Constantly losing your Wi-Fi signal as you go about your house is a bother. Fortunately, Wi-Fi extenders make life so much more convenient by bringing connectivity to even the most obscure areas of a house. Although these nifty little devices do help with connectivity to a certain extent, shopping for them can be a complicated affair.

Wireless routers nowadays have impressive ranges. But building materials such as concrete and piping interfere with their signals – reducing signal strength. A Wi-Fi extender is used to boost/provide Wi-Fi connectivity to areas that aren’t covered by your router.

As with all gadgets, buying a suitable Wi-Fi extender isn’t as straightforward as it may seem at first. We have attempted to simplify this process by arming you with two things –

  1. Stuff you need to know before picking out a Wi-Fi extender
  2. A handy list featuring the best Wi-Fi extenders in the UK

The two major things you should keep in mind when looking for a wifi range extender:

Dual or single band?

Dual band extenders are no longer a rarity in the market, so it is important to understand the differences between the frequencies they offer. Most extenders, like Wi-Fi routers, offer two frequencies – 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz.

The 5 GHz band is substantially faster than the 2.4 GHz band, but it comes with the disadvantage of having a shorter range.

However, the 2.4 GHz band is by far the most common, and is used by a plethora of household devices including garage door openers and microwaves. Hence, the interference caused by so many devices almost negates the range advantage that the 2.4 GHz has. On the other hand, since 5 GHz is a relatively newer band, it is not as crowded. Moreover, 5 GHz also has 23 channels compared to the 2.4 GHz band’s 11 – allowing more traffic without disruptions.

Hence, if you plan on gaming or have multiple family members streaming and downloading stuff off the internet, a dual-band extender is the way to go. On the flipside, if you don’t have that many 5 GHz compatible devices or don’t plan to use its advantages at all, a single band 2.4 GHz extender is fine.

Ethernet Ports

Some Wi-Fi extenders come with inbuilt Ethernet ports. This is a nifty feature for those who want a wired(ish) connection that offers reliability and minimal latency. Pay attention to the type of Ethernet port built into the Extender. As of now, there are Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet options in the market. For getting speeds over 100 Mbps, you will need an extender with the Gigabit Ethernet port.

Best Wifi Range Extenders in the UK for 2017

TP-Link RE650

TP-Link RE650

This Wi-Fi extender might seem overwhelming at first with its four antennae. However, these antennae ensure the proper dispersion and reception of wireless signals to and from the device, ensuring you have a stable connection across the house.

The TP-Link RE650 is a robust dual band Wi-Fi extender – boasting speeds of 800 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz spectrum and 1733 MHz on the 5 GHz spectrum. It also supports MU-MIMO technology (Multi-User, Multiple Inputs, Multiple Output technology). This allows communication with multiple devices simultaneously, improving responsiveness and reducing latency.  

Specifications –  

  • Ethernet Ports: 1 (Gigabit 10/100/1000)
  • Dual Band: Yes
  • Speeds: AC2600 (2600 Mbit/s both bands combined)
  • Mu-MIMO Enabled: Yes
  • Antennae: 4
  • Warranty: 2 Years
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Netgear AC1200 EX-6150

Netgear AC1200 EX-6150

This Wi-Fi extender is a solid dual-band offering from Netgear. Although it isn’t the fastest one available on the market, it is a reliable device to enjoy reasonably high speeds and great features.

It is a more compact option compared to the TP-Link Extender featured above. In fact, Netgear advertises it as the smallest AC1200 wall-plug extender in the world. The AC1200 EX-6120 comes with FastLane technology that limits signals to one band at a time – ideal for bandwidth heavy uses like gaming, streaming, downloading from multiple devices. Essentially, it connects to the router using one band, and disperses Wi-Fi using the other.

Specifications –

  • Ethernet Ports: 1 (Gigabit 10/100/1000)
  • Dual Band: Yes
  • Speeds: AC1200 (1200 Mbit/s both bands combined)
  • MU-MIMO Enabled: No
  • Antennae: 2
  • Warranty: 1 Year
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Linksys AC1200 RE6500

Linksys AC1200 RE6500

Another dual-band extender, this time from Linksys. This extender is very similar to the Netgear extender, barring one stark visual difference – this is bigger and isn’t a simple plug design. It looks exactly like a wireless router, which may or may not be a downside for some people.

However, this size has its advantages as it accommodates an AUX port for music, a WPS button, and four Gigabit Ethernet ports. The Extender also supports Linksys’ Crossband Technology – allowing the dual wireless bands to receive information on one band and transmit on the other.

Specifications –

  • Ethernet Ports: 4 (Gigabit 10/100/1000)
  • Dual Band: Yes
  • Speeds: AC1200 (1200 Mbit/s both bands combined)
  • MU-MIMO Enabled: No
  • Antennae: 2
  • Warranty: 2 Years
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Netgear Mini N300 EX2700 (Best Bargain)

Netgear Mini N300 EX2700

This Wi-Fi extender is the best-seller in its category in the UK – for good reason too. It just works. Although this compact device doesn’t offer much in the way of fancy features and speeds, it comes with a relatively miniscule price tag that makes it worth every penny.

The Netgear Mini N300 EX2700 is the perfect solution for those who want to extend their Wi-Fi coverage to remain connected and do some light browsing, etc. Don’t expect it to keep up with bandwidth-heavy tasks though.

Specifications –

  • Ethernet Ports: 1 (Fast 10/100)
  • Dual Band: No (Only 2.4 GHz)
  • Speeds: N300 (300 Mbit/s)
  • MU-MIMO Enabled: No
  • Antennae: 2
  • Warranty: 2 Years
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Urant Wi-Fi Range Extender

Urant Wi-Fi Range Extender

Although it doesn’t come with a big brand name attached to it, this Urant single-band Wi-Fi extender is a great budget option for those who just want to extend their Wi-Fi signal for normal, light use. Yes, this plug-in wireless extender won’t win any design or feature awards, but it is a reliable extender – especially when you consider its price.

However, it doesn’t have an external antenna, which reduces transmission and reception flexibility.

Specifications –

  • Ethernet Ports: 1 (Fast 10/100)
  • Dual Band: No (Only 2.4 GHz)
  • Speeds: N300 (300 Mbit/s)
  • MU-MIMO Enabled: No
  • Antennae: 2 (internal)
  • Warranty: No official declaration (that we could unearth)
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