Best Outdoor Wifi Extender: Reviews of Our Favorites for 2020
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You have a powerful router that’s got all the members of your home and their devices connected to the internet. They remain seamlessly connected as they move, stream, work, and game from any corner of your home. But what about when they go outside? What about the dwindling connection in your back garden? Moving your router closer to the window won’t exactly solve the problem.
This is where an Outdoor WiFi Extender becomes a lifesaver. Whether you want to stream from your pool, stay connected from the far corners of your permaculture garden, or keep all the devices of your smart home, like security cameras or sprinklers, reliably connected to your wireless network, a great WiFi Extender will get the job done.
So, what is an Outdoor WiFi Extender?
An Outdoor WiFi Extender, which comes in the form of wireless repeaters (a.k.a. transmitters) or wireless access points, allows you to extend your wireless network beyond the walls of your home. They generally do this by connecting to your existing router and expanding your wireless coverage. The best Outdoor WiFi Extenders will help you expand your wireless network to the far corners of your property, withstand the harshest weather conditions, and provide you with a solid internet connection.
To help you find the best Outdoor WiFi Extender for your home, business, campus, or even event, we’ve scoured the market and came up with the best models available today. Our top picks will keep everyone in your garden or multi-building complex securely connected.
Best Outdoor WiFi Extender
Don’t have time? Here’s a quick overview of our favorite Outdoor WiFi Extenders:
Best for Most People: TP-Link Omada EAP225
Features: dual-band, maximum internet speed of 1,200 Mbps, MU-MIMO technology, app that provides cloud management of network, durable build, affordable.
Runner-Up: NETGEAR Orbi Outdoor Satellite
Features: tri-band, IP66 (ingress protection rating), compatible with any router, can be used to form mesh network, increases wireless coverage by 2,500 square feet.
Best Range: Winegard RW-2035
Features: increases wireless by a radius range of 1,000 feet, which is a total of 1 million square feet, strong signal, uses 802.11n wireless network standard, offers an additional guest network.
Best Value-for-Money COMFAST AC1200
Features: dual-band, maximum aggregate speed of 1,200Mbps, can be used as AP (access point) or router, IP66.
Without further ado, let’s look at our favorite Wifi extenders in more detail!
Best for Most People: TP-Link Omada EAP225
The TP-Link Omada EAP225 is our top pick for most people as it combines an affordable price with excellent performance. The EAP225 is actually an outdoor access point rather than a WiFi extender, but once you get past the trouble of connecting it to an Ethernet cable, you’ll find that it provides a stronger, more reliable connection than a lot of extenders in the same price category. The EAP225 access point allows for up to 60 connected devices, an excellent maximum speed of 1,200Mbps, and features MU-MIMO technology.
The TP-Link EAP225 is a great choice for a network with high traffic density, so we especially recommend it for commercial and office spaces. It has all the technology you need for multiple device streaming outside. As we already mentioned, while extenders can support about 20 devices, access points can support up to 60 devices. Additionally, the EAP225 features MU-MIMO (multi user-multiple input, multiple output) technology, which allows for multiple users and devices to stream seamlessly at the same time.
The EAP225 is a dual-band access point that offers a fast and long-range connection. The combined maximum speed of the two bands is 1,200Mbps. The 2.4GHz band has a range of over 200 meters, while the 5GHz band has a range of over 300 meters in outdoor settings. This long-range coverage is possible thanks to the omnidirectional, high-transmission power and high gain antennas that the EAP225 is equipped with. These antennas are also detachable, so you can always replace them if you need to increase the range.
We also recommend the EAP225 for a smart home. As it has a powerful signal and a long-range outdoor connection, you can connect your home’s security system, cameras, or sprinklers to this wireless access point.
The EAP225 is easy to set up outdoors and quite durable. It offers versatile yet simple mounting options, so you can set it up on a pole, the outside wall of your home or office, and so on. The EAP225 is designed with the outdoors elements in mind, so it can withstand any weather condition and temperature without damage or loss in quality. This access point comes with a waterproof enclosure, has no ingress on dust, and features lightning protection.
The software of the TP-Link EAP225 is also easy to install and manage, while the Omada app is very user-friendly. You can use it to manage your network, create a guest portal with required authentication, and get free cloud management access. Basically, you’ll be able to manage your network remotely, too, with the Omada app – another reason why it’s a great choice for a business.
One drawback of opting for an access point rather than a WiFi extender is that you will need to connect it to an Ethernet cable, which may be tricky in some outdoor scenarios.
Another possible drawback of this access point in comparison to some other WiFi extenders is that it can’t be turned into satellites for a mesh network.
Runner-Up: NETGEAR Orbi Outdoor Satellite
The NETGEAR Orbi Outdoor Satellite is a very close second to the best outdoor WiFi extender, thanks to its excellent durability and performance. It has a near-perfect weather-resistance score, can be connected to your existing router – whatever brand it be – to create a mesh network, and extends your range to the great outdoors by 2,500 square feet. This tri-band WiFi extender will allow you and your family to stream seamlessly from your garden.
The Orbi Outdoor satellite offers excellent internet speeds, which is sometimes hard to find with a network extender. It helps transfer data quickly thanks to its 1.7Gbps of wireless backhaul. This will allow you, your family, and guests to comfortably use a wireless connection outdoors for more data-intense activities, such as streaming.
The Orbi satellite extender is a very versatile option, as it’s compatible with nearly all router models and brands. You won’t have to go searching for a new router to pair with this extender – instead, you can use it to create your own home wireless mesh network. The great thing about a mesh network is that it automatically transfers your connection to the nearest wireless access point available. This means that when you’re in your living room, your smart device will be connected to your router, and when you move to your garden, it will automatically connect to the extender, instead. You won’t have to worry about any manual reconnecting to get the best possible connection.
The Orbi is a very durable WiFi extender. Its Ingress Protection (IP) rating is 66 out of a possible maximum IP of 68. The IP rating determines how resistant it is against water and dust. The Orbi can easily withstand high and low temperature, snow, rain, or your garden sprinklers.
The Orbi is also really easy to set up. You can mount it on any pole, wall, gazebo, or shed to an ideal location that will keep your outdoors connected.
This WiFi extender is another great choice for a smart home. It will make sure that no part of the devices in your wireless network are offline or out of sync with the controls thanks to its 2,500 square feet of added wireless coverage. Plus, if you have an outdoors entertainment system, the Orbi will ensure that you can always stream seamlessly.
The Orbi also offers a guest network option which supports multiple devices with limited bandwidth, but you’d need to have an Orbi mesh router for this feature. You can also look into this other NETGEAR Orbi Outdoor Satellite which works only with the Orbi™ Home and Orbi™ Pro WiFi System, if you happen to own either of these. However, this model is pricier than our other recommendations.
The Orbi Outdoor Satellite is quite pricey – it’s nearly seven times the cost of the TP-Link.
Another drawback is that setup can be a bit of a hassle. Moving the extender nearer to your router during setup can help you get rid of these problems, and you’ll be able to mount it afterwards.
Best Range: Winegard RW-2035
The Winegard RW-2035 Extreme Outdoor WiFi Extender offers the longest WiFi range of any extender, with an additional radius range of 1000 feet, which adds up to an impressive one million square feet of total coverage. We especially recommend the Winegard for large properties, as its long-range can provide your small farm, pool area, or garage with a strong wireless signal.
The Winegard offers a strong and powerful wireless signal that will eliminate all dead zones thanks to its three amplified high-gain, omnidirectional antennas. This allows the extender to broadcast a wireless connection to a total area of 1 million square feet. If you’ve got outdoor recreational areas, multiple buildings in your estate, or a smart home with external gate security cameras, lights, and sprinklers, this extender will ensure that they will never be disconnected from your home’s wireless network.
The Winegard is easy to include in your existing wireless network. Simply connect it to your existing router using an Ethernet cable to cover outdoor areas that are far from the router.
If you have a lot of guests in your home or office building, this WiFi extender is a great choice. It provides a guest network option, so you can set up an additional wifi network with a seperate password for your guests. This will ensure the security of your core network at all times.
With great power comes a great bill – the Winegard is one of the priciest recommendations on our list of favorites.
Another drawback is that the Winegard doesn’t support the 802.11ac wireless network standard, so its top internet speed isn’t very high. However, this is a necessary measure to ensure the longest possible wireless range. So while this extender is ideal for large smart homes and staying online far from your router, it’s not the best choice for smooth outdoor streaming.
Best Value-for-Money COMFAST AC1200
The COMFAST AC1200 offers the best value for your money, as this dual-band WiFi extender offers high speeds for a highly affordable price. The Comfast is quite versatile, as it can be used as an access point or a router, depending on the size of your yard and your household’s needs. Plus, this wifi extender is quite durable, with an IP rating of 66.
The Comfast is a dual-band WiFi extender that offers a high data transfer, as it supports the 802.11ac wireless network standard and has high maximum internet speeds. The maximum internet speed is 1,200Mbps divided between two channels. The 5GHz band, which is great for intense online activities such as streaming and gaming, has a maximum speed of 867Mbps. The 2.4GHz band, which has the farthest wireless reach, has a maximum speed of 300Mbps.
For the money, this extender has a lot to offer in terms of signal strength and stability. It features high-gain omnidirectional antennas that will help provide a wireless connection to your backyard, outhouse, or pool area. Thanks to the featured power amplifier, both bands will provide you with a stronger and steadier internet connection.
The Comfast is a versatile extender option. You can set it up to serve as either an access point (AP mode) or a router (router mode). AP mode is recommended for large yards, while router mode is recommended for medium-sized yards.
And it’s quite durable as well! Like the Orbi Outdoor Satellite, it has an impressive IP (Ingress Protection) rating of IP66. The extender is enclosed in a waterproof housing, features lightning protection, and is additionally dustproof, antifreeze-equipped, and capable of handling the most extreme temperature.
Mounting the Comfast is quite easy. It requires a PoE power adapter, which is included with the purchase, and an ethernet cable. The Comfast’s design makes mounting it in any convenient location super easy. And if you have any problems, the Comfast tech support is always ready to help you out!
Some customers have found the installation guide for this extender a bit confusing, but there are YouTube tutorials that thoroughly explain installation, making it a much easier process.
Our favorite outdoor WiFi extender that’ll suit most people is the TP-Link Omada EAP225 thanks to its affordable price and excellent performance. This wireless access point has a durable build that will withstand the elements and the most extreme temperatures. It offers great internet speeds across the bands, and features MU-MIMO technology which makes it great for streaming. This is a great choice for smart homes as well as office parks. Even though it’s our top choice, the Omada only costs $69.99.
Our runner-up for best outdoor wireless extender is the NETGEAR Orbi Outdoor Satellite. This tri-band extender is also quite durable, with weatherproof rating of IP66. Additionally, the Orbi is compatible with any router and can be used to form a home mesh network (each satellite adds 2,500 square feet of wireless coverage). This outdoor satellite is a great choice for a smart home, or if you’re looking to create a high-quality mesh network that will allow you to stream from the farthest corners of your yard. However, the Orbi is quite pricey, costing $319.99.
The best possible range is offered by the Winegard RW-2035 Extreme Outdoor WiFi Extender. We recommend this option for the largest or large properties or building complexes, as it covers an impressive million square feet of area with wireless internet signal. If you have an outer gate with smart security (like cameras or lights), or a garden with smart sprinklers, this extender will ensure that they always stay connected. Keep in mind that in order to achieve such range, the extender’s design has had to sacrifice internet speed. Don’t expect to do any streaming on its connection. The Winegard is the priciest option on our list, costing $306.00.
Our top value-for-money choice is the Comfast AC1200. The Comfast has a similar maximum speed as the TP-Link Omada, with a total maximum speed of 1,200Mbps. The Comfast is quite versatile, as you can choose whether to use it as an AP or a router, depending on the needs and size of your outdoor property. The Comfast also has a high weatherproof rating of IP66, so you can be sure it will be strong against any weather conditions. The Comfast is priced at just $66.99.
How To Choose the Best Outdoor WiFi Extender
So we’ve gone over the best Outdoor WiFi Extenders on the market, but which one is the best choice for you? To help you answer this question, we’ve gone over the main factors you should consider when choosing the best option for your needs.
Make Sure the Extender Is Compatible With Your Router
Before settling on an Outdoor WiFi Extender, make sure that the model you choose is compatible with your existing wireless router. While a lot of models of extenders are compatible with most models and brands of routers, this isn’t always the case. Some extenders only work with routers of the same brand, or a certain series of the same brand.
So, to reiterate, go to the product’s page and check whether it will work with your existing router, so you won’t have to go through either returning the extender or buying a new router.
Check the Extender’s Durability to the Outdoors
Most Outdoor WiFi Extenders come with an Ingress Protection (IP) rating number that describes how protected the device is against dust and water. The highest IP rating is IP68, so anything near that number means that your new extender will be able to tough it out, come rain or shine. If your extender of choice doesn’t have a specified IP rating, check that it’s enclosed in a waterproof case, that it has lightning protection, and that it’s dustproof. Additionally, you should check the temperature range that the extender can withstand.
Mesh Wireless Networks System, or Only An Extender?
If you’ve got a large property, you may want to consider getting WiFi extenders that can be incorporated into a mesh network. Mesh networks can be costly, but they can help you eliminate all dead zones on your property, inside and out.
If you have a very large smart home, you’ll either need to get several extenders and build a unified mesh network, or choose an extender (like the Winegard) that has the highest possible wireless range which can cover your entire property. In any case, make sure that the WiFi extender, or extenders, have the sufficient coverage to provide wireless to every smart device that you want to connect to the internet.
A Few Words Before You Go…
Hopefully, you’ve found our reviews and buying guide useful in your search for the best Outdoor WiFi Extender for your home, office, or other venue that you need wireless coverage for.
In any case, we hope that you’ve found what you’re looking for – whether it’s a good streaming connection for a summer moonlight cinema in your backyard, or a strong signal to connect your smart home’s devices to the internet reliably.
In case you need it, here’s a reminder of our top picks:
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Last updated on September 24, 2020. Pricing Information and Product Images obtained from Amazon Product Advertising API.
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