To help us provide you with free impartial advice, we may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more

TP-Link RE815XE review: The first Wi-Fi 6E extender is fast and well priced

Our Rating :
£119.99 from
Price when reviewed : £120
inc VAT

A superbly speedy Wi-Fi 6E extender with performance benefits for both Wi-Fi 6 and 6E devices


  • Incredible speeds with Wi-Fi 6E devices
  • Great for more demanding streaming applications
  • 6GHz backhaul delivers faster network speeds for older devices


  • Needs a Wi-Fi 6E router for best performance
  • 6GHz band might not bring benefits at longer range

TP-Link was one of the first manufacturers to deliver a working Wi-Fi 6 extender, and now it’s back with the first Wi-Fi extender supporting Wi-Fi 6E. This is a fairly big deal, requiring the extender to transmit and receive not just on the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands we’re used to, but the new, less-congested 6GHz band introduced with the 6E revision.

What’s more, it’s comfortably the largest wireless extender I’ve tested, and the first where two or three antennas isn’t enough. With this one you’re looking at four beefy antennae to cover the additional bandwidth and ensure strong all-round coverage.

In short, you’re looking at the first in a new class of wireless extender, but what kind of performance does it bring to the table? I’ve spent a week using theTP-Link RE815XE and testing its speeds around my house to find out more.

TP-Link RE815XE Review: What do you get for the money?

Given the price that Wi-Fi 6E routers still command, this extender is actually pretty good value for money at £120. The extra connectivity does mean it’s a little on the chunky side, with 135mm antennas sticking out either side at the top and bottom.

The box itself measures 80 x 34 x 156mm (WDH), not including the plug which protrudes outwards near the bottom. Both the length of the antenna and the position of the plug may make it tricky to fit where the socket is sited just above the shelf or skirting board. The antenna do rotate, though, giving you a little wriggle room. Still, we’re not looking at the world’s most discreet Wi-Fi extender. Visitors can and will notice it while it’s clinging to your wall socket.

There’s ventilation on the front and all four sides to help it stay cool, along with five LED indicators on the left-hand edge, to cover power, the connection with your router and availability and activity on the 2.4GHz, 5GHz and 6GHz bands. On the right-hand side there’s a single Gigabit Ethernet port, a WPS button and a pinhole reset switch. The Ethernet port can be used to connect a single device to your wireless network, or you can use the RE815XE as a Wi-Fi 6E access point when switched to Access Point mode.

Crucially, the 6GHz band isn’t just there to support devices with Wi-FI 6E connectivity – it also enables the extender to work with your 6E router across a 6GHz backhaul, where the extra bandwidth and reduced congestion should mean speeds increase even for devices that don’t themselves support Wi-Fi 6E.

READ NEXT: Best mesh Wi-Fi routers

TP-Link RE815XE Review: How easy is to set up?

You can configure the RE815XE using the built-in, browser-based interface or the magic of WPS, but it’s easiest to do it using TP-Link’s Tether mobile app. Plug in the RE815X somewhere near your router, then run the app and it will take you through connecting directly to the extender via Wi-FI, selecting your existing 2.4GHz, 5GHz and 6GHz networks, entering your passwords and naming the extended networks.

By default, the app will add _EXT and _6GEXT suffixes to the network names, but you can always use the same name to allow for seamless roaming if you want. In fact, you’re recommended to do so if you have a TP-Link router that supports its OneMesh roaming tech as it can make the RE815XE part of its mesh.

The Tether app also provides options to check connected client devices and tune the extender for minimum, maximum or intermediate coverage. It also has remote management features and a handy tool to help you locate the best site for a good signal from your router. While it doesn’t give you the in-depth control you see with some Wi-Fi extenders and routers, Tether hits a nice balance between configuration options and ease-of-use.

TP-Link RE815XE Review: How well does it work?

To make the most of the RE815XE’s Wi-Fi 6E connectivity, I paired it with a TP-Link AXE75 router for testing. Any doubts about whether the 6GHz band would make that much difference to performance were soon blown away.

In my kitchen, I can usually get speeds of 10.65MB/sec downstream and 8.53MB/sec upstream with my Netgear RAX50 router; that’s usable, but not ideal. With our previous fastest Wi-Fi extender, the Devolo Wi-Fi 6 Repeater 5400, I could improve that to 47.7MB/sec downstream and 28.5MB/sec upstream. Using the RE815XE, I hit speeds of 70.35MB/sec and 49.35MB/sec, improvements of 47% and 73% respectively.

I should also point out that, using the AXE75 alone, without the extender, the highest speeds I could reach were 10.91MB/sec and  8.6MB/sec on the 5GHz band, and 11.4MB/sec and 6.87MB/sec on the 6GHz band.

Meanwhile, in my distant upstairs office, the Devolo Wi-Fi 6 Repeater gave me speeds of 41.82MB/sec and 28.17MB/sec. With the RE815XE, that leapt to 57.7MB/sec and 50.57MB/sec.

I also saw benefits when connecting to the extender through the Wi-Fi 6 5GHz band. Here, I was still able to transfer files at speeds of 64.03MB/sec and 50.39MB/sec in the kitchen, doubtless thanks to that 6GHz backhaul link. The news wasn’t so good in the office, however, where 5GHz speeds dropped to 34.44MB/sec and 35.14MB/sec for downloads and uploads. It may be that the socket I use for testing extenders in the office sits right at the edge of the 6GHz band’s shorter range.

Not everyone will need the additional performance, and if you just want connectivity for 4K video streaming for the TV in your bedroom or video meetings in your home office, then cheaper Wi-Fi 6 extenders should do the job.

However, where you have a lot of heavy network traffic or for more demanding applications like game streaming, the RE815XE can make a real difference. For example, I found I could use Xbox Games Pass Ultimate and PS5 Remote Play through the extender without any of the usual lag or blocking that occurs when connected directly through my router. Only the Devolo WiFi 6 Repeater 5400 has delivered a similar experience.

One downside of the RE815XE’ extra power is that it uses more energy than smaller extenders. Even idle, with no client devices connected, I measured power consumption at 6.1W. However, this only grew slightly with three devices connected and streaming video, peaking at 7.1W.

TP-Link RE815XE Review: Should you buy one?

Is this the best Wi-Fi extender out there? Well, it may be big and scary looking but it’s definitely the fastest, provided you have a Wi-Fi 6E router and Wi-Fi 6E-compatible client devices. It’s state-of-the-art when it comes to raw speed.

But if you don’t have a 6E router yet –  and that’s understandable given how expensive they remain – then you should consider one of the many Wi-Fi 6 alternatives. The Devolo WiFi 6 Repeater 5400 remains a strong contender, with a more flexible stand-alone design and an extra Ethernet port. And, further down the price range, you’ll still find excellent Wi-Fi 6 extenders from both TP-Link and Devolo.

Read more