For their first entry into the whole-home WiFi market I think TP-Link has a very strong contender in the Deco M5 system. This is our first time taking a look at a system like this so we cannot compare it to others, but comparing it to typical routers we can definitely see some areas where it does shine. The biggest is overall WiFi coverage. As you saw in our tests all of the normal routers could barely reach my kitchen, but the Deco has no issues at all since we were able to place a unit in the kitchen. Deco will indeed provide better overall WiFi coverage for your home compared to a single router.
Another thing I really liked about Deco was just how easy it was to setup. The TP-Link Deco app is extremely easy to use and guides your through the entire setup process, even showing you how to plug in each unit. The app is also very useful for configuring and monitoring your home network as well.
Each of the Deco units are very small and look great sitting anywhere, especially since they don’t have antennas coming out of them. The unboxing experience of the Deco was actually really cool and I was surprised at how much time and effort went into the packaging of Deco.
While Deco is easy to setup and configure, it does not have some of the advanced controls that you would get with a normal router. Many of these most people do not even touch, but if you really wanted to dive down deep and really configure your network Deco might not have all of the options you are looking for. Also compared to a normal router you are missing a few Ethernet ports, especially if you have one of these in your office where multiple PCs might be. All of the test PCs we have here use Ethernet and there was only 1 port available when using Deco. Alternatives could be to buy a switch, which are very affordable these days.
Right now you can pick up the Deco (3-pack) at our favorite online retailer for $248.99, which is around the same price as a high-end router. Overall ThinkComputers gives the TP-Link Deco M5 Whole Home WiFi System a 9 out of 10 score.
– Easy setup
– Better overall WiFi coverage than a normal router
– Small profile
– TP-Link HomeCare included
– Great unboxing experience
– Not as many configuration options as a normal router
– Will need to buy a switch if you need multiple Ethernet ports