This week’s Co-op project opened my eyes to something: My networking knowledge sucks. Range extender: BAD!
That was one of the loudest lessons I learned digesting your suggestions for the best utility to strengthen Wi-Fi coverage in the home. We called for mesh Wi-Fi systems, range extenders, or repeaters, but alas, the most popular option by far was the Ubiquiti Unifi, which many swear is fine enough with just a single kit, and you can always add more access points:
Deploy the UniFi AC Pro AP indoors or outdoors, in wireless networks requiring maximum performance. Sporting a weatherproof design, the UniFi AC Pro AP features simultaneous, dual-band, 3x3 MIMO technology and convenient 802.3af PoE/802.3at PoE+ compatibility.
It’s certainly atop my list of devices to check out once I’m ready for my grand fiber optic overhaul, but there were many other viable choices to consider. Here’s what they are and what you said about them!
Ubiquiti Unifi | $135 | Amazon
Great suggestion, although my new installation still has issues with a few clients roaming from AP to AP. Only a few minutes to install, but a lifetime to master. The Ubiquiti AmpliFi line would be a better suggestion for non-techy folks. - scythe944
Google WiFi 2-Pack | $300 | Amazon
I lost my mind struggleing with all sorts of TP-Link routers and extenders and repeaters. Finally ponied up for Google Wifi and have never had to touch it again. If it ever dies I’ll buy the latest gen of the same system.- CodyJorge
Netgear Orbi Compact Mesh WiFi System | $175 | Amazon
Netgear’s Orbi gets my vote. It’s a mesh wireless networking system, though not a range extender or repeater. In my opinion, range extenders or repeaters should never be used, if at all possible. - mrbofus
Netgear Orbi, it’s a simple mesh system to setup and it just works. Surprisingly for a Netgear product I never have to reboot it.
There are 4 of us in my house, and we see 440mbps on the Wi-Fi of the 550mbps we’d see wired. I work from half of the week too, which involves video conferencing. - D3RON
You are buying snake oil in a repeater. Buy a mesh. I have installed the Netgear Orbi at several friends’ houses with an over-the-top Wi-Fi camera system and they all love them. Tom’s Hardware has tested different mesh systems. By the time you buy 1 or 2 extenders for $40 and have to log into each when you roam and drop your Zoom or VPN you will be asking for a better solution. Just run a speed test before and after you add the extenders. My buddy used to have to unplug and plug the extenders back in a couple of times a day. No thank you! - BigDawg
ASUS ZenWiFi AC | $330 | Amazon
I paid $50 more for this a few months ago. WiFi 6 mesh, 2-pack, dedicated backhaul—pretty great specs for the price. I used to have issues streaming in my basement family room with my router in the office on the second floor, but no more buffering. - PunditGuy
Linksys RE6300 Range Extender / Repeater | $60 | Amazon
Reason: remarkably stable and with a sensible setup menu (plays best with linksys base router, of course; just like any extender does with its same brand) - Fabian Knockwurst