TP-Link has a new “cheap” router. The Deco XE75 is a tri-band Wi-Fi 6E mesh router that aims to lower the cost barrier for the new 6GHz wireless technology standard. The new two-piece whole-home mesh router is available now for $299.99. It’s certainly one of the first signs that Wi-Fi 6E technology is reaching an affordable price, and best of all, the Deco XE75 seems to lack very few features.
The Deco XE75 covers about 5,500 square feet with the pair and is $200 cheaper than a two-pack of the recently released Eero Pro 6E that only covers 4,000 square feet. And the Deco claims to have a very high wireless peak network speed of 5.4 Gbps. While that’s a bit slower than the Linksys Atlas Max 6E at 8.4Gbps, the Deco still undercuts it by about $600.
The savings mean you don’t get advanced options like the 5Gbps Ethernet on the Atlas Max, let alone the 10Gbps option available on the Netgear Orbi Wi-Fi 6E. But each of the Deco nodes comes with three Gigabit Ethernet ports, so you can take full advantage of a Gigabit Internet subscription for your home.
The Deco XE75, the new Eero Pro 6E, and the Linksys Atlas Max are all tri-band, meaning devices can connect over 2.4, 5, and 6 GHz bands. Older Wi-Fi 5 routers also came in tri-band flavors, supporting both 2.4 and 5GHz bands while backhaul — a dedicated local area network communications strip — was offered on a separate 5GHz band. Now with Wi-Fi 6E, routers can use the 6GHz band to support even higher bandwidth devices, while doing double the work for backhaul.
Tri-band Wi-Fi 6E routers like the Deco XE75 don’t really need that extra 5GHz band, as there aren’t many 6GHz compatible devices out there yet. You would theoretically need several brand new PCs with the technology and several of the latest Samsung Galaxy phones all simultaneously pushing the network to its limits before experiencing congestion.
The Deco has also been tested to support up to 200 devices on the network, which could be much more than the Eero Pro 6E’s advertised 100-plus devices. And while Deco doesn’t have robotic antennas like the TP-Link Archer AXE200 Omni, it does have an AI-powered mesh system for better connections.
Overall, the Wi-Fi 6E standard has been rolling out slowly since its debut, and the lack of endpoint devices that support the technology means it might be worth getting a more affordable regular Wi-Fi 6 or a premium Wi-Fi. -Fi 5 router to buy. But if you somehow actively own multiple Wi-Fi 6E devices and want the latest technology, the Deco XE75 will give you affordable Wi-Fi 6E for $299.