Home » TP-Link Deco M5 Mesh Wifi System Review

TP-Link Deco M5 Mesh Wifi System Review

TP-Link Deco M5 is a dual-band Wireless AC1350 mesh wireless system. It is probably one of the best mesh WiFi system you can buy today thanks to the great user experience and easy app based setup process. The system can provide a WiFi speed up to 500Mbps with maximum speed up to 900Mbps if you use wired Ethernet.

With internet connection getting faster, users demand for better WiFi speed. The solution is to add more Wireless access point in your home. But, installing an Ethernet cable requires wall hacking which is rather costly. So, this is where mesh WiFi come into play.

The model I will be reviewing today is the Deco M5 triple pack which retail for RM799 currently. TP-Link says this is good for up to 5500 square feet. There’s also a more affordable twin pack version for just RM539 available for sale.

What is mesh WiFi?

Well, let’s be honest here, a lot of people are confused about how exactly a mesh WiFi system work. Unlike a conventional wireless router, a mesh wireless system consist of multiple access points (mesh node) in a system. Then they all work together to blanket your home in a stronger wireless coverage.

Unlike using a wireless extender, the mesh wireless system only broadcast a single WiFi name. This means no matter where you are in your house, you only need to connect to one WiFi name without switching network. TP-Link Deco mesh wireless system comes with fast roaming, AP steering and band steering. It means the system will always scan the network automatically steer your devices to the best network available.

Hardware and Design

TP-Link Deco M5 looks nothing like a conventional wireless router. It is very small in size and admittedly, it looks pretty cute. There’s only a single multi-color LED status indicator and that can be disabled using the provided TP-Link Deco app.

Unlike the bigger brother Deco M9 Plus, the Deco M5 comes with a dual-band AC1350 configuration. But, it still have the same Qualcomm based quad-core CPU. TP-Link says the Deco mesh wireless system can actually support up to 100 devices connected simultaneously. While I do not have that many devices, I can say that the Deco M5 still works well with over 40 devices connected. 

Each unit of Deco M5 comes with just 2 Gigabit Ethernet ports. For the main unit, the port beside the power jack will function as the WAN port and you will be left with just 1 LAN port. To get more physical Ethernet LAN ports from the Deco M5, you will need to purchase Gigabit Ethernet switch. Thankfully, these switches are really affordable but that’s still a point to improve for the Deco M5.

Setting up the mesh WiFi

TP-Link Deco M5 is managed by the TP-Link Deco app. The system is tied to a TP-Link cloud ID so it can be managed as long as you have an Internet connection. The Deco M5 also functions as a wireless router and you can connect it directly to the modem provided by your ISP.

The setup process is really simple and it didn’t take us more than 10 minutes to get it up and running. Our tip is to only turn on the main unit and make sure it is functioning. Once the main unit is up and running, turn on all the other remaining units and link it to the main unit using the Deco app.

TP-Link Deco M5 is also fully compatible with Unifi with Unifi TV support. Remember to select the VLAN option and choose the TM Unifi profile for the Internet to work. If you need to watch Unifi TV, enable the IPTV option in the advanced settings and choose the TM Unifi profile. The Unifi TV box must be connected to the main Deco unit.

TP-Link Deco App

The Deco app is also one of the strengths of TP-Link Deco mesh WiFI system. It comes with a built-in Speedtest feature which let you to test the actual Internet speed. The home screen also show you all the connected devices together with their current Internet speed.

The app functions really well and is very simple to use. It can show you all the connected devices and what is their current Internet speed. There’s also a built-in speedtest tool to check your Internet speed directly from the Deco app. 

TP-Link Homecare Antivirus

There’s also a built-in HomeCare Antivirus feature on the Deco M5. The Antivirus engine is powered by TrendMicro and it is designed to block malware and virus infected apps and services from your network. It is disabled by default and we recommend enabling it.

The feature works really well with the virus database constantly updated by TrendMicro. We tested it with a known virus infected website and found that the website is successfully blocked by the Antivirus system. We are also shown a warning telling us that the virus is blocked and HomeCare is working as intended. 

HomeCare Parental Control

TP-Link Deco M5 also comes with a parental control function with the ability to block websites based on categories for selected users. There’s also an option to configure daily usage time limits and internet blocking d

WiFi Performance Test

Our home office comes with a really weird layout that one of the rooms at the end of the unit always struggle getting a stable WiFi connection from the router which is placed at the living room. We swapped the previous router to the Deco M5 mesh wireless system and immediately noticed a great improvement. We also tested the WiFi speed at multiple locations in the unit.

The WiFi performance is significantly enhanced when the mesh WiFi system is installed with 5Ghz WiFi coverage at almost every single point of the house. With fast roaming enabled, our iPhones area always connected to the WiFi even though we are working around the unit. Our phones are able to quickly switch network without even dropping our VOIP calls.

We compared the performance against the Archer A7 we used previously and immediately we notice a huge improvement. The Deco M5 performs faster at every location of test. Not to mention that our signal issue at the last room is completely resolved with the addition of the Deco M5 mesh WiFi system.

Seamless WiFi Roaming and Steering

There’s also a fast roaming option which is disabled by default in the Deco app. TP-Link says all their Deco mesh wireless system support the 802.11r fast roaming feature which will greatly enhance the roaming performance for supported devices. 

We enabled it and it greatly improved the performance of our system and our devices can roam to another Deco mesh node in a much lower latency without noticeable drops. 

Closing Thoughts

TP-Link Deco M5 is a great and rather affordable mesh WiFi system you can buy today. It offers really good performance enabled by TP-Link adaptive routing technology. With that, the WiFi connection is really seamless and offers a really smooth almost unnoticeable transition when steering to other access points. The easy to setup process and Deco app is the cherry on top.

You can view my review of other TP-Link Deco mesh WiFi systems here

Deco M5

TP-Link Deco M5

8.9

Tubi Rating

Good Stuff

  • Unifi and HyppTV support
  • Easy to setup process
  • HomeCare Antivirus
  • Seamless roaming

Bad Stuff

  • 2 LAN ports only
0 0 vote
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
58 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
CK
CK
11 months ago

Hi..Alvyn
now i using modem router D-Link AC750 ADSL2+(streamyx)..i don’t have like unifi modem..i only using this modem router..so,i straight plug in the main node to my modem router and turn off my modem router and then setup my node throughapp only?or i need set access point?if need set access point,izit hard to set?

Scott
Scott
1 year ago

Hi Alvin,

Would it be possible for you to do a comparison on download/upload speed on M5 vs M4?
I will be using it as an access point.

CHEN
CHEN
1 year ago

Hi Alvyn,

Thank you for feedback, if remove DIR-842 I will not have port for HyppTV, because M5 only have 2 port.

CHEN
CHEN
1 year ago

Hi Alyvn,

Do I get the benefit of mesh system if connect this way?
1) WAN from modem connected to DIR-842. And disable Wifi on DIR-842.
2) DIR-842 LAN1 connect to Hypptv.
3) DIR-842 LAN2 connect to 1st M5 at 1st floor.
4) DIR-842 LAN3 connect to 2nd M5 at ground floor Living room .
5) DIR-842 LAN4 connect to 3rd M5 at ground floor Kitchen.
Does LAN backhaul work this way?

Man
Man
1 year ago

Hi Alvin,
Can the single M5 (or P7) work with existing Tp-link router for mesh system ? I only have Archer C6 cos just using 100Mbps package. Or does it needs the higher end models?

In Facebook shows M5 can use hyyptv with new firmware, but in Tp-link website latest firmware is on Nov last year.
Thanks.

CSYong
CSYong
1 year ago

Hi Alvyn,

May I know if Deco M5 works well in a double storey house where by the primary unit is at first floor and another node at ground floor? Would the wifi speed be affected in such configuration?
Would you recommend Deco M5 or Deco P7 in this case?
Thank you!

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 year ago

I got my Deco M5 today. Set everything up and it’s working fine but I notice the speedtest on Deco app and Ookla website don’t match. I get 400/200 on the app but 50/50 on Ookla website. You encounter the same issue?

Popo
Popo
1 year ago

Hi alvin,

I want to confirm, does Deco m5 provide the same support as Deco m9 plus that is ethernet backhaul?

Thank you.

Lin
Lin
1 year ago

Hello,
If i use deco m5 as extender with tp archer c2300, i can still use the hyptv right

Zaki
Zaki
1 year ago

Hi Alyvn,

I’ve read some user review saying some of the old devices running exclusively on 2.4ghz have trouble connecting, since the deco only have one ssid and user cant manually select the band ( the deco automatically assign to whichever band that is faster – 2.4ghz or 5ghz). Do you encounter any of this issue during testing?

Thank you

Chai
Chai
1 year ago
Reply to  Alvyn Ong

do you know which version of Deco m5 has the usb type-c port instead?

The one I bought recently is a V2 which doesnt use Type C to power.

Ren
Ren
1 year ago

Hi Alvyn Ong,

Does Deco M5 works with TM Unifi? My modem is TP LINK Archer C1200.

Thanks!

Ken
Ken
1 year ago

Hi, are you going to review TP-Link Deco P7?

1 2 3
58
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x
Scroll to Top