Tech

Adventures in Mesh Networking – TP-link Deco M9+, Pt 2

I’m quite conflicted right now. On the one hand, the Deco M9+ is a sexy piece of kit, from the moment you unbox it to how everything is laid out so neatly, make no mistake, TP-link wants you to know that this is a premium product.

That’s some neat boxes, yessirree

The Deco nodes themselves are hefty and feel solid, with a single LED on the top, 2 gigabit ethernet ports and a single USB port in the back. Setup was pretty painless, all I needed to do was download the Deco app, install it, and then follow the instructions in the app to begin the pairing and connection setup. Within 2 minutes the first node will be set up and you will have the option of pairing another unit, or just straight away using it. I assume the Deco can work in AP mode, although I didn’t have time to try this out yet.

Off the bat what I can say though, is that near the main node the connection  strength is pretty spot-on, with my Huawei P20 Pro notching over 300Mbps where previously it was barely scraping by 200Mbps.

A direct wired connection over CAT6e to my laptop yielded 700 – 800 Mbps, which was what I was expecting. The real challenge though, was going to be the master bedroom. My home isn’t very big, however it has thick steel-reinforced concrete walls which wreaked havoc on my previous setup. I had to settle for a cheap TP-link AC wifi extender which worked MUCH better than I expected, but I still couldn’t get good wifi reception on my side of the bed.

After a few hours of having the Deco up and running, I do see that while speeds inside the master bedroom have improved slightly (still below 100Mbps, sadly) coverage has definitely improved. I can now remain connected to my wifi network on the edge of the bed, and a bonus is the Nintendo Switch that previously REFUSED to connect to the wifi unless I was sitting next to the bedroom door, can now get online within seconds.

So yeah. Not quite the massive improvement I was hoping for, but an improvement nonetheless. Maybe I’ll add another Deco node in the future and see how it goes. In the meantime, I’ll be playing with the parental controls of the Deco system to see how much I can frustrate my kids…

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