Wi-Fi is supposed to be stronger than ever, but we all know that sometimes its performance just doesn’t work everywhere in the home. Wifi boosters help but if you have a brick home, or multiple floors, sometimes the wifi isn’t at complete coverage. That’s the basis behind the Deco M5 Whole-Home Wi-Fi system from TP-Link. The M5 Wi-Fi system is designed to circumvent these problems, and give you wi-fi throughout your home or business.
The M5 Deco is unlike a wi-fi range extender because it has several units that work together to replace your router, while the router is still needed for a range extender. The routers each feature a coverage of 1,500 square feet, while 3 units can combine to cover a total of 4,500 square feet. The way it breaks down is a small home, like mine, of under 1,500 square feet needs just 1 unit, while a medium-sized home of 3,000 square feet needs 2 units, and a large home of 4,500 needs 3 units. Deco features Adaptive Routing Technology (ART) to make sure each device gets the fastest Wi-Fi available.
However, M5 Deco is more than a Wi-Fi accessory, it also features HomeCare by Trend Micro so you don’t need a separate security box or parental controls to keep your kids from viewing inappropriate content. The HomeCare subscription is a 3-year plan from the activation date of your Deco system and is free with purchase. HomeCare combines antivirus properties in the network, and protects even devices, like game consoles or Wi-Fi cameras, from cyber threats — even the devices that others use in your home while visiting. The parental control not only lets you block certain websites, it also lets you set time limits or view what your websites your children visit; these features are controlled by the Deco app.
If you’ve ever watched a movie and had it buffer, then you know the importance of the next Deco feature: priority. You can assign a Quality of Service (QOS) to devices and activities to Deco. So this should mean no more buffering when you’re catching up with a favorite TV show or watching a movie, or getting important work done. The things you designated a priority too will be the first to receive the quality Wi-Fi. Finally, because everything needs to be integrated with Alexa, Deco features Alexa and also integrates with IFTTT.
Deco’s design is unobtrusive and features a classic space-age curvature in white, plus has easy set-up options with the app. You plug it in, then the app will let you know what to do next. You’ll see prompts about where to put the Deco unit to get the best results in your Wi-Fi coverage. The app — available on iOS and Android — is where you’ll run everything: speed tests, parental controls, priority. You can even see usage reports, blocked content and security threats on the app.
The specs breakdown for a Deco unit:
- Quad-core CPU
- Wireless 400 Mbps on
- 2.4 GHz + 867 Mbps on 5 GHz
- 4 internal antennas per Deco unit
- 2 Gigabit ports per Deco unit
- 1 USB Type-C port
- Bluetooth 4.2
- IPv6 compatible
- Product dimensions
- (120 mm dia x 38 mm h)
The Deco M5 system is now $199 on Amazon for a 3-pack and $99 for a 1-pack. It’s also sold at Best Buy, Walmart, Fry’s and other retailers, plus the official website.