NETGEAR WiFi Extender Setup Guide



A WiFi extender, also called a range extender, signal booster, WiFi booster, or WiFi repeater, is a device that relays the WiFi signal from your router to expand wireless internet coverage. A NETGEAR WiFi extender can significantly improve the WiFi signal reach.

Who Needs a WiFi Extender?

If your home requires better wireless coverage and compatibility with a wide range of devices such as laptops, keyboards, Apple iPads and iPhones, gaming consoles, printers, and smart home applications, you may want to consider the addition of a WiFi range extender. It’s worth placing the router close to the middle of your home to take advantage of the 360° WiFi signal coverage. A good WiFi signal should cover a large living room and the surrounding rooms. For greater WiFi coverage up to 8,200 sq. ft. and speeds up to 27Gbps, consider a NETGEAR Orbi 970 WiFi 7 whole-home mesh WiFi system.

How Does a WiFi Range Extender Work?

A WiFi range extender is typically set up midway between the WiFi router and the space you hope to improve with better WiFi coverage. For a guided NETGEAR range extender setup, you can download the NETGEAR App on your smartphone or computer. While most dual-band WiFi 5 range extenders need to be manually programmed to connect from the router to your devices, new NETGEAR tri-band WiFi 6 range extenders automatically switch over to the prioritised connection. The result is extended WiFi coverage to spaces that would otherwise suffer from poor connection quality and unsatisfactory WiFi speeds.

How to Choose a WiFi Extender

WiFi extenders are a great way to improve WiFi coverage, as long as the extender matches your router and wireless network capabilities. A new NETGEAR WiFi range extender will even function with an older wireless router, but it won’t improve that router’s capabilities. However, you will begin to experience the best of WiFi technology as you upgrade your router and legacy devices to WiFi 6, WiFi 6E, and WiFi 7. Every new WiFi standard has dramatically improved upon previous standards, and WiFi 7 is no exception.

If your existing network router can handle WiFi 6 or WiFi 7, you should avoid purchasing an outdated WiFi 5 range extender. WiFi 7 NETGEAR Nighthawk and Orbi routers are the best way to future-proof your home for the WiFi needs of today and tomorrow. NETGEAR solutions include WiFi extenders available in desktop or wall plug-in styles. The best WiFi extenders can include Ethernet port adapters for wired device connections. You can maximise internet speeds by connecting directly to the extender with an Ethernet cable.
The most popular NETGEAR range extenders, mesh extenders, and routers include:
AC750 WiFi Range Extender (EX3700): Dual-band WiFi Range Extender, 750 Mbps, Wall-plug, External Antenna. Create an extended network using your existing router plus a range extender. Enjoy fast WiFi speed and connectivity for smartphones, tablets, laptops, and more.

AX1800 WiFi Mesh Extender (EAX20): NETGEAR Dual-band WiFi 6, 1.8Gbps, 4-Stream Mesh Extender. This extender delivers great capacity, fast speed, and more coverage. Enjoy a better-connected home experience with faster WiFi.

AX6000 NETGEAR Nighthawk (EAX80): WiFi 6 Mesh Extender for the best possible WiFi performance and 6Gbps speeds, even in hard-to-reach spaces.

AC 1200 WiFi Range Extender (EX6120):Dual-band WiFi Range Extender, Essentials Edition, 1.2Gbps, wall-plug model with external antenna.

How to Set Up a NETGEAR WiFi Range Extender?

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NETGEAR WiFi range extenders are a breeze to set up. Simply plug the range extender in, then press the WiFi Protected Setup (WPS) buttons on your router and extender. Plug the extender in where the signal from your router is strong and connect to the internet. Experiment with the placement of your router, modem, range extender, laptops, gaming consoles, smart TVs, etc. to maximise your network potential.
Range extender WiFi system signals are subject to interference just like your main WiFi router. Avoid the WiFi signal from the router or extender having to pass through concrete walls and other hard surfaces. Some range extenders come with software that can help take the guesswork out of placement.

Step-By-Step Extender Setup Instructions

Firstly, download the Nighthawk App optimised for the latest NETGEAR Nighthawk range extenders. The app will guide you through the setup process. During a manual setup, you will be expected to follow these ten steps.

1. Power-Up: Plug in your extender. Look for the Power LED to light up.

2. Connect: Use your computer or mobile device to connect to the extender’s WiFi network.

3. Access the Setup Page: Open your app or web browser at your New Extender Setup page.

4. Admin Credentials: Agree to the admin credential terms and pick a unique password.

5. Security Questions: Choose and answer two password recovery security questions.

6. Connect to your network: Follow the prompts to connect to your network.

7. Configure Extender Network: Set up SSIDs and passwords for your extender.

8. Apply Settings: The extender will apply your settings after your password is entered.

9. Connect Devices: Note down the network name (SSID) and connect your devices.

10. Finalise Setup: Check the confirmation box and click CONTINUE.

Congratulations, your NETGEAR Extender is now ready to improve your home WiFi network!

Can a WiFi Extender Be Used with a Mesh WiFi System?

Yes, a WiFi range extender can be utilised with a Mesh WiFi system like Orbi. They can be handy, particularly for low-bandwidth stationary IoT devices such as a WiFi garage door opener. However, the optimal solution to extend an Orbi WiFi system is to incorporate additional Orbi Satellites matched to your existing Orbi system. This will ensure seamless roaming and comprehensive whole-home WiFi performance for all your connected devices.

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Additional Extender Resources

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For more information visit our Knowlegebase on on setting up a WiFi range Extender.

Thinking About Mesh WiFi as an Alternative to an Extender?

Is your WiFi range extender not living up to your needs? While a WiFi range extender can help broaden your network coverage, it isn’t always the most reliable solution for every scenario. Discover more about the differences between Mesh WiFi and WiFi Extenders. If your extender isn’t providing the necessary performance or features, consider upgrading to a robust Mesh WiFi system like Orbi. Mesh WiFi has several benefits:

  • Seamless Coverage: Unlike extenders, Mesh WiFi delivers consistent coverage without the hassle of multiple network names (SSIDs).
  • Simple Management: Oversee your entire network with a single interface, making control and monitoring effortless.
  • Enhanced Performance: With dedicated WiFi radios, Mesh systems offer better speed and stability, particularly in larger homes or areas with many devices.
  • Expandable Coverage: Orbi Mesh WiFi systems can be extended with additional WiFi Satellites, ensuring fast WiFi reaches every corner of your home.

In conclusion, while a NETGEAR WiFi range extender is a great option for extending your WiFi coverage, especially when boosting the range of your current router, a Mesh WiFi system might be more suitable for larger or more demanding environments. Assess your specific needs to determine the best solution for your home network.