My home is a 2-storey + basement. My Rogers CGN3ACSMR modem is in the basement, its wifi range is weak (but really weak), barely reaching the 2nd floor. On the 2nd floor, WiFi Netspot app shows 2 bars for the 2.4Ghz and 1 bar only on the 5GHz. I have a 75 Mbps plan.
Without considering the price into the equation, is it better to use a 3rd party wifi extender installed in the centre of main floor (I do currently have a wireless D-Link DAP-1720), or a 3rd party 4-stream WiFi-5 router installed in the centre of main floor & connected in bridge mode to the rogers modem in the basement via a 50-ft Cat6 ethernet cable.? I plan to use the extender or router for their wireless range capabilities only.
I do not care so much about security, privacy or firewall, I only care about wifi speed, performance, stability and strength. There is nothing more annoying or more embarassing than having a dropped internet during a work related Zoom presentation.
In my opinion, neither. If your Internet connectivity is stable but your Wi-Fi is not, get yourself a business-grade Wi-Fi access point. Disable Wi-Fi on your Rogers gateway and use the AP for Wi-Fi connectivity. Something like this is available on Amazon and goes on sale from time-to-time for $80 - $90. (If you are reading the literature, don't worry about the Omada or the Omada Cloud SDN stuff; that is for more complex setups with multiple Access Points) If you want to go for an upgrade, I also saw a TP-Link Wi-Fi 6 business AP on sale for around $150.
With these, you have full control over Wi-Fi and can manage a single-AP configuration using a web browser, like you would a router. You can see the signal strength and data rates of any device that connects to your Wi-Fi network. You can identify the devices with bad connectivity, that contribute to making your Wi-Fi slow and unstable, and can also confirm that critical devices on your Wi-Fi network also have good connectivity. You can't get that kind of control with consumer networking gear.