Best WiFi Extenders in Canada (2020 Reviews)


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Quick overview

Does your WiFi connection have you constantly pulling your hair out as you wait for your stream to buffer, or the connection keeps dropping as you walk in and out of dead zones? If so, then a WiFi extender can help.

A WiFi extender increases the distance and strength of a wireless internet connection by thousands of square feet from your where your router is in order to cover your entire home or work space with a reliable connection so you can game on the other side of your house without fear of being disconnected or stream shows in HD in your backyard workshop.

Best WiFi extenders of 2020

Our research

20

Research Sources

10

Products Evaluated

147k

Reviews Considered

16

Hours of Research

Best WiFi extenders comparison

NetGear EX7000NetGear EX6120TP-Link RE450TP-Link RE200
Best forOfficeHomeOverallAffordable
Coverage (up to sq. ft)10,0001,20010,0002,000
WiFi bandsDual band – 2.4 & 5 GHzDual band – 2.4 & 5 GHzDual band – 2.4 & 5 GHzDual band – 2.4 & 5 GHz
Ethernet ports5 – 10/100/10001 – 10/1001 – 10/100/10001 – 10/100
WiFi performance (Mbps)AC1900AC1200AC1750AC750
Warranty1 year1 year2 year2 year
Technical support90 days chat/phone90 days chat/phoneLive chat/emailLive chat/email
Total reviews3,28137,41452,74754,439
Aggregate rating4.33.93.93.9

Our pick for best overall – TP-Link RE450

  • Coverage: Up to 10,000 sq. ft
  • Bands:  Dual band – 802.11 b/g/n 2.4 GHz,& 802.11 ac/n/a 5 GHz
  • Performance: AC1750 2.4 GHz (450Mbps), 5 GHz (1300Mbps)
  • Ethernet ports: 1 – 10/100/1000Mbps

Pros

  • Easy setup 
  • Out performed products at similar, and greater, prices
  • Compatible with all standard routers

Cons

  • Bulky 
  • No pass through outlet

Coverage

The RE450 provides very large coverage. It’s one of the few extenders that can match the NetGear EX7000’s 10,000 sq. ft – at almost half the price and less than half the size as it is plug-in sized rather than router sized.

Performance

Reaching speeds of 450Mbps on the 2.4GHz and 1,300Mbps on the 5GHz band, the RE450 outperforms many other extenders. It is able to pump out strong speeds that continue to impress reviewers everywhere, and make them consider the necessity of other more expensive extenders.

The light on the front indicates current connection strength by color (blue = good, red = bad) so you can easily find the perfect place to plug it in to maximize coverage.

Setup

Compared to NetGear products, the setup for the RE450 is a breeze as it is compatible with any router or access point. By simply plugging the extender in within range of your router and pressing the WPS button and wait for it to show blue. After that you’re done. If you run into trouble, TP-Link provides live chat and email support should you need it.

If you don’t have a router that is WPS compatible, you can easily setup your network by connecting to the extenders SSID (the technical way of saying network name) with your laptop or wireless device. Then go to http://tplinkrepeater.net which will take you to a Quick Setup menu that shows you all networks you are able to extend, and a list of adjustable settings.

You can also manage your WiFi’s settings, scheduling and guest privileges through TP-Link’s Tether app for both Android and iOS.

Value

TP-Link is one of the most popular brands in WiFi and the RE450’s sleek design, unobtrusive form factor and effortless setup process all for a reasonable price make it our pick for the best WiFi extender available in Canada.

Best for office – NetGear Nighthawk EX7000

  • Coverage: Up to 10,000 sq. ft
  • Bands: Dual band – 802.11 b/g/n 2.4 GHz,& 802.11 ac/n/a 5 GHz
  • Performance: AC1900 2.4 GHz (600Mbps), 5 GHz (1300Mbps)
  • Ethernet ports: 5 – 10/100/1000Mbps

Pros

  • Easy setup
  • Multiple ethernet ports
  • Compatible with all standard routers

Cons

  • Best used with other NetGear products
  • Creates a separate signal to connect to
  • Expensive

Coverage

With coverage of up to 10,000 sq. ft, the EX7000 can extend the edge of your current WiFi zone by an additional 2,100 feet, the most of any option on this list. A massive range like this is perfect for the offices of a small or medium-sized business (SMB), covering every nook and cranny of home through multiple obstructions to eliminate dead zones or reaching to an outdoor device such as a security camera with a reliable connection.

Performance

This extender has the highest available throughput speeds on our list of 1900Mbps (600Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and 1300Mbps on the 5GHz band), and not many competitors can match that for the price point.

The 3 fully directable antennas help increase the effective range (available speed & reliability at a given distance) for up to 35 connected devices. There are also 5 1Gbps ethernet ports for connecting wired devices such as streaming devices, smart TVs and game consoles which ensure that the last segment of the connection stays fast and low-latency.

Setup

Setup for the Nighthawk is relatively easy. With a WPS (Wireless Protected Setup) button, dropping and connecting to networks couldn’t be easier. Though some inconveniences like the need to create an account before being able to set up the device, and the creation of a separate network name, can make initial setup more time consuming than other options.

Value

The Nighthawk is a top dog in its field, and none of the options on this list are able to compare to it across all criteria. With that being said, the requirements of your situation depict the true value of this extender. With a hefty price tag, and the necessity of other NetGear products, for someone with limited space, due to the larger size, or if you are looking to just boost your speeds in the basement, this may be a bit overkill.

Most affordable – TP-Link RE200

  • Coverage: Up to 2,000 sq. ft
  • Bands:  Dual band – 802.11 b/g/n 2.4 GHz,& 802.11 ac/n/a 5 GHz
  • Performance: AC750 2.4 GHz (300Mbps), 5 GHz (450Mbps)
  • Ethernet ports: 1 – 10/100Mbps

Pros

  • Easy setup
  • Affordable
  • Compatible with all standard routers

Cons

  • Slow ethernet port
  • Maximum speeds when paired with a compatible TP-link router
  • Struggles to extend 5GHz band

Coverage

This is a perfect extender for someone that is trying to rid their home of pesky dead spots that can come out of nowhere and will bother you like a toothache until you get yourself a replacement like this one. While the range is not the worst to appear on this list, it is not recommended to use this extender for mass area coverage, it is very much meant for merely continuing the connection from room to room. 

Performance

The RE200 is able to push admirable speeds, up to 300Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and 450Mbps on the 5GHz band, for such a low price. At close proximity the RE200 was able to get up to speeds that were comparable to that of models like the NightHawk and even the RE450. Though at distances of 25ft and up speeds significantly began to drop off, but for something so cheap, it seems like a minor inconvenience.

Setup

It seems that TP-Link has simplified setup on many of their devices. Just like on the RE450, you just simply go to http://tplinkrepeater.net, after connecting to your extender SSID, and you will be able to link your devices freely. You will also have the option to change names and adjust settings if you would ever need to do so.

Value

You cannot argue that for the speeds and coverage, $29.99 is an excellent deal. If you are looking for a quick fix without breaking the bank, this is the route to take. That said, it is in fact arguable that the big brother to the RE200, the RE450, is a steep improvement over the 200, and the $50 price difference could be justified with improved speeds and a longer life.

Best for home – NetGear EX6120

  • Coverage: Up to 1200 sq. ft
  • Bands:  Dual band – 802.11 b/g/n 2.4 GHz,& 802.11 ac/n/a 5 GHz
  • Performance: AC1200 2.4 GHz (300Mbps), 5 GHz (900Mbps)
  • Ethernet Ports: 1 – 10/100/1000Mbps 

Pros

  • Easy setup
  • Compact
  • Compatible with all standard routers

Cons

  • Only one ethernet port
  • Limited 90 days of support

Coverage

With only a range of 1,200 sq. ft, the EX6120 comes in with one of the lowest out of the list.

This lower coverage does not necessarily mean that it is objectively the worst out there, or even close to it. The EX6120 is still able to give you the extra 35 ft.of range, which is perfect for filling small gaps in the connection across your home. 

Performance

The EX6120 uses AC1200 technology and will max out at around 300Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and 900Mbps on the 5GHz band. These speeds are more than good enough for quick and smooth streaming speeds and similar downloads.

Setup

Like other NetGear products, the EX6120 requires you to create an account on “mywifiext.net” where you will have full access to the extender control panel and adjust what connection to extend and the wireless name. With its small design and pass-through outlet, the EX6120 can effectively go anywhere in your home with an accessible outlet.

Value

While the Nighthawk and the RE450 dominate this list, the EX6120 is still a necessity for the right person. The lacking coverage can cause issues while trying to cover large areas, but consistent speeds creates an even connection area that fills any noticeable dead spots.

Bottom line

NetGear EX7000NetGear EX6120TP-Link RE450TP-Link RE200
Coverage4.544.54.2
Performance4.74.24.64.3
Setup4.34.34.64.6
Value4.444.54.1
Cansumer Rating4.54.14.64.3

What to consider when looking for a WiFi extender

Coverage

If you’re reading this, then you already know the importance of good Wifi coverage, and how infuriating it can be to deal with repaircrews and technicians telling you the same thing over and over, all while you aren’t getting the WiFi range that you’re paying for. 

When looking for an extender, you don’t want to focus completely on the speeds that it can output. If you are trying to fill out dead zones, you also need to consider how much farther you are able to push your connection. In order to find what you’re looking for, it is recommended to use your device to figure out where your base connection seems to drop off, so that you are able to determine not only where the placement of an extender would be, but also more specifically the strength of the extender you need to cover from that point, so you don’t end up buying something over excessive or not strong enough.

Performance

It’s one thing to be able to connect to your router from wherever you want, but it is equally important to consider the strength and speed that the extender you’re looking for will need to be able to achieve. 

A lot of times when people purchase gadgets like this, they are tricked into thinking that a certain product is “the best” based on the potential speeds and compatibility, but the fact of the matter is that it is fully possible to purchase something that will not fit under your requirements, and in the long run will be a waste. 

An extender’s output is completely limited by that of your current router. If you have a router that is capable of up to 1Gbps (1000Mbps) and your new extender maxes out at 500Mbps, then you will only be taking advantage of half of the potential output power of your router. While you may increase its range, you will ultimately be left in the same position that you were before the purchase, wishing for better performance. 

The same goes for something that is too strong for your current setup. Having an extender that is made for a router more powerful than what you have, will certainly improve any connection issues that you’ve been having, but will leave you with a massive dent in your pocket, and the real ones that benefit are your neighbours that now have a great free WiFi connection.

Setup

Sometimes setting up new tech can be super confusing and exhausting. With incoherent instructions and an overabundance of antennas you can be left asking yourself how hard it would really be to live without WiFi. Very hard. You want to look for something that is a quick and easy setup so there are no fears of needing to hire help or a replacement. 

With companies making additions to their products to improve the ease of use, we are seeing more and more extenders accompanied by WPS (Wireless Protected Setup), to make connecting to your existing network as easy as pushing a button, and super basic control panel apps, so you can adjust the exact settings of your extender from any of your devices. Having an optimised setup will not only save you time and effort, but it will save you from making unnecessary mistakes that could potentially lead to a second purchase of something more simple.

Value

There are a lot of different brands and models out there for you to get lost in when on your search, but there are a few things you have to keep in mind. You have to have a knowledge of the issue that you are trying to resolve, in terms of the space you are trying to cover, and also the speeds you want to achieve. A lot of times WiFi extenders don’t get too expensive, so don’t be tricked into a good deal or flashy but confusing descriptions.

How does a WiFi extender work?

The purpose of a WiFi extender is to amplify the already existing signal and further the circle of coverage. Some WiFi boosters require a direct wired connection to a functioning router, and others use built in signal transmitters and antennas so that they can be plugged into any wall outlet between your router and where you are trying to increase connection. But wireless or not, a quality extender will find, replicate, and amplify the signal strength to fill out every corner of every room, and keep your speeds fast and consistent.

What WiFi extender is right for you?

At the office 

You are looking for something that is going to give you consistent coverage over a large area, while allowing lots of space for multiple users and devices.  

NetGear Nighthawk EX7000

Streamer

If you’re on your seventh hour of straight Netflix, or just trying to get the family together for a movie night, you’re looking for something that is going to give you strong speeds from any point in your home.

TP-Link RE200

Gamer

There’s nothing worse than dropping your connection mid game, and as a gamer you look for the products that are going to serve you best. Something that’s quick to set up, so you don’t waste any gaming time, and something that will give you the best speeds from a close range.

TP-Link RE450

How do I know what extender I need?

Like the purchase of, arguably, anything else, the decision is heavily based on the requirements of your situation. Many of the extenders that are available, while they seem like they are the perfect answer to your problem, can vary in compatibility and usefulness. For example, something like the NightHawk would be an expensive purchase for sure, but if you have a large area where it is crucial to keep a consistent connection, like an office space or hospital, the extended coverage becomes worth the price. At the same time in order to get the best range and performance out of this extender, it must be paired with other NetGear products. And NetGear are not the only ones to do this. With the increasing complexity of the hardware, which goes into these extenders, some companies will attempt to increase a level of exclusivity with their products to remain independent and influence buyers to maintain a certain commitment to them.

If you are ever in doubt of which to lean towards, or you are just unsure of the needed specifications, I would recommend going for something marked as universal. These extenders are made to be fully compatible with any current router and perform to the max of its abilities with your current setup.

Extender or repeater?

Many people get caught up trying to choose if they should go for the extender or the repeater to solve their connection issues, but fail to realise that they might be looking for the same thing. Initially there was a more distinct difference between the two that would majorly affect the outcome of the installation, but that line has faded, as more companies are beginning to close the gap and produce all-one-products to serve every person’s needs.

In technical terms an “extender” refers to a device that is hard wired to your router, and would simply amplify the signal being outputted from that location, whereas an “repeater” would include the wireless technology that replicates the incoming signal and extends that same signal further. But now “extender” seems to be the more used term, as newer models are being designed, they are being fitted with the hardware that would allow them to perform as a hard wired extender or something wireless, which can amplify your wifi signal just from being plugged into an outlet.

What is a mesh-based WiFi System?

A mesh-based WiFi system is supposed to replace the traditional router-extender setup, by replacing it with multiple identical units that are spread evenly throughout your home. 

You are able to somewhat reach the same effect with an abundance of extenders throughout your house in the same fashion, which can get expensive, but the extenders are more susceptible to drops in speeds due to convenience faults like the automatic creation of a  second SSID that your device will switch to as you go out of range. This means that you will stay connected to one until the signal drops and then will switch, so sometimes when within range of a stronger connection, you will be functioning on the weaker until you are out of range of the latter.

With a mesh based system, all of the units spread throughout your home are connected directly to your modem so that each unit will be broadcasting under the same SSID. 

To help visualize, it would be the same as playing music in one room and picking it up through a mic in another (eg. extender setup), or simply just having a speaker in every room playing the same song (eg. mesh setup).

What to read next

Over to you

We’re interested to know – how is the wifi connectivity in your home or office? Are there any dead zones? What router do you have?

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