While WiFi extenders are a great way to improve your wireless range, they do have to be roughly twenty feet or less from the router in order to work effectively.
I am a long-time tech user who has spent years tweaking and improving my own internet connection. That has given me a wealth of knowledge about how WiFi extenders work, as well as the best way to get the most out of them.
Throughout the following sections, I will cover the ins and outs of using an extender with a router. That includes explaining which ones have the best range, explaining which routers you can use, and where to place your extender for optimal results.
- Key Takeaways
- How Far Can a WiFi Extender Reach?
- WiFi Extender and Router Compatibility
- Should a WiFi Extender Be Closer to the Router or Device?
- What WiFi Extender Has the Longest Range?
- Best Places to Put a WiFi Extender
- Final Thoughts
- WiFi extenders should always sit within 20 or so feet of your router.
- Place your extender in a high place and try to ensure it’s halfway between your router and wireless device.
- The best extenders have a range that exceeds 3,000 square feet and can reach outside for added flexibility.
How Far Can a WiFi Extender Reach?
WiFi extenders are not a catch-all solution to increasing your internet coverage. Even so, they tend to come with impressive ranges that give you a lot more flexibility.
Most modern routers have a reach that covers around 150 feet. That’s sufficient for most smaller homes, but it can lead to issues in bigger spaces. There are also many physical obstacles or other electronic devices that can mess with their network as well.
Extenders, on the other hand, rebroadcast a signal to brand new places. They also cut down on dead zones and create a much smoother signal. Every model is different, but some can spread a signal over 2,500 or more square feet.
To do that, they need to be within range of the router in an open spot that has a limited amount of interference. For the most part, models should be placed within 20 feet of the router. Anything beyond that tends to lead to spotty or weak results.
It’s important to note that this isn’t an exact science. There’s no one magic range or place where every extender can sit and still increase your coverage. Rather, you want to look at the furthest point away from the router where your extender still has a steady signal and go with that.
WiFi Extender and Router Compatibility
One of the best parts of using a WiFi extender is that you don’t have to worry about compatibility. Where some devices only work with specific brands or models, extenders don’t care about the source of the signal they’re improving.
Your extender does not need to be the same brand as your router. You don’t need to replace anything or move services when putting one in your home. Some brands may be easier to set up or come with extra features if you use their router, but that’s few and far between.
Should a WiFi Extender Be Closer to the Router or Device?
Regardless of what type of extender you have or its range capabilities, you want to put it within the wireless range of your router. No matter how effective the model is, it’s never going to work properly if you move it too far away from the internet source.
Once you follow that rule, the best place to put the extender is halfway between the router and device. That creates a good balance and enables the extender to work to the best of its abilities. Getting it too far away from one or the other will only lead to problems with that connection.
That rule holds up through all models, regardless of their other specs or abilities. If you see results doing one or the other, however, then keep it where you get the best signal. Don’t be afraid to experiment.
What WiFi Extender Has the Longest Range?
As mentioned, there are many WiFi extenders on the market. They all have their own capabilities. One such trait is an extended range for big houses or outdoor use.
Some models that come with extremely long ranges are the Wavlink AC1200, TP-Link EAP225, and the Amazon eero Pro 6. All three of those can reach extremely far and do a great job of providing signal to area beyond a house.
The best models tend to have a range of 2,000 + square feet. That’s almost always more than enough for most people’s needs. Just don’t get fully caught up in pure signal range. Every model is different and brings something unique to the table.
If you want other options, check out this video:
Best Places to Put a WiFi Extender
As mentioned, the best place to put a WiFi extender in terms of pure results is halfway between your router and computer. Even so, there’s a bit more nuance to the process.
After finding a good spot between your devices, you next want to put your extender at roughly the same height as your router. In most cases, that means putting it between two and four feet. However, that can shift around a bit as well depending on where you get the best results.
It’s also important to find an open area without too many obstacles or items around. While most extenders will work around such issues, the fewer things that are in your signal’s way, the better.
This section covers, and answers, some of the most asked questions about WiFi extenders.
How Do I Extend My WiFi Signal to Another Building 400 Feet Away?
The simplest and most effective solution is to use a cable from your router to the outbuilding. Burial-grade options that can be placed underground are the most effective options, but overground cables will work as well (even if they are more exposed).
Will a WiFi Extender Reach Across the Street?
Extenders can extend across a street as long as there are no obstacles. As that’s typically not the case, it’s best to use a cable in such situations.
Should a WiFi Extender Be Placed High or Low?
WiFi extenders always work better from a high point. They can extend your signal while on or near the floor, but you should keep them higher up whenever possible.
WiFi extenders have a ton of range, but they still need to be close to the router. As long as you ensure they’re twenty or fewer feet from the source, and have a model or brand that you trust, they should give you great results.
What WiFi extender do you use and where do you place it? What areas give you the best results? Let us know below!