If you want screaming Wi-Fi speeds that can keep up with your smart home, then a tri-band Wi-Fi 6 mesh kit is the best choice you can make. Sadly, a kit like that can easily cost $700. But TP-Link’s new Deco x68 Tri-Band Wi-Fi 6 mesh system is a far more affordable $280.
Mesh kits come in two varieties, dual-band and tri-band. Dual-band systems are common and comprise the usual setup of 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz networks. But a tri-band system adds a second 5 GHz network that melds together as one. The advantage to a second network is that as you add more devices, your router can put them on different networks, so they don’t slow each other down.
But while tri-band systems are perfect for busy networks and smart homes, they’re also expensive. TP-Link’s new Deco x68 is one of the most affordable options yet, at $280 for a two-unit mesh kit. While two units may not seem like much, Wi-Fi 6 can broadcast further and cover larger homes more easily. TP-Link promises a two-unit system can cover up to 5,500 square feet, which should take care of most 3-5 bedroom homes. A third unit will extend that range to 7,000 square feet.
Keep in mind that every home is different, and those measurements are under ideal conditions. You may not get everything TP-Link promises, but you’ll probably get better coverage than a Wi-Fi 5 Mesh kit would provide. The tri-band system also means the Deco x68 can handle up to 150 devices, which outstrips most Wi-Fi 5 routers.
It also comes with other comfort features like Alexa compatibility and the ability to connect to any other Deco Mesh units. TP-Link also promises this mesh kit will adapt to your home’s environment using artificial intelligence.
Since the TP-Link is more affordable than other tri-band routers, it has to take a hit somewhere. It advertises a maximum transfer speed of 3,600 Mbps, which is slower than other tri-band routers. The $700 Netgear Orbi system promises 6,000 Mbps transfer speeds, but again it’s more than twice the price.