TP-Link Deco XE200 Review: Solid yet Could Be Better | Cube Tech


Technically, the Deco XE200 AXE11000 Entire House Mesh Wi-Fi 6E System is the improve model of the Deco XE75 — TP-Hyperlink’s first Wi-Fi 6E mesh that I reviewed earlier this 12 months. However it’s also possible to say it’s changing the Wi-Fi 6 Deco X90.

That’s as a result of, on the within, all Deco units are primarily the identical and solely differentiated by their Wi-Fi specs, community ports, and processing energy. And by that, the XE200 beats all of them. It’s probably the most highly effective Deco thus far.

There’s rather a lot to speak about on this new mesh set. However to chop to the chase, if in case you have a big dwelling with Gigabit or slower broadband, this may make a wonderful purchase contemplating its present avenue worth of $799.99 (or $699.99 with a coupon in case you get it at this time).

For these trying to transition to Multi-Gig, the Deco XE200, as a standalone router or a 2-pack system, gained’t reduce it regardless of its 10GbE port. You go together with the ZenWiFi Professional ET12 and even the ZenWiFi Professional XT12 as a substitute.

The TP-Link Deco XE200 AXE11000 Whole Home Mesh Wi-Fi 6E mesh system comes in a 2-pack of two identical routers.
The TP-Hyperlink Deco XE200 AXE11000 Entire House Mesh Wi-Fi 6E mesh system is available in a 2-pack of two an identical routers.

The TP-Hyperlink Deco XE200 appears the identical because the Deco X5700, or Deco X90, although a tad bigger. The accessible 2-pack contains two an identical routers. Every is a Tri-band Wi-Fi 6E broadcaster.

It’s usually greatest to make use of the identical Deco items in a mesh, however the XE200 will work with earlier Deco {hardware}, together with the Deco XE75.

The acquainted {hardware} design and setup course of

The XE200 appears nice — every router is a bit of dwelling decor! — taking the form of a cylindrical field that tapers towards the bottom. The {hardware} appears extra like a flower vase than a bit of tech.

On the underside, there’s a little bit groove for the facility connector, and on the again, there are three auto-sensing community ports. Every will work as a WAN or a LAN, relying on the related gadget.

TP Link Deco XE200 AXE11000 Whole Home Mesh Wi Fi 6E System Up Side DownTP Link Deco XE200 AXE11000 Whole Home Mesh Wi Fi 6E System Up Side Down with Power Adapter
Right here’s an XE200 router the other way up. Be aware the facility port and the groove for the cable.

However the design is usually a bit problematic. When positioned on a floor — and there’s no mounting choice except you get third-party equipment — the router isn’t steady. It topples simply.

In my testing, the load of the community cables — I used thick CAT6a ones — made issues worse. You’re higher off utilizing skinny and lightweight community cables with these Decos — there’s one included.

Just like the case of most 2- or 3-pack Deco units I’ve examined, the XE200’s {hardware} is pre-synced. Set one up as a router and plug the opposite into energy, they usually routinely grow to be a system.

But when that you must add extra items, the method is simple so long as you’ve got a cell phone to run the TP-Hyperlink Deco app. All you must do is comply with the well-thought-out onscreen directions.

I obtained the XE200 up and working in about 10 minutes, together with getting out of the retail field.

It’s value noting that to make use of the Deco app, you’ll have to check in with a TP-Hyperlink account — it shares the identical account with the Tether app used for TP-Hyperlink’s Archer routers.

TP-Hyperlink and your privateness

It’s vital to notice that having to check in with an account means your {hardware} at all times connects to the seller. In TP-Hyperlink’s case, you’ll handle your house community fully or partially by the corporate.

And that interprets into inherent privateness dangers. Right here’s TP-Hyperlink’s Privateness Coverage — be sure you are comfy with what it collects out of your community.

TP-Hyperlink is headquartered in China, the place the observe of on-line privateness, surveillance, and safety would possibly differ from the remainder of the world.

Privateness is a matter of diploma. Whereas managing your community by way of a 3rd celebration is rarely a good suggestion, information assortment varies vendor by vendor.

An internet interface that’s intentionally neutered

You have to use the Deco cellular app for the setup course of. After that, there’s an choice to entry a number of settings of the Deco XE200 by way of its native net consumer interface.

Particularly, from a related pc, navigate a browser to the router’s IP handle (192.168.68.1 by default) or tplinkdeco.internet, and you may log in with the password of the Deco app.

The interface is just like any TP-Hyperlink Archer router however has markedly fewer particulars and capabilities. As you may see within the screenshots beneath, there’s not a lot else you are able to do apart from viewing some standing and upgrading the firmware manually.

Deco XE200 Web Interface Main PageTP Link Deco XE200 Web Interface Advanced Page
The principle and Superior pages of the XE200’s native net consumer interface
You cannot use the {hardware} simply with this interface — the Deco cellular app is important. By the best way, not the names of the Major Deco (Workplace) and the satellite tv for pc (hallway.)

The purpose is that if you wish to use the XE200, you will need to use the Deco cellular app. There’s no means out of it. And that’s the case of all Deco units.

Up thus far, the XE200 has been a household expertise. However it may be fairly completely different, too. Let’s take a look at its {hardware} specs.

{Hardware} specs: TP-Hyperlink Deco XE200 vs Deco X90

Full Title TP-Hyperlink Deco XE200 AXE11000 Entire House Mesh Wi-Fi 6E System TP-Hyperlink Deco X90
AX6600 Entire House
Mesh Wi-Fi System
Mannequin Deco XE200 Deco X90
Mesh Availability 2-Pack 
(an identical routers)
2-Pack 
(an identical routers)
Dimensions
(every unit)
9.49 x 5.12 × 4.86 in (241 x 130 × 123.5 mm) 8.3 × 5.1 × 4.8 in 
(210.5 × 130 × 123 mm)
Processor 2.2 GHz Quad-Core CPU 1.5GHz Quad-Core
Wi-Fi Expertise Tri-band AXE11000 Tri-band AX6600
1st Band
(channel width)
2.4GHz
4×4 AX:  Up to 1148 Mbps
(20/40MHz)
2.4GHz
2×2 AX:  Up to 574 Mbps (20/40MHz)
2nd Band
(channel width)
5GHz
4×4 AX: Up to 4804 Mbps
(20/40/80/160MHz)
5GHz-1
4×4 AX: Up to 4804 Mbps
(20/40/80/160MHz)
third Band
(channel width)
6GHz
4×4 AXE: Up to 4804 Mbps
(20/40/80/160MHz)
5GHz-2
2×2 AX: Up to 1201 Mbps
Channel Width: 20/40/80MHz
Backward Compatibility 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi
Wi-fi Safety WPA2, WPA3 WPA2, WPA3
Cellular App TP-Hyperlink Deco TP-Hyperlink Deco
Net Consumer Interface Restricted Restricted
Bridge Mode No No
AP Mode Sure
(as a mesh or a single unit)
Sure
(as a mesh or a single unit)
USB Port None None
Gigabit Port 2x auto-sensing WAN/LAN 1x auto-sensing WAN/LAN
Multi-Gig Port 1x 10Gbps auto-sensing WAN/LAN 1x 2.5Gbps auto-sensing WAN/LAN
Hyperlink Aggregation None None
Energy Enter 110-240V 110-240V
Energy Consumption
(per 24 hours)
≈ 420 Wh
(router unit)
not examined
Steered Value $799.99 (2-pack) $450 (2-pack)
TP-Hyperlink Deco XE200 vs Deco X90: {Hardware} specs

As you’ve got famous within the desk above, the most important factor in regards to the XE200 is its 6GHz band and the 10GbE port, which may work as a WAN or a LAN.

And whereas the brand new Deco XE200 has “extra,” its extras don’t essentially all translate into real-world enhancements. Let’s begin with the brand new 6GHz band.

Wi-Fi 6E Tri-band: the wi-fi backhaul dilemma

Like all Wi-Fi 6E {hardware}, the XE200 has three distinctive bands, together with 6GHz, 5GHz, and a couple of.4GHz.

Consequently, you may’t use any of those bands because the devoted backhaul with out shedding the help for purchasers. And whichever band works because the backhaul can have solely 50% of its capability for the fronthaul.

New to the concept of backhaul? Open this drawer

Backhaul vs fronthaul

A Wi-Fi connection between two direct gadgets happens in a single band, utilizing a set channel, at any given time.

Usually, while you use a number of Wi-Fi broadcasters, like within the case of a mesh community, there are two kinds of connections: fronthaul and backhaul.

Fronthaul is the Wi-Fi sign a mesh hub broadcasts outward for purchasers or its community ports for wired gadgets. It’s what we usually anticipate from a Wi-Fi broadcaster.

Alternatively, backhaul, a.ok.a spine, is the hyperlink between one broadcasting hub and one other, be it the primary router, a change, or one other satellite tv for pc hub.

This hyperlink works behind the scene to maintain the {hardware} items collectively as a system. It additionally determines the ceiling bandwidth (and velocity) of all gadgets related to the actual satellite tv for pc hub.

Twin-WAN: The place the excellence between bandwidth vs velocity is obvious

When a Wi-Fi band handles backhaul and fronthaul concurrently, solely half of its bandwidth is accessible to both finish. From the attitude of a related shopper, that phenomenon known as sign loss.

When a Wi-Fi band capabilities solely for backhauling, it’s referred to as the devoted backhaul.

In a mesh system, solely conventional Tri-band {hardware} — these with an extra 5GHz band — can have a devoted backhaul band with out ostracizing purchasers of the identical band.

Usually, it’s greatest to make use of a community cable for backhauling — wired backhauling. And that’s a bonus of mesh {hardware} with community ports. On this case, a hub can use its whole Wi-Fi bandwidth for front-hauling.

In networking, community cables are at all times a lot better than wi-fi in velocity and reliability.

Within the case of the XE200 — or any Wi-Fi 6E Deco set — the 6GHz is the devoted backhaul by default. As such, this band isn’t accessible to any 6GHz shopper.

TP Link Deco XE200 Mobile App
Even when the 6GHz band is about because the Devoted Backhaul (default,) the opposite two bands are additionally accessible as backhaul when want be — the satellite tv for pc nonetheless makes use of all of the bands as its Sign Supply.

In my expertise, this configuration labored out nice once I positioned the 2 XE200 items inside 50 ft of one another with a line of sight.

However the 6GHz has a brief vary, and it hardly works properly if in case you have partitions or giant objects that block the indicators.

To cope with that, the XE200 routinely switches to the 5GHz or 2.4GHz as backhaul. On this case, neither is devoted — they’d additionally work for the fronthaul. Nonetheless, the 6GHz stays unavailable.

So typically, utilizing the 6GHz because the devoted backhaul solely means the band is unavailable. However it’s straightforward to open up this band for fronthaul, as you’ll observe within the screenshot above.

TP Link Deco XE200 App
You’ll be able to shortly change between wi-fi and wired backhaul — the place the satellite tv for pc’s sign supply is Ethernet — and make the 6GHz band accessible for each front- and back-hauling.

Like all Wi-Fi 6E {hardware}, the XE200 works greatest with wired backhauling, and in my testing, it may change between wi-fi and wired backhauling in a matter of seconds.

And that brings us to the {hardware}’s 10Gbps community port.

Lone 10Gbps: No precise Multi-Gig expertise

Since there’s just one Multi-Gig port, there’s no technique to expertise a multi-Gigabit connection from an XE200 router.

That’s as a result of related purchasers are restricted by the opposite Gigabit port or the router’s Wi-Fi, which at the moment caps at Gig+. This case is just like the case of Netgear’s new Orbi RBK860.

What’s Gig+

Gig+, or Gig plus, conveys a velocity grade sooner than 1Gbps however slower than 2Gbps. So, it’s 1.5Gbps, give or take, and it’s not quick sufficient to be certified as Multi-Gig.

Gig+ usually applies to the sustained speeds of Wi-Fi 6 or 6E (by way of a 2×2 at 160MHz connection) or Web velocity, not wired native connections.

The truth is, there’s no means you may know for certain that the router’s sole Multi-Gig port is certainly 10Gbps. It’d make no distinction if this port functioned at 2.5GbE or 5GbE velocity grades.

In a mesh system, there are two situations:

  • In the event you use the 10Gbps because the WAN port: There’s no technique to have a Multi-Gig wired backhauling.
  • In the event you use a gigabit port because the WAN port: It’s attainable to have 10Gbps port backhauling, nevertheless it’d make no distinction for the reason that router’s incoming visitors is proscribed by its Gigabit port.

Briefly, even when internet hosting a super-fast model or a neighborhood server, the 10Gbps port doesn’t have any technique to present its efficiency on the {hardware}’s output entrance. So, this port is at all times overkill.

So the one technique to benefit from the XE200’s 10Gbps port as a Multi-Gig backhaul is to make use of the {hardware} within the entry level mode individually.

A bit of additional: I attempted the 2 XE200 items as two separate entry factors related to the 2 10Gbps ports of the Archer AXE300, they usually all labored collectively fairly properly. The setup wasn’t an genuine mesh when it comes to administration, nevertheless it delivered a quick efficiency with an honest hand-off.

TP Link Deco XE200 vs Archer AXE300 Stacked on Each Other
Right here’s a TP-Hyperlink Deco XE200 sitting atop an Archer AXE300. The 2 can work collectively to ship pseudo mesh with 10Gbps wired backhauling. It’s a clunky system that works.

The purpose is, with no second Multi-Gig port, the only real 10Gbps port on the XE200 is pointless. And that’s my largest pet peeve with this method.

TP Link Deco XE200 Wi Fi 6E Mesh SystemTP Link Deco XE200 AXE11000 Whole Home Mesh Wi Fi 6E System Out of Box
The TP-Hyperlink Deco XE200’s retail field and the field’s content material
Be aware the included skinny CAT6 cable.

TP-Link Deco XE200 AXE11000 Whole Home Mesh Wi-Fi 6E System comes with two identical routers.
TP-Hyperlink Deco XE200 AXE11000 Entire House Mesh Wi-Fi 6E System has two an identical routers. Be aware how the {hardware} tapers towards the underside, inflicting it to be doubtlessly unstable.

TP Link Deco XE200 AXE11000 Whole Home Mesh Wi Fi 6E System Inverted
In the event you place one of many two items the other way up subsequent to the opposite, they’ll kind the right geometric union.

The TP-Link Deco XE200 uses a relatively compact power adapter which is always a good thing.
The TP-Hyperlink Deco XE200 makes use of a comparatively compact energy adapter which is at all times factor.

TP Link Deco XE200 AXE11000 Whole Home Mesh Wi Fi 6E System Ports
The TP-Hyperlink Deco XE200 has heft and is a bit bigger than the Deco X90 or Deco X5700 — observe its 10GbE port.

Here's the underside of the TP-Link Deco where you'll find its default Wi-Fi network used for the setup process.
Right here’s the underside of the TP-Hyperlink Deco, the place you’ll discover its default Wi-Fi community used for the setup course of.

The TP-Link Deco XE200 AXE11000 Whole Home Mesh Wi-Fi 6E mesh system comes in a 2-pack of two identical routers.
From the highest, the TP-Hyperlink Deco XE200 appears like items of, properly, dwelling decor.

TP Link Deco XE200 AXE11000 Whole Home Mesh Wi Fi 6E System 10Gbe port
Right here’s one other closeup of the TP-Hyperlink Deco XE200’s community ports — two Gigabit ports and a 10GbE Multi-Gig port. They’re all auto-sensing. Every can work as a LAN or a WAN routinely.

TP Link Deco XE200 AXE11000 Whole Home Mesh Wi Fi 6E System Opened Box
Right here’s the 2-pack TP-Hyperlink Deco XE200 inside its packaging.

Restricted community/Wi-Fi settings and options

Like earlier Deco units, the XE200 has comparatively restricted community settings, typifying any app-operated canned mesh system.

It doesn’t even have commonplace settings equivalent to port forwarding, IP reservation, Dynamic DNS, VPN, and so forth.

When it comes to options, the {hardware} comes with HomeShield, which provides important safety and Parental Controls. To make use of them in a extra significant means, you’ll have to for the HomeShield Professional, which prices $6/month.

As for Wi-Fi settings, there’s not a lot, both. Particularly, you are able to do the next:

  • Change the identify and password of your main Wi-Fi community. You’ll be able to solely use a single SSID for the two.4GHz and 5GHz bands.
  • Flip the bands (2.4GHz or 5GHz) on or off.
  • Use the 6GHz as devoted backhaul (default) or additionally for fronthaul. Change its SSID and password.
  • Choose the Wi-Fi safety encryption between variants of WPA2 and WPA3.
  • Customise the Visitor Wi-Fi networks. There are two:
    • IoT Visitor community: turning on or off for the two.4GHz and 5GHz bands. This community is at all times remoted from the primary community.
    • Common Visitor community: All you are able to do with the IoT above, plus use the 6GHz band and the choice to make it a part of the first community.

Briefly, the XE200 may be very skinny on settings and options. However that may be good for folk who need a mesh that works for his or her Wi-Fi connection wants and never a lot else.

I examined the XE200 each as a single router and a 2-pack mesh. Within the latter case, I attempted it each with wi-fi and wired backhauls.

I usually take a look at Wi-Fi broadcasters for his or her best-case situations. And that was additionally the case with this new Deco. Particularly, I used the 10Gbps selectively to make sure I’d get the very best efficiency.

Tremendous-fast as a single router

For the official scores, I examined the XE200 as a single router, utilizing its 10Gbps port to host my take a look at server. And because it’s the primary mesh router with this port, it simply topped the chart.

Deco XE200 Mesh Router Wi Fi Performance Long RangeDeco XE200 Mesh Router Wi Fi Performance Close Range
The TP-Hyperlink XE200 router’s Wi-Fi efficiency
It’s the one one on the chart with a 10Gbps LAN port.

In the event you surprise what the scores can be if I used its Gigabit port to host the take a look at server, the numbers can be the identical because the satellite tv for pc unit when working within the wired backhaul mode — beneath.

Not-so-impressive as a mesh satellite tv for pc

I examined the XE200 satellite tv for pc unit in each 6GHz backhaul and wired backhaul, and it carried out equally to others.

TP Link Deco XE200 Mesh Satellite Performance Long RangeTP Link Deco XE200 Mesh Satellite Performance Close Range
The XE200’s efficiency as a satellite tv for pc
<6GHzBH>: The 6GHz band is used because the backhaul
<WBH>: Wired backhaul, Multi-Gig when relevant, Gigabit within the case of the XE200

Be aware that in this take a look at, the first router unit nonetheless used its 10Gbps because the LAN port to host the take a look at server and the wired backhaul linking (when relevant) was a Gigabit.

Fluctuation speeds, dependable indicators, ample protection

When it comes to Wi-Fi protection, as a single unit, the XE200 confirmed a wonderful vary in my expertise — just like different high-end Wi-Fi 6 {hardware}.

Usually, it could actually deal with some 2000 ft2 (186 m2) to 2500 ft2 (232 m2) of area, relying on the atmosphere. And you’ll usually double that with a 2-pack. However your mileage will fluctuate.

The XE200 went by our week-long testing and real-world utilization with no points. So it proved to be dependable.

However at instances, in our anecdotal testing, we did discover the fluctuation in velocity, doubtless inflicting the shopper to modify from one band to a different. We hooked the first router’s 10Gbps to our 10Gbps Fiber-optic broadband for day by day use.

Usually, relying on the placement round the home and the unit I related to — the primary route or satellite tv for pc — I may get the typical Web velocity from some 150Mbps to nearly 1500Mbps on my laptop computer, telephones, and pill, by way of Wi-Fi.

Whereas that’s an enormous vary, the speeds have at all times been quick sufficient on your wants.

Execs

10Gbps port, 6GHz help, top-tier Wi-Fi, dependable Wi-Fi efficiency with in depth protection

Simple to make use of; comparatively inexpensive

Cons

Single Multi-Gig port, spartan Wi-Fi, and community customization

Fluctuating Wi-Fi speeds, Cellular app, and login account required; HomeShield Professional prices cash

No USB port, impractical design

Conclusion

The TP-Hyperlink Deco XE200 AXE11000 Entire House Mesh Wi-Fi 6E System is a little bit of a dilemma.

On the one hand, it’s a well-performance system for its comparatively pleasant value. On the opposite, it appears like a miss-opportunity.

Particularly, with an extra 10Gbps port, it’d be a dream canned mesh for anybody who needs a top-notch community.

As is, it’s nonetheless a wonderful purchase for these needing a single unit (when accessible) or with Gigabit or slower Web, and don’t thoughts the inherent privateness dangers. Or you may couple it with the Archer AXE300 to kind an precise Multi-Gig community, albeit with awkward {hardware} administration and added value.

For different Multi-Gig choices, take a look at these options.

TP-Link Deco XE200 Review: Solid yet Could Be Better

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