WiFi Booster: The Best Wi-Fi Extenders in Canada
Before switching your internet provider or buying a new wireless router, you might want to postpone that expense and buy a WiFi extender. Such a device could be purchased for under $100 and perhaps solve your WiFi coverage problem.
Since most office workers switched to home offices, conference calls became an integral part of daily work routine. With such drastic changes, it’s no wonder that WiFi connection interruptions turned into a real issue. If we also consider how many devices connect to the main router when every family member is at home, things get even uglier. As a result, our online meetings may be affected by a slow internet connection.
The way a range extender works is that it connects to your main WiFi network and expands the signal, bringing a stronger connection to those corners of your house where the signal is usually weak. The reason WiFi extenders became a popular solution is their convenience and ease of installation: there are a few different range extender types, but for most of them, you would only have to plug them into an outlet and connect to your main router.
Another factor to consider when looking for a stronger WiFi solution is the size of your house. For example, homes with multiple floors are more affected by signal loss than homes with one level only. Instead of bringing your router (and its cables!) to the center of your house, you could get a range extender and boost your signal without any wires.
If you’re asking yourself what is the best WiFi extender, choosing the right option can be an overwhelming task. That’s why we’ve selected the best WiFi range extenders in Canada that are efficient, compatible with various devices and were tested and approved by many consumers. This means you don’t have to go through a mountain of options yourself. From the strongest WiFi extenders to the most affordable ones, we are confident you will find the right option for your home in the guide below.
Note: WiFi range extenders can improve your coverage at specific parts of your home, but they won’t necessarily make your internet speed faster.
READ MORE: The Best Wireless Routers
Our top picks
How to choose a WiFi range extender
There are three different types of WiFi extenders available: Plug-in, USB WIFI adapter and desktop models. Desktop extenders usually look similar to your standard WiFi router and are equipped with a few antennas. They also might have multiple USB ports for connecting to printers, storage devices, and TV. The second type, a plug-in extender, is smaller than the desktop version, and you can insert them right into a wall outlet. That type usually lacks USB connectivity; however, they are more affordable and easily portable. Finally, if all you need is a stronger WiFi connection at a specific place, you might get a small USB adapter. This is the most affordable type that can provide a better WiFi signal straight to your laptop, for example.
- Wireless extender or WiFi mesh system:
While wireless extenders might be great and convenient, they have their disadvantages. First, they use a different SSID, which means you have to reconnect as you move around your house. Secondly, WiFi speed is commonly lower than your main router provides. Meanwhile, the WiFi mesh system is designed to support you with a wireless connection spread across your whole house through several networking components. The set usually includes the main router and a series of boosters that you place around your home. The most convenient part about the WiFi mesh system is that all devices share the same SSID and password, which means you do not have to log into an extended network as you move around.
- The right extender for your router:
Most WiFi boosters will be compatible with most routers. However, there are those extenders that are not designed to connect with several routers, so it is important to check the product’s compatibility before you buy it.
Why trust us
We understand that there is nothing more frustrating than a slow WiFi connection in the middle of a movie streaming session, or worse: during a Zoom work conference. That’s why, for this buying guide, we focused on WiFi extenders that were approved by other trusted guides (PCMag, Tom’s Guide, Forbes), as well as thousands of satisfied customers on review platforms. We also spent nearly 15 hours researching, analyzing, and comparing WiFi range extender features and how they can strengthen network connection.
The best WiFi extenders in Canada
Netgear WiFi Mesh Range Extender EX7300
Netgear WiFi extender connects up to 35 devices, which only means you do not have to worry about an overloaded connection with a few laptops, PC, and cell phones around the house. Besides that, it has universal compatibility that connects with any wireless router or cable modem.
This mesh extender was designed to extend your existing WiFi signal up to 2,000 square feet making the connection even and speedy for streaming movies, playing games and working.
It includes a mesh feature that allows one WiFi name and smart roaming. That means all devices in your home can be connected to Netgear with no switching between networks and a new WiFi and password needed. That is the advantage and reason why many people in need to upgrade the speed of their WiFi in dead zones chose mesh range extender. It makes the seamless connection much smoother than plug-in boosters would do.
- 2200 Mbps wireless speed.
- Mesh technology smart roaming.
- Connects to up to 35 devices.
- Covers up to 2000 square feet.
- Not the best customer service.
TP-Link AC1750 WiFi Range Extender
As one customer noted, he cannot tell you how many hundreds of dollars he had spent on WiFi repeaters, and this TP-Link is by far the best one he purchased out of them all. TP-Link WiFi extender is a plug-in AC technology that creates an uninterrupted, fast connection in rooms where your main WiFi router does not reach. It has three antennas that send coverage up to 2,000 square feet that can support online gaming, movie streaming and more.
The extender has universal compatibility with up to 32 devices, making it easy to expand and strengthen your network. However, according to another customer, setting up the TP-link extender via WiFi to a computer, changing the TP-link network name can break the connection. That is what makes the mesh system different from the plug-in extender with antennas. Yet, according to other comments, with a seamless transition, you will not feel “the switch” when your laptop or cell will reconnect from the main router to the extender.
- Universal compatibility with up to 32 devices.
- Easy setup.
- Covers up to 2000 square feet.
- You would have to deal with two separate SSID addresses.
Netgear WiFi Range Extender EX2700
Another Netgear extender on our list, yet this one is an ideal option for a smaller space; it covers up to 600 square feet. You can connect up to 10 devices like laptops, cell phones, speakers and more. With this WiFi extender, you want to plug it in 10 to 100 meters away from the main station where you work, watch movies or play games for maximum speed connection.
The extender has two antennas that provide storing and efficient covering in those spots of your house where the main router barely reaches. When Netgear EX2700 connects to your main WiFi network it functions as a network client. It can be observed as a bridge between a WiFi router, and a smart device outside of the range of the main network.
Besides that, it is really easy to connect. As a customer observed, he bases his ‘ease of setup’ on if he can walk his mother-in-law through the setup over the phone. This product is brain dead simple to configure, he added, and it gets going if you have a WPS capable router. All you have to do is connect it to your main router using the WPS button, then set up a new name and password.
- Ideal for smaller spaces.
- Compatible with up to 10 devices.
- Covers up to 600 square feet.
- Easy and convenient connection.
- Some customers noted the extender gives an error time after time.
TP-Link AC750 WiFi Extender RE200
This TP-Link extender works with any WiFi router and can cover up an area of up to 1,200 square feet. You can connect it to 20 different devices including laptops, cellphones, speakers and more. The range extender’s bands provide enough strength for online streaming, gaming, and working without compromising WiFi speed. It is easy to relocate the extender, wherever you need the strongest connection the most; all you need is an available outlet.
The RE200 port acts as a wireless adapter and allows you to connect smart TV, gaming consoles without interruptions. In fact, one customer noted that he had an issue with the proper placement of an extender. His router was downstairs, and his room was up the stairs, down the end of the corridor, about 40 feet away. He bought this TP-Link, plugged it in the middle of the corridor upstairs, and now he has a full signal.
- Universal compatibility with 20 devices.
- Covers up to 1,200 square feet.
- Easy connection.
- As per some customers, the signal cuts out from time to time.
TP-Link WiFi Extender TL-WA850RE
TP-Link seems to be the leading brand on our list, and for a solid reason. Compact, affordable, yet powerful, this WiFi extender offers extensive coverage up to 800 square feet and compatibility with iPhones, smart TV, laptops and other devices. Besides that, what we find convenient about this TL-WA850RE extender is that it remembers previously paired networks. That means you would not have to reset the device when you pair it with the main router again and again.
It is also one of the easiest range extenders to set up. All you have to do is plug it into an outlet, push the WPS button on the modem, and then on the extender to connect it to the main provider. Some consumers complain that this is not a dual-band device. Many users tried both the 2.4ghz and 5ghz, and it worked with either, but they had to choose one or another.
According to other customers, they use this extender in RVs, garages or workshops. The speed was acceptable for what one of them needed. Another customer noted that the TP-Link WiFi Extender TL-WA850RE had absolutely no problems streaming HD Netflix with it in their workshop.
- Covers up to 800 square feet.
- Compact and easy to install.
- Strong 300 Mbps speed.
- According to some customers, it uses one plug on your outlet but obscures the second plug. It doesn’t matter if you use the top or bottom plug, you won’t be able to use the other one.
- Takes a while to recover after a power loss.
Apple WiFi booster
Linksys Velop Tri-Band AC4400 Whole Home WiFi Mesh System
Linksys is the WiFi mesh system Apple suggests, and as we know, Apple is a trusted source when it comes to electronics. Surely, the price might be a little higher than small plug-in extenders. Yet, unlike them, this mesh system allows you to build a single network configuration. That means no separate SSID, password and name from your main WiFi provider. And there is more: this Linksys system covers up to 4,000 square feet and comes with two pack dual or tri-band devices. They are wireless, which means you can distribute each extender in different corners of your house for an ultimate internet speed.
This Mesh Intelligent technology system also has a very attractive, slick appearance that could fit into any interior design of a modern home.
You can always order more extenders to expand the existing connection if you need it in a garage, a workshop or in the backyard. Shortly speaking, this AC400 is a fast and reliable WiFi coverage that provides your place with an uninterrupted connection. Through the Linksys app, you can easily manage your WiFi from anywhere and anytime, which is especially useful if you are looking into establishing parental control over hours your kids spend in front of a screen.
- Seamless mesh system.
- No need to manually switch between networks.
- Covers up to 400 square feet.
- Has a slick, compact, minimal appearance.
- Manageable through the app.
- High price point.
- Through the app is supposed to send an alert if an extender goes offline, some customers noted that it never happened.
Virgin WiFi booster
NETGEAR AC1200 WiFi range extender
This Netgear is one of the WiFi extenders recommended by Virgin, the internet provider. It is an AC1200 WiFi range extender that can cover up to 1,500 square feet with connection to 25 smart devices at the same time. Dual-band up to 1200Mbps allows uninterrupted movie streaming, gaming and working in that corner of your house when previously connection was irritatingly weak.
The main factor we also love about this extender is that it has universal compatibility with any WiFi router. All you have to do is plug it into an outlet and connect to the main networking source. It also has two external antennas that provide a stronger connection than other range extender versions. As one customer noted, it was easy to install and works wonderfully, providing users with excellent coverage over the entire area. Besides, if you want to achieve an uninterrupted connection and faster transfer through the Ethernet cord, one 10/100M port gives you such ability.
- Compact and easy to install.
- Covers up to 1,500 square feet.
- Compatible with up to 25 smart devices.
- Some customers had disconnection issues with the main router.
TELUS WiFi booster
Boost Wi-Fi starter pack
TELUS internet provider offers a WiFi booster pack of two extenders, which look slick, minimal and would fit any desktop or shelf. Also, they cover your whole house, up to 2,000 square feet, with a strong, uninterrupted connection. When you place a few extenders to different corners of your home, an intelligent system immediately connects your cell phone or laptop to the strongest signal as you move around. If you move into a larger house, you can always upgrade the set and add up to five boosters to one network.
TELUS also offers MyWiFi app through which you can set up, manage, and control your network. That is especially convenient when you are away, have guests or want to control the amount of time your kids spend browsing the internet. One little tip that a customer offered was to use the app to walk around the house to find the best spots to place the boosters for maximum effectiveness.
- A smart network that connects up to five boosters.
- Covers up to 2,000 square feet.
- Compatible with the app.
- Only compatible with the TELUS app and modem.
TP-Link AC1300 High Gain USB Wi-Fi Adapter
TP-Link, besides offering plug-in WiFi extenders, also has a dual-band wireless adapter for PC desktop. This AC1300 is a tiny booster that you can plug directly into your laptop or PC USB port. The extender has a high-gain antenna that receives the signal from the main router and provides your workspace with a fast, uninterrupted internet connection. It is a cheap, easy way to provide better WiFi flow if your home office is the only spot that needs an extra boost.
Because the extender is provided with MU-MIMO technology, make sure your modem supports it and can establish an easy connection.
400 Mbps speed is ideal for downloading files, brownnosing internet and connecting via Zoom calls. It might not be enough for gaming, yet that is why we find this AC1300 the best choice for a small workspace. According to a customer who lives in a high-rise apartment building with metal stub walls and has a desktop in a different room from the router noted, since they purchased this TP-Link extender they no longer had disconnections and internet speed has been stable.
- Strong signal.
- Easy to install and transfer.
- Mac and Windows support.
- Some consumers complain about internet speed issues.
How we reviewed the best WiFi extenders
We focused our attention on WiFi boosters that had at least four stars on Amazon and many positive reviews from customers who purchased and tested them in their homes. Besides that, we tried to oversee and select models that would be compatible with most modem models and would support as many smart devices as possible. And finally, we only selected WiFi range extenders that are available in Canada.
Frequently asked questions about WiFi range extenders
How does a WiFi extender work?
A WiFi extender works by amplifying the existing signal from your main router and transferring it into the area where that signal is the weakest. It does not matter which WiFi extender we are talking about, either the one with built-in signal transmitters, antennas or the one that requires a direct-wired connection; all those types are designed to provide consistent, uninterrupted internet connection throughout the designated space.
Should you buy a WiFi range extender?
If you find that the WiFi connection at your place is not strong enough at some spots; if you have troubles streaming movies, playing games or even downloading work files in that office room upstairs, then yes, a WiFi extender could help you solve that issue.
WiFi extender vs repeater: What’s the difference?
The main difference between WiFi extender and WiFi repeater is that the former provides a more stable wireless connection due to its ability to extend an existing network without impacting bandwidth output. Meanwhile, the WiFi repeater creates a new network connection by rebroadcasting the existing signal. However, as technology kept progressing, those two terms started to interchange with each other meaning something very similar. Most companies started combining both features in one device, making sure to close all gaps and offer consumers a product that would serve all needs.
How to set up a WiFi extender?
Most WiFi extenders are fairly easy to set up. While they all come with instructions and have slight differences from each other, the main steps that unite them all are the following: plug the extender into the wall outlet near your router. Most extenders will require you to download the app or using a website create an account that would allow you full access to the extender control panel. Then, if your extender has a WPS button, you can press it to connect the new extender to an already existing network.
Where to plug a WiFi extender?
To make it short and easy, plug in your WiFi extender in the middle between your main router and the spot where the connection starts weakening. Although to make it even better, some extenders come with an app that allows you to see at which exact spot connection would be the strongest.
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