For most homes, the best cheap WiFi extenders under $50 / $100 represent an opportunity. Picking up the signal where the WiFi router is starting to lose coverage, WiFi extenders ensure there are no internet drops of connectivity in corners of the home. Similar to routers, they work on a wireless basis, ensuring the smartphones, tablets and smart TV stay connected to the internet even when further away from the WiFi router.
- Cheap WiFi Extenders Categorization
- Best WiFi Extenders 2020 (Under $50)
- Best WiFi Extenders 2020 (Under $100)
- Can I install a WiFi extender myself?
- How much does a WiFi extender last?
- Where do I install a WiFi extender?
- Can multiple WiFi extenders work together?
- Will I be able to watch movies on a WiFi extender?
- My WiFi extender overheats, should I be worried?
- How to choose the best cheap WiFi extenders under $50 / $100
- Number of connected devices
- Download speeds
- Physical controls
- App-based controls
- Available power outlets
- Design versatility
- Home vs. commercial spaces
- The right price for a cheap WiFi extender
- Warranty policies
- Final considerations
Cheap WiFi Extenders Categorization
Cheap WiFi extenders are not as complex as their premium alternatives as they keep features to a minimum. But they are not the same and they can be categorized as follows.
The number of maximum compatible devices is set by each device. This might not be an issue for the home user which only connects a few devices such as a smartphone, a smart TV and a gaming console. In commercial settings such as hotels, having just 30 devices connected to the WiFi extender is troublesome.
2.4GHz and 5Ghz dual-band devices are still rare in this cheap category option. But this doesn’t mean users can’t find them and use them to their maximum potential and fastest internet speeds.
Best WiFi Extenders 2020 (Under $50)
Even when spending $50, home users can get impressive internet speeds and improved home network coverage to all corners of the house. Here are the top products for this purpose.
Small and elegant, the WiFi extender is one of the cheapest and most reliable in its class. While its 20Mpbs is not the fastest speed seen from the manufacturer, its affordability is what truly makes it a viable option for all types of users.
Designed with ventilation holes, the device remains cool even when it has multiple connected devices. Without any power cables, it connects directly to the wall plug and this means it remains highly versatile on where it can be installed in a house.
For example, as it connects directly to the wall plug, it may even extend the internet range in the basement of the house. Such areas are known for their loss of network coverage. Furthermore, there are plenty of instances where a WiFi extender also improves network coverage near the home. Plugged inside the house, it may even add connectivity outside the home for the moments when users have a coffee on the patio.
Up to 15 devices can be connected to this extender. This includes TVs and laptops. There’s no method of increasing these virtual ports but for most homes, they sufficiently-cover the needs of multiple residents.
Its extended coverage is around 1.000 square feet. This is not as much as what its bigger EX6250 brother offers. But fur such a low price, it does a top job even strengthening internet coverage through walls. But those who want to wire their consoles to the extender for even better internet speeds also have a dedicated port that supports this.
This small WiFi extender is one of the cheapest methods of covering another 1.000 square feet in the house.
Some users might be unsure about WiFi extenders. They’re afraid they aren’t able to install such extenders themselves and that they might even lose the internet connection when they least expect as it might be difficult to know when the extender is in the router’s range.
This is why the Rock Space WiFi extender has been made. It includes LED indicators for all types of router coverage issues. A good connection is linked to blue light. The poor connection is linked with a red light and no connection is linked to no light. As a result, the installation process is easy and the extender can also be moved easily as often as needed.
The extender covers an area of around 1.292 feet. It is among the smallest coverage devices but it is in line with what other brands are offering similar products. Up to 733Mpbs are available to use with multiple devices.
The WPS button immediately increases internet coverage at home. The setup process itself is easy and the extender can be configured online or even on smartphones. Of course, once installed, all wireless devices can join the home network as usual. From tablets to smart thermostats, they can all join the network at the same time.
During the installation purpose, a simple rule dictates its extended coverage range. It should sit somewhere in-between the WiFi router and the user which ensures good connectivity and that the WiFi extender can receive the network signal.
Covering 1.292 square feet, the WiFi extender is made for daily use with normal wireless connectivity devices.
With a sleek design, the WiFi extender connects directly to the wall plug. It represents a simple device that has a quick setup process but which also has a few aces in its sleeve. First of all, it is one of the most affordable extenders in its class. Secondly, it comes with a WPS button design.
The WPS button toggles the WiFi extended range and it represents a quick method of getting the product to disconnect the internet network without having to take it out of the wall plug. Furthermore, the extender also works as an integrated home network solution where users have the ultimate control.
While made by Netgear, the WiFI extender also works well with other routers. Even if the manufacturer recommends pairing it with Netgear routers, the WiFi extender connects to almost all routers on the market.
Set schedules are one of its most convenient features. Made in a way in which it enhances the overall safety of a child navigating the web, it is suitable for families. Practically, parents can ensure the WiFi extender disconnects at a certain time when kids need to go to bed, based on a password account. This is why families may ensure their kids get sufficient overnight rest without spending too much time online.
The router also comes with an Ethernet port. This port is suitable for fast internet speeds needed for gaming consoles or various streaming boxes. Ethernet cables are not provided but they should come with the consoles themselves.
Another convenient aspect is given by smartphone controls. Users have the freedom of controlling the WiFI extender from their smartphone which means there are many reasons why it may even work with other similar extenders for large homes or commercial premises.
Suitable for kids and families, this inexpensive WiFi extender is completely controllable via a smartphone app.
Made with a compact size, there’s nothing that prepares users for its capabilities. Unlike most devices in its price range which only expand internet coverage by 1.000 sq.ft., the AC 750 expands it to more than 3.000sq.ft. As a result, it is one of the convenient options to be considered for large homes or homes with thick walls which tend to lose network coverage.
Another fine aspect of the WiFi extender comes with its size. It only needs a wall plug to connect and with no cables, it doesn’t gather too much dust. Furthermore, it also features an Ethernet port which is highly valued by gamers or by those streaming and watching movies online.
It’s not complicated to use the cheap WiFi extender. Most users simply rely on their instincts to find sufficient network coverage to extend the signal. But this WiFi extender comes with LED status light indicators which show whenever the device is in the range of the router.
The router also comes with a web interface as well as an app where users can customize all of its settings. Unlike many other products, it also supports schedules that can be customized from the app. Parents can use their smartphone to manually disconnect the WiFi extender or to automatically disconnect it via set schedules.
The app works with both Android and iOs smartphones and tablets. However, those who don’t want to install yet another app on their smartphone can simply create a web profile that gives access to the same range of settings.
Suitable for everyday use, this compact WiFi extender handles large areas and over 30 connected devices.
If the older generation WiFi extender was not as durable, the newly designed Amake Super Boost WiFi extender now comes better equipped. While its design is similar to the light indicators, it also comes with a changed performance under the hood.
Those who have real signal issues such as users in commercial premises such as in hotels see the most benefits in its design. Even from a few yards, users can see the status lights quickly indicating if the cheap WiFi extender is in the range. This means fewer headaches and with a design that doesn’t overheat, the extender can be relied upon for years.
Supporting speeds of up to 300Mbps, the extender works without any troubles even for video streaming. As proven, high-quality videos can come with buggering issues on some WiFi extenders, which is luckily not the case.
Furthermore, there are other reasons why this affordable extender may even be used on commercial premises. Large buildings such as hotels have such problems. Coffee shops and bookstores also need WiFi extenders so that all customers can get online without any connectivity issues.
But the extender remains a viable option for home use mainly due to its price. It still is one of the most affordable options in its class, even after its chipset has been upgraded together with the way it looks.
Suitable for home and commercial use, this extender is a durable option for tens of connected devices.
Best WiFi Extenders 2020 (Under $100)
Spending a bit more comes with WiFi extenders which cover larger areas. They are used for larger homes or for commercial premises where the cheapest option might not fully cover all corners of a room or a building.
The award-winning WiFi extender is designed like no other. If its performance is solid, so is its design. It features 3 small antennas which cover 3.000 sq.ft. homes. Its design also features a WPS button which immediately controls the connection.
A reset button is also added to the side of the extender, next to their air vents. This ensures users don’t have to take it out of the wall plug whenever there’s an issue. They can simply power it off or reset the extender as needed. LED lights have also been added for when the extender is on. These lights also indicate whether the extender is working on the 2.4Ghz or the 5Ghz dual bands.
The extender’s features a blue light indicator for when the connection is strong enough. This light turns red whenever there’s a loss of connectivity and when the extender needs to come closer to the WiFi router.
Since it’s operated via the Tether TP-Link app, the extender is also easy to use. Unlike many of its alternatives, it has intuitive settings and the app may even control whether kids get online when parents are away from home. Supporting direct wired connectivity for consoles, the extender is a solid choice for families in residential use and for businesses where the owner has total control over the local internet connection.
Suitable for dual-band connectivity, the WiFi extender impresses with its user-friendly connecting and setup experience.
This dual band device uses two potent antennas and it covers both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz bands. It means its highly capable when it comes to speed. With a no-thrills design, it only focuses on coverage and speed without adding LED lights, fans or other physical buttons which might increase its prices without a good reason.
With a Gigabit Ethernet port, the WiFi extender works for higher speed devices as well. Its wired 1GB connection is suitable for gaming consoles. But the device is also valuable for high-quality players such as Blue Ray players. Smart TVs may also be connected to serve high-quality video streaming purposes.
Fast and made with a simple design, this is the WiFi extender to choose for those who are not into tech and gadgets.
With 4 antennas, this extender can reach areas of the homes not many others at this price can. These antennas are directional and they can capture the signal from the home WiFi network where others can’t.
The plug and play design also make the WiFi extender a top solution for those seeking to improve setup simplicity, especially when they have multiple such devices to install. This is often the case with hotels that need to have a WiFi extender on every floor and simply installing the would take too much. At the same time, it’s worth noting not all users are after devices that connect to the wall’s plug and which may be stolen easily from public places.
The dual-band WiFi extender works with 2.4Ghz at 300Mbps and 5Ghz at 867Mbps. Of course, this may prove difficult to implement in real life were poor signal may cause users to only use the 2.4Ghz option.
However, the convenience of this WiFi extender is that offers 2 Ethernet ports. This is the main reason it may as well be one of the best solutions for homes with 2 gaming consoles. Most such devices are limited to a single or no Ethernet port.
With 4 antennas and 2 Ethernet ports, the plug and play device works for gamers.
A heat dissipation design has been implemented on this WiFi extender. This is crucial for durability and safety purposes. Overheating is one common problem for many WiFi extenders and its reassuring to see that the manufacturer made a reliable job with heat management. Practically, heat is eliminated by the sides of the device. This means it’s also safer to use, especially when it handles a larger data volume when multiple devices are connected to the local network.
LED data lights are added for power, LAN, WPS, and signal strength. Unlike most similar products, this means the device also turns on a light when connected to the local network. This is a practical solution to seeing when it’s connected to the web, especially as it can be remotely connected via an app.
With stable signal boosts, the WiFi extender proves sufficient for any type of web browsing or downloading needs. This means devices that are made for online streaming, as well as gaming console such as PS4, can directly connect wireless to the device.
An on/off button is also added to the device. It ensures it can be switched off whenever needed without having to unplug it from the wall plug. This is why it doesn’t need to be stored around the house and even lost whenever not in use as it can stay permanently in the wall plug.
With plenty of physical controls and added LED status lights, this WiFi extender is easy to use.
Not many WiFi extenders can offer such reliability when it comes to design innovation. Most manufacturers don’t even think their products are covering the wall power outlet permanently. Linksys has a design which fixes this and which still allows home electronics to be connected to the power outlet.
With cross band technologies, it allows users to use both bands for various normal and high-speed downloads. One Ethernet port is also added at the bottom of the device to allow all other wired devices to connect to the local network.
A useful Linksys app is also included with this WiFi extender. It allows users to check various internet settings. But it also offers a simple graph that shows signal strength according to the positioning of the WiFi Extender compared to the router. This is why it may as well be one of the best options for users who struggle to find the best location for their extender with other devices from alternative brands.
Suitable to show real-time in-app network signal strength, this device also keeps the power outlet free to use with other electronics.
Can I install a WiFi extender myself?
A WiFi extender can be installed without the help of a professional. Most home users can follow the step by step instructions to control the device and pair it with the router.
How much does a WiFi extender last?
A WiFi extender normally lasts a few years. Some users report cheap devices to start to drop connectivity after one or two years. However, the quality of the materials is what makes the difference in durability.
Where do I install a WiFi extender?
Finding the right location for a WiFi extender is not a short process. Users need to test out various locations. But these locations are often limited by the wall outlets as extension cords are rarely recommended for these devices.
Can multiple WiFi extenders work together?
Multiple WiFi extenders can work together. However, all of them need to be in the network coverage area of the home router.
Will I be able to watch movies on a WiFi extender?
Movies and other data-rich downloads are supported. Most devices play YouTube and Netflix at fast speeds, at least when the signal is strong.
My WiFi extender overheats, should I be worried?
Some WiFi extenders run at a higher temperature than others. In normal circumstances, this should not be a reason to worry as this is how they are made to run. In other scenarios, overheating starts to melt away the extender, especially the poorly-made designs which start to fail as a result.
How to choose the best cheap WiFi extenders under $50 / $100
Some of the best cheap WiFI extenders are now able to run smoothly even on commercial premises. Most of these devices now handle a larger number of connected devices. But the way they are used has now evolved and users prefer the simplicity of in-app settings or simple browser-based controls. Here’s what to look at quickly before purchasing such a device.
Number of connected devices
The number of connected devices is shown by the manufacturer. It ranges from 15 to 30-40 supported devices for the cheap extenders. This is important as a family of 4 uses 4 smartphones, at least one smart TV, tablets, and laptops. This already puts a lot of pressure on such a device.
Things change when the WiFi extender is used in public places. This includes coffee shops, bed, and breakfasts, hotels, etc. It means that in most cases, more than 30 people can connect to the local network. In this situation, the purchase should start based on the supported number of connected devices.
There are a few good methods to ensure the WiFI extender is not overwhelmed by a large number of potential connected devices, both at home and on business premises. Users can purchase the device which supports the most devices.
Hotels can purchase WiFi extenders which can support at least twice the number of rooms as many guests come with friends and family. At home, the same principles apply and to avoid network crashes, users need to purchase capable extenders that are available even at low rates.
Download speeds are also important. They signal the versatility of the device and what users can do on the internet. 300Mbps should be standard with most devices. Running at higher speeds is supported by dual-band devices. But it also means there’s a good chance higher speeds won’t be reached unless there’s a strong signal inside the home.
Those who want particularly high internet speeds and data transfer which goes both ways know about this issue too well. Gamers are in this category and many cases, they can have a limiting experience even when using WiFi extenders. These users may even consider the wired option via the Ethernet port.
Physical controls are generally limited to cheap devices. But this makes them even more important. In many situations, they offer a simple manual approach to various network settings the user might need to change. This includes the capacity to use an on/off switch. Surprisingly, such a button is not supported by most devices.
Other physical characteristics include LED status lights. They are generally limited to the power status of the devices. But LED lights can also cover the following.
This light indicator shows when the device is connected to the local network. It switches on after the device is first paired with the router and it stays on whenever it is connected to the same router.
These lights are normally separated into various categories according to signal strength. There’s an LED light for a strong signal, one for good signal and one for no signal at all. These offer a quick input to whether the device is properly connected without having to go to the app or to the browser to find the right solution.
LED WiFi status
WiFi status shows if the internet connection is enabled. Whenever the internet connection drops, this LED light switches off.
These status lights are not supported entirely by cheap WiFi extenders. Normally, they are only rarely seen on these devices as they are characteristic of more expensive alternatives.
Apps are now used to controls these devices. Some apps are better than others and their features vary from one brand to another. Other devices come with no apps at all. But it’s important to consider these apps to make life easier and they offer an interesting perspective on the local home network.
Users may see data which they would not be able to see otherwise through the app. For example, some apps show the signal strength via graphics when the WiFi is represented according to its positioning to the home router.
The closer it gets to the home router, the better the internet strength. Users have a graphic helper for their installation process. Without such an app, they need to manually test various locations of the device to see where the internet connection is reliable and where it’s not.
In some cases, non-native apps may still control WiFi extenders. But users need to pay for these third-party apps to have them installed on their smartphones. Without a doubt, the best cheap WiFi extenders of the future will be controlled by apps instead of the more traditional browser-based alternatives.
Available power outlets
Power outlets inside the home are the first limiting factor of the devices. They can seriously limit the strength of the local network signal. Some of the best solutions of the moment involve looking for a position where they can sit for a long time.
Since these devices stay in the same power outlet, users need to find an available one in their home. Unlike a home router that works with power cables, WiFi Extenders directly plug into wall outlets. Practically, such a device eliminates a wall outlet from the house permanently.
WiFi extenders are rarely versatile. They represent an option that is not truly made for anything else except devices such as the Linksys AC1200 which has an integrated power outlet. This means other electronics such as a desk lamp or a laptop may still be connected to the same wall outlet.
Without doubts, it’s worth looking for such rare devices. But in the cheap range, they are rarely seen today. However, most users can find alternative solutions and they can work around these issues, at least with one WiFi extender.
Home vs. commercial spaces
Installing an extender at home and installing one at the office have a few particularities. In many offices or business premises, there are multiple such devices. However, this is an opportunity for automated devices to be controlled as needed. This means a single app may control multiple WiFi extenders.
Commercial premises may also have larger open spaces. This means the strength of the signal is different and in many cases better. When installing a WiFi extender at home, users might face thick walls and even the inability to get any signal in spaces such as the basement, which are notorious for poor connectivity.
The right price for a cheap WiFi extender
What’s the right price for a cheap WiFi extender? This is a question many buyers address and which creates plenty of issues when it comes to the right purchase. If purchasing such a device at home is not a big financial investment, things are different when large businesses need to purchase them in bulk.
As seen from the products above which are split according to their price, the features of the WiFi extender are different when investing more. However, they are not necessarily faster. This confusion is made by beginners. Many believe that a more expensive WiFi extender is faster. But even the cheapest devices run at similar speeds as their more expensive counterparts.
Warranty policies differ with cheap WiFi extenders. But they are generally set around 1 or 2 years of coverage. It must be said many users have negative experiences with the durability of WiFi extenders mainly due to their notorious overheating problems. If the devices seen above have designs that benefit better cooling, other cheap alternatives overheat quickly. This is why many of these devices fail within 2 years.
Since there’s rarely a place for extended warranty policies with such affordable products, it’s worth having a look at what manufacturers offer as default. Retailers’ warranties are rare as well. But since many WiFi extenders overheat, they may even cause damage to the wall power outlets as well. This is why simply looking at the length of the warranty can come as a good indication of what users can expect in terms of durability.
The best cheap WiFi extenders under $50 / $100 are now better than ever before. Made with solid materials and with potent antennas, they can solve annoying local network coverage issues. If installed properly, they are capable to improve this coverage area by up to 3.000 square feet and with a minimum of 1.000 square feet. In general terms, the wider the coverage area, the more expensive the WiFi extender is.
It’s also worth noting some of the best devices are now affordable as well. They come with various features borrowed from flagship products which are worth a quick look before making the purchase. Smartphone apps are among these features. They simplify the use of the products and they considerably improve the overall user experience.
It’s important to know that the settings made in the app are only added at the beginning. Users don’t need to log into the app and connect their WiFi extender to the local network whenever they want to get online. This is done automatically.
Other cheap WiFi extenders have their settings accessed traditionally, in browser-based menus. This setup is somewhat similar to the one of a network router. An access account with a password is needed to set up the device using this method.
For security purposes, it’s recommended to lock the account of the WiFi extender with a password. Like any router, it may allow other users to connect to the local network if not secured. This step should not be overlooked as all data on the local network can be vulnerable.
Even personal or financial information is vulnerable to various malicious attempts if the WiFi extender is not properly configured. It’s important to choose the right settings and a strong password. This information is covered in the setup manual and users need to read properly if they set up the device themselves. Most of these security settings can be made via the official app of the WiFi extender or via browser-based controls.