Everyone’s trying to make Wi-Fi cool.
With more and more devices looking to crowd up your internet connection at home, a wave of networking products has emerged claiming to help you sort things out.
Among those is the eero, a slick-looking router designed to work in tandem with other eeros, which can, in turn, blanket your home in Wi-Fi. If you live in a larger home, the idea is to set them up around the house, and make it so your connection is quietly handed off to whichever access point works best. This kind of mesh network isn’t a new idea, but it can work if you have spots that struggle to stay online.
You might not need to drop hundreds on a pack of eeros (or Lumas) to fix such a problem, though. If your space is small enough, a device like the D-Link DAP-1650 might do the job. It’s both a dual-band WiFi range extender, capable of giving your existing signal a little boost, and a wired access point, to which you can plug in an Ethernet cord from your router, and stretch out a wireless-AC connection even faster.
The whole thing is generally affordable at its usual $80-90, but as of this writing, Amazon has it down to $60. That’s the lowest it’s been on the site to date.
Reviews from The Wirecutter and PCMag have praised the DAP-1650 in the past, and currently, it has a 4.2 rating on Amazon after 248 user reviews. The gist of things is that it’s serviceable as a range extender — though you won’t want to rely on it with too many obstacles in the way — but is made much more useful by that access point functionality. This makes sense, considering that the latter almost always results in steadier and faster internet, even if stringing out a cable is less convenient than going totally wireless. Still, if your house isn’t too huge, it should still do enough to help either way.
There are heavier-duty extenders that are capable of more robust connections, and if you’re really having trouble, the best idea is still buying a new router outright (and making sure it’s in an open, centralized place). But if your Wi-Fi troubles are delicate enough for an extender or access point to be the most convenient choice, this is a deal worth considering.
Read the original article on Insider Picks. Copyright 2016.