The 10 Best WiFi Boosters

Updated December 15, 2016 by Brett Dvoretz

10 Best WiFi Boosters
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 40 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. If you have trouble steaming movies on your Smart TV or are not getting the download speeds you need in your home office, you can easily extend the range and signal strength of your home's Internet network with one of these WiFi boosters. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best wifi booster on Amazon.

10. Belkin N300

With integrated WEP security, the Belkin N300 offers a safe way to enhance your signal without the worry of nosy neighbors connecting to your WiFi. It's a slim and sleek device that plugs into standard wall outlets, and it can send out both 5.0 GHz and 2.4 GHz signals.
  • up to 300 mbps transfer rate
  • extra large 5000 sq ft range
  • periodically needs to be reset
Brand Belkin
Model F9K1015
Weight 7.2 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

9. Alfa ARSN19M

Unlike standalone models, the Alfa ARSN19M has been designed to attach to your existing router or access point to amp up your signal. It is omnidirectional and requires no specific placement, just attach it and point it upward.
  • universal router connection
  • installs in seconds
  • only offers mediocre range increase
Brand Alfa
Model ALFA-ARSN19M
Weight 5.6 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

8. Linksys RE6500-FFP

With the Linksys RE6500-FFP you'll easily be able to access your WiFi from any location in the house and probably your backyard, too. The system can work with music players, allowing you to wirelessly stream music, and is compatible with all a, b, g and n Internet devices.
  • works with any router or gateway
  • detachable and adjustable antennas
  • setup instructions can be confusing
Brand Linksys
Model RE6500-FFP
Weight 13.6 ounces
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

7. NETGEAR EX6100

The NETGEAR EX6100 is wall-mountable and includes one Ethernet port, allowing you to connect wired devices to your home wireless network with ease. It's suitable for VoIP calling, making a game console wireless, and most other wireless needs.
  • creates another home access point
  • external antennas extend coverage
  • easy to use installation guide
Brand Netgear
Model EX6100-100NAS
Weight 11.2 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

5. Securifi Almond

The Securifi Almond is a router and WiFi booster in one, so you only need one device to handle all your wireless needs. This is a great choice for the household loaded with hardware and devices, or for a small business that is looking to be cost effective.
  • features an intuitive touchscreen
  • ships with unique ssid and password
  • can use features independently
Brand Securifi
Model ALM-BLK-IN
Weight 15.2 ounces
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

4. Asus RP-N53

The Asus RP-N53 looks a bit bulky when plugged into outlets, but it features one-button setup and has signal strength indicator lights, which let you know if you are currently connected to a 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz band. Plus, it can double as a nightlight.
  • can be used as a wired access point
  • housing is very durable
  • creates a second wifi network
Brand Asus
Model RP-N53
Weight 6.4 ounces
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

3. Alfa AWUS036AC

The Alfa AWUS036AC is designed to be plugged into your computer to extend your range and ability to pick up weak wireless signals. It has rubber duck antennas that create a strong connection for amazing data transfer speeds.
  • great for streaming large files
  • very portable at just 25 grams
  • compatible with all windows versions
Brand Alfa
Model AWUS036AC
Weight 8 ounces
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

1. Netgear Nighthawk AC1900

In addition to boosting your WiFi signal, the Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 creates a DLNA server via which you can play your media on wired TVs and game consoles. This one device creates a streamlined network with minimal setup.
  • 5 gigabit ports
  • dual core 1 ghz processor
  • 3 antennas optimize area coverage
Brand NETGEAR
Model EX7000-100NAS
Weight 2.9 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

An Inflatable Internet

Without the internet, we are lost. When I moved a couple of years ago, there was only one place in the house that we could install a modem and router without the cable company doing a bunch of expensive drilling and rewiring. From where it sat in our kitchen, there was next to no signal making its way into my office. I split the band between 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz, and where the 5 GHz couldn't even reach the office to begin with, the 2.4 GHz channel came through with all the speed of zombie apocalypse-level traffic jam.

For a while, I moved my work out into the living room, sectioning off a small portion of the space with a desk and some storage. Eventually, the intermittent sounds of other people coming and going, the incessant droning voices of the television news playing in a nearby bedroom, and the general lack of privacy forced me to seek out an answer.

That's when a friend of mine suggested a WiFi booster. At first, it didn't make a whole lot of sense to me that a device located at some middle point between my wireless router and my computer could do anything but pass along a signal that was too weak to begin with. What I failed to realize is that these boosters amplify the signal before they relay it.

Picture the packets of information flying out of your wireless internet router as balloons. Your router sends out all sorts of balloons in a bunch of directions, and your computer sends balloons right back. This exchange of balloons is our experience of giving and taking information and commands across our home network.

The problem is that in order for these balloons to travel, you can't tie them off, for the air inside them is their very propellant. In my case, the balloons were flying toward my office and running out of air about three feet from the door, where they unceremoniously dropped to the ground, useless.

A wireless booster acts as a sort of filling station for your internet balloons, replenishing them with a fresh supply of air so they can travel much farther than before. Once I installed the booster in my place, the balloons were free to fly all around, and I was free to move back into the quiet privacy of my office.

You Need Power To Stretch

We take our internet awfully personally, even though it's one of the more impersonal things in our home. When it drops out, we all turn on one another, accusing this person of downloading too many movies and that person of eating up all the bandwidth with some ridiculous MMORPG. A quick power cycle usually restores the peace, for a time, but if the problem persists, and you need to extend that signal, which booster will serve you best?

Before you begin to compare devices, you should take a look around your house for the ideal place to install an extender. It should be somewhere relatively equidistant between your router and your primary computing, streaming, and gaming locations. It should also have ready access to power.

When I went to install my first booster, I realized that I had mapped out its position in my home based on the purported size of its signal relay, only to find that this ideal location I'd chosen hadn't a power outlet in sight. As a result, I moved it to the most logical spot left, which was just too far from the router to receive a viable 5 GHz signal, resigning me to the slightly slower 2.4 GHz signal.

Eventually, I grabbed a stronger extender and installed it a little closer to the router itself, boosting the 5 GHz signal well into my office. Once you've found your installation point, you can take a measure of each booster's coverage claims to evaluate whether or not it will get you the signal you require, and avoid the trap into which I initially fell.

It may be a more minor concern, but the limitations of available outlets and the given design of a house or apartment might make it so that you have to install your booster in a highly visible area, and some of these things are downright ugly. If you've got our list narrowed down to a few good options, play it safe and get the one that looks the best.

Born Of Necessity

Although wireless packet trading reaches back to the ALOHANet of the 1970s, WiFi in any form recognizable by today's standards didn't begin to take shape until the early 1990s.

In 1997, the first 802.11 protocol hit the airwaves, and would later become the gold standard for wireless transmission, as, even in 1997, it clocked speeds up to 2 Mbit/s.

Wireless home internet didn't see much use in the days of the telephone modem, as the weaker 56K signals didn't translate well to wireless communication. When DSL had its moment in the sun, telephone companies outfitted more homes with wireless routers, and by the time cable took the reigns as the only significant provider of high speed internet, wireless connectivity seemed like a given.

Around that time, due to the hardware limitations of early consumer wireless routers, the companies responsible for creating the routers themselves also set about creating and marketing signal boosters for customers with large or complicated areas in need of better coverage.



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Last updated on December 15, 2016 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.


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