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Cheap shortcut to great wifi

the Mesh network is the latest wifi technology, which is good for those who have a large home. Or find it difficult to get penetration of internet in the whole house with just a single router.

With the mesh you place more netværkspunkter around in the home. And so, they work together to give you a good coverage wherever you are.

the Problem has just so far been that the mesh typically costs more than 2000 dollars, although some times are better deals.

To use the TP-Link logo as a design element is a fun detail. The diode in the middle tells incidentally of the status of the network. Photo: Stein Jarle Olsen, Tech.no


With the TP-Links new Deco, the M4 gets the prize a goku down under 2000 dollars for a package of three units, which is a price range with far between good products.

The closest we have been on something, was Liglo Nimbo and Jens Omni Lite, the latter of which was clearly weaker than any other mesh solutions, we have tested.

the M4 devices is significantly larger than the small ‘smoke-like’ set, in the past we have seen from the TP-Link M5 and M9. However, they are relatively elegant in design and should not be difficult to place in a way that causes them to slip into a modern home.

The small TP-Link-logo ‘hidden’ in the air valves on the top are a whimsical detail, and here we find also the small LED-lamp, which tells if everything is in order.

The three units in the sales box is the same, so you can decide for yourself which of them you use as a router at your lan sockets in the wall.

A small irritation is that the power adapters supplied with, has pretty short cables, which can make it a little challenging to place them exactly where you want it. At the home of the undersigned, we had to use an extension cord to be able to place them where we wanted. With three units in the package, it would have been good if at least one of the adapters had a slightly longer cord.

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Click to check price Here is the best price on TP-Link Deco M4 (3 pack) right now - pristjekket is made
in cooperation with the Prisjagt.dk


The technical setup is in the well-known TP-Link-style. M4 supports, however, not Bluetooth, so you need to juggle between different networks along the way in the setup. But it doesn't take more than a few minutes before you are up and running.

We could well wish that the app for the TP-Link helped us better to place the individual netværkspunkter instead of just giving us a static proposal from, how many floors you have.

Exactly this is, however, a criticism we have against most manufacturers. It should be easier to go to, and so should the various apps - as Google WiFi - give us målebaserede the proposed location.

the App to the TP-Link is otherwise relatively simple with the most basic features. Deco M4 also has no web portal where you can get access to more advanced features, but at least you are not addicted to connect to external services such as parental controls, which you must, with competitors such as Netgear.

In contrast to the more advanced M5 will get you nor the TP-Link these should be items package here, which includes the antivirus from Trend Micro. The M4 also has only a kerneprocessor (against the M5's dual core), which can potentially be a problem, if you are planning to connect to many devices. TP-Link promises, however, that the system can handle at least 100 devices connected.

Deco, the M4 is 19 centimeters in height and nine inches in diameter. Here you can see the device together with the UE Megaboom speaker (t.h.). Photo: Stein Jarle Olsen, Tech.no

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And what about the performance?

the Last time we tested a network from the TP-Link, we noticed that our measurements were very unstable, which we usually take as a sign that all is not quite as it should be. It must be said that the TP-Link took our criticism seriously and followed then up in an impeccable way, but even with a new set in the house was the instability still there.

This time, the matter is however completely different. Rarely have we seen a mesh network that behave as stable and predictable as Deco M4.

the M4 is a so-called tobånds set that has a maximum speed of 866 Mbit/sec at 5 GHz (2x2 MIMO) and 300 Mbits/sec at 2.4 GHz (the so-called AC1200). It means that the wifi-points to both send and receive data on the same tape, which in turn means that the speed is halved when moving out of the coverage area.

Compared with a trebånds solution, where one has an additional 5 GHz band to handle this traffic, it is not optimal, but it certainly doesn't mean that a dual-band solution can't work really well. For example, Google Wifi another such dual-band solution.

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It should also be mentioned that the Deco, the M4 uses the ‘old’ wifi-standard 802.11 ac (also known as Wi-Fi 5). The new Wi-Fi 6 comes otherwise on the market these days.

As usual we have taken our Deco M4 with us to our testlejlighed of approximately 80 square meters. Here you should be able to cope with a powerful router, but there are actually several places in the apartment, as it is difficult to reach with wifi. This applies in particular to the modular bathroom of the steel in the middle of the apartment and the non-concreted space at the end. We test also at a point at the entrance outside the apartment to really put the network on the test.

As already mentioned, were the measurements are unusually stable. We usually run the test at least five times per. point to obtain a representative result, but this time it was not necessary to run additional control measurements.

Deco, the M4 proved to be strong enough to cover most of the nooks and crannies of the apartment. And the measurements is very solid, especially when we look at the price.

the Two ethernet ports are a little too little - even in 2019. Photo: Stein Jarle Olsen, Tech.no

the TP-Link claims that a package with three M4-units can cover up to 370 square meters with wifi, and we have a tendency to believe them - at least if you have a home without stålvægge or other wifi-killing elements.

Deco products are at the same time compatible with each other, so you can use an M9 as a router and a M4 as a satellite, if you need it. TP-Link recommends, moreover, that you are using the most advanced product such as a router, in this case the M9.

Deco, the M4 does not in any way revolutionary, but none of the competitors has so far managed to offer the same performance as the M4 does at this price. It is sympathetic.

If you have the opportunity to connect the boxes physically, supports the M4, the so-called ‘ethernet backhaul’, which means that you can replace the wireless transmission between them with cables. However, it is worth noting that the M4-the boxes only have two Ethernet ports, and therefore you have no ethernet ports left on the main unit with this solution.

the Ethernet ports on the M4 is gigabit, while the TP-Link has an almost identical model called E4, which have only 10/100 Mbit ethernet. It is important to be aware of.

We do not have any objections to the performance of the M4 during our testing. Roaming seems to work well, we have coverage where we need coverage, and everything works as it should. Perhaps this is the live tv streaming to the Apple TV box in the living room (a half meter from the router) gone a bit more up and down in quality than we are used to, but it requires a deeper investigation to find out what caused it.

the Cord is stored fine in the devices. It is just a bit too short for our needs. Photo: Stein Jarle Olsen, Tech.no


It is really very little to criticize TP-Link Deco M4 for. For the price they set is quite simply a new standard for affordable mesh network.

The most advanced is cut away, but we get a very solid wifi coverage over large areas for much less than half of what the kinds of networks usually cost.

the Setup is also simple, the units are pretty nice to look at, and the app from the TP-Links are simple and user-friendly.

You can get just as good or better performance from other manufacturers, but then you have to double the price, before the performance is so much better that it really batter anything.

Therefore, get the TP-Link Deco M4 also our clear recommendation.

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Click to check price Here is the best price on TP-Link Deco M4 (3 pack) right now - pristjekket is made
in cooperation with the Prisjagt.dk

TP-Link sets a new standard

TP-Links Deco the M4 provides impressive performance for the price. Photo: Stein Jarle Olsen, Tech.no

Very good price

Good coverage

Good price

Fairly nice to look at

Simple to setup

Supports Ethernet Backhaul

Have not dedicated radiobånd to backhaul traffic

Physically larger than many of its competitors

a Little short power cords

Lack of advanced features in the app

Here are the alternatives

It is Google who have gone ahead when it comes to mesh. The solution is expensive, but also close to perfect.

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Click to check price Here is the best price in the Google Wifi (3 pack) right now - pristjekket is made
in cooperation with the Prisjagt.dk

Orbi-series from Netgear has received praise in recent years. This applies not least to this set, which has just two units.

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Click to check price Here is the best price on Netgear Orbi RBK50 Kit (2 pack) right now - pristjekket is made
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This article is brought to in cooperation with the faculty of Engineering.no

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