Mesh range is tested with the entire system deployed on one floor of my home. I use the same test points as standard routers and log the throughput numbers.
As you can see, the Deco M5 starts out at 507 Mbps at 10Ft. Moving out to 20Ft, we lost a little under 100 Mbps, and at 30Ft about 160 Mbps.
With now five mesh systems under my belt, I have a good idea on how these platforms perform on a daily basis. The bad part is the Mesh market is really a mixed bag at this point, with no ability to directly compare apple to apples. To my point, the Velop is an AC2200 platform, while the Ally from Amped is AC2100. Netgear has gone off and created an AC3100 solution with Orbi and TP-Link with the Deco M5 is using AC1300. With that said, I'm loving the form factor of this system being so small while at the same time offering some aesthetic appeal for your home. Build quality feels solid, the plastics are soft, and the unboxing experience adds to it.
The performance was quite good for 5GHz; I reached the highest throughput I have seen in part to our new test platform at nearly 600 Mbps. Mobile throughput maxed out my iPhone 7 Plus at 545 Mbps without any issue, but there is the story of the wireless backhaul with this system. With each unit 10Ft apart, we had a solid 340 Mbps, but moving them out to 20Ft and even 30Ft caused a severe loss in performance, enough to make the platform sluggish. A remedy to this would be to connect each unit with a wired connection but that too kind of goes against the whole Mesh idea to a point.
In closing, we checked the range of the entire system completely set up on one floor, and to my surprise, it did just as good as any of the previously tested systems. It started at 507 Mbps of throughput 10Ft away, and at 30Ft we only lost 160 Mbps.
The TP-Link Deco M5 at this point is a solid start for those wanting a mesh network, and it does have a rather low cost of entry, but it does have some issues and missing features.
|Overall TweakTown Rating||82%|
The Bottom Line: TP-Link's Deco M5 is a gorgeous work of art that needs some work done on the software side to compliment the overall package.
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