TP-Link Deco X90 Review (Page 1 of 5)

TP-Link Deco X90 Review

By: Aaron Lai
October 8, 2021

Since the end of last season, I have been patiently waiting over this past offseason for the Calgary Flames to make some big changes. I think the fan base was expecting some big moves to be made by the GM, especially since our team had fell far below the expectations of the previous year. With our core group of players aging, it seemed like Calgary should have been in a "win now" mode. However, the biggest move made in the offseason was bringing in Blake Coleman, as well as several depths pieces in all areas on the ice. With no disrespect to Mr. Coleman, I think most fans were hoping for a bigger splash. In fact, one could say the biggest move was actually the departure of our former captain, Mark Giordano, in the expansion draft. Looking ahead, I am not entirely sure what a full season of the Calgary Flames with the same core coached by Darryl Sutter will accomplish, but I guess this is what we will find out in the coming months. I am nervously optimistic, although this could easily just be because I am still a fan of the team. In a similar fashion, when TP-Link sent us their Deco X90, I had to wonder what sort of changes we would see from other mesh Wi-Fi routers. Unlike the Calgary Flames, there have been more apparent improvements to this mesh system compared to the previous ones we have reviewed, especially since this is our first Wi-Fi 6 mesh router. In addition to the higher speeds that 802.11ax standard is capable of, how will this setup compare to the past and current competition? Let us read on to find out!

Today's review unit of the TP-Link Deco X90 arrived from their Canadian offices in Richmond Hill, Ontario. Traveling with UPS and their Standard ground service, this box arrived in excellent condition with TP-Link packing tape around all of the edges of the box. You might not be able to tell from the picture, but this box we received was actually quite large and heavy. This is because TP-Link sent us two of these routers rather than a single one. They were packaged with large amounts of packing paper to ensure everything arrived safely at our APH Networks offices in Calgary, Alberta. We ended up shipping back the second router to TP-Link because it looked like it was a mistake.

As for the TP-Link Deco X90, the retail packaging arrived in a pretty standard TP-Link style box with a white background and blue or teal accents. The front shows off the two Deco X90 units on a scaled down fashion with some primary features listed down the left side of the box. Like other Wi-Fi 6 routers we have reviewed from TP-Link, they made it very known that we were dealing with a newer generation of wireless fidelity. On the top, we have a product description of "AX6600 Tri-Band Mesh Wi-Fi 6 System" and "Superior Mesh Wi-Fi, Everywhere". At the bottom, you can see there is support for Amazon Alexa and HomeShield, but we will see what that means later on in our review.

Before we continue, I have grabbed the specifications from the manufacturer's website for your perusal:

Standards: Wi-Fi 6
- IEEE 802.11ax/ac/n/a 5 GHz
- IEEE 802.11ax/n/b/g 2.4 GHz
WiFi Speeds: AX6600
- 5 GHz: 4804 Mbps (802.11ax, HE160)
- 5 GHz: 1201 Mbps (802.11ax)
- 2.4 GHz: 574 Mbps (802.11ax)
WiFi Range: 4-6+ Bedroom Houses (2-pack)
- TP-Link Mesh Technology: Optional Ethernet backhaul work together to link Deco units to provide seamless coverage
- AI-Driven Mesh: Intelligently learns the network environment to provide ideal Wi-Fi unique to your home
- 4× High-Gain Antennas (Internal): Multiple antennas form a signal-boosting array to cover more directions and large areas
- 2× Smart Antennas (Internal): Smart antennas auto-detect other Deco units to establish a stronger backhaul between one another to boost WiFi coverage
- Tri-Band: Provides an extra 5 GHz band working exclusively as the strong backhaul, strengthening the WiFi coverage
- Beamforming: Concentrates wireless signal strength towards clients to expand WiFi range
WiFi Capacity: Very High
- Tri-Band: Distribute devices to different bands for optimal performance
- 4×4 MU-MIMO: Simultaneously communicates with multiple MU-MIMO clients
- OFDMA: Simultaneously communicates with multiple WiFi 6 clients
- 8 Streams: More than enough bandwidth for connected devices
Working Modes:
- Router Mode
- Access Point Mode

Processor: 1.5 GHz Quad-Core CPU
Ethernet Ports:
- 1× 2.5 Gbps Port
- 1× Gigabit Port
*Per Deco Unit, Supports WAN/LAN auto-sensing
Buttons: Reset Button
Power: 12 V ⎓ 2.5 A

WiFi Encryption:
- WPA-Personal
- WPA2-Personal
- WPA3-Personal
Network Security:
- SPI Firewall
- Access Control
- HomeShield Security: Real-Time IoT Protection, Malicious Site Blocker, Intrusion Prevention System, DDoS Attack Prevention, Home Network Scanner
Guest Network:
- 1× 5 GHz Guest Network
- 1× 2.4 GHz Guest Network

- IPv4
- IPv6
Service Kits: HomeShield
Parental Controls: HomeShield Parental Controls
- Custom Profiles
- Professional Content Filter Library
- Family Time
- Bedtime
- Off Time
- Time Rewards
- Family Online Time Ranking
- Pause the Internet
- Weekly and Monthly Reports
WAN Types:
- Dynamic IP
- Static IP
- L2TP
Quality of Service: HomeShield QoS
- QoS by Device
Cloud Service:
- OTA Firmware Upgrade
- TP-Link ID
NAT Forwarding:
- Port Forwarding
- UPnP
- IGMP Proxy
- IGMP Snooping
- Bridge
- Tag VLAN
- Address Reservation
- DHCP Client List
- Server
Management: Deco App

Dimensions (W×D×H): 5.1 × 4.8 × 8.3 in (130 × 123 × 210 mm)
Package Contents: Deco X90 (2-pack)
- 2 Deco X90 Units
- 1 RJ45 Ethernet Cable
- 2 Power Adapters
- 1 Quick Installation Guide

System Requirements:
- Android 4.4 or later
- iOS 9.0 or later
Certifications: CE, EAC, FCC, IC, RoHS, RCM
- Operating Temperature: 0℃~40℃ (32℉ ~104℉)
- Storage Temperature: -40℃~70℃ (-40℉ ~158℉)
- Operating Humidity: 10%~90% non-condensing
- Storage Humidity: 5%~90% non-condensing

- WiFi Transmission Power
- <20 dBm (2.4 GHz)
- <30 dBm (5 GHz)
- <30 dBm (2.4 GHz)
- <30 dBm (5 GHz)

Like every router we have received, a white carton holds all of the items included with the TP-Link Deco X90. This environmentally friendly packaging should do a good job in protecting the inner contents from any impact that this package may face while in transit. Another smaller cardboard box is located on the side to hold a few more pieces of documentation and cables. Out of the box, you will receive the following:

- 2x Deco X90 units
- 2x 12V/2.5A Power Adapter
- 1x RJ-45 Ethernet Cables
- 1x Quick Installation Guide

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Hardware
3. Configuration and User Interface
4. Performance Tests
5. Conclusion