router alone, a result indicating that the extender helped overall network responsiveness and speed on a busy network in our test home.

The RP-AX56 has a Gigabit Ethernet port, offering a faster wired connection than the TP-Link RE315’s 100-megabit port. Photo: Michael Hession

The Asus RP-AX56 (left) is a little smaller—and easier to hide—than the TP-Link RE315 (right), thanks to its internal antennas. Photo: Michael Murtaugh

The RP-AX56 has a Gigabit Ethernet port, offering a faster wired connection than the TP-Link RE315’s 100-megabit port. Photo: Michael Hession

If your internet service plan is under 100 Mbps or if your base router uses Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac), we recommend the cheaper TP-Link RE315. However, if you’re already using a Wi-Fi 6 router such as the Asus RT-AX88U, the TP-Link AX50, or the TP-Link AX20, adding a Wi-Fi 6 extender like the RP-AX56 makes sense: In doing so, you extend Wi-Fi 6 signals to your troublesome room, with faster potential throughput on the built-in Ethernet port.

The RP-AX56 can also act like a Wi-Fi 6 access point once you connect it to your router with a long Ethernet cable (or an Ethernet cable bridged with a pair of powerline or MoCA adapters). The cable takes care of the connection between the router and the extender, and once you’ve configured it, you can connect to your Wi-Fi network locally, even if you can’t get a signal to the router from that room at all.

The extender’s LED lights let you know when the Wi-Fi is ready for use. Photo: Michael Hession

An overview of the test results

In addition to evaluating the extenders’ ability to tame drop-offs, we tested to see how they improved the browsing experience, measured in latency. As mentioned above, latency refers to the time you spend between clicking a link and waiting for the next web page, streaming video, or file download to come through.

During our multi-client testing, we measured the typical amount of latency present when connecting in a web browser through each extender, highlighting how poorly each model did in its worst moments (the 75th-, 90th-, 95th-, and 99th-percentile results). This procedure allowed us to determine how frequently and how much the experience may frustrate you.

Charts: Wirecutter

We manually connected three of the six laptops to each extender using a separate network name (SSID), which ensured that the laptops would get their wireless signals from the extender rather than directly from the router. As a result the Wi-Fi signal would be routed around obstructions like multiple walls or appliances.

The top performers, including the TP-Link RE315, the Asus RP-AX56, and the Linksys RE7350, acted very much like the TP-Link Deco S4, our current budget mesh-networking pick. Though these three extenders were almost as good as a mesh network in our test home, we must point out that the mesh network automatically achieved the optimal results, whereas we had to configure the extenders manually.

The Netgear EAX15 performed passably when the network was active; in contrast, the D-Link mesh network we made from the company’s E15 extender and R15 router was just a touch worse than the TP-Link Archer A7 router alone. The TP-Link RE605X performed worst in this test group: Although the RE605X was able to complete the tests, our former upgrade pick was much slower than the competition when the network got busy.

This stacked median latency chart shows how we would expect each extender to perform most of the time. Longer browsing bars mean more time waiting for pages to load. Chart: Wirecutter

Our stacked median latency chart above shows the typical latency for every computer on our test network at once, giving some idea of the whole network’s general performance when multiple devices are making requests at the same time. Each color bar represents someone waiting for something to happen after clicking a link, and longer bars mean more time staring at a spinning circle or pinwheel. The Asus RP-AX56 was almost as quick to respond as our budget mesh system on these tests, prompting us to name it our upgrade pick. The TP-Link Deco S4 mesh network improved latency across the board and performed a bit better than the RP-AX56. The Deco S4 takes fewer steps to set up than the RP-AX56 and is more expandable, so replacing your router with a mesh setup is an easier option if you need improvement everywhere. Our top pick, the TP-Link RE315, finished in the middle of the pack this time around but surpassed similarly priced extenders in our tests for a previous iteration of this guide. The RE315 also handily beat the RE605X, our former upgrade pick, in this round of testing.

Placing the extender in between the router and the laptop in the attic improved the connection, for the most part. Chart: Wirecutter

We wanted to see how the extenders could improve speed to a single room, as you would hope if a laptop in the attic of your home, for example, had trouble keeping a connection to the router. We conducted this single-throughput test without the other clients active to make sure we were testing only for the best speed. Again, the mesh network provided the most improvement, but many of the tested extenders helped speed up downloads to the test PC. As you move away from a router, the radio signals degrade and can result in lower speed or throughput. A simple “bounce” through the extender helped our laptop maintain a better signal than in the initial situation, and the stronger signal from three of the four extenders (and the mesh network) boosted the throughput to the client laptop.

What to look forward to

Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E, also known as the 802.11ax protocol, are available in higher-end computers, networking devices, and phones and tablets. They will eventually supersede Wi-Fi 5 (also known as 802.11ac) across the board, just as Wi-Fi 5 superseded Wi-Fi 4 (802.11n). Wi-Fi 6 and 6E bundle in new features that should greatly improve networks with lots of active devices. However, just like the different standards within Wi-Fi 5, such as Wave 1 and Wave 2 MU-MIMO or WPA2 versus WPA3 encryption, most of these technologies will work only when all or most of the clients on the network (as well as the router) support them.

In practical terms, this means you would need both a new router and new extenders to take advantage of those technologies once they become available, and that’s rarely cost-effective. It’s already difficult to recommend investing in an extender when purpose-built mesh kits typically give you faster, farther-ranging connections and easier setup. We expect that this trend will continue as mesh becomes more mainstream and less expensive.

We concentrated on plug-in extenders for this update. For our next testing session, we will be looking at router-sized extenders such as the Asus RP-AC1900 with Wi-Fi 5 support and the Netgear EAX80 with Wi-Fi 6 support.

The competition

The TP-Link RE220 was our top pick in a previous version of this guide. Although it is still available, in testing for this update we found that the RE315 was more efficient at grabbing a signal from client devices and holding them steady. Our move to a larger home for testing in 2021 may have been too much for the RE220: It failed to connect to our test laptops as we expected and as it had in the past.

Although the TP-Link RE300 was a runner-up in the last iteration of this guide, since then we’ve made an Ethernet port a necessity (see How we picked above). Some folks might still find the RE300 useful, but we prefer the flexibility of an extender that also includes an Ethernet connection.

The Netgear EX7700 was an upgrade pick in a previous version of this guide, but its usual price is significantly higher than the $100 ceiling we’ve placed on our current roundup. At this level, it’s more prudent to replace your router with a budget mesh kit like the TP-Link Deco S4 for about $130.

The TP-Link RE605X, another upgrade pick in 2021, didn’t perform quite as well in a new round of testing, especially when compared with our new upgrade pick, the Asus RP-AX56. The RE605X could still be a valid purchase if you’re interested in extending a TP-Link network with OneMesh, but it’s no longer our first choice for Wi-Fi 6 networking.

While the Netgear EAX15 tested just behind the Asus RP-AX56, that Asus model bested it on all counts: latency, throughput, simultaneous streaming, and warranty. Like the other Netgear extenders listed below, the EAX15 can function in a mesh network with any router.

The Linksys RE7350 is another model that proved to be competitive with the RP-AX56 but ultimately finished a little behind our upgrade pick. The RE7350 is compatible with Linksys Mesh routers and Velop systems, but if you already have a compatible Linksys router, we’d recommend adding a Velop node to extend that Linksys network instead.

The D-Link E15 extender works with the D-Link R15 router as a D-Link Eagle Pro AI mesh network, so that’s how we tested it. Although this pairing offers a quick and somewhat inexpensive way to build a mesh network, it finished last in most of our tests, far behind the TP-Link Deco S4, a three-piece mesh-networking system that at the time of our testing cost only about $15 more than purchasing one E15 extender and one R15 router.

The TP-Link RE230 is a follow-up to the RE220 and RE300—it resembles an RE300 with the addition of an Ethernet port. The RE230 posted average results in our tests, with some highs and some lows. It also had trouble delivering a reliable connection to our second 4K streaming device with OneMesh networking on and off. We recommend spending the extra $15 or so for the RE315, our current top pick, as that model consistently performed better in our tests.

The Netgear EAX20, a router-shaped extender with three Gigabit Ethernet ports, just makes it under our current $100 price requirement. Although it includes Wi-Fi 6 support, it placed lower in our performance tests than extenders that were half as expensive. If you’re prepared to spend this amount of money, we’d recommend swapping your existing router out for a full-fledged mesh-networking kit instead.

The TP-Link RE200 was a pick in a previous version of this guide. Version 3 of the RE200 can accept updates (via firmware) to work with OneMesh; check the label on the back of the extender to verify which version of the hardware you have.

The Asus RP-AC55, which supports Asus’s AiMesh, lagged in testing for the previous version of this guide and was priced above our picks at the time. We briefly looked at the entry-level Asus RP-AC51, too, but we tested the AC55 because that model was only $10 more expensive.

As one of the least expensive (about $90 at the time of our research) mesh extenders capable of working with all routers, the Netgear EX6250 showed promise. In our performance testing, however, it landed in the middle of the pack—and because it’s pricey in comparison with our pick, we dismissed it.

Priced around $120 at the time of our tests, the Netgear Nighthawk X4 EX7300 is a mesh extender positioned between the EX6250 and the router-like EX7700. It did poorly on our performance tests.

We’ve also researched and considered more than two dozen extenders from Amped Wireless, AmpliFi, Asus, D-Link, Edimax, Linksys, Netgear, Tenda, and Zyxel. These models either failed to meet our requirements, were discontinued by the manufacturer, or dropped out of contention in a previous version of this guide.

This article was edited by Signe Brewster and Jason Chen.

Meet your guide

Joel Santo Domingo

Joel Santo Domingo is a senior staff writer covering networking and storage at Wirecutter. Previously he tested and reviewed more than a thousand PCs and tech devices for PCMag and other sites over 17 years. Joel became attracted to service journalism after answering many “What’s good?” questions while working as an IT manager and technician.

Further reading

  • The Best Wi-Fi Mesh-Networking Kits

    by Joel Santo Domingo

    If a normal router can’t provide reliable wireless access to every corner of your home, mesh systems should help you stream and watch TikTok without a hitch.

  • The Gear to Get Reliable Wi-Fi in Any Home

    by Haley Perry

    We’ve spent hundreds of hours testing dozens of routers, mesh kits, and extenders to find the best gear to get strong Wi-Fi throughout your home.

  • The Best Wi-Fi Routers

    by Joel Santo Domingo

    We’ve tested the latest Wi-Fi routers to find the best ones—from budget options to top of the line—to make your wireless network faster and more responsive.

Wirecutter is the product recommendation service from The New York Times. Our journalists combine independent research with (occasionally) over-the-top testing so you can make quick and confident buying decisions. Whether it’s finding great products or discovering helpful advice, we’ll help you get it right (the first time).

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How to Boost Your Wi-Fi Signal and Extend Wi-Fi Range

Wi-Fi signal is precious. Moving away from the router invariably means your Wi-Fi signal starts to drop. Go far enough, and you will enter the dark zone: the place Wi-Fi cannot reach. In that situation, you might wonder how you can boost your Wi-Fi signal. Can you boost it throughout the house? Into the yard? To your neighbors?

The answer is “Yes,” you can. Here’s how you boost your Wi-Fi signal and extend your Wi-Fi range, so you never lose signal again.

Boosting your Wi-Fi signal is a multi-pronged approach. Here are six ways you can boost your Wi-Fi signal to receive better Wi-Fi speeds:

  1. Upgrade your router to 802.11ac or 802.11ax
  2. Move your router to boost Wi-Fi signal
  3. Switch to wireless mesh for greater Wi-Fi signal coverage
  4. Upgrade your Wi-Fi receivers and antennas
  5. Use a Wi-Fi extender (AKA repeater)
  6. Make a DIY Wi-Fi antenna booster
  7. Update your router firmware
  8. Change your Wi-Fi channel

Let’s take a look at each option in detail.

1. Upgrade Your Router to 802.11ac or 802.


One of the easiest Wi-Fi signal boosts is a router upgrade. If you are still using an older 802.11g or 802.11n router, your Wi-Fi performance is lacking. The older Wi-Fi standards, running on older routers, do not have the same power or signal throughput as a modern router using the latest 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard.

Perhaps the most significant difference between the old standards and the newer 802.11ac standard is the data throughput across similar transmission distances. For instance:

  • 802.11n, released in 2009, can broadcast around 600Mbps (around 75MB/s) over a maximum range of 300 feet outdoors and approximately 150 feet indoors. Whereas,
  • 802.11ac, released in 2014, can broadcast at around 1.13Gbps (around 166.25MB/s) over a similar range.

The difference is night and day.

What Is 802.11ax?

The IEEE upgrades the 802.11 wireless standards every few years. The 802.11ac standard hit routers in 2014 and is still the world’s most widely-used Wi-Fi standard.

In 2019, the IEEE was working with router manufacturers and other hardware developers to integrate the latest 802.11ax Wi-Fi standard. Like all Wi-Fi standard upgrades, 802.11ax increases throughput, as well as range and the number of devices that a single router can simultaneously communicate with. Another significant 802.11ax upgrade is the number of Wi-Fi channels available to your network, introducing 256 sub-channels to ease network congestion. However, even though upgrading from ac Wi-Fi to ax Wi-Fi brings significant advantages, upgrading a Wi-Fi router isn’t usually top of the list for most users.

Solution: If you can afford the outlay, upgrade to an 802.11ax router. You’re future-proofing your home network for the next generation of wireless devices that will inevitably enter your home—even with ax’s successor, 802.11be, on the horizon.

However, an 802.11ac router will keep your home network online for at least another decade, so don’t sweat it too much. (Some of the 802.11ax router prices are eye-watering!)

Your Wi-Fi signal suffers when you put it under the stairs. Or in a cupboard or behind a lump of steel wrapped in aluminum foil. Seriously, router placement is important when considering how to extend your Wi-Fi range. Placing your router behind a large solid object is a surefire way to cut your Wi-Fi range down.

The best location tends to be a hallway, central to your house, so that the Wi-Fi signal broadcasts evenly. Of course, that isn’t always possible.

Solution: Move your router to a location clear of clutter, large objects, and other items that can block your Wi-Fi signal. Consider using longer cables to move your router from its current position, if possible.

3. Switch to Wireless Mesh for Greater Wi-Fi Coverage

A wireless mesh network is an excellent way to ensure consistent Wi-Fi signal throughout your home. Mesh Wi-Fi typically uses more than one network device to cover your entire home (or office, etc. ) with consistent Wi-Fi signal. This results in the same signal in your downstairs hallway as your upstairs bathroom, and so on.

Unlike a Wi-Fi signal range extender which creates another extended network, the mesh network uses a single unified wireless network. Mesh networks have long been used in shopping malls, sporting events, festivals, and so on. But in the last few years, mesh Wi-Fi technology has come into the home.

Wireless mesh networks make it easy to extend, too. Instead of having to spend time configuring a Wi-Fi extender or booster, most wireless mesh network devices connect almost instantaneously to the existing network. In that, wireless mesh networks are an excellent choice for a variety of Wi-Fi range extension situations.

Mesh Wi-Fi kits come in a range of prices, typically varying depending on coverage, throughput, and the number of bases required to bathe your home in glorious Wi-Fi.

Solution: Consider upgrading to a wireless mesh network to drastically increase the consistency of your home network.

4. Upgrade Your Wi-Fi Antennas and Receivers

Your router has an antenna to broadcast Wi-Fi throughout your home. Tying into the section above on upgrading to a router using 802.11ac, you should consider upgrading your antennas, too. There are several clear positives to installing better antennas:

  • Increased broadcast range: The prospect of an increase to your Wi-Fi broadcast range is one of the most alluring benefits of a high-gain router. Hitting every room in your house with Wi-Fi from a single router sounds like a great idea.
  • Broadcast control: A high-gain omnidirectional antenna replaced with a directional antenna grants precise control over your Wi-Fi broadcast direction.
  • Faster Wi-Fi speed: On top of the broadcast range increase, you get a potential boost to overall throughput for better efficiency.

Upgrading the antenna on your router is an easy and quick method to boost your Wi-Fi signal.

Solution: Check your router compatibility and determine which antennas are suitable for your network device.

Upgrade Your Wi-Fi Receivers

If you have a device using a plug-in receiver, you can upgrade this. For instance, if you have a desktop using a Wi-Fi dongle to connect to the internet, make sure it uses at least 802.11ac. If the receiver on your device is old, you will notice a slower Wi-Fi speed.

Solution: Double-check any Wi-Fi receiver for its wireless standard. If it isn’t up to standard—at least 802.11ac—it is time for an upgrade.

5. Use a Wi-Fi Extender (AKA Repeaters)

If you have a modern 802.11ac router, but Wi-Fi signal is still an issue, you can use a wireless extender. Wireless extenders let you extend your Wi-Fi range throughout your home without worrying about additional cables or complicated networking. For the most part, Wi-Fi extenders are plug-and-play, though this does vary according to model.

Perhaps the most straightforward option is a powerline Wi-Fi extender. Powerline adapters plug directly into your existing power outlet. You connect a separate plug near your router and connect the two using an Ethernet cable. You then place another adapter where you need to increase your Wi-Fi signal, and voila, you have Wi-Fi in every room, on every floor.

Powerline adapters, however, are only as good as the electrical wiring in your house. If you have a particularly old home, a powerline Wi-Fi extender might not offer the signal boost you want. Here are some of the differences between a Wi-Fi extender and a powerline adapter.

Solution: Consider how old the wiring in your home is. If it is very old, a dual-band Wi-Fi extender is a great Wi-Fi signal-boosting option. Otherwise, check out powerline adapters that also feature dual-band Wi-Fi. (As a bonus, powerline adapters have Gigabit Ethernet ports, too!)

6. Make a DIY Wi-Fi Antenna Booster

Another simple but effective solution is the DIY Wi-Fi antenna booster. You can quickly and easily knock-up a DIY Wi-Fi signal booster using hardware found around your home. Don’t believe me?

Check out Ian Buckley’s Pringles Cantenna.

Follow his tutorial and find out how to make your own Wi-Fi signal-boosting cantenna!

The type of DIY antenna you need depends on the distance you need your signal to travel. Numerous online tutorials explain how certain types of DIY Wi-Fi signal boosters work, how you construct one, and how to tweak it for performance.

Solution: Follow Ian’s tutorial and improve your Wi-Fi signal.

7. Upgrade Your Router Firmware

One thing that could be damaging your Wi-Fi signal is faulty router firmware. Although this is somewhat unlikely, as router firmware upgrades come infrequently, it’s always best to update to the latest version of your router firmware where possible. A firmware upgrade may include security and bug fixes, which, if you’ve been struggling with Wi-Fi signal or connectivity, could come as a boost.

Upgrading your router firmware is a relatively simple process, and there are also numerous custom router firmware options to choose from.

Solution: Look up your router model, and find out if there is a firmware upgrade available. If there is, install it.

8. Change Your Wi-Fi Channel

Your Wi-Fi signal is also affected by the Wi-Fi channel your router uses. You see, your router likely broadcasts on two bands: 2.4GHz and 5GHz. Within those two bands are multiple channels, some of which overlap, causing interference. Changing your router’s Wi-Fi channel can potentially boost your Wi-Fi signal by reducing interference.

Furthermore, the latest generation of Wi-Fi, 802.11ax, more commonly known as Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E, now comes with an additional 6GHz Wi-Fi band. If you can pick up a router with 6GHz Wi-Fi, you’re highly likely to be the only person on your block using the new tech, which will mean better Wi-Fi signal than ever before.

Solution: Change your router Wi-Fi channel in your router settings, setting it to a channel with less interference.

One of the above solutions should increase your Wi-Fi signal throughout your home. Some will even let you extend your Wi-Fi signal into your garage, down to your garden, and so on. Wi-Fi signal issues are a bane of modern life, so don’t sit around suffering.

How to strengthen the WiFi signal on the router? 9 effective ways

How to boost the Wi-Fi signal of the router?

Poor Wi-Fi coverage in your apartment is not the end of the world! Just learn how to boost your router’s Wi-Fi signal. Sometimes it takes very little to improve the quality of a wireless signal. Learn 9 effective ways to increase the range of your Wi-Fi router so you can surf the Internet from anywhere in your home!

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Totolink A7000r

1. Wi-Fi router – don’t hide it in a closet!

Does your Wi-Fi router have a place in the utility room? Or maybe you hid it in a closet and are surprised that Wi-Fi in your house or apartment is weak? Perhaps we should pay attention to this when it comes to increasing the coverage of our home network? This is not unusual – your router should be located in a location where the signal encounters as few obstructions as possible . Forget about the bottom of the closet, the pantry under the stairs and other such hiding places. It is best to place the router on a hill (for example, on a closet) in the central part of the apartment or house, as the signal spreads evenly around it. This may be enough to significantly improve signal quality.

2. Check the antenna settings on the router

The router’s antennas propagate the signal to the sides, so if you have a one-story apartment, one antenna will be enough. However, if you live in a two-story house or apartment and want to get a Wi-Fi signal on the first and second floors, , the best solution is to place two antennas in the router, one vertically and one horizontally, to transmit the signal up and down. This will fix the problem of poor Wi-Fi signal coverage on your laptop or smartphone.

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Antennas for wifi

3. Change the frequency to 5 GHz

Wi-Fi routers are automatically configured to operate on the 2. 4 GHz frequency. Unfortunately, this is the same frequency they use:

  • other Wi-Fi networks nearby,
  • microwave ovens (small appliances),
  • toys such as remote control cars.
  • electronic baby monitors
  • xbox consoles
  • office equipment

As a result, the signal is often interfered with by other devices. How to strengthen the signal of the router? Your best bet is to get one that can operate at 5GHz which is much less congested and the signal is more stable due to less interference. Perhaps such an action will improve our wifi signal very positively and we will get better data transfer results …

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frequency 5 GHz

4. Try other data channels

Can’t change the router’s frequency? There is another solution – manual selection of the transmission channel. Changing the data channel is very important! Usually the router chooses such a channel automatically, but if it uses a channel loaded by other networks, interference is possible. Therefore, it is worth changing the settings yourself to another, less loaded channel (usually 1 or 6).

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Frequency channels

5. Check the power of the router

Do you think that your router consumes the most energy? This is worth paying attention to, because …. not necessarily! However, some models have the ability to manually change the Wi-Fi signal strength to the best . At 2.4 GHz, the maximum power is 100 mW. Lack of power can negatively affect the increase in range, and our Wi-Fi network will become inefficient. This option can be found in the advanced settings in the administration panel. Depending on the device type, the values ​​will be as follows:

  • percent,
  • is in milliwatts,
  • are defined as “weak”, “medium” and “strong”.

6. Choose a repeater – paid but effective

  • If everything you can do for free doesn’t help and you have poor home network coverage in the future, you should consider buying a repeater .

How does a repeater work? How to choose a Wi-Fi repeater?

This is a device that receives the signal from the router, then regenerates and amplifies it to transmit at the best quality. What needs to be done so that the repeater works as efficiently as possible and at the same time amplifies the wifi signal correctly? As with a router, care must be taken to position it correctly. Repeater (wifi signal booster):

  • should not be too close to the router (preferably in the middle, between the router and the device that needs to receive the Wi-Fi signal)
  • should be placed in a place with good coverage.

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Signal amplifier

7. Choose professional access points and get the best Wi-Fi coverage in a large building

Access points, also known as Access Points , look like a router and provide wireless connectivity. Thanks to them, you can create a local area network inside a larger building, such as an enterprise or a multi-storey building. Such a device is inserted into the socket, due to which it picks up the signal and transmits it.

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Wireless Trunks

8. Mesh networks – improve your router’s Wi-Fi coverage

How to increase the range of your router’s Wi-Fi? There is a way – it’s called Mesh networking, which is a set of Wi-Fi networks that form a single system and work automatically. As you move around the house, the device automatically connects to the same network through different routers. Thus, you can not only increase the range of Wi-Fi (even in the so-called blind spots at home), but also improve its quality and eliminate interference.
You can read more about the comparison of grid systems in this article

9. Replace network card

Wi-Fi coverage and signal problems are not always related to router problems. It is also possible that the signal receiver or network card is faulty . If this one can’t handle signal reception and you are wondering how to boost the Wi-Fi signal in a laptop, you can replace it with a new one or rely on an external network card connected to a computer or laptop using a USB connection.

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usb wireless card

If you have suggestions on how to boost your WiFi signal, please visit our FORUM where you can share your thoughts.

Leszek Blaszczyk

Call us on (+48) 34 361 04 48 or write to [email protected]

How to strengthen the signal of a Wi-Fi network? Increasing the range of Wi-Fi

I decided to prepare an article with tips on strengthening the signal of a Wi-Fi network. On the Internet, there are many different articles on this topic, but in almost every article, there is a lot of unnecessary information. More precisely, a lot of recommendations for some settings that have nothing to do with increasing the radius of the Wi-Fi signal and cannot in any way affect the range of the network itself.

If we are talking about strengthening the Wi-Fi signal, then of course we have to enter exactly the coverage radius of the network itself, that is, the range of Wi-Fi. For example: we bought a router, installed it, configured it, but Wi-Fi does not catch at all in the most distant rooms, or the signal level is too weak. Or, the router is installed on the first floor (where there is a signal), and on the second floor the signal is already very weak, or not at all. A common situation faced by many, yes, I myself have come across this.

What determines the range of a Wi-Fi network? There are a lot of different factors: from the router itself (the number and strength of antennas), from the walls in your house, from the number of neighboring Wi-Fi networks, from the location of the router, some other interference, etc. Many people ask for advice on a router that for example, it will provide a stable Wi-Fi signal for a three-room apartment, a private house, etc. In such cases, it is impossible to advise anything specific. Everyone has different conditions, different walls, etc. The only thing I can advise is to approximately focus on the area of ​​\u200b\u200byour house. If you have, for example, a one-room apartment, then even an inexpensive router with one antenna with a power of 3 dBi will cope with its task without any problems. Well, if you have a house, or a bigger apartment, then take the device more expensive. Although, the price is not always an argument. I have an Asus RT-N18U router – an expensive one, three antennas, some kind of proprietary Asus function that increases the network coverage radius. So, under the same conditions, at the same distance, it shows the result not much better than that of the same D-link DIR-615/A. Which has internal antennas, and it is several times cheaper.

How to boost the Wi-Fi signal in the router settings?

If you have already bought and installed a router in your home or office, and Wi-Fi does not catch everywhere you need, then you can try to strengthen the wireless network. How to do this, we will now consider. You can amplify the signal both using the settings in the router, and using separate devices and devices.

Search and change the channel on the router. If your devices see many networks of your neighbors available for connection, then all these networks can load the channel on which your network operates, and thereby reduce the range of the network.

You can try to set some static channel in the router settings, or set it to Auto. Here you need to experiment. If you are not too lazy, then using the inSSIDer program you can find a freer channel and set it in your router settings.

I will not describe in detail, I just give you a link to the article How to find a free Wi-Fi channel and change the channel on the router? In it, I talked in detail about channels, and how to find an unloaded channel. Also, there is an instruction for changing the channel on routers from different manufacturers.

We are transferring our network to the 802.11N operating mode . As a rule, by default, on all routers, the wireless network operates in mixed mode b / g / n (11bgn mixed). If you force the router to broadcast Wi-Fi in 802.11N mode, then this can increase not only the speed, but also the Wi-Fi coverage radius (if your router has more than one antenna).

The only problem is that if you have older devices that don’t support 802.11N mode, they simply won’t see your network. If you do not have old devices, then without hesitation switch your network to n mode. It is very easy to do this. We go into the settings of the router, usually at address, or (for detailed instructions on entering the settings, see here).

In the settings, open the tab where the wireless network is configured. They are usually called like this: Wi-Fi, Wireless mode, Wireless network, Wireless, etc. Find the item there Wireless network mode (Mode) and set it to N only . That is, network operation only in N mode.

For example: changing the wireless network mode on the Asus


Save the settings and reboot the router. If you have problems connecting devices, then return the mixed mode back.

Checking the transmission power in the router settings. On some routers, it is possible to set the power level of the wireless Wi-Fi network. As far as I know, the default is maximum power. But, you can check.

In Asus routers, these settings are changed on the tab Wireless network Professional . At the very bottom, there is an item Tx power control” . There is a scale that can be adjusted as a percentage. It looks like this:

On Tp-Link routers, open the tab Wireless Wireless Advanced . Item Transmit Power allows you to adjust the signal strength. High value means maximum power.

These settings are more useful if you want to reduce the signal strength of your Wi-Fi router.

How to increase the range of a Wi-Fi network using additional devices?

Installing a repeater, or setting up a second router in amplifier mode. Of all the recommendations that you will see here, or even find on the Internet, this method is the most effective and reliable. True, you will have to spend money on a repeater.

Repeater (repeater), this is a small device that needs to be installed in a place where your Wi-Fi signal is still there, but it is no longer very strong. And the repeater will simply expand your main network, that is, “transmit” it further. I wrote about these devices in detail in the article: what is a Wi-Fi repeater (repeater), how does it work, and what does a router in repeater mode mean?

Ordinary routers can act as a repeater. Here are the instructions for setting up ZyXEL and Asus routers in repeater mode:

  • Configuring Zyxel Keenetic in repeater mode (amplifier). We use a Zyxel router to expand the Wi-Fi network
  • Configuring an Asus router as a repeater (Wi-Fi network repeater mode)

If your Wi-Fi does not “finish off” in some rooms, then installing a repeater will solve this problem. And if you have a house with several floors, then you can install a router on the first floor, and a repeater on the second. Excellent and working design.

Changing router antennas to more powerful ones. If your router has removable antennas, then you can buy more powerful ones, and thereby slightly increase the coverage of your network. Why a little? Yes, because replacing antennas usually does not give a very good result. It is, but not such as to increase the radius by several rooms. In any case, you will have to spend money on antennas. And it seems to me that it is much better to spend this money on a repeater. Yes, it will cost more, but its benefits are much greater.

If you decide to change antennas, then take powerful ones with a gain of 8 dBi. But, they are expensive, and several of these antennas will cost as a repeater.

I already wrote an article on installing and testing TP-LINK TL-ANT2408CL antennas, you can see the results.

Buying a new router, switching to 5 GHz. You can buy a more powerful, expensive router. And better, a router with support for the 5 GHz band. What is the advantage of the 5 GHz band? It is practically free, now most of all networks and other devices operate in the 2.4 GHz band. Less interference – more speed and more stable network operation.

There are some places where the 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi network practically does not work. It is buggy all the time, the connection disappears, low speed, etc. And all because there are a lot of different networks. In such cases, switching to 5 GHz solves all problems.

But network coverage in the 5 GHz band will be less compared to the 2.4 GHz band. This is a feature of the 5 GHz frequency.

Some more tips for increasing your Wi-Fi range

Select the correct location for your router. Actually, this is very good and effective advice. As a rule, everyone installs routers at the entrance, or in some distant rooms. The correct location of the router will allow you to correctly distribute the signal, thereby increasing the range of Wi-Fi.

Simply put, you need to install the router as close to the center of the house as possible. Yes, this does not always work out, since you need to lay a cable to the router, and pulling it to the middle of the house is not very convenient. But, even minor movements of the router can increase the network level in the rooms you need. And also, you need to remember that walls are the enemy of Wi-Fi networks.

Homemade amplifiers for Wi-Fi antennas. You can find many instructions that show the manufacture of amplifiers for the router. As a rule, this is ordinary foil, and cans. It turns out that if you put a sheet of foil on one side of the antenna, then the signal will bounce off it and go in the direction we need.

I think it’s all nonsense. Firstly, a cut can of beer, or a piece of foil behind the router does not look very nice, and secondly, there is practically no effect from this.