Don’t Buy a Wi-Fi Extender: Buy This Instead

Don’t Buy a Wi-Fi Extender: Buy This Instead

monkey business images

Before buying a Wi-Fi extender, please seriously consider how to solve your Wi-Fi problems in a more effective way.

Why skip buying a Wi-Fi extender?

Wi-Fi extenders are, at least on paper, quite attractive. And why wouldn’t they be? Who doesn’t like an inexpensive solution to a complex problem? Fifty bucks or less to finally get Wi-Fi throughout your house or in the corner of your yard where your hammock is set up sounds like a lot.

And while, in some cases, a Wi-Fi extender can be a useful and inexpensive solution to your Wi-Fi problems, it’s very much a Band-Aid put on larger problems with your network. They introduce latency, airwave congestion, and impact overall network bandwidth and user experience.

If you want to try Wi-Fi extenders, we recommend using these best practices to ensure you get the strongest signal, and check out our guide to the best Wi-Fi extenders. But even then, we encourage you to read on and look for superior solutions. Why settle for fixing a particular problem with your Wi-Fi network when you can fix the problem and more with other methods?

What to do instead of buying a Wi-Fi extender

If Wi-Fi extenders are a Band-Aid, where does that leave you? In a position where the best solution is to fix your network coverage issues from scratch.

Let’s look at different ways to do this, starting with the solution that offers the most flexibility and improves for the most people.

Upgrade to a mesh Wi-Fi system

For the vast majority of people, but especially those in a large or sprawling home, switching to a mesh Wi-Fi system is a massive improvement in Wi-Fi technology, overall power, and coverage.

This is because too many people use very old stand-alone traditional routers and/or rely on the all-in-one Wi-Fi-router-modem combo unit their ISP gave them.

The best we can say about mesh Wi-Fi is that it delivers on the promise that Wi-Fi extenders make. You can because the system is designed to create a blanket of Wi-Fi throughout your home with individual access points specifically designed to work with each other.

You’ll enjoy a consistent network experience with the same network name throughout your home, sophisticated backhaul for fast communication, and a unified user experience with a single application or interface that controls your entire network.

Better yet, if you run into a problem where a corner of your house or garden doesn’t have the coverage you want, you don’t end up back to the question “I guess we need a Wi-Fi extender?” Band-Aid stage you were originally in. Mesh systems are, by their very nature, extensible.

Simply purchase a single additional node or multi-pack from the same company that makes your mesh system and expand as needed. You can’t mix and match between manufacturers, but all the major players in the consumer networking market like eero, Google, TP-Link, etc., support mixing and matching of hardware within their ecosystem.

That is quite attractive. Not only can it be expanded on demand, but if you end up buying the biggest and best version of your current mesh platform, you can reuse the original hardware as satellites on the fringes of your network.

Upgrade to a more powerful traditional router

While mesh systems are pretty good, and their extensibility is hard to beat (admittedly light years better than using a Wi-Fi extender to expand your network), not everyone needs a mesh system.

If you have an apartment or smaller house with a very traditional square shape, you may not need a mesh system. Instead, you might consider a stand-alone router, especially if you follow good router placement practices and locate it centrally.

Now isn’t the time to go cheap, though, because you’re putting all your Wi-Fi eggs in one basket, so to speak. Replacing a cheap Wi-Fi router with another cheap Wi-Fi router will put you right back where you started. Check out our guide to Wi-Fi routers and even consider buying a Wi-Fi 6E router.

However, given how quickly feature-packed standalone Wi-Fi routers are rising in price, unless you have a specific need for a centralized powerful piece of hardware, it’s hard to resist recommending you spend the same amount of money. in a mesh. system.

Mesh system manufacturers have relied heavily on the “just works” approach to Wi-Fi networks. Wide coverage, easy expansion, and easy-to-use apps make mesh our recommendation for friends and family looking for a super-simple Wi-Fi upgrade.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.