If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, Rolling Stone may receive an affiliate commission.
More people are working from home now than ever, which means that a reliable and unbroken internet connection is a necessity. Even if you have a great ISP and new router, WiFi can still be spotty throughout the house. Luckily, there’s a simple remedy to this problem: the best outlet WiFi extenders, which instantly turn any outlet into a beacon of internet, sending a strong signal where you could barely get any before.
Buying Guide: What to Know About Outlet WiFi Extenders
Here’s what to know when buying an outlet WiFi extender, along with our favorites that we tested.
Devices: For one or two people, the best WiFi extenders can usually handle enough connected devices around the house without issue. But for bigger groups like families and dorms, make sure it has the capacity to include all the gadgets everybody will need to connect. Ten devices is on the lower side, while 30 devices should be enough for a multiple people.
Connection: You’ll also want to check if you have 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz WiFi. While many extenders can support both connections, it’s always good to make sure, since an extender that can’t handle your bandwidth is pretty useless. As far as speed, getting up to around a total speed of 1200Mbps is going to be enough to take on a normal amount of usage that a person needs for work and browsing (though we suggest going higher for gaming). Antennas are important too. They help send out the strong signals you need to reach your devices. Having one on a hinge you can rotate lets you point it in the direction that gives off the strongest connection. If you want the option of making these into an access point, go for one that lets you wire it up via an Ethernet cable port.
Distance: Even without walls and obstacles, every extender has its limits. Take note of how big your house is, as these typically cover about 1500-3000 square feet, give or take.
Extras: Having features like heat dissipation and an over-voltage detector will make sure to keep the unit cool when under heavy stress, and LED indicators are a clear sign that everything is working as it should be (or not). These work well with the most common routers, meaning that “dead zones” may finally be dead for good.
What Are the Best Outlet WiFi Extenders?
Ready to boost your WiFi signal? These devices can help upgrade your connection.
1. Rockspace Wireless Signal Booster
This is ideal for houses that have thick walls and cement floors, and it can handle up to 25 devices. Setup is delightfully simple, taking about three minutes total. In our testing, the result was instantly noticeable on things like gaming and streaming movies, with far less buffering, loading, and lag. And at just 6.1 ounces, it won’t weigh down your outlet either.
2. TP-Link AC1900 WiFi Extender
TP-Link’s gear has always been reliable and simple to set up, and the AC1900 continues that trend. Plug this in and you’ll get coverage up to 2,800 square feet for 35 devices at high speeds. The three external antennas boost the signal in all directions, and an Ethernet port gives you the option of wiring it up too.
3. Netgear WiFi Range Extender
Netgear’s small extender cranks out coverage up to 1,500 square feet for 25 devices, plenty for most dorms and city apartments. Any wireless router or cable modem will work with this, and it’s compact enough so it won’t block any other outlets above it.
4. Meraki Go
This extender covers a wide range, which makes it ideal for a small office or business. Setup takes less than 10 minutes, with a clear and intuitive interface to help guide you along the way. You’ll also be able to manage this via the cloud, so you won’t have to be on-site to see which devices are connected to it. There’s even the option to set up a landing page for your guests and add multiple admins without a subscription required.