The desire to get rid of wires in the house is quite logical, but there are situations when the standard capabilities of Wi-Fi systems are not enough. Then it is the hybrid connection that comes to the rescue. In Deco P9, modules are combined into a single mesh network over the air and through the electrical network.
If you live in a relatively small apartment, just put in a router, connect an Ethernet cable to it, and you’re done. If the apartment is large, it is likely that you will have to install a powerful router, because the usual signal may not be enough. If you have a solid three-story cottage, then powerful models will not be able to provide good coverage in every room. The signal simply does not pass through thick walls – the quality of the connection and its speed drop.
When the repeater is not enough
In such cases, mesh systems come to the rescue – a set of several equivalent Wi-Fi modules (each can be a router or an additional access point). We have already tested such kits more than once – the connection parameters are really better than when using only a router or one with a repeater. But adding several new types of access points to the system is not the only option to improve communication. If your home has thick walls and complex configurations, such measures may not help.
Since a high-quality Internet cannot be launched “over the air,” why not use wires, or rather an electrical network? Any house already has electrical wiring, and this is the very physical connection between rooms.
One of the technologies for providing communication through wiring is called Powerline. Adapters using this type of connection have been on the market for several years. But both wired and wireless communications have certain disadvantages. Therefore, it would be logical to combine the two connection methods in one mesh system, providing it with additional stability.
Two in one
TP-Link Deco P9 is just one such system. It includes two (or three, depending on the configuration) Wi-Fi modules, which are combined into a single seamless network both using Wi-Fi and by connecting to a power supply network.
Since the satellites are integrated into one system, a seamless connection is ensured throughout the entire territory. That is, there are no reconnections and “roll-off” of channels. In this case, in fact, the modules are the same: each has two gigabit Ethernet ports for:
– Internet connection,
– Module connections,
– Client connection.
The same is with the settings: one module completely duplicates the other, the device is connected to the one whose signal is stronger.
TP-Link Deco P9: Dual-band 2.4GHz (up to 300Mbps) and 5GHz (up to 867Mbps). A set of two devices can serve an area of up to 370 m 2 , of three – up to 560. Connection of up to 100 client devices is provided. It is clear that the bandwidth is limited, but if there is a good “input” channel, the system’s capabilities will be enough, for example, to watch streaming video on 8 devices with a resolution of 1080p.
All settings are made from the Deco mobile app. He has a fairly rich list of features. For example, you can manage the profile of each device: set parental controls for children and see which sites they go to, limit the time on the network for each device … Those who consider it necessary to turn off Wi-Fi at night can do this with the press of a button …
Of course, it is possible to create a guest network. This is true, for example, when organizing some events, even a banal birthday. In order not to distribute a password to everyone (and you have it, we hope, quite complicated), it is easier for one day to make a guest network with free access.
During the test, the system behaved stably, allowing it to maintain a speed of about 50 Mbit / s in a two-story house with an input channel bandwidth of 60 Mbit / s. True, it is difficult to say whether this is due to the good Wi-Fi coverage or Powerline technology. Here are screenshots of two measurements from different 1st and 2nd floors (modules, of course, were on each).
It is not even the speed of the connection that is important here, but its stability. As you can see, there are no dips on the chart at all.
The only gripe with the devices themselves is their rather large size. For example, they may not fit on a shelf of a cabinet or table in height.
In recent years, there have been many more internet-connected devices in our homes. Now these are not only mobile gadgets, but also household appliances, security systems … For their full operation, a good connection is necessary, and traditional routers are no longer able to provide it in a large house. Therefore, mesh systems, which were previously used mainly in offices, are becoming an attribute of large houses. TP-Link Deco P9 is the next step towards solving the problem of network deployment in large premises.