TP-Link Deco M3 Review

With mesh networking gaining popularity over traditional means of increasing your home Wi-Fi coverage in recent years, TP-Link has been forced to shift its focus from being the best wireless router on the market to being the best wireless router on the market.

A mesh Wi-Fi system was created as a consequence, with superb performance and an extensive feature set that belies its very low price. It has swiftly risen to become one of our favorite low-cost mesh Wi-Fi systems, rivaling even the great Google Wifi in terms of performance.


The TP-Link Deco M5 is the company’s first mesh networking system, and it, like Google Wifi and BT’s Whole Home Wi-Fi, aims to improve wireless coverage around your home by using multiple boxes to bounce the wireless signal from one to another, spreading it into previously unreachable areas and reducing the load on your router, as well as reducing the load on your router.

The Deco M5 kit includes three of these “nodes,” one more than the Google Wifi kit and the same number as the BT kit, and it operates in a similarly same manner – by hanging off one of the Ethernet ports on your current router and expanding an existing wireless network rather than replacing it.

In comparison to other mesh networking devices, the TP-Link Deco M5 offers complete parental controls as well as incorporates network-level antiviral as an added feature.

Check Out: Best Wifi Router | Best WiFi Extender | Best Wifi Mesh Network Systems

The Deco M5 is a more visually appealing wireless router than the ordinary model. Disc-shaped and elegantly carved on the top, each node has a status LED located at the very top of the disc. Similar to Google Wifi, each of these routers is equipped with a pair of Gigabit Ethernet ports and is powered by a USB-C mains adapter (not included).

The TP-link Deco smartphone app is used for setup and routine maintenance, and it worked well when I used it to get it started. Typical of mesh systems, it takes a few minutes for each box to set up, but I had everything up and running in less than 20 minutes. This is partially due to the fact that each of the nodes has inbuilt Bluetooth, which eliminates the need to fiddle with connecting to Wi-Fi or inputting passwords every time you want to add a node to your network.

As a drawback, you must first establish a secure and private connection with the system using TP-cloud Link’s technology before you can begin setting it up.


I set up the TP-Link Deco M5 at my house and used the iperf3 command-line utility to do my standard close-range and long-range tests on the device. Because of this, the Deco M5 produces a robust Wi-Fi signal throughout the home, as seen by the performance data in the charts below.

As was to be expected, its close-range performance numbers aren’t very noteworthy. The BT Whole Home Wi-Fi system has higher specs and offers the fastest speeds in a single room when compared to competing systems. As part of my evaluation of the Deco M5’s single-node performance at long range – to get a sense of how far you can travel away from a node at the edge of your network – I discovered that the Deco M5 performed admirably, matching the performance of BT Whole Home Wi-Fi. However, Google Wifi performs far better in this area.

When it comes to Wi-Fi capabilities, the Deco M5 falls somewhere in the center. It’s a dual-band 802.11ac system, similar to Google Wifi, and it doesn’t have a separate backhaul link, which means that throughput declines as you move down a chain of nodes.

On the 2.4GHz frequency, each device has four internal antennas and can provide a 2×2 MIMO connection with a maximum speed of 400Mbits/sec, and on the 5GHz band, it can provide a maximum speed of 867Mbits/sec. A tri-band connection with a dedicated backhaul link at rates up to 1,300Mbits/sec is provided by the BT Whole Home Wi-Fi system, which is significantly faster.

When it comes to usability and software features, the Deco M5 is quite simple when compared to typical wireless routers, but it performs admirably when compared to the majority of mesh systems. As previously stated, Trend Micro provides three years of antivirus protection at no additional cost, and because this protection is provided at the network level, it protects all of your devices while they are connected to your home network.


StandardsWi-Fi 5
IEEE 802.11ac/n/a 5 GHz
IEEE 802.11n/b/g 2.4 GHz
WiFi SpeedsAC1200
5 GHz: 867 Mbps (802.11ac)
2.4 GHz: 300 Mbps (802.11n)
WiFi Range3-4 Bedroom Houses (3-pack)TP-Link Mesh Technology
Optional Ethernet backhaul work together to link Deco units to provide seamless coverage

2× Antennas (Internal)
Multiple antennas form a signal-boosting array to cover more directions and large areas

Concentrates wireless signal strength towards clients to expand WiFi range
WiFi CapacityMediumDual-Band
Distribute devices to different bands for optimal performance

Simultaneously communicates with multiple MU-MIMO clients
Working ModesRouter Mode
Access Point Mode
ProcessorQualcomm CPU
Ethernet Ports2× Gigabit Ports

*Per Deco Unit
Supports WAN/LAN auto-sensing
ButtonsReset Button
Power12 V ⎓ 1.5 A
WiFi EncryptionWPA-Personal
Network SecuritySPI Firewall
Access Control
Guest Network1× 5 GHz Guest Network
1× 2.4 GHz Guest Network
Parental ControlsURL Filtering
Time Controls
WAN TypesDynamic IP
Static IP
Quality of ServiceQoS by Device
Cloud ServiceOTA Firmware Upgrade
TP-Link ID
NAT ForwardingPort Forwarding
IGMP Snooping
DHCPAddress Reservation
DHCP Client List
ManagementDeco App
Dimensions (W×D×H)Router:
3.6 × 3.6 × 7.5 in
(90.7 × 90.7 × 190 mm)

2.7 × 1.4 × 4.9 in
( 69 × 35 × 124 mm)
Package ContentsDeco M3 (3-pack)
1 Deco M4R Unit
2 Wall-plug Extenders Deco M3W
1 RJ45 Ethernet Cable
1 Power Adapter
1 Quick Installation Guide

Deco M3 (2-pack)
1 Deco M4R Unit
1 Wall-plug Extender Deco M3W
1 RJ45 Ethernet Cable
1 Power Adapter
1 Quick Installation Guide
System RequirementsAndroid 4.4 or later
iOS 9.0 or later
CertificationsCE, RoHS
EnvironmentOperating Temperature: 0℃~40℃ (32℉ ~104℉)
Storage Temperature: -40℃~70℃ (-40℉ ~158℉)
Operating Humidity: 10%~90% non-condensing
Storage Humidity: 5%~90% non-condensing
WiFi Transmission PowerCE:
<20 dBm (2.4 GHz)
<23 dBm (5 GHz)
<30 dBm


It is a good debut into the low-end of the mesh networking market, and the TP-Link Deco M5 does not disappoint. A reasonable price of £230 for three nodes includes network-based antivirus protection as well as good parental control features.

My favorite feature of Google Wifi’s interface is the way it can proactively change channels to optimize wireless performance and reduce interference. The BT Whole Home Wi-Fi system, on the other hand, is quicker at close range and less expensive overall. However, TP-Link is competitive and, more importantly, beneficial to parents. It has received a lot of positive feedback.

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