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Tp-link Deco M5 – A secure home mesh Wi-Fi system
Written by: Darren Zygadlo | Twitter: @darrenzygadlo | Instagram: @onecutreviews
With the modern smart home, connectivity is the cornerstone of a functioning abode. With everything from refrigerators, thermostats, televisions and even your doorbell requiring access the internet. With so many connected devices, one’s home Wi-Fi network needs to adapt to meet the needs of 21st century living. Tp-Link’s Deco mesh system, wants to replace your router and create seamless Wi-Fi in every room, just like their competitors, but make it more secure!
Tp-Link have included some serious future-proof mesh technology into the m5 including MU-MIMO support and Auto Path Selection which ensures effective back and forth data transmission to all devices without loss of signal. There is also Band Steering and Beam-forming which guarantees that each connected device receives the strongest possible signal on the appropriate wireless band. In fact, in our testing, the m5 came close to Tp-Link’s promise of max performance at AC1300 or 400 Mbps on 2.4 GHz 867 Mbps on 5 GHz. To illustrate our point, with the m5, we saw consistent speed tests that were faster than much more expensive offerings on the market!
A few features that set the m5 in a class of its own, is the inclusion of Quality-of-Service (QoS) – a feature that allow owners to prioritize wireless devices and activities for faster performance when it’s needed. The Deco M5 has default options based on activities prioritizing gaming and browsing but owners can also customize their prioritization based on profile or wireless devices. There is also Tp-Link’s own Adaptive Routing Technology (ART) that enables Deco M5 units to speak to each other seamlessly and always pick the fastest path (2.4GHz or 5GHz) to connect with each other and ensure your Wi-Fi is consistently fast and stable. ART also prioritizes wireless devices onto the fastest path based on the number connected devices. It’s like having your very own traffic controller within your router.
While some of these features are par for the course in 2018, what really makes the m5 the mesh system to get is the integration of other features in demand with families like plug & play setup, parental controls and anti-virus. Their parental controls and anti-virus protection at the router level is performed by industry leaders Trend Micro and come as a package under HomeCare. HomeCare’s main differences from other competitive products is user experience. Their parental controls give owners of the Deco M5 system the flexibility to categorize wireless devices under a single user profile (most systems only allow control for individual devices) and control all the wireless devices in the profile by allocating internet time, pausing online access, etc. One thing we really valued about this system and something more smart home owners should consider – is the inclusion of router based Antivirus, as there are many unprotected and potentially vulnerable wireless products (smart home products, for example) that could be the target of a cyber-attack. The m5 gives you another welcome level of protection here.
With so much to like about the m5, it is easy to recommend this as one of the best Home mesh Wi-Fi systems on the market. With the recent Alexa integration, Tp-Link’s ongoing firmware and antivirus update and an impressive 2-year warranty, the m5 continues to impress us with stable performance and the speed needed to run any modern smart home.