Mac Format

TP-Link Deco XE200

High-speed Wi-Fi 6E mesh system for larger homes and offices


£799.99 FROM FEATURES 2x routers, tri-band Wi-Fi 6E, max speed 10.8Gbps, 1x 10Gbps Ethernet, 2x Gigabit Ethernet

pple has taken its time bringing the latest Wi-Fi 6E to its products, but now that it’s arrived it’s worth considerin­g a new Wi-Fi router or mesh system that also supports Wi-Fi 6E in order to get the best possible performanc­e for your home or office network.

Admittedly, TP-Link’s Deco XE200 is very much a top-of-the-range option, costing a whopping £799.99. However, that price includes two identical routers that support tri-band Wi-Fi 6E using the new highperfor­mance 6GHz frequency band, along with the standard 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. That allows it to provide a blockbusti­ng maximum speed of 10.8Gbps, while the two routers together can cover buildings up to 6,500sq ft in size.

The design of the XE200 stands out too, with each router consisting of a tall, white cylinder, with TP-Link’s familiar ‘swirl’ that makes it look more like a fancy flowerpot than a convention­al router. Tucked around the back of each router, you’ll find a 10Gbps Ethernet port that is designed for the latest fibre and high-speed broadband connection­s, along with two Gigabit Ethernet ports to provide wired connection­s for a laptop or other devices.

The TP-Link Deco app is easy to use, although you need to create a free TP-Link account to get started. Once we’d done that, the app was able to automatica­lly detect our first Deco, and then prompted us to create a name and password for our new network

The XE200 is even able to reach into a persistent Wi-Fi deadzone in a back office

before adding the second Deco router to the network. Unsurprisi­ngly, the XE200 provides very strong performanc­e, and was even able to reach into a persistent Wi-Fi dead-zone in a back office, providing a smooth 450Mbps Wi-Fi connection for an office iMac, which normally has to use a set of PowerLine adaptors to provide a wired network connection instead.

Added extras

The app includes a number of useful features, including free parental controls with filters that can block adult material or prevent your kids from downloadin­g files from the web without your permission. Some router manufactur­ers charge extra for features such as these, so it’s good to see that TP-Link includes these features for free. There are additional subscripti­on services available, though, including an Advanced Parental Control service, which provides additional features, such as time limits for internet usage, and costs £2.99 per month or £17.99 per year. There’s also a Security+ service that protects your network from hackers and other threats for £4.99 per month or £34.99 annually.

The XE200 may be overkill for many people, especially if your Apple devices are still using Wi-Fi 5 or 6. But, if you need a high-performanc­e mesh Wi-Fi system that can cover larger homes and offices, then the XE200 will certainly earn its keep. Cliff Joseph

 ?? ?? If you’ve upgraded to Wi-Fi 6E devices, this router performs well, and the accompanyi­ng app includes useful features.
If you’ve upgraded to Wi-Fi 6E devices, this router performs well, and the accompanyi­ng app includes useful features.

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