Wifi booster/extender

Apologies in advance as i suspect this has been asked before – my search ability is poor!! :frowning:
i found our that my wifi signal is very poor in the garden and i would like to investigate using some booster/extender(?). Anyone recommend a specific one that is working well for them. I notice most of them plug into mains – i suspect this may play havoc with SQ of my system – but i would always disconnect it i guess if i wanted to listen to my system.

many thanks/ken

I have an Apple Extreme base station connected directly to my router in the lounge, and an Apple Airport Express in my music room, at the rear of the house.

Previously, I’d tried various wi-fi extenders, plugged into the mains, and quite apart from any noise being introduced, they just didn’t work.

I now have a rock solid signal in the music room, and the good news is that, now that Apple no longer support wi-fi, the above kit is available for pennies on the usual auction site. :+1:

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thanks dave!!

A couple of weeks back i ditched my (quite old now) Airport Extreme / Airport express setup for a Mesh system. We had a few dead spots in the house and minimal coverage out into the garden. I bought a TP Link Deco M4 system, 3 smallish white cylinders. The Master, down in the office at the front of the house is plugged into our Cable modem. One slave is in the dining room at the back of the house and the other slave is upstairs.

Result, no dead spots, decent fast Wi-Fi in the front and back gardens and very easy to set up too.

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Hi KenC. Not sure if you are in the UK, but I have just replaced my Apple Airport Extreme/Express home wifi set up. Apple have discontinued this product and my set up was showing signs of being overstreched in a wifi demanding household. After much research of the latest mesh systems (online reviews, testimonials, youtube etc), I selected the TP-Link Deco M4 Whole WiFi system. Just installed their triple pack (in fact bought 2 as the price was very good), set up was easy peasy and it seems to be working very well. (now have coverage well into my back garden which is a bonus! Hope this helps?


I would suggest the latest wifi technology, i.e. mesh wifi, whether it is google or linksys or netgear.

The good thing about mesh wifi is that the design is modular, and extensible, you can add more slave devices as many as needed, and the performance is more or less constant around the house.

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Hey james_n looks like we both replied at a the same time and have both come to similar results :+1:

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Best to get a mesh one that works with your router I think. Means you can have a single WiFi id.

I use a couple of Netgear ones which work well with my router (Netgear EX6410 if you want to look it up).

Hi Ken
I would suggest that you consider your whole network, rather than just considering the need for one device to extend the existing LAN into a new area. Having the whole network, wired and wireless, running on compatible hardware, all from the same brand, is likely to be easier to set up and use.
The gold standard is to use modern Mesh wireless access points, all of which are themselves connected back to your router with Ethernet cables. Some time ago, a Naim staff member reported very good results using Ubiquiti AP-AC Lite devices in this way, and some forum members have done the same.
If you really can’t run cables to several points around your house to connect these, some of the consumer branded Mesh sysyems would be a good option, such as the BT Whole Home discs. One of these should be wired to your router, but the others can use just a wireless connection. Whichever solution you choose, you should ensure that you have enough of them around your house to give good coverage, and experiment with positioning to make sure there are no gaps.
If you really want a solution that is as cheap as possible, an AirPort Extreme wired to your router, and several Airport Express around the house can work well, although it’s rather dated technology compared to what’s available now.

Thanks Paul!! Yes, i am in the UK. And my provider is Virgin Media. I do not want to replace the router. IIRC my router is set up as a router (!!) i.e. not modem mode (i.e. i have only one router in my setup). This TP-Link sounds interesting – but i am assuming it can simply connect either to a spare port on the router (or one of the ports on my NetGear switch???)


Hi KenC. Same here, but my router is a BT hub. The first TP-Link connects to that and takes over WiFi duties to the house. Other units then connect to this master unit, either wirelessly or via Ethernet connection, to help spread WiFi over a greater area. The more units the greater WiFi spread as each one connects to the other creating the WiFi mesh. I actually disable the WiFi on my BT hub as it is no longer required. I’m no expert on this but do check out the Tp-Link web site and research ‘whole home WiFi’.

As PaulW I have the same setup with the tplink Deco M5 mesh . Set up is easy with the app. There is a 3rd party mount available for the Deco M5 which enables it to be mounted at the socket instead of having to find somewhere to stand it. So no trailing wires

Look up Stanstar Wall mount. It’s available from Amazon.


Hi Ken, I wouldn’t use extenders, by their nature they can often clobber the overall performance of your wireless lan… probably not good these days, as well as causing some interoperability issues with certain apps. Boosters are fairly ineffective too… as wifi needs to be two way.

I would look at at a home mesh system from Ubiquiti, BT Whole home and many others…yes you will need to likely replace your current wifi, and possibly disable your router wifi, but the mesh should adapt to your conditions and usage if you have several discs or nodes. Do however position, as with all wifi access points and nodes, as high as you can and/or with minimum electrical clutter around them if you want them to work optimally. Remember wifi relies on sensitive radios.

The BT Whole Home system works and integrates exceptionally well if you have a current BT Smart Hub2, but will clearly works well with other ISPs. Very plug and play… no real technical skills required.

Ubiquiti have mesh access point nodes designed for outdoor locations. Ubiquiti requires a little more thought to setup, but is still relatively straightforward.

Hi Ken,
I was recently in the same situation as you and I have solved it by installing a Ubiquiti AP-AC LR access point. It wasn’t straight forward but it now works and I can stream HD video at the bottom of my 200ft long garden.
My problem was that I live in a 180 year old cottage with 3 foot thick stone walls and the kitchen and garden was on the other side of the wall from the router - wifi everywhere else was fine so I did not want to turn off the wifi on my router. I ran an ethernet cable from the router to the kitchen and connected the Ubiquiti. I set up separate SSIDS for 2.4 and 5 networks. The Ubiquiti was a bastard to connect to and the jargon the product guides uses is opaque - I couldn’t connect via bluetooth so had to install a “controller” on a laptop (twice!) before it would work. It all works OK now but it was a real pain in the arse. The main problem is that like you I only want extra wifi range. Ubiquiti wants you to have a mesh system with loads of “professional” activities and controls and all the support is aimed at that audience.
I bought mine from Broadband Buyer who have a great web site and pre sales advice but after you have bought it “customer services” refer you to the manufacturer’s support and won’t help at all. Ubiquiti support turns out to be the gang the IT Crowd comedy series was based on! After directing you to various FAQ web pages you have already read and found to be irrelevant they give random advice that takes no acount of the situation you are in.
Bottom line is that the device itself works very well but you need to persevere to get it going. Once it is set up it is easy to control - best of luck!

Mesh WiFi is the way to go as many have already advised. With two home offices now, I recently installed Google Nest which was very simple to set up. I have a virgin media hub which I had to switch to modem mode before setting up the Nest but that was easy enough.

Hi Pev, in your setup, you ideally want to put another Ubiquiti access point where near your router wifi, and disable your router wifi to get the full benefit. Ubiquiti will manage your wifi as a single wlan, and roaming and steering will then work optimally, a key part of performant wifi…the access points effectively work with each other. You can add Ubiquiti mesh points on top if needed if you have coverage black spots. It sounds like you have done the hard bit already…The next bits should be straightforward.

Ubiquiti products are really good here, they can integrate cooperating access points as an ESSID for maximum performance and load sharing, and integrate wirelessly to their mesh nodes for more fringe or less loaded areas . It then manages it all as a single wlan… with no faffing about with different SSIDs or authentication connections, it’s seamless.

Hi Simon
thanks for the advice which will make sense for many people. In practice I find that I already have seamless roaming just by using the same SSIDs for the router and the Ubiquiti. I was prepared to turn the router wifi off and go mesh but it hasn’t been necessary for me. My needs are very simple - just decent wifi all over the house and garden and my Linksys router and the one extra access point provide that for me.

I’ll echo this. My ISP is Talk Talk and I use a 3rd party Billion router with the BT Whole Home Wi-Fi mesh system and it works a treat. The BT system is very easy to set up; an Ethernet cable from the router in to the first disc and the app guides you from there. From out of the box to fully up and running in about 10 minutes. The app also makes it easy to have great control over the Wi-Fi network. It also seems to have solved the problems I was having with my recently acquired ND5XS2 where it would just lose visibility from the Naim app. Getting rid of powerline extenders was something I should have done ages ago, the problems with the ND5XS2 were just the kick up the backside I needed to do it.


Hi Pev… thanks, yes the key considerations to my mind are fast transition roaming(802.11r) which doesn’t always work so well across brands and older equipment, but glad it’s working for you… and if fast roaming is not enabled, then your clients will be doing the heavy lifting relying on 802.11k and re authenticating each time… it will be slower, but may not be noticeable for your uses.
The other aspect is network assisted roaming for band steering and load balancing using 802.11v, again this might not always work well across consumer brands…

But if your access points are completely isolated from each other then the above won’t provide much if any benefit… if you have overlap in the wifi zones then it is of more benefit. …

But sure if all working as well as you need don’t fiddle, but you could get it to work even better… perhaps… :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Can you hard-wire something like a PC into these units? I see they have ethernet ports.