7 Best WiFi Amplifiers: Your Buyer’s Guide

wifi amplifier

If your wireless router suffers from dead zones and laggy connections, then a WiFi amplifier is the easiest way to bring your home network back up to speed. This simple device acts as a WiFi signal booster for your home network, thus boosting your downstream and upstream speeds where your router cannot reach on its own. Here are our picks for the best WiFi amplifier for amping up your stream.

What Are the Best WiFi Amplifiers in 2020?

tplink wifi amplifier Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Dual Band AC750
  • Easy to install
  • 1 Gigabit LAN port
Price: $27.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
netgear wn2500rp wifi amplifier Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Dual Band N600
  • 4 LAN ports
  • Easy to install
Price: $299.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
securifi almond wifi amplifier Amazon Customer Reviews
  • 3 LAN ports
  • Built-in display
  • Versatile use
Price: $89.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
tplink powerline wifi amplifier Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Wired and wireless boosting
  • Easy to install
  • 1 Gigabit LAN port
Price: $189.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
rockspace wifi amplifier Amazon Customer Reviews
  • AC1200 Dual Band
  • Low price tag
  • 1 Gigabit LAN port
Price: $45.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
asus wifi amplifier Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Versatile use with Asus routers
  • Easy to install
  • Low price tag
Price: $29.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
wifi booster, wifi extender, wifi repeater, wifi range extender, wireless repeater, range extender Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Easy to install
  • AC750 Dual Band
  • 1 LAN port
Price: $29.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 2. Netgear N600 WN2500RP Dual Band

    Pros:
    • Dual Band N600 wireless
    • 4 LAN ports
    • Easy to install
    Cons:
    • Desktop models are bulky
    • Less customizable than a second router
    • Runs hot

    The improved range the Netgear N600 WN2500RP offers makes the difference in size well worth it. Plus, it offers 4 ethernet ports to allow hardwired devices onto your network as well.

    The WN2500RP  WiFi amplifier is an exemplary desktop amplifier, which sacrifices the compact plug design of other models for improved range and speed for your home network.

    Note that a faster range extender will not improve your signal to more than what your service provider delivers to you, but if you do have a premium wireless plan, an N600 Dual Band range extender should be enough to support most non-gigabit plans. It supports up to 600 Mbps for faster speeds.

    Though it is about the size of a router anyway, opting for an extender over a second router can mean less confusion switching between two networks within your house, or more confusing yet, figuring out how to bridge them.

    If a full-size unit meets your needs best and you currently have an AC router, you will probably want an AC Dual Band range extender that packs more punch than the WN2500RP. But for a simpler home network setup, this little range extender gets the job done.

  2. 3. Securifi Almond

    Pros:
    • 3 LAN ports
    • Built-in display
    • Versatile use
    Cons:
    • 300N wireless could be stronger
    • High price tag
    • Ethernet ports not gigabit

    The Securifi Almond is the closest thing to a smart range extender out there, with a built-in screen that eliminates the need for a convoluted web UI. The built-in menu system is simple and Securifi advertises a three-minute setup for 95% of users.

    From there, you can set the Almond up as a router, wireless bridge, access point, and of course, a range extender. You can also set it up to work with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant and display different metrics on its screensaver display.

    Some of the extra functionality of the Almond might go to waste if you are just looking for a range extender. But if you want a flexible device that can beef up your wireless network in a number of different ways, the Almond is a great pick.

  3. 5. Rock Space AC1200 WiFi Amplifier

    Pros:
    • AC1200 Dual Band
    • Low price tag
    • 1 Gigabit LAN port
    Cons:
    • Runs hot
    • Adds "_EXT" to the end of the new access point
    • Bulky design

    Rock Space doesn’t have the same brand reputation as big hitters like TP-Link and Netgear but their Rock Space AC1200 WiFi Amplifier offers powerful signal-boosting at a serious value price.

    This wall plug device matches the signal output of a Dual Band AC1200 router, making it a great choice if you need to extend wireless signal across a large space while maintaining a budget. It supports speeds up to 300Mbps for 2.4GHz and speeds up to 867Mbps for 5GHz.

    It supports one-push setup if you have a WPS router, but the alternative of programming it through a web UI isn’t too painful either. It has one Gigabit ethernet port so you can also make one wired connection to a PC or laptop that is well beyond your router’s range.

    Unfortunately, these cheaper routers tend to create extension networks rather than actually bridging the signal. But if you are going to be that specific about how you like your networks setup, then you may want to consider a more advanced network solution than this simple extender.

  4. 6. Asus RP-N12 N300 WiFi Amplifier

    Pros:
    • Versatile use with Asus routers
    • Easy to install
    • Low price tag
    Cons:
    • Access point and bridge mode only work with Asus routers
    • 300N wireless could be stronger
    • Ethernet port not Gigabit

    The Asus RP-N12 N300 WiFi Amplifier doesn’t offer much over its competition—that is, unless you have an Asus router. If you do, then this compact signal booster is an incredibly versatile networking tool.

    The RP-N12 can act as a repeater, an access point, and a media bridge when being connected to an Asus router, which gives you the flexibility to create a new network to connect to or use the name of the old one. This is extra helpful if you are trying to cast content to a smart TV that is outside of your router’s range.

    Unfortunately, this WiFi amplifier is not Dual Band and its wireless is only N300. Simply put, there are more powerful range extenders out there. That said, if you only need a slight boost and want to maintain the full customizability of your Asus router, then this is a great choice.

  5. 7. Netgear EX3700 AC750

    Pros:
    • Easy to install
    • AC750 Dual Band
    • 1 LAN port
    Cons:
    • Green LEDs are very bright
    • Default settings rename the network
    • Ethernet port is not gigabit

    Netgear’s wall-plug style EX3700 is a simple and convenient solution for spotty coverage. Its external antennas can be placed around where your signal starts to die off and they will act as a signal repeater for your WiFi.

    There is even an ethernet port on the device to offer a fast wired connection without trailing cable through the house.

    Keep in mind that because of house layouts, wall insulation, and other obstacles, you cannot easily estimate range improvement in square footage. That said, Netgear estimates about 1,000 square feet of coverage from this AC750 Dual Band WiFi amplifier.

    Device setup is simple even if your router doesn’t have the WPS button needed for the two-button setup, and the Netgear support team is incredibly helpful with any issues.

More Info

When your wireless router doesn't reach everywhere you need it to, there are only a few ways you can reliably improve signal strength. Most of the time, a WiFi amplifier is the easiest and cheapest option.

Most WiFi amplifiers are plug-and-play, only requiring you to push their WPS button and then the corresponding button on your router.

They can be placed on any electrical outlet in range of your router to act as a signal repeater and boost its range and performance in the outer reaches of your home.

If your router is already placed in the most central location that your house layout permits, then a WiFi amplifier is your next step in achieving that 50 Mbps downstream that Comcast promised you.

However, a WiFi signal booster is far from your only option, so don't pull the trigger before at least considering the other ways to boost your home network signal.

Other Options Besides WiFi Amplifiers

As previously mentioned, router placement in your home is a crucial factor in your overall signal strength. Check out these helpful router placement tips from CNet for more information on where to position your modem and router.

You can also upgrade your router, which is definitely recommended if you are still on N-band wireless. The current AC-band routers can reach gigabit speeds and have much better signal propagation to match.

If you have an older router laying around unused, you may be able to set it to "bridge mode," which allows it to act as a WiFi amplifier itself. Though, on some models, this will require custom firmware, which is a bit risky for a newbie to try.

In most cases, ethernet cable is the most cost-effective way to propagate the Internet throughout your house but this is, by definition, not wireless. Still, using ethernet to connect a router to a wireless bridge is a smart idea. There are also powerline ethernet adapters like we reviewed above.

Failing these options, you can always knock some walls down in your house. Just make sure to follow building code. Or you can do it the easy way like I started out saying.

Choosing the Right WiFi Amplifier

With all this said, it is still unwise to simply buy the most expensive WiFi amplifier and hope for the best. Instead, you should match the amplifier's signal strength to that of your router so you aren't paying for power you can't use.

If you have an AC750 router, then getting a signal booster that supports up to 1900 Mbps is overkill. However, if you have dual-band wireless, then you are doing yourself a disservice by not getting a dual-band compatible WiFi booster.

Hopefully, this drives home the importance of having an appropriate router for your Internet plan right out the gate. But since Internet plans change all the time, there's no shame in admitting you need a WiFi booster.

See Also

11 Best Gigabit Routers: Your Buyer’s Guide

5 Best Docsis 3.1 Modems: Your Buyer’s Guide

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