Wi-Fi Range Extender vs. Mesh Router
How to choose which is best for your home/office network
Suppose, for some reason, that you're spending a lot more time at home these days. You're working, you're homeschooling your kids, you're video chatting with friends and family, you're binge-watching Tiger King -- and you're pushing your home's Wi-Fi network to the limit. Maybe you've become painfully familiar with those limitations -- including the spots where the signal drops off and your device can't hold a speedy connection. What can you do?
I've already outlined some of the initial steps you can take to boost your connection without buying anything, but in a lot of cases, eliminating dead zones like those will require a hardware upgrade. Your best bets: Wi-Fi range extenders , or maybe a mesh router with its own, range-extending satellite devices called nodes. Simply put:
Wi-Fi range extenders are the best cheap option for smaller spaces. And the model I've tested thus far is the TP-Link RE220, which can be had for as little as $30 or less -- if you can find it in stock. Alternately, mesh routers are best for whole-home coverage. We have a handful of favorites, including Amazon's Eero and Netgear's Orbi. But our current top pick is the Nest Wifi.
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