Top positive review
Excellent mesh routers
Reviewed in the United States on April 9, 2022
It’s very easy to set up these routers. Just install the Deco app from the App Store or Google Play. Then power up the device and follow the instructions on the screen. One thing that is a little inconvenient is the fact that you need to create a TP-Link account to setup and operate the Deco X55. Connecting the additional Deco routers is very easy. Power them on, and that’s it; they automatically connect to the primary router.
Mesh means that all your routers connect with each other, forming a mesh of coverage rather than having one router that acts as a single point of connection. Your wireless device will always connect automatically to the mesh router that provides the strongest signal. This is called Roaming. Much like in telecom/mobile networks, your Wi-Fi devices might change positions and move around your house. This means that the wireless signal between your device and the router gets weaker with distance. With the Deco mesh routers your device will automatically connect to a different Deco unit that offers a stronger signal, without interrupting the running service and streams. This not only increases the coverage vastly, but also offers seamless handovers and transitions of Wi-Fi services as you change your position in your house. In other words, you get Wi-Fi Roaming capabilities that will vastly improve the reliability of your wireless connection.
It’s worth mentioning that the Deco X55 is compatible with all other Deco products from TP-Link. You can expand the mesh Wi-Fi coverage at any moment by connecting a Deco device to your home network. One thing to keep in mind, though, is that too many mesh devices might have the opposite effect. I noticed that after installing the three X55 routers, I would get these “pockets” of no connectivity even though I would be within range of the routers. I suspect that offering too many mesh connectivity choices with almost equally strong signal to your device might lead to constant roaming hops and eventually bad connectivity. Start small, with two devices, and install the third one if needed.
The X55 comes with Wi-Fi 6 technology, with up to 3 Gbps bandwidth. This capability, with its high speed and low latency, promises not only ultra fast download speeds but also glitch free Ultra HD streaming and lag free gaming, provided that your Internet connection can support such quality as well. Advanced features such as OFDMA and MU-MIMO are of course there with Wi-Fi 6.
So far I have no complaints regarding the X55’s performance. The Wi-Fi is very quick and outperforms my internet connection. I haven’t noticed any issues with latency either. One remark I want to make here is that, even though older WiFi cards will still be able to connect and operate with the X55, you will need a Wi-Fi 6 compatible wireless card to make the most out of the Deco mesh system. Making the most out of it doesn’t mean that you will experience speeds close to 3 Gbps. These speeds are a theoretical maximum and they are impossible to see in the average home network setup. You will see, though, very high speeds depending on the quality of your wireless adapter (in my tests, I used the TP-Link WiFi 6 AX3000 PCIe WiFi Card), the distance from the router and the obstacles that separate you from it. Bottom line: it’ll be fast, but be realistic with your expectations.
Regarding the amount of supported devices, the Deco X55 can serve up to 150 connected devices at the same time. Even though I don’t have 150 devices at my disposal, I can confirm that the X55 supports successfully my 57 connected devices.
Through the smartphone app, you can monitor the network usage of these devices real time. Moreover, in an effort for some easy Quality of Service, you can prioritize any of these devices in terms of network resources with the toggle of a switch. This feature is a wink to power users who would like to prioritize bandwidth/latency sensitive applications.
On the back of the X55 you will find three Gigabit Ethernet ports and, of course, the power connector.
The Deco X55 is mostly operated via the smartphone Deco app. All the monitoring and configuration that you need or may do happens through your smartphone. You do get access to it through your computer’s browser, but it’s mostly for viewing rather than managing. Since this is purely related to software, I do hope that TP-Link will reconsider and give us a future firmware update with full browser GUI functionality.
TP-Link has equipped the Deco X55 with what the company calls HomeShield. That is a bundle of security and performance management features that serve to improve the user experience under the hood. HomeShield will provide reports regarding security vulnerabilities of your home network, as well as network performance and potential optimizations.
The Deco X55 is very easy to the eyes. Its round shape and wavy top, with the smooth uniform surface and the white color give it a nice and modern look, following a trend that Apple launched over a decade ago and many manufactures are choosing for their products. TP-Link chose to put a status led on the front bottom side, making it look almost like a backlight as it reflects against the supporting surface. That’s a nice touch. One interesting design feature is an edge on the top of the router. It gives the product a distinct design feature and makes the looks of it a bit more interesting.
One thing I didn’t like about the Deco X55 is the fact that you need to create an account to enjoy the product. It’s an industry trend, not something specific to TP-Link, but it’s still annoying.
Finally, the web GUI. You can manage the X55 only via the smartphone app. Convenient to have it in your phone, but power users could use a full features browser GUI. TP-Link, if you’re listening, make this happen with a future upgrade. There is no reason why such a good product should not give the user full control through the computer browser. Period!
Final thoughts? I am so far really enjoying the TP-Link Deco X55 mesh system. It’s fast, reliable, easy to configure and provides excellent coverage and roaming. This is a great product and, if TP-Link provides a full featured web GUI, it’ll become an excellent product. The pricing is quite competitive, when compared to similar solutions in the market. Overall I would definitely recommend the TP-Link Deco X55 if you’re in the market for a mesh router system. 4.5/5 stars.