Saving with 6abc: How to boost your Wi-Fi signal at home for under $250

ByNydia Han and Heather Grubola WPVI logo
Thursday, May 11, 2023
Inexpensive ways to boost Wi-Fi dead zones at home
Few things are more annoying than dealing with a Wi-Fi dead zone in your home. Thankfully, there are some easy and inexpensive fixes to give you a faster connection.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Its 2023, and few things are more annoying than dealing with a Wi-Fi dead zone in your home. The good news is fixing it is easy and, as Consumer Reports explains, doesn't have to cost you a lot of money.

What's the magic of a mesh router? It's actually pretty simple: Mesh networks use several routers together to spread the Wi-Fi signal throughout your home and around obstacles.

Some common items include a fish tank, a big metal refrigerator, and the pipes in your home. These can all block the Wi-Fi signal and prevent you from getting a decent connection.

Consumer Reports tests routers for what matters most: how fast they send a Wi-Fi signal from several distances, and data privacy and security.

The mesh networks Linksys AX3200 E8452 (Wi-Fi 6; two-pack, $200; $390 in Canada) and TP-Link Deco W6000 AX3000 (Wi-Fi 6; two-pack, $150; not available in Canada) aced all of CR's distance tests.

They can be set up using an app and have automatic firmware updates to help protect you and your data online.

They both support Wi-Fi 6. But even a mesh network that uses the older Wi-Fi 5 may feel like an upgrade from your old router. And it'll save you some money.

Everything is backward-compatible. So, if you buy a brand new iPhone today, which has the latest Wi-Fi chip in there, it's going to work fine with the Wi-Fi 5 router.

Like the Google Nest Wifi (Wi-Fi 5; three-pack, $180; $350 in Canada), CR's experts say it's great for small or medium-sized houses. It also has automatic firmware updates and can be set up using an app.

If you want to spend even less money, CR says a Wi-Fi extender can be useful in some situations, especially if you're dealing with only one pesky dead spot in your home.

They can cost $50 or less.

A wireless router is responsible for handling all of the data that flows in and out of your home.

Choosing the best one for you depends on many factors, including the size and layout of your home.

In the guide video below, Consumer Reports explains what you need to consider when shopping for a new router.

Consumer Reports: Router Buying Guide