TP-Link offers many mesh systems. For this test, we set our vision on the Deco X20 Kit. This is the manufacturer’s cheapest mesh wifi 6 system. It offers an overall WiFi speed of 1800 Mb / s and two gigabit ports. The Deco X20 Kit is available in two versions: 2 modules covering 250 m², or depending on the manufacturer 3 blocks covering up to 400 m².
The modules that make up the Deco X20 are strictly identical, with no strictly speaking router or satellite. Similarly, two RJ45 ports fitted to each module can be attached to your operator box or to one side.
As for WiFi, the Deco X20 is a dual-band model that supports the 802.11ax standard (2.4 and 5 GHz), commonly referred to as wifi 6. The 2.4 GHz band has a theoretical speed of 574 Mb / s, while the 5 GHz band has a speed of 1200 Mb / s.
Since the Deco X20 is a strict dual-band model, communication between the two modules takes place at 5 GHz bandwidth. The bandwidth is therefore shared between the modules and the equipment connected to the module, which acts as a repeater, dividing the theoretically available bandwidth by two. However, the entire bandwidth can be freed up by connecting two wire boxes through the Ethernet backhall function.
Connection to two RJ45 ports is limited to the Gigabit standard. A reasonable number, especially for a module attached to a box, will only have one socket to accommodate another device.
TP-Link is also aware of the shortcomings of the Deco X20, as it offers the higher version of the Deco X50 (3 RJ45 ports, 5 GHz band at a theoretical speed of 2400 Mb / s).
Possible interactions with the Deco X20 are limited because the module only has an indicator light that changes color depending on its position and reset button. For subscribers who do not have a WPS button. So you have to go through the app to connect the device in this way.
As for the indicator light, the module changes from yellow to start, and green to indicate that everything is working. When connected it will glow blue and will turn red if there is a problem with the connection. It is also possible in the application to program or disable the destruction of light at regular intervals.
The Deco X20 modules are particularly compact (11.5 cm high and 11 cm in diameter). The white finish is matte, which allows the Deco X20 module to blend easily into your interior.
Installation of the Deco X20 is easy as long as you are equipped with a smartphone. You need to download the Deco app and create an account. It is sufficient to follow the step-by-step instructions proposed by the application; If you are comfortable with the RJ45 cable, this should not be a problem.
After installing the first module, you must configure the SSID (Network Name) and Password. Whether it is a 2.4 GHz band or a 5 GHz band, only one SSID can be generated. Finally, the application proposes to add additional modules and the installation ends with an update of the modules’ internal software.
Once the mesh system is configured, the application interface is divided into 4 tabs (Overview, Smart Actions, Homecare and Settings).
Overview lets you know which devices are connected to your network and access individual settings. This will allow you to see which device is connected to which model and get its stats.
The Smart Actions tab is used to define application scenarios applicable to home automation or connected device; For example, make my game console a higher priority by pressing this shortcut.
HomeCare is an integrated parental control in the Deco X20. It allows you to create users, connect devices, and assign profiles (child, teen, teen, and adult). You can also define WiFi access time locations according to the days of the week, school hours, etc. Of course, it is also possible to exclude websites or keywords from the browser.
The Settings tab provides access to Deco X20’s network settings via VPN, port sharing, guest WiFi or indicator light programming.
Most experienced users who are accustomed to using the web admin interface will not be satisfied. If it is, it is limited to certain basic settings, such as displaying connected devices and restarting modules or updating them.
To evaluate the performance of the TP-Link Deco X20 mesh system, we connected the first module with our operator box that connects the laptop PC with the 2.5 Gb / s adapter. We will replace the 4.73GB file (disk image) equipped with the Intel AX200 WiFi 6 chip from the first laptop PC with the second, but the standard desktop PC with the above gigabyte GC-WPAX200 PCI card. External antenna, and updated with wifi 6E to support Intel Wi-Fi 6E AX210 chip.
As close as possible to the main module, the 5 GHz frequency band of the Deco X20 makes it possible to reach approximately 700 Mb / s, which translates to an average of 87.5 Mb / s. However, the bandwidth drops to 288 Mb / s. Once connected to the module that acts as a repeater (point 2). Our standard PC wants to connect directly to the main module, which separates the three walls (point 3) but allows it to reach 489 Mb / s. Finally, at our point 5, most importantly, the Deco X20 does respectfully with a reception of 132 Mb / s; Enough to make full use of your favorite SVOD operating systems.
In the 2.4 GHz band, the maximum speed is 270 Mbps, even if it is close to the main module or close to one that acts as a repeater. The speeds on the main module and the satellite are the same because they communicate over the 5 GHz band, thus completely assigning bandwidth to the connected devices.
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