I’ve been fortunate enough to check out quite a few mesh WiFi systems on my channel up this point, and yes, we’re gunna go ahead and check out one more. Inside this stealthy looking box is the new Deco M9 Plus tri-band system from the folks over at TP-Link. It just launched today but I was lucky enough to get some hands on time with it a bit early and I have to say this is probably the most feature-packed mesh WiFi system on the market now. If you don’t know what a mesh network is, it’s basically a system that combines two or more WiFi routers together to create a larger and more reliable network than what you would be able to get with a single piece of hardware. This 3 piece kit covers up to 6500 square feet, so if you’re in a larger home or an office space with lots of walls that produce dead zones or weak signals in certain areas, a mesh WiFi system like this one is probably the right setup for you.
Before we jump into the features and the tech specs, let’s go ahead and check out what all comes inside the box. Now this is the 2-pack which includes 2 mesh points in addition to the unit you’ll use as the main WiFi router. The WiFi points are a pretty good size, obviously a very clean and simple design that you’ll be able to hide away if you need to but I think they’re also slim enough to blend into the background on a desk or shelf too.
Digging a little deeper inside the box you’ve got one more WiFi point as well as all the necessary cables and a booklet of instructions to walk you through everything. You’ve got a single Ethernet cable to connect one WiFi point to your cable modem and enable it as the main router, and you’ve also got 3 AC power adapters that power up each of the WiFi points.
Like I mentioned, the units themselves are pretty slim and very simple, they’re barely 5 inches across and on the bottom you’ve got some rubber feet so that that the desk or shelf these sit on doesn’t get scratched. And as far as the ports, you’ll find the AC power plug off to the far left along with a USB port and 2 Ethernet ports on each device. So you’ll have to use 1 as your main Ethernet in for the cable modem, but if a wired connection is a necessity for something, you’ve basically got 5 additional Ethernet ports you can use if you need to across all 3 WiFi points.
So let’s talk about the specs. The Deco M9 Plus system features AC2200 Speeds and tri-Band WiFi with dedicated backhaul, and all that means is that you’re going to be able to connect more than 100 devices as once and get the fastest, most reliable WiFi network possible. This system supports speeds up to 400mpbs on the 2.4ghz Band and 867mpbs on the 2 additional 5ghz bands. Along with fast and reliable speeds, you also get some added features like smart home support and threat protection which I’ll talk about in just a second.
As far as setting everything up, it’s a super simple process that takes place mainly through Tp-Link app that’s available for iOS and Android. The app walks you through the setup process step by step, and the first thing it asks you to do is to temporarily disconnect your cable modem before plugging in the power cable and Ethernet cables on the first WiFi point which will be used as the main router. You’ll power everything back up and wait for the various lights on your cable modem and the deco WiFi point to light up with the approximate colors, and after that it’s just a matter of setting up a quick Bluetooth connection and letting the app take care of the rest. You’ll need to label this first WiFi point so you can identity it if there’s ever a problem, and then you’re asked to create the WiFi network itself. From there the app will do its thing putting the final touches on the WiFi network, your phone will automatically connect and you’re good to go.
So at this point, you have a basic WiFi network with the single deco router, and now it’s time to add another unit and create the mesh network. So going back into the app, all you have to do is tap “add another deco” and from here you’ll want to think about where you’re going to put it. If there are any rooms or areas of the house that tend to have a weak signal, as long as you have a power outlet nearby you can setup the second point there. Once again the app does all the heavy lifting, just label your second point and you’re good to go.
As far as what else comes packed inside the app, right away you can check the status of your mesh network and see all the devices currently connected to WiFi which is certainly helpful. You can also check to make sure all your various WiFi points are running properly as well. What’s unique to this system is that you also get three free years of antivirus protection through Trend Micro, so you can constantly monitor your network for malicious content, block known malicious websites upfront, quarantine infected device and more all for free and all right from the app, and this a feature you can’t really get on any other mesh network.
You’ve also got some pretty robust parental controls that you can use to monitor and filter content, Black certain topics, categories and apps and even certain websites, once again all right there through the app.
Lastly, you can also integrate a ton of different smart home tech items though the app as well without having to utilize a separate app. For example, you can incorporate philips bulbs, nest theormstats, kwikset locks, Samsung motion detectors and tons more and integrate amazon Alexa to have all your smart home tech and internet of things devices to work seemlessly all in one place all in your Deco app.
Now at the end of the day, none of these perks and features matter if the deco system doesn’t create a fast and reliable network, and fortunately the last couple of days I’ve used it, this system has been flawless. Like I said at the start of the video, I’ve tried a bunch of mesh WiFi systems now but what I immediately noticed about the Deco is that it tends to retain my max speeds, in my case about 150mpbs up and down, more consistently than my Google WiFi routers did. And with a mesh network, consistency is key. The whole point of having a mesh network is eliminating dead zones and spreading a faster more reliable network across a larger space and the deco does an excellent job with that. Coupled with the extra features like smart home integration and 3 years of Trend Micro antivirus support and you’ve got a really solid feature packed product that I’d definitely recommend.