In a world of remote learning, working from home, and entertainment streaming you need a Wi-Fi solution that can keep up with the demands of a modern household. The tp-link Deco x90 is an AI-driven mesh solution that promises whole-home coverage and fast Wi-Fi 6 capability, but it comes at a cost.
The first thing you notice about x90 is its chic conical design that very unassumingly does not look like a piece of networking technology. The retail package consists of two identical cylinder-shaped nodes that combine to provide up to 6,000 square feet of coverage and have a minimalistic matte white finish. Each node is equipped with two auto-sensing Ethernet ports and an LED indicator on the front to indicate connectivity status, they are some of the best-looking mesh routers we have seen from the company.
The Deco x90 is a tri-band AX6600 system offering maximum data rates of up to 574Mbps on the 2.4GHz band, 1,201Mbps on the one 5GHz band, and 4,804Mbps on the second 5GHz band. You can also use the embedded Ethernet ports for wired backhaul which is a welcome option for those that need it. Delivering on these speeds are 6 internal antennas, four of which are signal boosting high gain types as well as two smart antennas for stronger backhaul.
Powering each node is a 1.5Ghz quad-core processor with enough bandwidth to meet the necessary 802.11k/v/r and 802.11ax mesh standards. To support powerful Wi-Fi 6 output, tp-link also includes 4×4 MU-MIMO for simultaneous data streaming, OFDMA packet transmissions for multiple Wi-Fi 6 clients, and their quietly brilliant direct-to-client beamforming and smart Connect automatic band steering which works incredibly well. In our testing on a gigabit connection, we found speeds and coverage to be comparable to some of the best on the market including the Gryphon AX and Linksys MX 10 meeting and often exceeding advertised data transmission rates.
One feature we have always come to appreciate with tp-link’s networking solutions is their included HomeShield Basic Security option which allows the consumer to have more granular control over the network including web filtering, website blocking, and bedtime shutdown scheduling which is perfect for those trying to limit screen time. Par for the course is the brilliant Deco mobile app that offers even more control including the ability to access advanced settings; scan for network security issues; enable malware protection; create user profiles for family members; assign bandwidth priority to client devices and view network activity reports. All of these in our book, are reasons to buy the system alone.
To sum up, if you can’t already tell, we like the Deco x90 from tp-link. It is stylish, easy to use, and provides excellent coverage and speeds. It is a little pricey at nearly $500 but as with most networking solutions for the home consumer, you get what you pay for and this one is worth every penny.