Can’t Get Reliable/Consistent Signal With Wi-Fi Extender (How To Fix)

Wi-Fi Error

This can be quite a common problem when using Wi-Fi range extenders, since their performance (the the performance of Wi-Fi in general) can be so unpredictable and variable. It’s also a problem I’m dealing with right now using my extender/repeater.

You might follow all the correct setup steps, but still struggle to get a reliable or consistent signal to actually use your extender effectively. The signal might still be too weak to even get started, or it might work for a short while, but then suddenly stop working and you lose internet halfway through doing something.

In this quick guide, we’re going to offer some quick solutions for this problem to try and get a Wi-Fi extender working more reliably with a better signal. There may be ways to fix this problem, by just moving the extender, but in some cases, it might be best to explore different home networking solutions, so we’ll cover all the bases in this post.

The Best Place To Install Extenders For A Reliable Signal

In general, the best place to install a Wi-Fi extender is at a mid-way point between your router and the wireless “dead-zone” or where you’re using your devices. This should in theory provide the best signal, while also making sure your extender can still “capture” the router’s signal and forward data.

If you are continually losing connection with your extender’s network, it may be that it’s too far away from the devices/deadzone and you need to move it closer. However, it’s also a good idea to check that it’s not the extender losing connection with the router instead, which is the opposite problem of where you need to move it closer to the router.

Therefore, you might need to experiment plugging the extender in different wall sockets to find an optimum spot, where you can get a good signal from your devices, but it’s also close enough to the router to work reliably without dropping the signal.

See also the video below for a good demonstration of how best to install and use extender:


Here are some tips from the video, plus some more of our own on placing extenders:

  • Try to find an outlet without obstructions, and halfway between the router and “deadzone” (where this isn’t possible in houses, you’ll need to experiment moving it and using it in different sockets and see what works best).
  • Make sure the extender is in range of the router so it can ALWAYS pick up it’s signal and not drop out
  • Try not place extenders behind or under furniture or other obstructions
  • If the extender has got antenna, point them in the direction the signal is needed.
  • The more walls the signal has to travel through, the less likely performance is guaranteed
  • In open plan spaces, try to place the extender in direct line of sight of the router
  • In more difficult situations in houses where your router and “dead-zone” are diagonally opposite (eg. The router is installed in the front lower room and you need the signal reach the upper rear room), it’s more tricky and may need some experimentation. I’ve got this problem right now, and I get the best results plugging the extender in on the upstairs landing. It’s still close enough to the router that it can pick up it’s signal, so it works quite well. Try downstairs and upstairs sockets and see what gives the best speeds/signal.

Try Switching Wi-Fi Bands (2.4 GHz better)

This is another quick thing you can try, since there’s a bit of an obsession in tech right now with “5 GHz” and “dual band” functionality, but honestly, it’s not always warranted and can even sometimes be counterproductive.

When the extender signal is needing to travel through more walls or over longer distance, use the 2.4 GHz band on dual band extenders, since this works better over distance and through objects than 5 GHz.

In other words, don’t even bother with 5 GHz extender bands over longer distance; just stick to the older 2.4 GHz. When a dual band extender is configured, it’ll usually create two separate extender networks (one for each band). Be sure to find and connect to the 2.4 GHz one if you’re currently on 5 GHz, and see if you get a better or more stable signal over distance.

Move The Extender Close To The Router & Back Again

This is more something to try if your extender seems to keep losing the signal to the router rather than to your own devices.  When this happens, you’ll often find the extender suddenly stops working, or it can be fine and then suddenly you get a “connected, no internet” error on your network list.

This is mostly not your devices losing connection with the extender, but the extender losing signal with the router. Try moving the extender back into a wall socket close to the router for a few minutes, and then back to it’s original spot or another spot if you want (extenders remember custom settings when unplugged, so you can do this).

Sometimes the signal with the router just needs refreshing periodically and it works again. That’s the most common problem I’m encountering now with my extender.

What If I Can’t Get A Reliable Signal Using Any Plug Socket?

Because of how fickle and variable Wi-Fi is, and also the layout of some houses, it can be that you literally can’t get a reliable signal that doesn’t drop out no matter where you try plugging the extender in. You’ve tried using all the power outlets/wall sockets you can, and you’re still not getting a more consistent signal.

Here are some alternative suggestions if you’re at this stage:

  1. You might just have to keep moving the extender back near the router, and then back to it’s original spot again, every time the signal drops out. Not a very satisfactory solution, but it’s what I’m doing right now and can manage the situation while you’re putting a longer term solution in place.
  2. Try using a 5/10m power extender cord lead to move the extender to a place where you can get a reliable signal (there’s nothing stopping you plugging them into extensions). Might be an ugly but effective solution.
  3. Try a more reliable and reputable brand of extender with strong reviews (see our page for some suggested models in different price ranges).
  4. Try a standard or wireless powerline adapter instead. Sends data via the electrical wiring of the house and can be a good way of  bypassing Wi-Fi and installing a cloned access point right where it’s needed in the exact room.
  5. Try a Mesh System, which are more expensive but more effective versions of extenders, which should provide more comprehensive and reliable coverage, especially in larger houses.


Online gamer and general home networking enthusiast. I like to create articles to help people solve common home networking problems.

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