7 Multi-room wifi systems tested: a hot mesh

Mesh is nice when it works, but no universal solution


TP-Link Deco

TP-Link was also early with a mesh product, the Deco. As in the regular router market, the strategy of the Chinese network manufacturer seems to be to offer as much as possible at the lowest possible price. For the set of three you pay an average of 324 dollars in our price comparison, a separate unit you already have for 121 dollars. TP-Link's mesh-system is thus the cheapest participant in the test field; we will see later whether this correlates with the performance. Deco is a dual-band system from the AC1300 class with support for onboard MU-MIMO. The system does not have a dedicated wireless backhaul and combines 400 Mbit/s at 2.4 GHz with 867 Mbit/s at 5 GHz.  

TP-Link's Deco offers an unprecedented price/performance ratio.

As far as the design is concerned, we don't see anything exciting; the colour is once again white, the shape is round and also remarkably flat. The system is a bit like a smoke detector, with an illuminated LED in the middle, from where a subtle difference in height extends to the edge of the housing. We also see the brand name and logo of TP-Link. Each node is interchangeable and therefore has access to two Ethernet ports, one of which can be used as a wall port. The power is supplied via a USB C connection and at the bottom we finally see a reset button. The operation of Deco is entirely based on an app, which, incidentally, does not overflow with setup possibilities. However, there is support for the multiple languages and the app is clearly structured and user-friendly.

When we look at the performance of Deco we are pleasantly surprised, not to say astounded at what TP-Link manages to offer at this price point. Deco manages to secure no less than nine podium spots: one gold, three silver and five bronze medals. As far as we are concerned, an excellent performance of the cheapest set from the test field, without dedicated backhaul and in comparison with Velop and Orbi, for example, modest hardware.

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