If you're tired of slow and spotting WiFi in the hard-to-reach places in your home then a WiFi extender is the best answer. Unlike a mesh network, extenders are cheap and do a very similar job. Today, we're comparing the Netgear WN3000RP and LinkSys RE6500 to find the best WiFi extenders for every budget and house.
Whether you're working from home, a seasoned gamer, or just someone who is tired of having sub-standard connection, WiFi extenders attach to your existing WiFi setup – whether Virgin, BT, Sky, or someone else – and carry the signal that much further, through tricky walls and over gardens.
Now, if you've got shocking WiFi then we should probably note that an extender piggybacks off that and so won't fix chronic problems with slowness. You're going to need something a bit beefier for that and we recommend checking out our guide to the best mesh networks, which basically turn one router into several.
But if your WiFi is good enough – or even better than that – and you just have some areas with bad connectivity, like a garden room or faraway bedroom, then a WiFi extender is ideal, cost-effective, and proven to work.
Let's jump into our comparison of the Netgear WN3000RP and Linksys RE6500 to find the best WiFi extenders for you.
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Netgear WN3000RP vs Linksys RE6500: features
The first, and perhaps biggest, thing we need to note about the Netgear and Linksys is that they're designed for very different markets and needs. Netgear's is simple, pretty cheap, and ideal for people who are getting their first extender, while Linksys' is high-end, aimed squarely at people who want the absolute best.
Take Ethernet ports: Netgear's WN3000RP comes with one while the RE6500 has four – yes, four – built right in. The WN3000RP manages speeds of up to 300 Mbps, which is very respectable, while the RE6500 can manage a staggering 1,200 Mbps.
Linksys' model supports dual-bands, meaning connectivity is available on both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz spectrums, while Netgear's supports only 2.4GHz. For most, these features will make little difference but if you want tippity top WiFi, we'd recommend the Linksys straight away.
Perhaps the biggest sign of how powerful the Linksys RE6500 is comes from its range: 10,000 square feet. By contrast, Netgear's can manage somewhere in the region of 1,000 square feet.
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Netgear WN3000RP vs Linksys RE6500: everything else
We've walked you through the features of the Netgear and Linksys WiFi extenders and most likely you're getting some idea of the best models for you. Ultimately, we think it comes down to whether you want something that's ideal for most or something that's very high-end.
In terms of the design, the Netgear WN3000RP is the more traditional looking of the two WiFi extenders, offering the popular two-antennae design, while the RE6500 looks a lot more like a standard network router than an extender, creating space for the four Ethernet ports.
Netgear WN3000RP vs Linksys RE6500: which is best?
The key things separating the Netgear WN3000RP and Linksys RE6500 basically come down to something simple: price. If you're looking for a cheaper WiFi extender that does the job, perhaps to get signal to a distant bedroom, then the Netgear is absolutely the best choice.
However, if you want something a bit more powerful, a bit more fully featured, then the Linksys RE6500 is easily the best option here and in general. It's larger than other models but comes with four Ethernet, a gigantic range, dual-band, and a lot more besides. Plus, you might even be able to nab a great deal.