Between the tri-band, AX3600 mesh router from TP-Link with full support for Wi-Fi 6 that .and the recent arrival of , we've seen a flurry of new hitting the market in recent years. That includes , but also a growing number of that promise not to break the bank. The newest in that latter, more affordable category: a
The TP-Link Deco W7200 is a two-piece mesh system up for sale. Like all mesh routers, the W7200 uses multiple devices to relay a stronger signal throughout your home. You'll connect one of the two devices to your modem with an Ethernet cable, then place the second device somewhere near the edge of that first device's range. From there, it'll act as an automatic range extender, making it much easier to enjoy a strong connection when you're far from the main, modem-connected router.
The tri-band part of the pitch means that the W7200 features three distinct bands for traffic over Wi-Fi: a 2.4GHz band with limited top speeds but strong range, and two 5GHz bands that offer much better speed and slightly less range. The W7200 uses one of those two 5GHz bands as a dedicated wireless backhaul connection between the router and the extender. That means that your web traffic won't need to compete with system transmissions between the two, and that can make a big impact on performance, especially when you're connecting from afar, and the system needs to route your traffic through the extender.
As for the rest of the specs, the AX3600 distinction tells you that it supports Wi-Fi 6 (or 802.11ax, or "AX"), with the top speeds of each band adding up to approximately 3,600Mbps. That part is Android or iOS device, and with two Ethernet jacks in the back of each Deco unit, you'll be able to wire a few devices or smart home dongles into your network, or wire the two devices together for a wired backhaul that's even speedier than going wireless., since you can only connect to one band at a time, but with top speeds well above 1Gbps for each of those 5GHz bands, the system should still be a good fit for anyone trying to make the most of a gigabit internet connection. You'll be able to setup and control the system via the TP-Link Tether app on your
Tri-band mesh routers like this one typically cost a lot more than their dual-band brethren, but it's usually a worthwhile upgrade for homes that want the fastest, most reliable Wi-Fi connection. It's proven to be a particularly effective approach in our top-tested mesh routers -- namely the Asus ZenWifi XT8 and the Netgear Orbi AX6000. Two-packs of those systems cost , and , respectively., the
That makes this $229 system mighty interesting to me, especially after TP-Link impressed me with, an entry-level Wi-Fi 6 standalone router that costs just $99. In fact, at $229, the Deco W7200 only costs slightly more than most that don't support Wi-Fi 6 at all. With next-gen tech added into the mix and presumably superior hardware and software from an established brand, the Deco W7200 will probably be much easier for me to recommend than any of those.
We'll know for sure after I've had a chance. Stay tuned for those speed test results.