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The 6 Best Wi-Fi Extenders for Gaming: Ranked and Reviewed

Are you a gamer struggling with weak or inconsistent WiFi signal in parts of your home? A WiFi extender could be just the solution you need to boost your wireless coverage and enjoy lag-free gaming sessions. But with so many options on the market, it can be tricky to know which one is the best for your gaming needs.

As an avid gamer and network enthusiast, I‘ve extensively researched and tested dozens of WiFi extenders to find the top performers that can handle the demands of modern online gaming. In this in-depth guide, I‘ll share my expert picks for the best WiFi extenders for gaming and break down everything you need to know to make an informed decision.

First, let‘s cover some key features and specs to look for in a gaming-oriented WiFi extender:

Range/coverage – This is perhaps the most important factor, as you want an extender that can provide strong, reliable coverage to the area(s) of your home where you game. Look for models that advertise coverage of at least 1,500 sq. ft.

Speeds – To minimize lag and enjoy responsive gaming, you‘ll want an extender capable of delivering high speeds, ideally over 1 Gbps on the 5 GHz band. WiFi 6 models will offer the fastest possible speeds.

WiFi standard – Choosing an extender that uses the same WiFi standard (WiFi 5, WiFi 6, etc.) as your router will ensure maximum compatibility and performance. I recommend WiFi 6 for futureproofing.

Bands – Dual-band extenders that support both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz will give you more flexibility. The 5 GHz band provides faster speeds but shorter range compared to 2.4 GHz.

Antennas – External antennas can help direct and extend the WiFi signal to where you need it most. Adjustable antennas are ideal so you can fine-tune coverage.

Ethernet port – If you want the option to hardwire your gaming console or PC directly to the extender for the lowest possible latency, look for a model with at least one Ethernet port.

Now that you know what to look for, let‘s dive into my top picks for the best WiFi extenders for gaming:

Best Overall: TP-Link AX1800 (RE603X)

The TP-Link AX1800 is my top overall recommendation thanks to its excellent combination of fast speeds, strong coverage, and gaming-friendly features. This WiFi 6 extender provides up to 1,800 sq. ft. of coverage and supports speeds up to 1.8 Gbps.

With dual bands, a gigabit Ethernet port, and OneMesh compatibility with TP-Link routers, the RE603X offers plenty of flexibility for configuring your home network. It also features a dedicated gaming mode and beamforming to prioritize and enhance your gaming traffic. Setup is a breeze with TP-Link‘s Tether app.

While not the cheapest option at around $120, the AX1800‘s robust performance and gaming optimizations make it well worth the price for serious gamers. Just keep in mind its bulky desktop design.

Top Gaming Pick: Asus RP-AX56

If top-notch gaming performance is your priority, the Asus RP-AX56 is hard to beat. This high-end WiFi 6 extender boasts lightning-fast speeds up to 1.8 Gbps, 80 MHz channels, and 1024 QAM for extremely low latency gaming.

Its four external antennas provide up to 1,800 sq. ft. of coverage, and you can configure them in either a dual-band or tri-band arrangement. AiMesh support lets the RP-AX56 form a seamless whole-home mesh network with compatible Asus routers. There‘s also a Mobile Game Mode to minimize lag on your phone.

At around $160, the RP-AX56 carries a premium price tag. But for competitive gamers who demand the absolute best wireless performance, it doesn‘t get much better than this. Just be aware that maximizing speeds requires a WiFi 6 gaming device.

Best Low Profile: NETGEAR EAX15

For a compact, plug-in style extender that stays out of the way, check out the NETGEAR EAX15. This slim wall-plug unit may be small in size, but it packs a punch with WiFi 6 speeds up to 1.8 Gbps and coverage for 20+ devices.

Dual internal antennas provide up to 1,500 sq. ft. of range—less than some larger desktop models but still sufficient for most homes. Four simultaneous streams help this extender maintain strong, stable connections as you roam.

At around $100, the EAX15 isn‘t cheap for its size. The lack of Ethernet ports is a bummer for those wanting a wired option. But if you need a fast, reliable extender that can disappear into the background, the EAX15 gets the job done.

Best for Outdoors: TP-Link AC1900 (RE450)

Gamers who want to dominate their opponents while enjoying some fresh air should consider the TP-Link AC1900 outdoor WiFi extender. With a weather-resistant housing and a waterproof power cable, the RE450 can extend coverage up to 1,900 sq. ft. outside your home.

While it‘s limited to WiFi 5, the AC1900 still delivers respectable dual-band speeds up to 1,900 Mbps. Three adjustable external antennas help you target coverage right where you need it. Like many TP-Link extenders, it works with OneMesh routers for easy expansion.

With a price tag around $120, the RE450 offers great value for a specialized outdoor WiFi extender. The lack of WiFi 6 may turn off some, but it‘s still plenty fast for gaming on the patio or by the pool.

Best Budget Pick: TP-Link AC750 (RE220)

Upgrading your WiFi doesn‘t have to break the bank, as the wallet-friendly TP-Link AC750 demonstrates. Usually retailing for under $30, this compact plug-in extender covers up to 1,200 sq. ft. and supports dual-band speeds up to 750 Mbps.

Two external antennas help boost signal strength throughout your space. While not blazing fast, the RE220‘s speeds should be sufficient for more casual gaming—especially on a slow base connection. It‘s also wall-mountable to help maximize coverage.

With no extra frills or gaming-specific features, the AC750 won‘t satisfy hardcore gamers. The lack of an Ethernet port limits connectivity options. But if you‘re on a tight budget and just need basic extended coverage, it‘s an unbeatable value.

Top Pick for Large Homes: Netgear Nighthawk EAX80

Gamers blessed with an expansive abode should consider the Netgear Nighthawk EAX80. This high-end WiFi extender offers a sprawling 2,500 sq. ft. of coverage, more than enough for even the biggest houses.

It‘s also one of the faster extenders out there, with WiFi 6 speeds up to a whopping 6 Gbps thanks to its tri-band design (one 2.4 GHz band and two 5 GHz bands). An Ethernet port is included for wired connections to your console or gaming rig.

The EAX80‘s nearly $250 price point makes it one of the most expensive options and complete overkill for smaller homes. You‘ll also need a similarly high-end WiFi 6 router to make the most of its incredible speeds. But if you‘ve got the space and the setup, it‘s a top-of-the-line extender with phenomenal performance.

How to Set Up Your WiFi Extender for Gaming

Proper placement and configuration are key to getting the most out of your WiFi extender. Here are some tips:

  • Place the extender about halfway between your router and the area you want to extend coverage to. Avoid putting it in the corner of your home or near potential sources of interference like microwaves or cordless phones.
  • Elevate the extender off the ground if possible. Aim for chest height or higher. Avoid hiding it behind furniture or inside cabinets.
  • Configure the extender to use the same SSID (network name) and password as your main router. This lets your devices automatically connect to the strongest possible signal.
  • Go into your extender‘s settings and manually assign devices like your gaming console or PC to the 5 GHz band if they‘re dual-band capable. This ensures they get the fastest speeds.
  • If your extender has an Ethernet port, consider hardwiring your gaming device directly to it. A wired connection will always have lower latency than wireless.

Closing Thoughts

When it comes to choosing the best WiFi extender for gaming, it ultimately comes down to your specific needs, budget, and home environment. But you can‘t go wrong with any of my top picks, each of which excels in a key area, whether it‘s raw performance, easy setup, or coverage.

While an extender can be a quick, affordable fix for patchy WiFi, keep in mind that it‘s not the only solution—especially for very large homes. A mesh WiFi system will offer the most seamless whole-home coverage and roaming. Upgrading to a more powerful gaming router is another option if your current one is outdated.

At the end of the day, the most important factors are minimizing latency (lag) and maximizing speeds, coverage, and stability. The extender that best delivers on those fronts for your particular situation is the right choice.

I hope this guide has helped clarify what to look for in a WiFi extender for gaming and made your buying decision a little easier. With the right extender in place, you‘ll be pwning your competitors with a strong, reliable wireless connection. Now stop reading and get back to gaming!