TP-Link Deco M9 vs M5 – A Mesh WiFi Router Comparison

Choosing the right mesh Wi-Fi system can be daunting, especially with TP-Link’s Deco lineup offering various options. Today, we’ll be pitting two popular contenders against each other–the Deco M9 Plus and the Deco M5. That’s the reason that the TP-Link’s Deco line of mesh routers has become a popular choice for those seeking seamless Wi-Fi coverage throughout their homes. But with two strong contenders in the Deco M9 and M5, choosing the right one can be tricky at times. In this in-depth comparison, we’ll break down the key specs and features of both routers to help you decide which one reigns supreme for your home network.

#1 Comparison Table


Deco M9 Plus

Deco M5

Wi-Fi Standard Wi-Fi 6 (AX3000) Wi-Fi 5 (AC1300)
Bands Tri-band Dual-band
Speed Up to 2134 Mbps Up to 1267 Mbps
Range Up to 6000 sq ft per unit Up to 2800 sq ft per unit
Backhaul Tri-band or wired Wired or 5 GHz band
Antennas 8 internal 4 internal
Ports 2 Gigabit Ethernet (per unit) 2 Gigabit Ethernet (per unit)
Features HomeCare, MU-MIMO, Beamforming, Parental Controls HomeCare, MU-MIMO, Beamforming, Parental Controls

Table could not be displayed.

#2 Coverage of the Two

While both systems can handle medium-sized homes, the M9 Plus again shines with its superior range. Each unit covers up to 6000 sq ft, allowing you to blanket even larger spaces with seamless Wi-Fi. The M5’s 2800 sq ft per unit coverage is still respectable but might require more units for expansive homes.

#3 Some More Features

Both Deco systems share essential features like TP-Link’s HomeCare™ security suite, MU-MIMO for efficient multi-device communication, Beamforming for improved signal direction, and parental controls. However, the M9 Plus boasts a few extras, including a dedicated Alexa built-in smart speaker in each unit and support for Zigbee smart home devices:

I) Mesh Technology

Both systems use TP-Link’s Deco Mesh technology, which seamlessly hands off devices between Deco units as you move around your home.

II) Ease of Use

Both systems are known for their user-friendly setup and management through the TP-Link Deco app.

III) Aesthetics

Both systems come in a sleek, minimalist design that blends seamlessly into most home environments.
Remember, the best Wi-Fi system is the one that meets your specific needs and budget. So, weigh your options carefully and choose the TP-Link Deco that’s perfect for your connected home:

  • Both routers are designed to create a seamless mesh Wi-Fi network that covers your whole home. They use TP-Link Mesh Technology and optional Ethernet backhaul to link the Deco units together. They also support router and access point modes, and have HomeCare features that provide antivirus, parental controls, and QoS
  • The main difference between the two routers is their Wi-Fi speed and capacity. The Deco M9 is a tri-band router that delivers up to AC2200 speeds, while the Deco M5 is a dual-band router that delivers up to AC1300 speeds. The Deco M9 also has 4×4 MU-MIMO, which means it can communicate with more devices simultaneously than the Deco M5, which has 2×2 MU-MIMO
  • Another difference is that the Deco M9 has Bluetooth 4.2 and ZigBee HA 1.2, which allow it to act as a smart hub for compatible smart devices. The Deco M5 does not have these features, so you would need a separate hub if you want to control your smart home devices with the Deco app.
  • The Deco M9 also has more antennas (8) than the Deco M5 (4), which means it can form a stronger and more stable signal. The Deco M9 also has a larger coverage area (4-6+ bedroom houses) than the Deco M5 (3-5 bedroom houses).
  • The Deco M9 is more expensive than the Deco M5, but it also offers more performance and functionality. The Deco M5 is more affordable and still provides reliable and secure Wi-Fi for your home.

#4 How To Setup TP-Link Deco Router

To set up a mesh network with Deco routers, you need to follow these steps:

  • Download and install the Deco app on your smartphone or tablet.
  • Connect one Deco unit to your modem or router using an Ethernet cable, and plug it into a power outlet. This will be your main Deco unit.
  • Launch the Deco app and follow the instructions to create a TP-Link ID and add your main Deco unit. You can choose between router mode or access point mode, depending on your network configuration.
  • Place the other Deco units in different rooms or areas where you need Wi-Fi coverage. Make sure they are within the range of the main Deco unit or another Deco unit. You can also use Ethernet cables to connect them if you prefer.
  • Use the Deco app to add the other Deco units to your network. The app will guide you through the process and help you find the best locations for optimal performance.
  • Once all the Deco units are added, you can customize your network settings, such as the network name, password, guest network, parental controls, antivirus, QoS, etc. You can also check the network status and speed, and manage your connected devices.

You have successfully set up a mesh network with Deco routers. You can enjoy seamless and secure Wi-Fi throughout your home.

The Deco M9 takes the clear lead in terms of sheer performance. Its Wi-Fi 6 technology offers significantly faster speeds, better handling of multiple devices, and improved range compared to the M5’s Wi-Fi 5. The tri-band design also dedicates a separate band for backhaul traffic, further reducing congestion and lag.

The TP-Link Deco M9 Plus emerges as the clear winner for power users and large homes. Its Wi-Fi 6 speeds, tri-band design, superior range, and additional features like built-in smart speakers make it a future-proof and versatile option. However, the Deco M5 shouldn’t be discounted. Its Wi-Fi 5 capabilities, affordable price tag, and smaller footprint make it a compelling choice for smaller homes or budget-conscious users who don’t need bleeding-edge performance. So, the best choice depends on your needs and budget. Consider the size of your home, the number of devices you connect, and your future needs for smart home integration or Wi-Fi 6 compatibility. With this breakdown, you can confidently choose the TP-Link Deco system that’s right for you and we hope this in-depth comparison helps you make an informed decision!

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Daniel Trugough is a visionary writer, exploring the fascinating world of modern PC builds and emerging technologies through his insightful and thought-provoking works.

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