TP-Link Deco Mesh WiFi System (Deco S4)

TP-Link Deco Mesh WiFi System (Deco S4)

TP-Link Deco Mesh WiFi System (Deco S4) – Up to 5,500 Sq.ft. Coverage, Replaces WiFi Router and Extender, Gigabit Ports, Works with Alexa, 3 count (pack of 1)

TP-Link Deco Mesh WiFi System:

Maximum wireless transmission rates are the physical rates derived from ieee standard 802. 11 specifications. Range and coverage specifications along with the number of connected devices were defined according to test results under normal usage conditions. Actual wireless transmission rate, wireless coverage, and number of connected devices are not, and will vary as a result of 1) environmental factors, including building materials, physical objects and obstacles, 2) network conditions, including local interference, volume and density of traffic, product location, network complexity, and network overhead and 3) client limitations, including rated performance, location, connection quality, and client condition.

What are tp-link deco mesh wifi system features?

  • Make sure this fits by entering your model number.
  • A new way to wifi: deco mesh technology gives you a better wifi experience in all directions with faster wifi speeds and strong wifi signal to cover your whole home.
  • Bettern coverage than traditional wifi routers: deco s4 three units work seamlessly to create a wifi mesh network that can cover homes up to 5, 500 square feet. No dead zone anymore.
  • Seamless and stable wifi mesh: rather than wifi range extender that need multiple network names and passwords, deco s4 allows you to enjoy seamless roaming throughout the house, with a single network name and password.
  • Incredibly fast ac1200 speeds makes the deco capable of providing connectivity for up to 100 devices.
  • With advanced deco mesh technology, units work together to form a unified network with a single network name. Devices automatically switch between decos as you move through your home for the fastest possible speeds
  • Robust parental controls: limit online time and block inappropriate websites according to unique profiles created for each family member. Easy to keep your children safe while they’re online.
  • Setup is a breeze with the deco app available on your android or ios device. Turn on or off guest wifi with alexa voice commands.
  • Each deco s4 has 2 gigabit ethernet ports(6 in total for a 3-pack) and supports wired ethernet backhaul for better speeds. Any of them can work as a wi-fi router. Works with all internet service providers, such as at&t, verizon, xfinity, spectrum, rcn, cox, centurylink, frontier, etc.( a modem is required for most internet service providers)
Categories: Computers

Tp-link deco mesh wifi system details:

Product dimensions

3.57 x 3.57 x 6.39 inches

Item weight

4.2 pounds

Item model number

Deco s4(3-pack)



Country of origin


Product guides and documents

TP-Link Deco Mesh WiFi System (Deco S4) AMAZON

TP-Link Deco Mesh WiFi System (Deco S4) – Up to 5,500 Sq.ft. Coverage, Replaces WiFi Router and Extender, Gigabit Ports, Works with Alexa, 3 count (pack of 1)

Looking for specific info?

I have to-link 1750 with extender is this a better setup ?? Cause every once in awhile the extender loss singl.

Extenders will definitely allow connections from further away, but they always cut your speed exactly in half. So an extender is just that a range extender, not a speed increaser, it decreases speed. However the range extension can prevent dropouts so it acts like it is a speed increase but it is really just preventing dropouts (and remember it always cuts your speed in half).
On the other hand a mesh system is actually 2 (or more) routers that you place in 2 different spots and so it does not start by cutting your speed in half. It is full speed. But since your computer (or wifi tv or doorbell etc) is closer to one of the 2 (or more) mesh spots it will also extend your range for that reason, and prevent dropouts for that reason. And the closer your device (computer, laptop, etc) is to the router, the chances are the faster the internet speed could very well be (for instance on the ookla online speed test website).

But an extender works with your old router. A mesh system is a router (actually it is 2 or 3 or more routers), so it will not work with your old router. The routers are built in to the mesh system. With an extender you need a router (your old one for instance), the extender(s), and a modem.

With a mesh system you just need the mesh system and a modem. You do not need a router (because it is built in).

See less

I just installed this and apple is indicating wpa/wpa2 (tkip) is not considered secure. How can i configure this to wpa2 (aes) or wpa3 security type?

Hi! The security message you are receiving is due to a recent update of your smartphone’s mobile operating system. To remedy this message and to make sure your deco s4’s encryption is optimally configured, please ensure your deco app is fully updated, then update the firmware of your deco s4. Once the firmware has been updated, the deco s4’s wifi encryption will be set to wpa2-psk [aes] by default, so this message will no longer appear.

For detailed instructions on how to update your deco’s firmware, please visit faq 1599 on our official tp-link website. To locate this faq, visit our website and enter 1599 in the top-right search field, then click the corresponding faq in the search results.

See less

How far from the base can a node be placed and does each node have to talk to the base or do they talk to one another in a chain?

The nodes talk to each other to form the mesh network. The setup app will guide you in the placement of each node. My base is in one corner of the downstairs, i placed one node in the kitchen which is in the middle of the house and the other node upstairs. That gave me great coverage everywhere in the house.

How reliable and user friendly are the parental controls?

The parental controls feature on our deco mesh wifi systems is designed to provide robust, yet intuitive and convenient features to help safeguard your network and those who use it. For more details on the parental controls feature, please visit faq 1598 on our official website. To locate this faq, visit our website and enter 1598 in the top-right search field, then click the corresponding faq in the search results.

See less

Will this sync and interface with tp-link omada systems?

Omada mesh and deco mesh are separate ecosystems; however, you can still manually add an omada access point via ethernet to your existing network, as with any other network.

Is there a separate modem i can buy that supports spectrum telephone service? I want this mesh system but need a modem that supports my phone service.

As a former spectrum internet/phone tech support agent, i can tell you that it is not possible to buy a modem for use of the phone service. I mean, you can buy an mta (phone modem) for hundreds of extra dollars but you can’t use it for the phone service, so don’t do that. For security and network management reasons, phone service must go through a company-owned modem.

See less

If i have two deco p9 units connected via powerline, can i connect devices to the ethernet ports of both units to extend wired connections?

Absolutely. I have 3 deco p9s and on the primary one port is connected to the router (as it has to be) with a computer plugged in to the second ethernet port. My second and third decos are spread around the house for wifi coverage but also each have a desktop pc and a lan printer connected to their ethernet ports and are acting like switches for these devices.

See less

Can be this connected to a 4g router?

As long as your router has an ethernet handoff i don’t see why not.

Does the parental control feature in the app have a pause device feature

Yes it does

Can i use this in colombia?

I see that colombia also uses 110v, so that should not be a problem. I think compatibility between columbian modem/router can be managed worse case scenario with wired connection to primary mesh unit. Offers both 2.4 and 5ghz connections (i could not find details on what specific requirements for colombian wi-fi). I also do not know if the encryption level is high enough to be restricted to be exported.

See less

Does this work with wyze cameras? Will not connect to them

Yes, it will work. Wyze use the 2.4 ghz wifi spectrum, these will support 2.4 and 5 ghz

Is deco s4 newer than deco m5? (if so, why is it cheaper)? What is the difference between them?

I do not know this answer.

I already have2 deco w2400 , will this work with them?

I had 3 and added 3 more for extended coverage and they work great

If my fios network has one name and the network i create with this has another, can i just use the new network all the time? Or do i keep switching?

Yes, you can use the new deco mesh network for all of your devices. If you would like to avoid the chances of your devices attempting to automatically swap back and forth between the wifi networks, you may want to consider disabling the wifi broadcast of your fios gateway.

Will this connect to cpe510 repeater?

Depending on your intended use of the devices, it can potentially connect to a cpe510 via ethernet cable. We would need to know more about your network environment and topology to better answer your question. Feel free to reach out to our support team directly via our official tp-link website.

How do these compare to the m9 plus which is triband also with dedicated backhaul?

The primary difference is in their intended deployment scenarios. The deco p9 is more ideal for homes where wifi signal between each deco unit may be severely disrupted (i.e. Thick walls, other physical obstructions, distance), since it utilizes the electrical wiring within your home as a backhaul for the deco nodes. However, if that is not a significant concern in your scenario, the dedicated, dynamic backhaul of the deco m9 plus may be more suitable.

See less

Does this unit have zigbee hub built into it?

No – the deco s4 utilizes dual-band wifi. If you are looking for an alternative with a built-in zigbee hub, please consider our deco m9 plus instead.

My verizon speed is 1,000. But properties on this unit says 448. How do i increase it?

Make sure to have verizon come out & do testing. 1,000 speed could be only direct plug ins like a pc, whereas a phone would run at a different download/upload speed. The most common issue in slow speeds are the device connections themselves.

Will this work with verizon dsl ?

Yes, this deco s4 mesh system will work with verizon. I just replaced the verizon router in my house with the deco s4 mesh system because the verizon router was constantly dropping the wifi every day. That, and when it was actually working the wifi had been slowing down for some reason over the course of the last year. So i ditched the verizon router and got this deco s4 mesh system. It was easy to set up, but you must use a smart cell phone to do it (an iphone or galaxy or something like that). If you live in an area where you get no cell service, then you will not be able to set up this system because once you disconnect your old verizon router you won’t have any internet/wifi, so you will have to connect your cell phone to an outside cellular data signal. But, if you have a strong cellular data signal for your cell phones in your area, then you will have no problems setting this mesh system up.

See less

Funciona con omada?

No deco and omada are two separate ecosystems and not cross-compatible at this time.

TP-Link Deco Mesh WiFi System (Deco S4) AMAZON

TP-Link Deco Mesh WiFi System (Deco S4) – Up to 5,500 Sq.ft. Coverage, Replaces WiFi Router and Extender, Gigabit Ports, Works with Alexa, 3 count (pack of 1)

What are our customers saying?

5Expert Score

I have been looking at the mesh systems for awhile, but most of them are so expensive. But then i came across this 3 device system for $129.00 + the zon gave me an addition $20.00 off! So this was a great deal for less than $120.00 with tax. It took me all of 15 minutes to install and set up the whole system. Here’s a tip to make upgrades easy, use your existing network name and password so that all of your devices will just automatically connect to the new mesh system. I have a bit of a diverse network. Originally i had a wifi router in my home and then there is cat 6e line run in conduit underground out of my home to my workshop which is 150ft from the house and have a access point setup in there, well because of this i had to have two networks which was kind of a pain as the bedroom was still able to stay connected to the buildings access point after returning to the house which was a very weak signal but always has required me to manually switch networks to maintain a decent wifi. Also while out in the yard mowing or doing other stuff, the constant connecting and disconnecting to the two networks as i move around property causes a lot of buffering in streaming music or podcast to my phone. So i generally turn the wifi off which then leaves me hooked to the oh so great (not) att 5g network. So it really was a hassle. Now, with the 3 mesh units it’s a perfect seamless all encompassed wifi network of our 1.2 acre property. Now i have the main unit hooked in the office on one side of the house, the second unit is connected wirelessly on the other end of the house and the 3rd is back wired through cat6e and a 8port switch that connects to the main unit in office, there are only two ethernet ports on these units, we have the gaming system, voip system and security camera system connected to that as well. I’m getting full speeds everywhere , before we were just getting 2.4 gig speeds unless you were 10 ft from the main router. I’m impressed, especially for a budget brand.

5Expert Score
Tried 12 devices this one worked!

I live in a bit of a unique environment where i was attempting to get internet across the whole property and especially to a separate building 200 yd away. The main issue being i couldn’t run a lan cable outside and there were no power sources outside(not my property) so doing the traditional way of getting it there wouldn’t work. This mesh wi-fi system is not only the only one that got internet to that other building(12 attempts, lots of learning!) but it works as if i’m right next to the router that it’s extending the signal from. I mean 0 buffering it’s kind of blowing my mind a little bit. The only thing i would say is setting it up might be a bit of a struggle depending on the distance or amount of walls you’re trying to go through because in my case i couldn’t move the router source. So i would just play with it a little bit and move the 2nd and 3rd extender a little bit closer when trying to connect and i’ve found that if you press refresh after a failed connect that seems to be what got mine to connect for some reason. Even leaving it in the same place that it had just failed to connect. So if you’re getting flashing red don’t take that as a sign of failure because same exact thing happened to me but once you get it to connect it hasn’t disconnected once and it’s worked fantastic. Personally the best part is there’s a 2 year warranty that i didn’t have to pay for. And if you had to go a really long way like 400 yd or something honestly i bet you 2, 3 packs of this would work i really wouldn’t be surprised. Especially because they are designed to be daisy chained together as opposed to trying to use multiple different wi-fi extenders that get any other way it any other way and are trying to use the same ip address it just doesn’t work nearly as well unless you really know what you’re doing.

5Expert Score
Works great – better than using a wifi extender.

I was using a netgear nighthawk but when i put it in my master closet where the wires to the rest of the house is the signal dropped. Could barely use my laptop in my office. Bought a wifi extender and it barely could get a signal outside either. So i bought this for $100. I know it’s last years model but my neighbor swears by it. I put the base unit in the master closet connected to the modem. Then i connected it to the satellite unit outside in the living room via the ethernet cable. The last unit is upstairs in the tv room. Even when the two satellites were connect via wifi only the signal was still good. I just decided to link it via ethernet to ensure a strong connection. I love it. No need to change wifi connections when going from wifi units. They all use the same network name. Signal is strong everywhere in the house now. Even outside in the yard. I have 7 ring cameras and they load up super quick now. Recordings are in hd. And i have no issues using facetime or streaming video. I got my brother in law to switch to these and he has the same positive experience. The only downside is that the base units only have two ethernet ports. So most everything will need to use wifi. But you can still connect an ethernet cable to the unit if you want to use a wired connection instead of wifi. Glad i saved the money and bought the older model.

5Expert Score
Fast, simple setup, cheap mesh solution

After doing a lot of comparison shopping, i ended up settling on the tp-link deco s4. My biggest factors were price, reliability, and range. I have a three floor 4500 sq/ft house built in 2003. The verizon fios gateway router worked, but it suffered considerable slow down as i got to the extremes of the house. With the new three node deco s4, i get full speed internet at every floor and extreme. Previously, i was able to get 100mb/s maxed out at the router with minimal traffic, but dropped down to 10 mb/s at the extremes of the house, especially the basement and some bedrooms. With one of these on each floor (main on middle), i range from 95-120 upload and download (paying for 100) on all three floors depending on time of day. Interestingly enough, i haven’t suffered much dropoff in signal strength with each mesh node as opposed to the main wired unit acting as the router. I’ve read countless time that unless i’m using a wired backhaul that there would be signal dropoff at the mesh points, but i haven’t witnessed any significant drop. I also purchased this system as it had ethernet ports for backhaul (if i needed to improve speed) and accesspoint use on each node, but i don’t use any other than one at the main router for my phillips hue bridge.

The design is simple and clean. I was debating on saving $10 and getting the m4 (identical internals), but figured i was already scraping the barrel on price point so may as well get one that wasn’t as much of an eye sore. These are clean, simple, modern, and much better to look at then the fios provided router.

The app is simple and intuitive and makes most of the decisions for you. It ran me through the setup very easily. It has parental controls and allows me to prioritize devices as well as setting up a guest network. However, what was most essential to me was the ability to turn off 2.4 or 5ghz signals if i needed to set up a product that only worked on one (usually older products that use 2.4 only). This app is mostly for people that have basic technical skills, but not full on it networking knowledge.

I chose to replace my fios router entirely and run ethernet from the verizon modem (optical network terminal) instead of coax so i didn’t have to run the fios router in bridge mode. I called fios tech support and the person switched the feed to ethernet in five minutes. Now i don’t have to rent my router and have much faster internet without relying on bridge mode. If you aren’t comfortable with running ethernet and swapping it out at the ont, you can use the fios router and connect the deco s4 to their router instead. This also allows you to keep your cable box functionality such as guide and on-demand without a moca adapter. I have no such plans as i’m dropping cable for youtubetv.

On average, my house has around 40 connected devices from phillips hue bridge/bulbs, ecobee thermostat, ring products, several nest and echo devices, five smart tvs, smartphones, tablets, and laptops. Don’t buy into the hype that you need wifi 6e. This supports gigabit+ speeds and the dualband is more then enough to maximize efficiency. In addition, you can add or swap out mesh points to this system at any time from any deco system (e3, m4, m5, p9, etc.). You can literally improve on this system in the future if desired. This was one of the best purchases i’ve made in a while.

Update 2.4.21: i recently switched to 200mb/s from my isp (it is the lowest package they offer when only purchasing internet). With this, i’ve noticed download speeds at the main router at 270-300 and 300+ upload depending on network traffic. I have seen more noticeable drop-off at the mesh points with this speed, usually 170-230 download and 200+ upload on my first mesh extension node, and 160-200 download on the one in the basement. I also have the biggest variance in upload speeds with this one at 45-120 upload, depending on time of day and network traffic. However this was also the location i had the biggest issue with previous to installing my deco s4 system. In general, i am still getting amazing speeds, far exceeding what i’m supposedly paying for, extremely stable at every location of my house including the far extremes of my yard. I have can rely on blazing fast reliable internet throughout my house and not have to have wired backhaul to achieve it. However, i can now see why some individuals suffer noticeable drop-off with higher internet speeds at the mesh points. If you figure the drop-off as a percentage and multiply it times the speed, the difference will be more noticeable at the ghz speeds. Overall, love this device, how much faster my internet is and how i am not paying my isp for their outdated routers they try to dish on unknowing consumers. Best purchase i’ve made in years.

5Expert Score
A good mesh wifi system with an affordable price

I am very happy with this new wifi mesh after two weeks. It hasn’t dropped my wifi signal once. A month ago, i tried to purchase a more expensive device, netgear orbi (rbk23). It worked well the first week, then every week after, i kept losing the wifi signal for 30 seconds a few times. In the fourth week, it failed 3 times in the morning. I then went up to amazon and looked for a different brand. Tplink came up with 3 tri-band routes. It covers the same sqft footage and half price. I got it on the same day and installed it with no brain. My home has 2 stories. The first wifi router is on the second floor in a diagonal direction with my office on the first floor. I placed the second router on the 2nd floor right above my office, and the last one is on the first floor nearby my office. It covered it completely. It works well so far without any drop signal issues. The deco (ios app) is not that good compared to the netgear orbi app. But it serves its purpose for installation with reasonable cost. I like it so far and recommend it to everyone.

5Expert Score
I can't say enough about how great this product is!

This deco system so far has done everything it said it would and more. First off, using the app and following the directions worked flawlessly. The first time. That never happens. It’s almost like they put effort into the user experience and making sure it worked.
Then there is the performance. Amazing. We have an office in a converted garage in the backyard and the signal from the house pretty weak and speed was about 7mbs as measured by After connecting the three decos hubs and putting one in the garage the signal strength went to almost 100% which is to be expected with the connection in the same room. What was incredible was how much the speed increased. The same computer now connected at over 100mbs as measured by
In other words the product works 100% as advertised. You won’t regret purchasing this product if you need to extend your wireless network.

5Expert Score
If you are thinking on new wifi modem, go with this one

I would recomend using this modem setup for any one. Its a bit expensive but it does work very well and is very easy to setup.

In terms of setting up, just download the tp deco app and follow the instructions
the apps ui is very simple and easy to use. The app will recomend you to place one modem closer to anpther in order to have a better signal. Also the app does other things such as montior the networks speed and devices connected.

The experience so far after two months of installing has been great, the device connected will switch automatically between modems depending on which one is closer and acts like a single wifi unlike other modems and extenders.

In my case the three modems where enough for my two story house but bear in mind that you can buy single modems in case you need extra.

5Expert Score
Finally all my wi-go devices stay connected

I have at&t wi-fi with a gateway device that includes a modem and router. I was unable to install my tp-link deco mesh system without contacting at&t tech support. At&t needed to turn off the router’s wi-fi from their office before i could connect the deco mesh system to be my primary router. After that, the tp-link tech support was able to easily walk me through the setup and installation of the 3 deco units (which i could have done without assistance once at&t disabled their router). Coverage in my 2,500 square foot, 2-story house is now superb, and my devices no longer disconnect from wi-fi frequently. With at&t’s wi-fi, we couldn’t keep our robot vacuum connected (even with an at&t wi-fi extender sitting on top of the vacuum), so the vacuum kept losing our house map. Now that device performs great. And now our smart tvs also remain constantly connected. Wi-fi problems are solved!

5Expert Score
These actually work

My home office is at one end of my house and all of our bedrooms were too far away to get a good signal off of our router. I called our provider and they recommended these deco units as opposed to paying hundreds more for their equipment. I was shocked at how well these actually work. The kids have great wifi connection now and all of our devices finally work normally. I highly recommend these if your wifi router is not in the center of your home and you need an extender. Great bang for your buck!

5Expert Score

House is 3000 sqft, and has two dead wifi spots before. After this deco s4, the whole house is in peace now finally. Everywhere is smoothly connected. Before buying, i did some research. Though deco s4 is no longer the most cutting-edge model, but it will serve me well. And it does. I only need 2 units actually. The wonderful things about this wifi device is not only the great coverage, but also the consistency. It’s been almost a month now, and i never experienced dropping/intermittent wifi connections.
Highly recommend, if your household is under 4000 sqft…..
Btw, the app is pretty friendly to use…and very functional.

4Expert Score
Great product, but has some issues

*** 1 year review update ***

i decided to keep the system. After a few firmware updates and once tp-link fixed the ap only mode such that the main and guest networks are truly separated i switched over from using it as a router to an ap solution. It has worked flawlessly since and without any performance degradation’s.

I still do not like the app-centric approach for ‘management’ (cannot call it that honestly); insight would probably be more appropriate. But, i will be moving in the future to an enterprise grade solution (this solution purchase has just been a stop-gap until that time and i finalize my network architecture). For the average home consumer that is not very tech-savvy (which is the audience this product really targets) it is overall very simple to get up and running with very few issues, especially at this price point.

I have submitted over a dozen feature requests to tp-link and almost all of them have been discarded by the manufacturer (but at least acknowledged); of the ones that were ‘accepted’ they were very trivial.

As of today, sep 21 20201, the system via the app is no longer able to check for updates (it receives an error). I believe this is not due to the units themselves but instead tp-link’s update portal that the units use to check for updates. Checking on the main site reveals an update published on july 15 2021 (s4 2.0_en_1.5.0 build 20210607 rel. 56436_us_eu_au_jp_up.bin) that is available which is one update newer than my currently applied firmware published on september 30 2020 (s4 2.0_en_1.4.3 build 20200918 rel. 77820_us_eu_au_jp_up.bin). Looks like i will have to update the units manually using the download links provided by tp-link and by logging into the web ui (note: each unit will have its own web ui but one – the master – will show a different one by showing you the topology of the mesh; a manual firmward update can be applied using that unit).

= summary

overall this is a great product. It definitely addresses the wifi coverage in our new home. It has only been a few days since i set them up. However, a star in my rating had to be knocked off which will become evident shortly. I may update this review after some more time has passed. But it is currently appearing i might be returning this.

I operate these in access point mode and not router mode. I have a better router than what these units provide and do not need double nat’ing on my house wide network. That, and, i will be replacing the house wide router with a substantially better one anyway in the coming months.

This review, however, covers my utilization and experience in both modes. Also note that i am an it professional and deal with network infrastructure (along with many other things) day to day for over 20 years.

In this review the term “satellite” is used to denote a deco unit that is not the main deco unit.

I have intentionally saved the worst points of my review as the last section.

= topology setup

i have fiber to the premise gateway, still with the gateways’ wi-fi fully enabled on both 2.4ghz and 5ghz bands. My home is over 2,650 sqft, single story, built this year, with gigabit cat5e cables to each room the deco s4 units are situated. All deco units use the ethernet backhaul. All cat5e runs and cables have been tested to support gigabit speeds point-to-point (with of course the obligatory tcp/ip overhead). Placement wise each of the deco units are almost in a straight line, a function of my floor plan and where i need wi-fi coverage the most. Relative distances between deco units:

– 25 linear feet between first satellite and second, main deco unit with one interior door between. This i refer to as satellite 1.
– 45 linear feet between second satellite and main deco unit with 3 interior only walls between. This i refer to as satellite 2.

= performance

the throughput performance on these is fantastic, especially at the price point. I have fiber gigabit internet service. I use for all bench marks. I get the following throughput on a samsung galaxy note 8 (us), stock firmware, latest software and security patches. Distance is always the distance between my test device and a specific deco unit and with line of sight between the test device and the target deco unit.

| deco | distance | downstream | upstream |
satellite 1 | 1 ft | 344 | 392 |
main | 1 ft | 446 | 389 |
satellite 2 | 1 ft | 460 | 392 |
satellite 1 | 3 ft | 279 | 422 |
main | 3 ft | 485 | 409 |
satellite 2 | 3 ft | 392 | 383 |
satellite 1 | 6 ft | 355 | 350 |
main | 6 ft | 477 | 390 |
satellite 2 | 6 ft | 483 | 461 |
satellite 1 | 9 ft | 361 | 475 |
main | 9 ft | 482 | 374 |
satellite 2 | 9 ft | 477 | 466 |
satellite 1 | 12 ft | 385 | 460 |
main | 12 ft | 451 | 458 |
satellite 2 | 12 ft | 501 | 528 |
satellite 1 | 15 ft | 445 | 389 |
main | 15 ft | 461 | 453 |
satellite 2 | 15 ft | 500 | 432 |

a 15 foot distance between a deco unit and a connected device is most likely acceptable considering average housing room sizes. However, in my house floor plan, i have an easy 25 foot line of sight from the main deco unit to where i did a test. Results came in as 251 mbps downstream and 117 mbps upstream. Still, highly acceptable. At my maximum floor plan range to that same deco unit and still maintaining line of sight of 33 feet i wind up getting an unexpectedly impressive 493 mbps downstream and 388 mbps upstream. While i cannot check in the app to see specifically which deco unit my test device was connected to due to either app or overall product system issues, i am left with only one avenue of explanation: the deco system has successfully performed link aggregation for my test device. If, in the first place, i am correct in this very poor conclusion due to the lack of data, then, this is indeed impressive and can very well be the single most discriminator in overall product performance vs issues vs cost.

I realize these performance tests are not representative of real world scenarios. Fact is, most people do not go to such lengths to test their products and relevant environments, much less describe their environments.
When a little more time goes by i will update this review with more realistic real world performance tests in terms of longer distances and obstructions.

= the good

i do not need parental controls, so, access point mode removes that for me, thankfully. Because i operate this in access point mode not having quality of service on the deco’s is just fine as is not having dhcp handled by the deco’s. Again, my current infrastructure handles all of these elegantly and more than sufficiently.

In order to get a proper pass off while going from one end of the house to the other i had to enable fast roaming. Without enabling this resulting in unbearably long hand offs from one unit to the other based on proximity to units. The net result of this was severe performance degradation. This seems to work without issue and solved the hand off issue.

The app is straightforward to use and easy to understand, ranging from initial installation to adding additional deco’s to day to day activities. The app also provides notifications of new devices when they are added to / detected on the network (both in router and access point modes).

As expected you can define a main wi-fi network and a guest network. This is standard fare. You can select if you want both 2.4ghz and 5ghz bands active or be more selective. Again, this is standard fare.

You can rename connected devices in the app. Useful especially when connected devices do not allow you to set their dhcp host name. The units try to profile a connected device type (e.g., phone, pc, etc) in which the result of this is also easily accessible via the app. But, when it cannot or gets it wrong you can override this in the app, very useful feature indeed. The app will also show you basic information such as allocated ip address, mac address (wish it was in colon delimited notation and not hypen as the former is the standard representation for mac addresses), connection type (main or guest network and frequency band) and which deco unit the device is currently linked to.

Unfortunately you cannot get the same level of information regarding devices connected to the guest network. Having visibility into this is just as important to give you another data point in your connected iot devices. Oh, yeah, i suppose that people visiting your home is good too. Regardless, it is utterly unclear whether or not connected devices on the guest network have visibility to one another (e.g., can see each other), and much less have any reach into the main wi-fi or rest of your network. At a minimum, the default of any guest wi-fi network should be nothing can see anything else on the guest wi-fi , cannot see the main wi-fi, cannot see the rest of your network and can only see the internet.

Any deco unit can serve as the main. In router mode, this means that the main unit has routing capabilities. Likewise, a different unit can be specified as the main via the app.

= the bad

there is no white listing of devices, only a black list. Security best practice is white listing devices that are authorized for access. Having only a black list is unacceptable. It is on this ground alone these units may very well be returned. It escapes me why tp-link would fail to include the ability to white list. Since this product seems to be targeted to the less network technologically bound than myself i can understand why only a black list is available (to prevent the less technologically adept folks from effectively locking themselves out). However, not including a white list capability does an injustice to everyone and is, security wise, shameful and puts consumers’ home networks at additional unnecessary risk of exploitation. Yes, using a white list to winds up meaning having to go through a little more trouble to allow a new device onto the network. For me, and every other it security professional out there, white listing is an essential tool in the security posture arsenal and is one that should never be omitted.

The only firmware release is the initial firmware release: deco s4(us)_v2_191023 from december 25, 2019 (tp-link support site). In the deco app it reports no new updates for the firmware with a current version of 1.1.5 build 20191023 rel. 67285. Unzipping the firmware release on the support site shows the same firmware version as the app shows (specifically: s4 2.0_en_1.1.5 build 20191023 rel. 67285_us_eu_au_jp_up.bin). Half a year later i would expect at least an additional firmware release. While not having any could be a good thing, generally, this is never the case. There are always bugs and vulnerabilities in every piece of software, and, firmware is no exception. Clearly a firmware update is needed at least to add a white list feature.

There is a barely usable web ui for the deco’s beyond that of just using the deco app. I have found a landing page for each deco connected to my router via the ip assigned to each. All ui’s require authentication. The ui is different depending on which deco you connect to. The deco’s that are not the main deco provide the following features: update the firmware, pull the system log or reboot. Accessing the system log allows you to save it, email it or clear it. In contrast, connecting to the ui for the main deco yields a subset of the features compared to the app but adds visibility into the units’ cpu and memory usage. Said subset of features are mainly read only via the interface, again, not very useful. Thus there is no real point in using anything but the app if one is looking for access to more robust features.

Connected device presence status (online / offline) is wholly inaccurate as reported by the app. The only connected devices that are accurately reported for presence are those that have not left the wi-fi range and not power cycled. For example, all of my fire tv sticks show as being online but all mobile devices that left the wi-fi range now show as offline despite being back within wi-fi range of the units for several hours. Even manually refreshing the view still yields in the app reporting these same mobile devices as being offline. More testing still needs to be performed, but, there is no reason why the device list status page in the app is this inaccurate.

Bandwidth utilization by connected device in the device list is great to have. The only problem is that it too is completely inaccurate to the same degree as mentioned previously regarding connected device presence status. For those devices that actually show as being online the bandwidth utilization shown in this same view is always 0kbps up and downstream. Since installation of the units i have yet to see this populated and have seen, once, and only once, a single connected device bandwidth utilization being reported if i select the said device in the list.

There is no ability to perform a wireless site survey.

There is no ability to use 802.11x.

From a network management perspective there is no way to rename a specific deco in terms of the host name that it will present to the rest of your network. All units show up simply as ‘deco-s4’ from dhcp. Not useful.
There is no way to designate the guest network lan ip address range.

= the ugly

initial set up was in router mode, the default. Setup of main and satellite 1 deco’s went flawlessly and took but a few minutes per. Meanwhile, satellite 2 refuses to join the mesh in router mode and always leaves me staring at a red blinking light. The app reports “unable to add these decos” and “move these decos closer to a deco that you’ve already set up, then tap try again.” why would anyone have to move a deco unit closer to another? They have an ethernet backhaul, and by definition, can communicate with each other!

Meanwhile, the engineer within me takes a different stance: while all deco units indeed have a gigabit ethernet backhaul each unit must be able to verify a minimal wi-fi signal level from its closest neighbor. And, since i am a customer facing type of person that voice inside of me would scream: in order to assure the best possible experience please ensure all deco units have no physical obstructions between them and that none are surrounded by things that can block radio frequencies such as metal and concrete.

Point is, i have yet to get all three deco units online in router mode at all. It is not an option to bring any units closer together. Satellite 2 deco has been power cycled and reset (via the reset button on the bottom of the unit) half a dozen times per with precisely the same results.

Now, putting the system into access point mode results in a perfectly usable system without any of these problems. Wish i knew why. Regardless, this is a telltale sign to me of poor engineering. Of course, switching system modes from router to access point (or vice versa) results in the system rebooting all deco’s. The majority of most modern residential wi-fi capable routers do not require a reboot when making this change.

This is so problematic that it is cause, alone, for me to return the product.

4Expert Score
Finally got it to work!

After 2 days of frustration trying to get a “plug and play device” to work, i was about to give up and send it back. I am not a techie but i do have some knowledge and experience setting up my home network. The included instructions are useless in my opinion. I had to call my cable company for help as there was no way that i could get these extenders to work right out of the box. They did find my existing network and connected to it with no problem using the instructions but i could not get the wifi to work. After two calls to optimum tech support and a very patient tech we finally got the first unit (the main one where the other 2 piggy back off of) to connect to the network and deliver wifi. The other 2 units were easy after that.
As far as performance they accomplished the main task of bringing wifi to parts of the house that i did not have reliable wifi. The only issue is that the speed is slower than the optimum router. Given that i now have wifi in places of the house that did not have wifi before that is a win. The other issue that you should know about is that they connect to the provider’s router and when that unit goes down these units also go down ! Would i buy these again , that is hard to say as the optimum provider offers a similar solution but is way more expensive and requires a tech to install. So as they say you get what you pay for.

4Expert Score
Working fine for me

I decided to go with the deco s4 system when we updated our home this year. I have a two level ranch with 2500 sq ft per level. I also have another 900 sq ft in a converted garage thats about 20 yards away. I have 300 mbps broadband delivered to my home via fibre optic. I bought two 3-unit packages and equally distributed them at each end of each floor. Of the remaining two units, i put one at the center of the (upper level) house and the other in the detached building. No matter where i go in the 1 acre property, i get about 80 mbps except for the main unit where i get the full bandwidth. The app that is the user interface does not give a lot of information and was apparently designed to keep things simple so a lot of processes are automatic. I have to rely on the app to properly connect them to get the optimal speed. That being said, this system has performed flawlessly and has done the job i bought it for. Plenty of bandwidth for me and not one hiccup since installing them.

4Expert Score
Works fairly good with adjustments

We have an 1800 sq foot one story house so i thought the set if 3 would work really good since my prior set up only had one extender. I set up the 3 as instructed but my back room still dropped signal. I ordered a 4 th single unit and now it works pretty well without dropping the signal. The instructions say that my devices will automatically change to the best units signal, but that is not always the case. Sometimes i have to go into my setting and change to the extender manually. Overall easy to set up and seems to be working well. But according to the adds the set if 3 should have been more than enough and paying over $59 for an additional single was disappointing but i’m just glad to have a good signal now.

4Expert Score
Solid solution for multi level home

This is a nice solution for mesh wifi. However non technical users may have some difficulty setting this up unless they follow the directions very closely. Also you should search the web for the deco s4 product and review the information found there as well before buying. I actually set up my 3 s4 deco mesh in access point mode. To do that i needed to first run through the app as if i were connecting the first deco to my dsl router but i did not, then i accessed the settings (under the more button on the bottom of the app) then the advanced for the first deco and set the operating mode to access point. After that setting up the other 2 was a breeze. As they automatically configured. The instructions from the app advise you to upgrade firmware for each deco if used as an accesspoint. The app prompts were easy to follow and this upgrade was easy to do. Next was the placement moment. I decided to connect my ‘main deco’ (this is what the first one is named) through a ethernet cable from my dsl modem to another switch in my living room and then connected the deco to that gigabit switch. This worked great. Then i tried to connect the other two deco’s using a ethernet powerline adapter however this did not work so well, at first i thought there was a problem but after experimentation i found that the best way to use these as access points is to direct wire the first deco and then use the other two wirelessly. That took off immediately and all mesh points worked fine. Wifi signal expectations. Your deco that is direct connected to the dsl modem/router (in access point mode) will pull the same speed as your home wired connection (in my case about 67mb) the other wirelessly connected decos will pull in the high 30mb-45mb so you will expect to see about a 40% loss of bandwidth connecting as i did. However the wireless connected decos deliver a solid signal and i can still browse, and stream with multiple computers/ipads/tv’s with no issue. Also i have ring cameras and their signal improved after the installation of these deco units. At first you may find many components connecting to your ‘main deco’ but that seems to be related to the order that you power up the units. After about a day all my wifi connected components sought out the deco closest to them and connected to the mesh there. This is one nice feature about the app, it is easy to see what devices are connected to each deco. If you accidentally /(or on purpose) switch off the mesh feature for a device it will stay on the deco it is currently on. I thought i was going to have to do that but it does not seem to be an issue. I am considering running a wire to the remote units if at some point i increase my service from the 70mb it is currently at but at present everything is working fine.

Regarding tech support, i did access the live chat of the tech support but they primarily feed you the same answers that you can get off the web or by reading the support pages. So i would not rate them too high, maybe 6 out of 10 for service. But they did respond and they did attempt to answer my questions.

Another small point but one i like is that the led’s that show the unit state are not overly bright but they are easy to see and you can easily tell the state of the unit (yellow during reboot, red if there is an issue, or red blinks a few times before going to white which means its all good!) and are not distracting in anyway.

The app could be a bit better, there are some not so intuitive points to it and you will need spend some time figuring it out.

Overall i am quite happy with my purchase. Now i will run them for a while and if any significant discoveries pop up i will update this review.

4Expert Score
It professional with high standards. I'm happy with it.

Speed is very fast and coverage is good in my three level home. Important detail, to connect to 5g, you have to disable 2g while you’re connecting. After you’re connected, re-enable 2g.

4Expert Score
Buyer beware, this is a router, and may conflict with your existing router

Tp-link does not disclose this is a router, and will give you a new ip address. If you have an existing router it will be left in place and will conflict if not setup right. I called support, and got 2 different answers on how to resolve the issue. One, was to call my internet provider and ask for them to allow 2 ip addresses, (which would probably increase my monthly bill if it could be done, or two, get a switch box and connect everything through the deco mesh, because it has 2 ethernet ports.

4Expert Score
Does what it is supposed to do

Easy to install and does what it is supposed to do.

4Expert Score
Great wifi mesh system.

This is my second set of tp link deco mesh systems. The first was for my home and this one for my rv. Tp link deco wifi systems are top notch and great quality. Great signal strength all around with no worries with your device switching from one repeater to another. Love the deco line of wifi mesh systems. Highly recommend.

4Expert Score
Finally have decent speeds.

Added to my centurylink modem to replace the router and speed went from around 50 to around 300 to 500!

Important information

Legal Disclaimer

Maximum wireless transmission rates are the physical rates derived from IEEE standard 802. 11 Specifications. Range and coverage specifications along with the number of connected devices were defined according to test results under normal usage conditions. Actual wireless transmission rate, wireless coverage, and number of connected devices are not , and will vary as a result of 1) environmental factors, including building materials, physical objects and obstacles, 2) network conditions, including local interference, volume and density of traffic, product location, network complexity, and network overhead and 3) client limitations, including rated performance, location, connection quality, and client condition.

Enable registration in settings - general
Compare items
  • Total (0)