As the novel coronavirus (formally known as COVID-19) continues to ravage the planet, it’s sending more and more people home to work. That is why it’s imperative to ensure your home office is fully operational, starting with your Wi-Fi network. If there are several dead zones in your home, it’s best to purchase a Wi-Fi extender, a small gizmo that pushes your signal farther than your router can. Below are a couple of the best Wi-Fi extender deals available right now, starting at just $35 for a reputable model from Netgear.
– $35, was $47
The Netgear EX3700 Wi-Fi extender (AC750) offers an excellent range boost and comes at a very low price, perfect for people who can’t afford a premium mesh router. Right now, you can get it on Amazon for just $35 instead of $47, a cool $12 worth of savings. Although it cuts a few corners in terms of design and sturdiness and is completely devoid of features, it does what it’s supposed to do extremely well.
This Wi-Fi extender resembles a cube-like AC power adapter with two antennas sticking out of its sides. On the front are the Router, Device, Power, and WPS status light indicators. On the left side is a factory reset button that’s ridiculously easy to push. Be careful not to push it by accident, especially once you’ve already finished setting it up and transferring it to another room.
Speaking of set-up, the browser-based configuration procedure is simple and efficient. All you need to do is plug the EX3700 into a power outlet in the same room as the router. You can move it later to the room that needs the boosted signal. Once the light indicator for Power has turned green, you can begin setup. Just open a browser and go to the “www.mywifiext.net” setup page and hit “New Extender Setup.” Log in, follow the instructions, and voila! The EX3700 should be up and running in no time. Still too complicated? If your router has a WPS button, just press it and immediately press the same button on the extender. They’ll communicate with each other and set everything up in roughly three minutes.
Netgear claims that the EX3700 can handle throughput at 433Mbps for its 5GHz band, and up to 300Mbps on the 2.4GHz band. Theoretically, it can hit 750Mbps, provided your internet provider can support it. During our test, we connected several devices to the network simultaneously and found the signal remained strong and reliable throughout the day. You can move the EX3700 as far as 80 feet from the router and the signal won’t waver. And if you’ve got a TV or game console, you can connect them to the Ethernet port at the back of the EX3700 for an even more solid connection.
The Netgear EX3700 Wi-Fi extender is pretty barebones in the features department, but if all you need is a strong connection in a dead zone, you won’t find a better value for your money. Get it for just $35 on Amazon today.
– $57, was $100
The TP-Link AC1750 is a superb Wi-Fi extender that offers solid throughput speeds and signal range. Moreover, it’s very easy to install. It is a little bulky, though, and lacks a pass-through outlet, so it will block access to the second outlet in a two-outlet receptacle. If that’s something you can live with, this is an excellent range extender to consider buying. Best of all, it comes at a relatively affordable price. Normally retailing for $100, you can get it on Amazon for just $57, a huge $43 off.
As mentioned, the TP-Link AC1750 is bulky and thick — as big as a 6.5-inch smartphone and even wider. On its front, you’ll find a large RE/WPS button for instant and easy setup (more on that later). Below this button are 2.4GHz- and 5GHz-band status indicators and a Power indicator. On the left side, you’ll find the Power and reset buttons. On the right side is a single Ethernet port and on the rear is the two-pronged plug.
Setting up the AC1750 is a cinch. Just like the Netgear EX3700, there are two ways to configure it. The WPS option is preferable, of course. All you need to do is press the WPS button on your router and then the RE/WPS button on the AC1750. A blinking blue light indicates that they’re communicating and once it turns solid blue, you can then move it to the dead spot in your home. If the LED light turns red, you have to plug the extender to an outlet closer to your router.
The AC1750’s performance exceeded our expectations. During our test, it was able to broadcast a maximum data rate of 450Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and 1,300Mbps on the 5GHz band and maintained a strong and stable connection in a 2,000 square feet radius.
Despite its bulk, the TP-Link AC1750 is a fantastic choice if you’re looking to extend the reach of your wireless network. It’s a breeze to install, offers solid throughput speeds, and performed spectacularly on our range test. Get it on Amazon today for just $57.
Digital Trends may earn commission on products purchased through our links, which supports the work we do for our readers.
- The best wireless routers for 2020
- The best routers for gaming in 2020
- The best Wi-Fi 6 routers
- Is Wi-Fi too unreliable? Powerline networking may be what you need
- These are the best cheap wireless router deals for October 2020