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TP-Link Deco X60 vs Netgear Orbi – review and troubleshooting

TP-Link Deco X60 vs Netgear Orbi – review and troubleshooting
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Which offers more parental control and better coverage – TP-Link Deco X60 vs Netgear Orbi? TP-Link Deco X60 is Wi-Fi 6, and I see a total of 96 devices on the WIRELESS network alone, all of them running flawlessly with no network drop, and full speeds. I can run four or five instances of Netflix or Prime across the wireless system, with all of my other devices running with zero issue. Also Netgear Orbi RBK852 is whole home mesh WiFi system with coverage up to 5,000 square feet and 60 devices Mesh technology helps you stay connected as you roam around on one network name Extend coverage up to 2,500 sq ft with additional satellites.

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Pros & Cons – TP-Link Deco X60 vs Netgear Orbi

TP-Link Deco X60

PROS

  • Reliable Wi-Fi performance, good coverage
  • Super user-friendly, comparatively affordable
  • Wired backhaul support, can work as in AP mode as a system
  • Useful QoS, Antivirus, and Parental Control features
  • Eye-catching design

CONS

  • Slow as a wireless mesh, no real-world 160 MHz channel width support
  • Requires an account with TP-Link to work
  • No dedicated backhaul band
  • Zero Wi-Fi customization
  • Limited web interface, no USB port

Netgear Orbi AX4200 (RBK742)

PROS

  • Fast, reliable Wi-Fi with large coverage
  • Relatively affordable
  • Useful, well designed mobile app
  • Support WAN 2Gbps Link Aggregation
  • Full web interface with all common settings and features

CONS

  • No 160MHz channel support, limited Wi-Fi customization
  • Not compatible with Wi-Fi 5 Orbi hardware
  • Few LAN ports; No Multi-Gig, Dual-WAN, or LAN Link Aggregation, or USB port
  • The fast 5GHz band only works as backhaul, even in a wired setup

Netgear Orbi RBK852

PROS

  • Fast, reliable Wi-Fi with large coverage
  • Full web interface with all common settings and features
  • Useful, well designed mobile app
  • 2.5Gbps multi-gig WAN ports
  • Support WAN 2Gbps Link Aggregation

CONS

  • High cost
  • No 160MHz channel support, limited Wi-Fi customization
  • Not compatible with Wi-Fi Orbi hardware
  • No multi-gig LAN port, intermittent lags
  • Bulky design

Compare TP-Link Deco X60 vs Netgear Orbi RBK824

ModelTP Link Deco X60 (3 packs)Orbi RBK824 (2 pack)
Wifi technologyDual band AX3000 whole home system 6 streamsTri-band AX6000 whole home system 12 streams
Wifi speedsUp to 2402Mbps @ 5GHz Up to 574Mbps @ 2.4GHzUp to 2400Mbps @ 5GHz band 1 Up to 2400Mbps @ 5GHz band 2 Up to 1,200Mbps @ 2.4GHz
Antennas4x internal antennas each unit8x high powered amplifiers internal antennas
Range coverage7,000 sq ft5,000 sq ft
Ethernet Port2 LAN/WAN Gigabit Ethernet Ports2.5Gbps WAN port and 4x Gigabit LAN ports
Backhaulwifi and Optional wired Ethernet backhaulUp to 2,400Mbps @5GHz dedicated link between router to satellite
Wifi featuresMU-MIMO, Auto path selection, self-healing, AP steering, Band steering, BeamformingImplicit & Explicit Beamforming for 2.4GHz & 5GHz bands, MU-MIMO,
ModesMesh router / Access Point modesMesh router
ProcessorQuad core processorPowerful quad core 2.2GHz processor with 512MB Flash and 1GB RAM
securitySupport WPA3, HomeCare antivirusWPA2, next firmware to support WPA3
Price$320 .00$699.99

What is the difference – TP-Link Deco X60 vs Netgear Orbi?

Coverage

For technical coverage Deco is broader considering that in 3 Deco units configuration provides larger coverage compared to the coverage provided by two units of Orbi or Velop. If these two products consist of three units of Orbi or Velop, of course the coverage is even wider.

Performance from distance

Switching off the satellites and moving around the house to test the range of the single router. Performance is about on par with most other systems may be slightly lower than average. Moving from my office which is upstairs in the centre of the house, testing it in the front room as far away as possible I can just about connect to 5Ghz. With this, I am able to achieve a speed of 26Mbps, the connection is weak enough that you will likely need to be reliant on 2.4Ghz.

With a three-pack system, only the largest of homes should have an issue with range.

Wifi speeds

So it appears that the main difference is the wifi 6 technology that is applied, Deco with dual band 6 streams while Orbi and Velop tri-band and 12 streams technology.

TP-link with Deco x60 is designed with dual band 6 streams, with speeds up to 2,400Mbps @ 5GHz band plus 574Mbps @ 2.4GHz band. Compare with the two competitors who designed their wifi 6 mesh system with 12 streams which of course the bandwidth is doubled.

Ethernet Performance

I always have problems getting Ethernet backhaul to work on my Netgear Orbi, but not with TP-Link. I just plug in the cable, and away it goes. So if there is an option to wire up your satellites, you will be able to achieve the full data speeds of 1200mbps.

I did this in my garage/gym, and as expected, the results were identical to the main router with speeds getting close to 1Gbps.

Dual band wifi 6 mesh system

If you compare with Linksys Velop MX10 and also the Orbi RBK824, we find that the two products of the mesh wifi 6 systems are designed with a tri-band and one of the bands @ 5GHz band is used as a dedicated backhaul on Orbi. While Linksys uses other methods for backhaul needs that are designed with dynamic tri-band backhaul approached.

TP-link with Deco x60 is being introduced based on dual band wifi 6 (wifi ax) technology compared to its competitors Velop and Orbi which are designed with three band mesh wifi-6 technology. The TP-link strategy by only introducing the two band wifi 6 mesh system is exactly the same as when the two big vendors (Linksys and Netgear) introduced the first mesh wifi ac products with the three band wifi ac technology at the first time, while TP-link released Deco M5 dual band which proved to be successful in the market.

Backhaul

Deco doesn’t specifically specify which radio band is used as the wifi backhaul link between nodes, as general the backhaul link uses the 5GHz radio band and share with connected devices @5GHz band. However, tp-link also offers optional wired backhaul using Ethernet connection between nodes to free up both radio bands for connected wifi devices.

The TP-link Deco X60 can be configured as a mesh access point besides the main mode as a mesh wifi 6 router system.

Orbi wifi 6 mesh wifi system
Orbi wifi 6 mesh wifi system

You can also configure Deco X60 as the mesh wifi access point by connecting each of the WAN port to your wired network switch.

On the other hand, Orbi uses a dedicated @5GHz band for backhaul needs, while Velop uses tri-band dynamic backhaul technology; the three bands share dynamic backhaul in addition to client connection needs.

TP-Link Deco X60 vs Netgear Orbi RBK752

Security Protection

Orbi offers Netgear Armor and Bitdefender Total Security protection for all connected devices against any malware, phishing, and fraud – even when you’re on the go. However, this is not free, you have to subscribe annually. Deco X60 also offers TP-Link HomeCare for protection of all connected devices in home including antivirus, parental control and QoS.

We have discussed above few differences between these two products, and the table below is the summary of spec comparison table.

WiFi

It is not so fair when comparing Orbi rbk750 series which is in a higher network segment than TP-link Deco X60, but from an economic and budget perspective as well as suitability for the condition of your home, it is better for these two products to be compared.

TP-link Deco X60 AX3000
TP-link Deco X60 AX3000

TP-Link Deco X60 vs Netgear Orbi differences

ModelOrbi Rbk752 (2-pack)Deco X60 (3-pack)
Wifi technologySimultaneous Tri-band AX4200 with MU-MIMO with 8 streamsSimultaneous dual band AX3000 whole home system 6 streams
Wifi speeds2.4GHz (600Mbps†) + 5GHz (1200Mbps†) for WiFi devices connection 5GHz (2400Mbps†) dedicated backhaulUp to 2402Mbps @ 5GHz Up to 574Mbps @ 2.4GHz
AntennasSix (6) high performance internal antennas with high-powered amplifiers4x internal antennas
Ethernet PortsRouter: 1xGigabit WAN + 3xGigabit LAN Satellite: 2x Gigabit LAN2 LAN/WAN Gigabit Ethernet Ports
Range coverage5,000 sq ft7,000 sq ft
BackhaulDedicated backhaul link 5GHz @ 2400Mbpswifi and Optional wired Ethernet backhaul
ProcessorQuad core 1.4GHz CPU with 512MB NAND Flash and 1GB RAMQuad core processor – no details specified
SecurityNetgear Armor and Bitdefender Total Security service plan WPA2TP-link Home Care WPA3 ready
Price$449.99$327.99

Alternate of TP-Link Deco X60 or Netgear Orbi

Asus ZenWiFi AX Mini (XD4) AiMesh Wi-Fi 6 System

PROS

  • Reliable performance
  • Improved AiMesh feature
  • Guest networking works throughout the system
  • Useful network settings and feature

CONS

  • No dedicated backhaul band or 160MHz channel width support
  • No multi-gig port, Dual-WAN or Link Aggregation
  • Stripped-down, borderline useless QoS and Parental Control features
  • Limited number of network ports, switch needed for a complete wired backhaul setup
  • Non-pre-synced hardware, not wall-mountable

The ZenWiFi AX Mini is more than just a miniature version of the ZenWiFi AX. It’s the first purpose-built AiMesh system that includes two distinct types of hardware, including a router and two satellites.

Most importantly, it’s the very first among its peers that features a fully functioning Guest networking feature, something that had been amiss from the get-go in Asus’s AiMesh ecosystem.

On the downside, this little mesh system is dual-band and has modest hardware specs. In any case, though, it’s an excellent and more affordable choice compared to the TP-Link Deco X60 below.

 Ubiquiti AmpliFi Alien Mesh Kit

PROS

  • Fast, reliable Wi-Fi with large coverage
  • Full web interface with all common settings and features
  • Useful, well designed mobile app
  • 2.5Gbps multi-gig WAN ports
  • Support WAN 2Gbps Link Aggregation

CONS

  • High cost
  • No 160MHz channel support, limited Wi-Fi customization
  • Not compatible with Wi-Fi Orbi hardware
  • No multi-gig LAN port, intermittent lags
  • Bulky design

The AmpliFi Alien Kit includes an Alien router and an Alien MeshPoint. The pair is permanently synced. Consequently, this kit is great for a home that needs a 2-pack system. If you need more than that, you’ll have to get another Alien router.

Despite that odd hardware configuration, the expensive price, and other oddities, this mesh system has enough to make almost anyone happy.

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