HomeBlogREVIEWTP-Hyperlink Deco X90 assessment: This Wi-Fi 6 mesh is easy but super-speedy

TP-Hyperlink Deco X90 assessment: This Wi-Fi 6 mesh is easy but super-speedy

TP-Hyperlink has launched a number of mesh methods below the Deco model, however the X90 is probably the most highly effective we’ve seen. It’s designed for networks of as much as 200 gadgets, in properties with as many as six bedrooms, and makes use of a tri-band radio configuration so the principle wi-fi community doesn’t need to share bandwidth with the backhaul hyperlink.

The X90 additionally works with TP-Hyperlink’s HomeShield service. This offers community safety and parental controls, and you may optionally improve to HomeShield Professional for prolonged options. Add in 2.5-Gigabit Ethernet and it’s a horny proposition for anybody searching for to improve their house community to the newest requirements – though 6GHz Wi-Fi 6E isn’t supported.

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TP-Hyperlink Deco X90 mesh router assessment: What you have to know

The usual Deco X90 package deal incorporates two similar Deco items. Considered one of these (it doesn’t matter which) replaces your present router, whereas the opposite sits a number of rooms away and acts as an extender. It’s also possible to use the X90 system to increase an present wi-fi community, though TP-Hyperlink’s HomeShield options aren’t accessible on this configuration.

Every Deco unit incorporates three wi-fi transceivers – a 2.4GHz radio with a prime pace of 574Mbits/sec, a quick 5GHz shopper radio rated at 4.8Gbits/sec and a devoted 5GHz backhaul transmitter that helps connections at as much as 1.2Gbits/sec. It appears a weirdly unbalanced association, however the Deco has the weird capacity to dynamically borrow bandwidth from the shopper radio to spice up the backhaul connection as wanted, giving it extra flexibility than rival meshes.

As talked about, TP-Hyperlink claims the system will assist as much as 200 shoppers, and 4×4 MU-MIMO assist helps maximise throughput, whether or not there’s one or a dozen gadgets speaking directly. Each Wi-Fi 5 and Wi-Fi 6 are totally supported, though since there’s no 6GHz radio you gained’t see any further profit for gadgets that work with the brand-new Wi-Fi 6E customary.

TP-Hyperlink Deco X90 mesh router assessment: Worth and competitors

The usual Deco X90 package deal prices £474; that will appear steep for less than two items however collectively they supply a superb breadth of protection. For many who do want an additional station, extra X90 items could be purchased for £245 every. When you’ve bought that type of cash to spend then there are a number of various meshes to contemplate.

An apparent rival is the Netgear Orbi RBK752, one other tri-band mesh with robust efficiency. It at the moment sells on Amazon at £370 for 2 nodes, or you may get a three-pack for £550.

An alternative choice is the Linksys Atlas Professional 6. Though this lacks a devoted backhaul radio, it’s quite cheaper than the TP-Hyperlink, at £362 for the three-node system, and we discovered it nonetheless did a great job of serving up a robust wi-fi sign all through our complete house.

If prime efficiency isn’t a precedence then you may save some huge cash by going for the D-Hyperlink Eagle Professional M1 at £160 for 3 items, or the grey-market Xiaomi Mesh System AX3000, accessible by way of import at £55 per node.

Conversely, in the event you’re out there for a premium answer, you would possibly think about the Netgear Orbi RBK852, at the moment going for £650 for 2 stations. Take a look at our efficiency charts beneath earlier than you make investments, although, because the RBK852 is greater than two years outdated, and not takes the crown for efficiency. The present king of home mesh methods is the blazingly quick Netgear Orbi RBKE953, which provides assist for Wi-Fi 6E however the enormous £1,500 price ticket is tough to justify.

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TP-Hyperlink Deco X90 mesh router assessment: {Hardware} design

The upright, tapered form of the Deco X90 items makes them look a bit like vases, although sadly you may’t enliven their plain white design by sticking tulips in them. They stand 210mm tall, with a most diameter of 130mm; you’d hardly name them low-key, however they’re inoffensive sufficient.

Every one has an influence socket recessed into the underside, and a glowing LED close to the bottom that modifications color to indicate the system standing: yellow means booting up, flashing crimson means no web or mesh connection, inexperienced means the whole lot’s high quality.

Apart from that, the one bodily options are a pair of Ethernet sockets on the rear: one common Gigabit port plus a 2.5GbE connector. The X90 is wise sufficient to work out which one is your web connection, and you may optionally use the opposite for wired backhaul or for connecting a wired shopper. The flexibleness and the multi-gig assist are nice to have, however there’s no USB connectivity and with simply two ports per station you could want an exterior change to attach all of your gadgets.

READ NEXT: One of the best mesh Wi-Fi routers to purchase

TP-Hyperlink Deco X90 mesh router assessment: Software program options

The Deco smartphone app walks you shortly by way of organising the X90 system, and thereafter takes care of community administration. You should use it to browse linked gadgets, flip the principle and visitor networks on and off, configure deal with reservation and port forwarding, and assign per-device precedence and parental management settings.

The app also can pop up notifications to warn you to new gadgets connecting and advise you of safety scan outcomes. Since distant entry is enabled by default, you don’t have to be linked to the Deco community to remain up to the mark.

The HomeShield web page offers community safety and parental controls. The essential options are included without cost, together with handbook safety scans, category-based web site filtering and enforced bedtimes. Subscribing to HomeShield Professional for £54 a 12 months unlocks router-based blocking of harmful websites and content material, with extra versatile time-limiting inside the parental management module and a complete lot of stories into what shoppers have been doing on-line – see the TP-Hyperlink web site for the full listing of HomeShield options.

Curiously, the Deco app additionally integrates with a spread of good home equipment, together with Philips Hue, Samsung SmartThings and TP-Hyperlink’s personal Kasa platform, so you should use the app to activate lights, management good switches and so forth, and even arrange easy automations, reminiscent of turning your lights on each time your smartphone connects to the Deco community.

It is a respectable unfold of options, though you don’t get the VPN assist that comes with Asus and Netgear gadgets – and, since there aren’t any USB ports, there’s naturally no assist for shared storage. When you want to make use of a conventional browser-based interface, notice too that the Deco’s internet dashboard solely reveals the community standing, and doesn’t supply any controls or settings.

TP-Hyperlink Deco X90 mesh router assessment: Efficiency

TP-Hyperlink’s advertising and marketing for the Deco X90 trumpets its “AI-driven mesh know-how”; this presumably means the adaptive backhaul functionality, however since this operates behind the scenes it’s onerous to say what it actually does for you. I examined the system’s efficiency in my common approach, organising the router unit in my research and the extender on the reverse finish of the adjoining bed room. The Deco chooses its personal wi-fi settings and the app is oddly secretive about these; utilizing a scanner app on my telephone I made up my mind that the Deco was broadcasting a 160MHz community centred on channel 42 within the 5GHz vary.

I then linked an Asustor Drivestor Professional 4 NAS equipment to the first Deco unit over 2.5GbE. Lastly, I linked a check laptop computer, geared up with an Intel AX210 2×2 community card, to the 5GHz community and measured file add and obtain speeds in varied areas of my house. Listed below are the speeds I noticed, together with these from varied different mesh methods for comparability:

That is an impressive efficiency. With my testing laptop computer in the identical room because the router unit I noticed obtain speeds of an unbelievable 147.6MB/sec over Wi-Fi 6. That’s the quickest connection we’ve seen from any mesh, even beating the Netgear Orbi RBKE963 operating over a 6GHz Wi-Fi 6E hyperlink. There’s a stark generational hole between this and the older mesh options, which struggled to interrupt by way of the 60MB/sec mark.

Maybe extra spectacular is how successfully the Deco X90 projected protection to all ends of my house. Clearly the best speeds couldn’t be maintained as soon as partitions and different obstacles got here into play: right here Wi-Fi 6E confirmed its benefit, with the Orbi system proving constantly sooner.

Even so, the Deco X90 delivered marvellously even obtain speeds regardless of the place I roamed, outpacing each different Wi-Fi 6 mesh in each location. No query about it, this technique actually does ship on the promise of whole-home wi-fi.

READ NEXT: One of the best wi-fi routers to purchase

TP-Hyperlink Deco X90 mesh router assessment: Verdict

£474 is a good chunk of cash, however we are able to’t grumble about what it will get you. The most recent Wi-Fi 6 {hardware} unlocks speeds that have been lately unthinkable at twice the value, and – maybe because of its novel radio configuration – the Deco X90 does an excellent job of distributing that bandwidth far and large. Contemplating how shut it involves the efficiency of a brand new Wi-Fi 6E system, it’s arguably quite a cut price.

As at all times, it’s price questioning whether or not you really want this type of best-in-class wi-fi efficiency. When you’re usually shunting gigabytes of knowledge round your private home community then maybe you do, however the typical family gained’t discover any profit: even the dirt-cheap Xiaomi system has the bandwidth to stream a number of 4K HDR movies directly.

Then once more, the Deco X90 has the headroom to serve a rising community for years to come back – not simply on the wi-fi entrance however with embedded 2.5GbE too. It doesn’t damage that the free service covers fundamental safety and parental controls, so that you don’t really feel strong-armed into yet one more subscription.

It will have been good to see a number of extra Ethernet ports, and if you need USB or VPN assist you’ll have to look elsewhere. For the core mesh companies, nevertheless, you gained’t discover a higher answer for anyplace close to this worth.

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