SAN ANTONIO – If you’re stuck or working from home and you have a spotty internet connection or dead zones around the house, Wi-Fi range extenders may be an affordable solution.
“We had a dead zone on the deck in my backyard where we would hang out and barbecue,” said Consumer Reports electronics tester Rich Frisco.
So, Frisco used his own home as part of Consumer Report’s testing of Wi-Fi extenders.
“After I put the extender halfway between the router and the deck, I had a really good signal out there,” he said.
Two that did well in Consumer Reports tests were the Netgear Nighthawk EX7000, which costs $90 to $140 and the TP-Link RE220 for $30.
Internet speeds from the extender may be slower than you’re used to because extenders cut speeds in half.
“Getting the most from your Wi-Fi extender relies on a lot of factors, including the speed of your internet service provider’s connection, the distance from your router to where you’re putting your Wi-Fi extender, and the areas of your home you’re trying to cover,” Frisco said.
If you’re having issues all over your home, you may need a mesh network, which is a system of two or more units that work together to blanket your home with a strong Wi-Fi signal. Many good mesh networks cost from $200 to $500.
A less expensive network recommended by Consumer Reports is the TP Link Deco Whole Home, a three-pack for $170.