Review TP-Link Deco X20 Router: When Wi-Fi 6 and Mesh Technology Meet [análise/vídeo]

We already have a bunch of mesh router kits on the market and most of them are very similar. Aa TP-Link launched in Brazil the Deco X20 that breaks the same thing: with support for the Wi-Fi 6 standard, the product promises high speeds on the wireless network, but charges a high price for it.

O Techblog tested the TP-Link Deco X20 in recent weeks, in kit with two units and with promise to connect more than 150 devices at the same time. Works well, is it worth it? Find out the answers in the review below.

TP-Link Deco X20 video review

ethics notice

O Techblog is an independent news vehicle that has been helping people make their next purchase decision since 2005. Our reviews are not intended for advertising, so they highlight the strengths and weaknesses of each product. No company has paid for, reviewed or had advance access to this content.

The Deco X20 was provided by TP-Link on loan and will be returned to the company after testing. For more information, visit tecnoblog.net/etica.

The product

When I picked up the Deco X20 for the first time, I was impressed by its size and weight: it is less tall than the Deco M4, for example, but it has a larger diameter and is more robust. The mini cylinder has a discreet design, is all white and even the mains and power cables come with the color, which helps to hide the mess in your room.


TP-Link Deco X20 (Image: Lucas Braga/Tecnoblog)

I really liked the solution for the LED indicator: it sits on the bottom of the Deco and projects the light onto the surface where the router is. On the back are the two Gigabit network ports — 1 WAN for the operator’s modem and 1 free LAN for the user — and anyone who wants to connect more than one device must use a switch to expand connections.

Top of X20 has hourglass-like embossing, TP-Link Deco line pattern

The top of the X20 has an hourglass-like relief, standard from the TP-Link Deco line (Image: Lucas Braga/Tecnoblog)

Rear of TP-Link Deco X20 houses two Gigabit Ethernet network outputs

The rear of the TP-Link Deco X20 houses two Gigabit Ethernet network outputs (Image: Lucas Braga/Tecnoblog)

TP-Link Deco X20 LED indicator projects status light onto surface

TP-Link Deco X20 LED indicator projects status light on the surface (Image: Lucas Braga/Tecnoblog)

The reset button is hidden at the bottom of the Deco X20, and there are also the network name and MAC address labels there.

Bottom of TP-Link Deco X20

Bottom of TP-Link Deco X20 (Image: Lucas Braga/Tecnoblog)

The Deco X20’s design isn’t exciting, but it’s not ugly either: it doesn’t have that standard router design with a bunch of antennas, so you can leave it on your living room rack without messing up your decor.

Installation

The installation of the Deco X20 is very simple: the box itself indicates some important information, such as the first steps to connect the mesh router to your broadband operator’s modem and download the controller application.

TP-Link Deco X20 box facilitates installation, but information is not in Portuguese

TP-Link Deco X20 box facilitates installation, but information is not in Portuguese (Image: Lucas Braga/Tecnoblog)

With the app installed, it is necessary to create a TP-Link account — which after all the process will allow you to control the Deco X20 even from a distance. The product automatically tries to recognize the format of your internet connection (DHCP or PPPoE, for example) and then allows you to choose the Wi-Fi network name and password.

TP-Link Deco X20 installation process

TP-Link Deco X20 installation process (Image: Lucas Braga/Tecnoblog)

TP-Link Deco X20 being connected to operator's modem

TP-Link Deco X20 being connected to the operator’s modem (Image: Lucas Braga/Tecnoblog)

A surprise here is that it was not necessary to manually add the second unit to the Deco X20 kit: all you had to do was plug it in and everything worked automatically. Even so, the initial configuration process already gives you the option to add other routers from the Deco line, and guides you on the ideal placement depending on the number of floors in your house.

TP-Link Deco X20 application helps in positioning mesh routers

TP-Link Deco X20 application helps in the positioning of mesh routers (Image: Lucas Braga/Tecnoblog)

Resources

The Deco X20 brings you pretty much everything a router should do: it has WPS support, parental control with time and content filtering and block list to prevent a specific device from accessing the network.

Differentials, the Deco X20 supports the WPA3 security standard for Wi-Fi, which should make it difficult for your annoying neighbor who wants to steal your internet. You can also set up a visitor-only network, which isolates traffic from the core network.

TP-Link Deco X20 settings in the app

TP-Link Deco X20 settings in the application (Image: Lucas Braga/Tecnoblog)

Deco also supports a monthly report, but it only shows information about security and the number of devices connected daily. The product also supports VLANs, which can be useful for anyone who subscribes to a pay TV service via IPTV.

The QoS function is also present, and allows the owner to configure which device on their network has the highest internet usage priority. For everything to work correctly, it is necessary to inform the contracted speed of your broadband plan.

TP-Link Deco X20 has QoS to prioritize devices on the network

TP-Link Deco X20 has QoS to prioritize devices on the network (Image: Lucas Braga/Tecnoblog)

Something that needs improvement is that UPnP is not enabled by default, and this technology makes it easier to use applications and games that require incoming connections, with automatic port forwarding. IPv6 is also disabled by default, and it is very likely that lay users will not even touch this configuration and will be restricted to traditional IPv4.

TP-Link Deco X20 application allows advanced adjustments

TP-Link Deco X20 application allows advanced adjustments (Image: Lucas Braga/Tecnoblog)

TP-Link also allows the Deco X20 to work as an access point: with this function active, the product works only as a Wi-Fi interface for an existing network, and delegates the router work to another device that already fulfills this paper. It’s a good alternative to escape dual NAT, as some current broadband carriers’ modems don’t support bridge mode — Vivo and Oi Fibra, I’m looking at you!

It has Alexa, but no Portuguese support

The Deco line is distinguished by its integration with Amazon Alexa, but it is important to emphasize that TP-Link does not have a skill compatible with the Portuguese language.

This absence has persisted longer, and was the target of criticism in the TP-Link Deco M4 review, published a year ago.

Performance and Signal

The Deco X20 is a router in the new Wi-Fi 6 standard (802.11ax) and has a nominal capacity of 1,800 Mb/s, being 1,201 Mb/s in the 5 GHz frequency and another 574 Mb/s in 2.4 GHz.

To have access to the highest speeds, it is necessary that the computer, tablet or smartphone are also Wi-Fi 6 compatible. And at this moment it is important to exalt this new standard, which has more spectrum available on the 2.4 GHz network and delivery faster speeds even with greater distance between device and router.

The Deco X20 is the first router with Wi-Fi 6 that passes through my hands, and the performance really surprised me when compared to the Wi-Fi 5. With two units, TP-Link promises connection to over 150 devices and coverage for up to 370 m², but in practice this number is aimed at North American homes, which tend to be constructed of wood and drywall and are quite different from Brazilian buildings.

My house is big and has two floors, and the Deco X20 managed to cover every room. I placed one unit on each floor, and luckily the location of my network point is almost in the center of the property, which allows for better Wi-Fi signal emission.

Floor plan of the residence on the 1st floor, where the additional equipment of the TP-Link Deco X20 was placed

Floor plan of the residence on the 1st floor, where the additional equipment for the TP-Link Deco X20 was positioned (Image: Lucas Braga/Tecnoblog)

Plan of the residence on the 2nd floor, where the main equipment of the TP-Link Deco X20 was placed

Plan of the residence on the 2nd floor, where the main equipment of the TP-Link Deco X20 was positioned (Image: Lucas Braga/Tecnoblog)

network speed

The speed test was done by transferring files between two computers. Unfortunately I don’t have two Wi-Fi 6 compatible laptops, and to get the best results it was necessary for one of them to be connected to the Deco X20 directly to the network cable.

In addition to masterfully dividing the internet, the Deco X20 proves to be a viable option for those who need to download and load heavy files from the internet or rely on heavy transfers on the home network, even if the product does not have a dedicated backhaul for communication between mesh towers .

Here are the results of the file transfer test in megabits per second – not to be confused with megabytes per second:

connection location Average transfer speed
Bedroom 3, 2nd floor
Same environment as Deco X20
773.8 Mb/s
Office, 2nd floor
Connected to Deco X20 Main
553.2 Mb/s
Bedroom 4, 2nd floor
Connected to Deco X20 Main
442.7 Mb/s
Balcony on the right side, 2nd floor
Connected to Deco X20 Main
142.2 Mb/s
stairs, 1st floor
Connected to secondary Deco X20
302.3 Mb/s
Bedroom 2, 1st floor
Connected to secondary Deco X20
300.5 Mb/s
Bedroom 1, 1st floor
Connected to secondary Deco X20
264.3 Mb/s

Importantly, the results may vary depending on the type of construction or interference from neighbor routers, and performance may be better or worse depending on installation location.

Is it worth buying a TP-Link Deco X20?


TP-Link Deco X20 (Image: Lucas Braga/Tecnoblog)

The increase in home office work, online classes and even greater demand for online entertainment has made users demand more from their internet connection. Operators often provide a modem with Wi-Fi, but it does not always meet the subscriber’s expectations.

The TP-Link Deco X20 is an excellent product and has a good performance, but it is not for everyone: with a suggested price of R$ 1,899.00 in the kit with two units, it is possible to say that this is an inaccessible option, but that the investment is justifiable in some cases.

For this amount, it would be better if TP-Link had included a dedicated backhaul radio between the mesh units, to make the Wi-Fi spectrum unique to serve the connected devices.

The Deco X20 hits the market as an off-the-shelf option to solve some connectivity issues and is super simple to install. At that price, it’s significantly cheaper to hire a technician to run network cables throughout your home, connecting Wi-Fi hotspots in different rooms. However, not everyone has the time, labor or piping available to do the job.

So, you can say that the Deco X20 is a product for demanding people who want to use Wi-Fi Mesh technology. Support for the Wi-Fi 6 standard gives the device a long lifespan, which is ready to support broadband connections at hundreds of megabits per second.

Technical Specifications – TP-Link Deco X20

  • Processor: Qualcomm Quad-Core 1GHz CPU
  • RAM memory: 512 MB
  • ports per unit: Gigabit Ethernet (x2) WAN and LAN hybrid
  • Radio: 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6), 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies, MU-MIMO, OFDMA, 4 streams, 2 internal antennas
  • Rated speed: 574 Mb/s at 2.4 GHz and 1,201 Mb/s at 5 GHz
  • Connectivity: IPv4, IPv6
  • Operating modes: Router (DHCP server), Access Point (DHCP client)
  • extra services: Amazon Alexa (not available in Portuguese), IFTTT and TP-Link Cloud
  • Resources: guest network, device reporting, parental control, bandwidth control (QoS), VLAN tag, UPnP, Beamforming, TP-Link DDNS, TP-Link HomeCare
  • dimensions: 110 mm in diameter and 114 mm in height (per unit)

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