Monday, 10 July 2017 22:30

VIDEOS: TP-Link’s Deco M5, a whole-home mesh networking WI-Fi system

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Promising complete Wi-Fi coverage for the home, as well as comprehensive security, the Wi-Fi wars are hotting up with the next generation of wireless connectivity.

Launched back in April in the US, TP-Link’s Deco M5 has finally arrived in Australia.

TP-Link bills Deco M5 as a “mesh networking solution that provides seamless wireless internet coverage and comprehensive security via TP-Link HomeCare".

Offering “built-in anti-virus and malware protection powered by Trend Micro” for a three-year period, after which a subscription is payable, we’re told that “Deco M5 provides a truly secure whole-home Mesh Wi-Fi system".

It’s available as a “three-unit multi-pack and soon to be released Single Unit”, and you can buy Deco M5 Whole-Home Mesh Wi-Fi systems from Officeworks “and other key retailers".

It’s also not the first mesh networking system to arrive in Australia – Netgear introduced its Orbi system in May, while Linksys just announced a new model this week.

Greg Hendriks, TP-Link sales and marketing director ANZ, explained that, “Deco M5 is the complete Mesh Wi-Fi package to connect and protect the modern home.

“From simple set-up and ease of use, to reliable Wi-Fi coverage for the entire home, Deco is a simple solution that delivers what customers demand from their home networking system.

“With our lifestyles all accessing news, entertainment and memories on a range of devices, we at TP-Link believe that all homes should feel safe whilst online. The added security and flexibile management tools are unique to TP-Link, putting Deco in a class of its own.”

Then come the aforementioned security features courtesy of TP-Link HomeCare, which “provides exploit and malware protection, powered by Trend Micro, along with an SPI firewall, device access control and secure remote control of the network via the TP-Link Deco mobile app, ensuring that your home network is always safe and secure".

We’re told that “this network security protection safeguards every device in your home from malware and hackers, while security patterns provide peace of mind that your family is always protected from the latest threats".

Hendriks then added: “As home Wi-Fi networks are supporting more users and mobile devices than ever before, security across your home network becomes increasingly important.

“Through our integration of TP-Link HomeCare, Deco M5 Whole Home Wi-Fi Systems are equipped with a comprehensive package of security features, so you can trust that your home network is always protected.”

Naturally, TP-Link hopes you’ll be excited by Deco M5’s “robust management controls [that] allow users to monitor access of network services by person or individual device".

These include:

Setting time limits online, bed time internet pausing and profiles by user to protect you and your home.

Also, when guests come to visit, users can provide access for a certain amount of time, all controlled by The App, which can be managed from anywhere, providing peace of mind when it comes to who is logged on and accessing important information.

This means Deco M5 users “can add an extra layer of security and shield unwanted intruders and protect their family".

Hendriks takes the opportunity to add that: “Today’s consumers want wireless connectivity across their home from the living room, to the bedroom and the kitchen. Deco M5 creates seamless Wi-Fi that allows them to stream, game and browse the Internet in any room.

“Deco M5 automatically optimises Wi-Fi connections for every device, and comes equipped with TP-Link HomeCare, which allows consumers to customise their network security through powerful features including robust parental controls.”

And what about when travelling?

Here we’re told that “using hotel Wi-Fi can be a risky and frustrating experience, but with the Deco "there is now a secure solution to using hotel internet while travelling".

So, how does Deco M5 help?

TP-Link says its Deco M5 will become “the first priority when packing thanks to its ability to deliver fast Wi-Fi and secure connection".

“By plugging a single unit into the hotel room ethernet connection, your very own Wi-Fi network with TP-Link HomeCare security management is created.

“In addition, there is no longer a restriction on the number of devices that can connect and greater Wi-Fi speeds can be accessed from your very own network.

“Add in the fact that all devices are now covered with antivirus and malware protection and accessing the internet while travelling with your family or on business has suddenly become stress free.”

If only life itself had an Ethernet port into which we could install a Deco Life 5!

Next up comes TP-Link’s pitch to 'make your home smart.'

The explanation is that “Deco M5 utilises TP-Link’s Adaptive Routing Technology (ART) to ensure your network is always operating at top speeds, quickly identifying and selecting the fastest path for your devices to connect to the network".

“This intelligent selection removes the guesswork from reliable connectivity. Deco M5 also optimises connections between devices to deliver the very best in coverage and ensures you receive the strongest performance throughout your entire home at all times.

“With Deco,” we’re told, “you also have the ability to control how bandwidth is used, making it easy to prioritise services and devices for heavy-bandwidth tasks such as HD video streaming, online gaming or video chats.”

Of course, there’s more

TP-Link notes Deco M5’s flexible configuration and intuitive set-up process” means that “creating your mesh network at home is simple. TP-Link’s Deco mobile app, available for Android and iOS, allows consumers to easily set up whole-home Wi-Fi coverage in minutes".

“With step-by-step instructions and visuals, TP-Link’s Deco app guides you through the entire set-up process.”

Understanding the fact that all homes are different and unique, and in order to fit the diversity of lifestyles, TP-Link is firm in its belief that “users need a solution that is right for them".

“Just as lights are used throughout the home to provide visibility across all rooms and walkways,” explains TP-Link, “the Deco M5 can be placed throughout the home for even accessibility that meets the users needs. Plus, you can turn off the indicator light on the Deco M5 for a good nights sleep.”

Just like your smartphone or tablet, TP-Link’s Deco M5 is powered by a quad-core processor.

Unlike the tri-band Linksys, Deco M5 is a “dual-band AC1300 system is capable of throughput speeds of 400 Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and 867Mbps on the 5GHz band, also supporting MU-MIMO data streaming".

TP-Link notes that “Deco M5 is comprised of a system of three units that can be customised to fit your Wi-Fi coverage needs, up to 4500 square feet".

You can expand it, however, with additional units. “The Deco M5 system can easily scale up to accommodate even larger spaces. Up to nine Deco M5 units can be added to a single network at any given time for seamless Wi-Fi coverage across extremely large spaces.”

Key Features:

  • Seamless wireless connectivity throughout every room in the home.
  • Comprehensive security features and robust parental controls via TP-Link HomeCare.
  • Anti-virus and malware protection powered by Trend Micro.
  • Simple installation with guided visuals via the TP-Link Deco mobile app (iOS and Android).
  • Adaptive Routing Technology (ART) selects the best path for device connections and keeps the network running as fast as possible.
  • QoS prioritises your home’s Wi-Fi experience by optimizing bandwidth to devices as needed.
  • Remote management and control of the network from anywhere.
  • Three-year limited warranty and 24/7 unlimited technical support by phone or email.

Its full name is the "TP-Link Deco M5 Whole Home Wi-Fi System."

It retails at A$399 for the three-pack, and A$179 for the single unit, and is on sale at Officeworks, with a three-year warranty.

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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