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Access to a reliable internet connection has become as important in recent years as access to running water and heat. Sure, you can still get by without it, but it makes your life a whole lot easier to be able to get online.
If you’ve got Wi-Fi in your house, you know that the service is only as good as the strength of the signal. There are probably parts of your house where your connection to your own Wi-Fi network is spotty at best and nonexistent at worst.
This is usually because of the distance between yourself and your router, or because materials like concrete or metal are between it and the device you’re trying to use. That’s where a Wi-Fi range extender can be a useful gadget. These devices typically look like little routers that plug into a normal wall socket and expand the area that your Wi-Fi is available around the home.
You can find many options at electronics stores, big-box stores or online. Amazon has a big selection of them from various brands and one of the top sellers — from a name you might already be familiar with — is marked down right now.
Netgear is one of the most trusted brands in hardware that will get you online, which is one good part of this EX6120 Wi-Fi range extender. But the best part at the moment is that it’s nearly a third off at Amazon.
This top-seller is listed at $69.99 but has been slashed to $47.99 for now, which is a markdown of 31% from the original price. It has the power to add a lot of extra coverage to your property at the price of a much less powerful booster.
This particular Netgear Wi-Fi range extender promises extra coverage up to 1,500 square feet and connection power for 25 devices. That may sound like a ridiculous amount of connected devices but when you think about all the items that are linked to your Wi-Fi router already, you’ll probably find it’s getting close to that number, especially if you use smart home devices or have multiple teens.
The device works by creating a second Wi-Fi access point in your house, which will show up as a separate SSID (the network name you see when you select a Wi-Fi connection). So, you can use it as the chosen network in one part of your house and your router as the network in the other part of your house.
Alternatively, you can run an ethernet cable from your router to the device and it will just make the existing SSID go throughout the whole house. Either way, it’s apparently a snap to get going.
This diagram from Netgear shows how it’s meant to work.
Netgear’s Wi-Fi extenders have nearly 100,000 ratings from Amazon customers, with the average score being 3.9 out of five stars, which is very solid for an electronic device. The site shows that at least 52% of the people who’ve rated these have given them a perfect review, which means roughly 48,000 buyers have had no complaints whatsoever.
The top reviews all rave about how easy they are to set up and start using, as well as its ability to provide Wi-Fi access to the dead zones around their place. Meanwhile, some of the lower reviews mention them losing effectiveness after months of use, but it seems to be a hit-or-miss issue.
If you have a smaller place, the Netgear EX2700 is also marked down right now. This option promises 800 square feet of extra range and connectivity for another 10 devices. The EX2700 is typically listed at $34.99 but is selling for $19.99 right now, which is a 43% discount.
Either way, it’s a great opportunity to add some Wi-Fi coverage to those irritating spots around the house (or in the yard) that slow down your surfing.