Recommend the best (and least expensive) wifi extender

Discussion in 'V.C.'s Parlor' started by Eddie, Jan 14, 2020 at 9:05 AM.

  1. Eddie

    Eddie Squier-Axpert

    Age:
    50
    Nov 5, 2016
    New York
    Wifi signal in my mancave is spotty at best. I ordered a wifi extender over the holidays but it was useless. Brought it back to Kohls to send back to Amazon.

    Does anyone have a good wifi extender they can recommend (with link)? I can even chain them up if needed.

    But I just want an inexpensive wifi extender that can ramp up my wifi upstairs.
     
  2. radiotech

    radiotech Dr. Squier

    Apr 23, 2014
    Chicago
    The problem with Wi-Fi extenders is that they don’t forward other devices on your network across the extended connection... so if you have a smart TV, or speaker, you will not be able to throw music or videos to it using the extender.

    for not much more than the price of a good extender, I put in this Tenda mesh system which has fully integrated all my devices... I can throw videos to any TV, or Google home speaker, Control the lights, and print from any device... Best part was I used my same SSID, and password, so I didn’t even have to change the settings on any devices (except ones added since). It did require me to delete and then re-add my printer to my windows desktop machine, but all the laptops (including a chrome book) were fine.

    Tenda Nova Whole Home Mesh WiFi System - Replaces Gigabit AC WiFi Router and Extenders, Dual Band, Works with Amazon Alexa, Built for Smart Home, Up to 3, 500 Sq. ft. Coverage (MW5 3-PK). https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07GNG6F5J/?tag=squiertalk-20
     
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  3. radiotech

    radiotech Dr. Squier

    Apr 23, 2014
    Chicago
    Oh... and my old $14 Tenda extender... works on the system to give me coverage in the back yard if I plug it in.
     
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  4. duceditor

    duceditor Squier-Axpert

    Age:
    73
    May 29, 2014
    The Monadnocks, NH USA
    Those cheap ones don't work very well. The newer ones that do aren't yet cheap.

    Centralized placement of the wireless router is the best low cost "fix." Sometimes moving it just six or ten feet can make a significant difference.

    And not all traditional wireless routers are equal, either in their total range or ability to penetrate walls and floors.

    We completely solved our wireless range problem by simply switching over from an older separate wireless router that we'd used for years to another that was built in to the network cable internet modem that we'd had for a time but not put into service (to avoid the setup hassles -- especially of all the dozen plus "Alexa" linked devices.)

    Connected to this -- a fact my very computer literate son kept telling me but that I resisted -- is that multiple wireless systems in the same local interfere in subtle ways with one-another. Thus that non-working one in that wireless-equipped router was creating problems for us. My son's suggestion to "turn it off" was unheeded simply because I did not (and still do not) know how, apart from unplugging the otherwise needed system.

    In an apartment or otherwise close living arrangement turning off that interfering 2nd (or 3rd or 4th) system is usually outside one's control, thus proximity and placement of one's wireless router is yet more critical.

    When, just a few weeks ago, our cable internet service was totally rerouted we'd suggested the installers just run the cable into the home where its house exterior connection now was to reside and that we'd move our router there. His/their response was that if we are getting full coverage that we leave it where it was -- and this despite that doing so greatly increased their work and material costs.

    The only other answer would be a $400 system they sold but that he thought we could get by without because what we had was, via placement, trouble free.

    Sorry there is no easy and cheap solution suggested there. But 'tis what it is.

    -don
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2020 at 9:31 AM
    Eddie likes this.
  5. radiotech

    radiotech Dr. Squier

    Apr 23, 2014
    Chicago
    That’s what a Mesh system solves, it creates a virtual single network across your entire house, and they don’t interfere with each other, they work with each other. My system even has a wired Ethernet port on each wireless extender so you can add remote older wired devices (even Network attached Storage) via one of the modules without having to run a cable back to your main router.

    Configures with an app on your phone, very slick, and under $100.
     
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  6. Eddie

    Eddie Squier-Axpert

    Age:
    50
    Nov 5, 2016
    New York
    This is a good deal. For the price of a Squier, I can get full wifi coverage. :)

    Me likey.
     
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  7. SubSailer671

    SubSailer671 Squier-Nut

    519
    Jul 4, 2019
    Ohio, United States
    I use the Synology Rt2600ac router with a mesh unit. It is a fantastic router, and has all of the toys embedded. The whole system is about $300-400. It is a little complex for the typical home user though.
     
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  8. AngelDeVille

    AngelDeVille Squier-Nut

    Age:
    108
    836
    Jan 29, 2017
    ABQ
    We just got the Orbi for around $300, the google nest was about $350.

    I have 2 cheap extenders sitting in a drawer, they suck on a good day.
     
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  9. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Squier-holic

    Another option is to get a cheap wireless access point and run an ethernet cable to it. You can set the SSID, type of encryption, and password to match your original router and devices will choose the stronger signal as needed. I did that here and it works very well for the $20 or so the cheap access point cost. You just have to be willing to run that one cable.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2020 at 11:10 AM
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  10. Eddie

    Eddie Squier-Axpert

    Age:
    50
    Nov 5, 2016
    New York
    This is a possibility. The router set up is in the back room (computer room). My daughters' room is above. If I drill a hole into the ceiling/floor, this could work. :)
     
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  11. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Squier-holic

    Sometimes you can sneak through without drilling if you can find something like an air duct or fixture in a wall or ceiling you can go in and snake up through, coming out at the other end a similar way.
     
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  12. Uncle Joe

    Uncle Joe Squier-Meister

    Age:
    57
    296
    Dec 18, 2015
    Jersey
    Linksys Velop 3 pack $229 at Best Buy really did the trick for me. I just hooked it up on New Year's Day and now I'm fairly certain Google could operate their Eastern offices out of my basement. Maybe an exaggeration. But I'm very happy.

    I doubled the speed of my five year old router and added a new HP printer that works with Chromebooks. Very happy that I waited 20 minutes to talk to the young expert at Best Buy who took into account my cable service, speed out of the modem, old router, and home layout. You make me feel so young! Who would've thought that my house rocks? That's what my kids and their WiFi mooching friends say.
     
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