Due to their form factor, wall plug Wi-Fi extenders don’t have flexibility when it comes to placement. They’re reliant on available outlets between your router and your Wi-Fi dead zone. Other extenders are large and unattractive, but the Linksys RE7000 Max-Stream’s minimalist design helps it blend in and give your network a boost without clumsy exterior antennas.
In our tests, Wi-Fi range extenders fell into three performance tiers. The top performers, like the TP-Link RE450, boosted 90-100% of the original Wi-Fi signal. The Linksys RE7000 however, ended up near the middle with consistent scores. When introduced into our testing facility’s network, it captured and rebroadcast between 58% and 72% of the original Wi-Fi signal. Some signal loss is expected when using an extended network. Our network ranged between 220 Mbps to 450 Mbps while we tested the RE7000. With AC1900 specs, the RE7000 can theoretically handle up to 300 Mbps on its 2.4 GHz band and 1,733 Mbps on the 5 GHz band.
We measured each extender’s performance by running it through five trials of five tests. Using Ixia’s IX Chariot, we monitored both the original network broadcast by the router and the extended network. We then calculated the extended network as a percentage of the original network, since the Wi-Fi extenders only work with the available signal. The RE7000 performed consistently across our different test configurations that included obstructions like long distances, floors and walls.
The front of the RE7000 is glossy white and houses one light, which changes color to indicate different functions. Though it’s missing a few built-in features common to the category, including separate frequency band status lights and a signal strength indicator, the Linksys Spot Finder app functions as a digital tool to help with setup and placement instead. Setting it up was easy. The WPS worked fine, and we liked that the one indicator changed color to show that WPS was working properly. The RE7000 also features a small reset button and Gigabit Ethernet port, which has a small built-in LED to show you when it’s active.
The Linksys RE7000 has a seamless roaming feature that only works with a compatible Linksys router and allows you to automatically switch back and forth between the original and extended networks, depending on which is stronger where you are. Since extenders create their own networks, you would usually do this manually, so this perk is something worth considering.