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TP-Link Deco S4 3-Pack Mesh Wi-Fi System $169 + $0.99 Delivery @ MSY

510

Good alternative to Nova MW6. Not far off ATL price. Shipping deal thanks to https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/616845.

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Comments

  • At first glance at the photo and name I thought this was some sort of smart toilet paper holder…

  • Tupperware that doubles as a mesh router, neat.

  • if you have TGG commercial, they have the Deco M5 3 pack for $182,
    it has slightly faster 2.4Ghz speeds and better QoS + a few extra marketing features (AV, wifi hub, etc). and a lot smaller

    https://www.tp-link.com/us/support/faq/2423/

  • For the noobs out there (like me), what does this product actually do?

    • Instead of being able to access your Wi-Fi from one location in your house using your standard Wi-Fi router, these all join together wirelessly to make it accessible from 3 locations. Gives you more coverage basically.

      • Thanks for the explanation!

        I was wondering how this differed from simply having 3 WAPs, setting them all to broadcast the same SSIDs and linking them via ethernet (cable) ?

        Is there a specific 'mesh' protocol being applied in Wifi5 or Wifi6 between APs and to clients in terms of how handover or joining is done ?

        • Mesh networks are supposed to handle the hand-off between the different APs better.

        • Also curious how these compare to multiple APs on the same SSID. I'd much rather the DIY approach since openwrt can be used.

          • @nub: Multiple APs on one SID will work if your APs are out of range, if not your device will hang on to that weak signal AP until it dies. With mesh systems they will determine youre in range of a better AP and move you to that AP from the one you're connected to.

        • Out of the box mesh systems use Wi-Fi or in some of them a dedicated tri-band to communicate to each other. There are specific mesh systems that can be linked by Ethernet. Generally APs are linked by Ethernet but now some of them support a Wi-Fi mesh.

          With APs you can go to town with changing the settings. About the most you can change on most mesh systems is having a Static IP, IPv6 and port forwarding.

        • I guess not having a cable running through the house would be one point of difference.

        • My understanding is that having separate wireless access points linked by an ethernet cable is likely to perform better than a mesh.
          But mesh much more convenient if the house isn't already wired up.
          (Techies please correct me if I'm wrong).

          • @pencilman: You can link wifi mesh systems with ethernet cables in most cases (called an ethernet backhaul. Some more expensive models have a dedicated wireless backhaul instead). Ethernet backhauls are generally ideal.

            A mesh system on ethernet backhaul vs a custom set up with wireless access points is a cost/ease-of use Vs tech-savvy-customisation options debate more than anything else IMHO.

      • Thanks heaps - makes sense. So this is like a Wi-Fi extender on steroids?

        • Yes, with one single network. Perfect wifi in every room & expand easily with more points.

          • @Yorkshire-Man: I got the M5 in a previous deal. I live in a two storey and the internet connection has had a HUGE improvement on the lower floor which is away from the router.

            The M5 has transformed my connection.
            .

        • Does anyone know if you plug these in to the network into data points instead of use them as a classic WiFi mesh - would they still perform the same handoff from AP to AP as if they were set up as mesh ?

    • 100% I have a four bedroom house that is over two levels, and the single router wifi only did the front part of the main level of the house. Doesn't help that the NBN point comes in right at the front of the house, so it's hardly central.

      I used to have an old router downstairs being a secondary wifi point to extend it out the back and down, and that worked "OK", but it was two different WiFi networks which phones wouldn't always switch between nicely.

      So much annoyance and it was flakey, and they'd have issues every week or so requiring a reboot.

      I got the Tenda MW6 three pack at the start of lockdown, and now I have one WiFi network which spans the whole house with great signal everywhere and I just don't have to restart anything anymore, it all just works.

      Yes, we do need these. I'm guessing you're either in a small house or an apartment. Any sort of sprawl in a house means that yes, these are very needed.

        • Yes, because in the 1970s they were really focused on making sure WiFi access points were an integral part of their home design!

          You are aware there was an entire world before WiFi became a thing

          Before the internet was a thing

          And people still live in structures built during these times

          Even if we were talking a new house, once you get past a reasonable size, you're going to want multiple WiFi access points. Mesh systems make sense in so many situations, I'm not sure why you're set on trying to prove that a single router sitting in the middle of a house is good enough

      • If you are building a new house, would you go with WAPs on ground and 1st floor or this Mesh devices?
        I understand this is good for people who do not or cannot do cabling now and install WAPs.

  • How does this compare to other TP-Link Mesh products?

  • Ethernet backhaul?

    • +2 votes

      TP-Link Mesh Technology
      Optional Ethernet backhaul work together to link Deco units to provide seamless coverage

  • As others have asked, curious how this compares with the more well known M5?
    Can't find much info directly comparing the two online. Although it seems the S4 is older than the M5 with slightly slower 2.4ghz speeds

  • it somewhat hidden, but this is a dual band only (no dedicated wireless backhaul) incase anyone cares

    • yep, I'm waiting for the new tri-band wifi6 Eero to land in Oz… IMHO tri-band is a must.

  • Cable a single central AP like Ubiquiti or the TP Link business stuff cheaper than this better coverage. Just a complete gimmick for kids who don't know any better.

    • I'm really not a fan of Ubiquiti.

      Reasons:
      * Had them at a previous work, needed a few of them within a single open plan office with a couple of meeting rooms off the sides to provide sufficient coverage and performance
      * Constant issues with Google Chromecasts having dodgy connection to them
      * My partner has a fairly large place, and had Ubiquiti APs. Three of them. Constant issues, constantly having to restart them, and they're a pain to configure
      * And they required the power over ethernet adaptors to power them because that's what they expect, they have no option for a normal power supply

      Just recently put in the Tenda MW6s like I have, and now she has much stronger signal over a wider area of the house, and devices that were refusing to connect now do. And the setup was substantially easier.

      Seriously, I think the Ubiquiti are more the gimmicks for people who don't know any better. I'm yet to have a good experience with them.

      Other than they look kind of like UFOs, so are pretty… but then I like the simple cubes that the MW6s are even more.

      • Have had ubiquitis for years and have never had any issues with connectivity/speed etc. Honestly fantastic hardware.

        Only issues I’ve had are forgetting how to access the controller a long time after setting it up. Got a cloud key v1 to try and fix it and that thing is rubbish. V2 is apparently better but yeah controller issues can be a pain especially if you’re not technically minded.

  • I have Google Nest (1 base 1 point).
    The signal is still suboptimal, should I get this? Or get an additional point?

  • How much do replacement filters cost?

  • How is wifi reliability of this one? Does it work well with Opticomm /NBN modems? I have heard of people complaining Google Wifi experiencing frequent dropouts with opticomm

  • Are these better than range extenders?

    Or should I invest in a physical access point? My room is facing away from the router and I am finding it so hard. Getting 35 Mbps in my room on a 100 Mbps NBN connection.

    Range extender is pathetic and cant play games like CS go on it.