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

Revision gg continues to acquaint its readers with home TP-Link Mesh systems. This review will be about

about the entry-level solution - Deco E4.

What is it?

Home Mesh system for up to260 square meters and up to 100 connected devices. The test box includes two “decks”, which are two AC1200 Wi-Fi routers and in pair are able to provide seamless roaming with one SSID without delays or breaks.

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

What makes her interesting?

Deco E4 - the budget version of Mesh-systems in the lineTP-Link, therefore, first of all, it is interesting at the price against the background of opportunities for this class of devices. In my opinion, such a model in the line will cover the needs of most Ukrainian households - if a regular Wi-Fi router can’t 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 transfer to video.

Convenient management and setup - the second bigadvantage of this solution. All processes occur using a mobile application with an interface that does not scare even people far from technology (okay, you need to know the basic concepts, but you do not need to understand the networks and nuances of your provider).

And it's just beautiful.

What does it look like and what is included in the kit?

The TP-Link Deco E4 comes with 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 - the color of the power supply,which does not intersect with the primary colors of the device. He's black. Therefore, I would like to place the device in the room so that I immediately hide the power cable from the eye. The “deck" itself, in my opinion, will serve as an interior decoration.

Power is connected at the rear, and throughspecial recess in the housing. Thus, the risk that the cable is pinched somewhere or disconnected if the Deco E4 is accidentally hit is minimal. The device is thought out even in such trifles. Two connectors for connecting an Ethernet cable are also located at the rear.





How to connect and what can I do?

There is a QR code on the box with the Mesh system, bywhich you can download a mobile application to connect to the network. The application describes in detail each step and even potential difficulties and how to solve them. Just - to tears of tenderness.











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

You can connect via or without a router. Through the modem also works. 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 Wi-Fi repeater routers.

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

















According to the specifications declared by the manufacturers,the maximum data transfer rate in the 2.4 GHz band is 300 Mbit / s, 5 GHz - 867 Mbit / s. Unfortunately, such speeds are not achievable for the provider in my apartment, so I can not evaluate the application.

Like not, and 100 devices are available. One thing I can say for sure - the device can solve the problems with the signal in the back room of a three-room apartment in Stalin because of obstacles in the form of concrete walls. And to do this in the most bloodless format - with simple setup and seamless switching between the two devices. There are no gamers or fans of 4K video in the apartment and up to 10 devices usually work on the network. Therefore, in fact, one “deck” and one home router dealt with my needs.

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


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What are the alternatives?

In essence, the solution in question in the review isone of the most budgetary of what is on the market. There is a similar “box” in Tenda, but there it is a smaller area of ​​work. There is also a solution with similar characteristics from ASUS, but it costs about 30% more.

In the line above this model is the Deco M4. In fact, the models are twin 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 are connected. The older Deco M5 line has a different design, the devices are more compact and twice as many antennas.

In the dry residue

TP-Link Deco E4 Mesh System is Gooda solution for users who do not have particular sophisticated Wi-Fi needs, but who already feel that they have outlived the capabilities of a conventional home router and would like to improve coverage without too much headache and cost.

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 need gigabit connections, 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
  • Wiring Networks: Overview of TP-LINK TL-PA2010P and TL-PA4010 PowerLine Adapters

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

Dimensions

191x91x91 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)
<20 dBm or <100 mW

Data transfer speed

2.4 GHz: up to 300 Mbps

5 GHz: up to 867 Mbit / s

Wireless security
WPA-PSK / WPA2-PSK

Transmitter power
FCC: <30 dBm
CE: <20 dBm (2.4 GHz), <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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