Hey guys…. Time for a little more Tech Talk w/TK!!!
Alright, let’s face it, we are all doing a lot more at home these days. Parents are working from home, kids are attending classes remotely, and we all are binging more and more shows on streaming services to stay entertained. What do we need to do all that? Good Wi-Fi! To make sure everyone has the bandwidth and signal strength they need, I recommend adding a mesh network system to your home set up. While there are lots of options out there, and trust me I’ve tried a few, the one I am currently using at home is the Deco X60 Mesh Network System from TP-Link.
If you’re a speed junky and early adopter like me, you’re going to want a system that has the latest Wi-Fi protocol out there, Wifi6. Wifi6 (or AX band) is the most recent Wi-Fi protocol, and it comes with some new features and advantages. These include:
- Higher data rates
- Increased capacity
- Increased range
- Better performance in busy environments with many connected devices
- Improved power efficiency
While most of us will never be able to test out its theoretical maximum speed (9.6 Gbps wow!), where this really helps is in the increased capacity and performance in busy environments. If you’re like me and you have a lot of connected devices (laptops, tablets, phones, smartwatches, voice assistants, and home automation toys), then having a router with a brain and signal to handle the traffic is important. With the Deco X60 and Wifi6 protocol, you can ensure all of your devices are not only getting a strong signal (the bars we all know), but that they are getting the right amount of bandwidth as well.
Having used the TP-Link Deco Mesh Network System for almost a year, here is what I have found
- Easy to set up. Like most mesh systems, just download the app and follow the instructions. Pretty straightforward.
- Strong signal. If you live in a house with a lot of walls like I do, having a strong signal really helps to keep things connected. That is where the Wifi6 signal comes in handy. I was able to reach the back corner of my house when other’s couldn’t due to interference.
- One network, no switching. Unlike old school range extenders, that extend your network by creating a new one, the mesh network technology allows you to extend your network with a consistent name and seamless switching between points. Move around freely without dropping your connection.
- Visible connectivity LED. A bright LED right in front lets you know how you’re doing. Green you’re good, yellow you have some work to do, and red you’re dead.
- Two ethernet ports. These can be used to connect devices via a hard line for optimal speed and stability or to connect your Deco device to your network for a dedicated backhaul. This gives your devices better performance. No more buffering
- Control everything from the app. Set up your network name, change the password, add new access points, see who’s connected, and customize your performance settings all from the app.
- Mix & match Deco devices to add points and extend your network. The TP-Link Mesh Network System allows you to mix and match Deco devices to help extend your network. This provides good flexibility and economical expansion options. Just make sure your smartest device is connected to your modem/gateway, and you’ll get all the latest features. Great way to allow you to grow and update as new tech becomes available.
- Network security protection built-in. TP-Link partners with Trend Micro to provide anti-virus protection to your IoT devices through the router. Great way to protect things that can’t protect themselves.
- Amazon Alexa enabled. If you’re a smart home geek like me, you love being able to check things with your voice. The Deco system allows you to connect your router to your Amazon Alexa eco-system and do things like run a speed test and enable a guest network. While not overly useful, it is cool, and I can see it growing in the future.
The Not So Good:
- The app can be a bit flakey. Unlike others I have tested, the app interface can be a bit unstable at times, showing false errors for your access points that disappear when you refresh the screen.
- No full system reboot option. Again, unlike others I have tested, the Deco system does not have a full system reboot option to restart all devices in the app. While you can restart individual points, and all points through the web admin interface, you cannot do so in the app. This would be useful when rebooting your system to ensure optimal performance.
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