And here we have the brute of the pack. This may be the most expensive extender in the roundup – though not by a huge margin – but it’s also the best performer, and it looks like it. TP-Link has gone for a very aggressive look with this beast, with its four-massive protruding antenna making it look like some kind of robotic insect.
Rated as an AC2600, or 2600MHz total combined bandwidth, makes this the fastest of the lot… on paper at least. Thankfully our benchmarks back up these numbers. It offers 800Mbps on the 2.4GHz spectrum, with another 1733MHz on the 5GHz spectrum. Like the Netgear, this is one of the very few extenders to offer the latest in MU-MIMO technology, and doesn’t require a firmware update to enable it, unlike many so-called MU-MIMO devices. TP-Link claims this beast has a range of 1300 square metres, big enough for a small warehouse.
It’s rather damn big, so will suck up a dual power point with ease, but comes with an Ethernet out if you so desire. There’s not a huge range of diagnostic LEDs – just one for each network channel, another for power, and one large LED that serves multiple purposes, mainly as a WPS connection button.
Configurability is unrivalled, especially when used in conjunction with the smartphone app. If you’re looking for the absolute best extender on the market, and don’t mind pay for it, then look no further – the RE650 will bring Wi-Fi to places you never thought possible… just make sure there’s no steel-lined walls (or blinds) in the way.