Review TP-Link Deco E4: good internet does not spoil the interior

Editorialggcontinues to introduce its readers to TP-Link home Mesh systems. This review will discuss

about the entry-level solution - Deco E4.

What is it?

Home mesh system designed for an area of ​​up to260 sq. m. and up to 100 connected devices. The test “box” includes two “decks”, which are two AC1200 Wi-Fi routers and, when paired, are capable of providing seamless roaming with one SSID without delays or interruptions.

TP-Link Deco E4 can be supplied with 1, 2 and 3devices (prices vary from 1600 UAH to 3600 UAH), we had a “box” in the most popular configuration - with two devices. They support 802.11 ac/n/a 5 GHz, 802.11 b/g/n 2.4 GHz standards, and can be paired with or replace a router. In addition, the solution has potential for the future - two “decks” can be connected to others, any models from the manufacturer’s line, as needs grow.

What makes her interesting?

Deco E4 is a budget version of Mesh systems in the lineTP-Link, so first of all it is interesting due to its price compared to the capabilities for this class of devices. In my opinion, this model in the line will cover the needs of the majority of Ukrainian households - if a regular Wi-Fi router cannot cope with the area, the number of devices on the network, or concrete partitions and “dead zones” in the room. “Decks” provide 4K video streaming and smooth image-to-video transfer.

Convenient control and setup is the second big thingadvantage of this solution. All processes take place using a mobile application with an interface that will not frighten even people who are far from technology (okay, you need to know the basic concepts, but you don’t need to understand the networks and the nuances of your provider’s work).

And it's just beautiful.

What does it look like and what's included?

The TP-Link Deco E4 package includes two Deco E4R devices, power supplies for them and an Ethernet cable about a meter long.

"Decks" are quite large (191x91x91 mm),made of white and dark gray plastic. On the upper side of the device is a drawing made of plastic, which is "twisted" to the center in the style of the brand logo. Inside there is an LED indicating the status of the device. At night in the dark it is not noticeable, that is, in the bedroom such a device will not cause discomfort. In any case, unlike a router, it does not shine in the eye with the intensity of a street lamp.

The assembly is super neat, the plastic looks expensive and the design is excellent.

There is only one question - about the color of the power supply,which does not overlap at all with the main colors of the device. He's black. Therefore, you want to place the device in the room so as to immediately hide the power cable out of sight. The “deck” itself, in my opinion, will serve as an interior decoration.

Power is connected from the rear, and throughspecial recess in the body. Thus, the risk that the cable will be pinched somewhere or disconnected if the Deco E4 is accidentally touched is minimal. The device is thought out even in such small details. Two connectors for connecting an Ethernet cable are also located on the back.


 


 


 


 

 

How to connect and what can I do?

There is a QR code on the box with the Mesh system, according towhich you can download a mobile application to connect to the network. The appendix details each step and even potential complications and how to solve them. Simply - to the point of tears of tenderness.


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 

 

Applications are compatible with Android 4.3 and later and iOS 9.0 and later.

You can connect through a router or without it.It also works via a modem. Both devices are equivalent, you can connect either or both at once, depending on how much you need to expand the network. This is the advantage of Mesh systems over conventional routers with Wi-Fi repeaters.

You can install directly in the applicationrestrictions on Internet use for different devices - parental control with access to different sites, work schedule, priority of Internet access, etc., create new networks, guest network, connect additional “decks”, see how many devices are currently connected and at what speed, look at traffic analytics.


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 

 

According to the characteristics declared by the manufacturers,The maximum data transfer rate in the 2.4 GHz band is 300 Mbit/s, 5 GHz is 867 Mbit/s. Unfortunately, such speeds are not achievable by the provider in my apartment, so I cannot evaluate the statement.

There are not even 100 devices at our disposal.One thing I can say for sure is that the device is able to solve problems with the signal in the back room of a three-room apartment in a Stalinist building due to obstacles in the form of concrete walls. And do this in the most painless format possible - with simple setup and seamless switching between two devices. There are no gamers or 4K video fans in the apartment, and up to 10 devices usually work on the network. Therefore, essentially one “deck” and one home router handled my needs.

There is also support for IFTTT.Moreover, you can configure it directly from the application. We talked about how this happens in the review of the top-end solution TP-Link Deco P7. It’s cool that even a user who was not previously familiar with the service can easily get started (however, authorization or registration in the service will also be needed). The main features are to notify when a device connects to the network, give the device priority, and interact with smart home devices (Nest is definitely on the list, but it’s not clear who else). The service is integrated with Cortana and Google services. It’s also not for everyone, but the solution works in conjunction with Alexa.


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What are the alternatives?

Essentially, the solution discussed in this review isone of the most budget-friendly ones on the market. Tenda has a similar “box”, but there we are talking about a smaller work area. ASUS also has a solution with similar characteristics, but it costs about 30% more.

Above this model in the lineup is the Deco M4.Essentially, the models are twins in terms of design and equipment, but the M4 is more advanced, it has support for MU-MIMO, Auto Path Selection, Self-Healing AP Steering, Band Steering, Beamforming technologies, which further improve the user experience if connected to the network many devices connected. The eldest in the line, Deco M5, has a different design, the devices are more compact and have twice as many antennas.

In the dry residue

TP-Link Deco E4 mesh system is gooda solution for users who don't have particularly sophisticated Wi-Fi needs, but who already feel like they've outlived the capabilities of a regular home router and would like to improve their coverage without unnecessary headaches and costs.

3 reasons to buy TP-Link Deco E4:

  • you have “dead zones” in your apartment; Wi-Fi coverage or a router is not enough for the entire area or the entire zoo of devices;
  • You do not understand the network settings and do not want to break;
  • You also want to control that your children do not do nonsense on the Internet;

2 reasons not to buy TP-Link Deco E4:

  • you live in an apartment of a small area, which your router copes well with;
  • you have gigabit connectivity needs, so you need a more powerful mesh system.

For those who want to know more:

  • TP-LINK Deco P7 review: punching concrete walls
  • TP-LINK Deco M4 Review: Your First WiFi Mesh
  • When one router is not enough: how to improve home Wi-Fi using a mesh network
  • TP-Link Deco M5 review: home Wi-Fi system for a large apartment
  • Network via electrical wiring: review of PowerLine adapters TP-LINK TL-PA2010P and TL-PA4010

TP-Link Deco E4

Budget mesh system for an apartment or house up to 260 m²

This system allows you to deploy home Wi-Finetwork for a large number of devices in the house. It provides reliable coverage and saves the house from "dead zones" on an area of ​​up to 260 m². The advantages of TP-Link Deco E4 include ease of setup and parental control. Perfectly suits users who do not need gigabit speeds.

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Technical specifications TP-Link Deco E4 mesh system

Interface
2 WAN/LAN ports 10/100 Mbps, 1 power connector

Dimensions

191х91х91 mm

Memory

16 MB flash, 128 MB SDRAM

Power supply
external, 12V ⎓ 1.2A

Network Standards
AC1200 (IEEE 802.11 b/g/n 2.4 GHz, IEEE 802.11 ac/n/a 5 GHz)

Antenna type
2 built-in Wi-Fi antennas

Wireless signal power (EIRP)
&lt;20 dBm or &lt; 100 mW

Data transfer speed

2.4 GHz: up to 300 Mbps

5 GHz: up to 867 Mbps

Wireless security
WPA-PSK/WPA2-PSK

Transmitter power
FCC: <30 dBm
CE: &lt;20 dBm (2.4 GHz), &lt;23 dBm (5 GHz)

WAN connection type
Dynamic IP/Static IP/PPPoE/L2TP/PPTP

DHCP
Server, client

Protocols
IPv4 and IPv6 support

Modes of operation
Router, access point

Guest Network

one 2.4 GHz guest network
one 5 GHz guest network

Network security (firewall) and access control

SPI Firewall
Parental control

Smartphone Requirements

iOS 9.0 or higher
Android 4.3 or higher

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