This TP-Link Deco X90 (AX6600) review is for those with a medium or large home who want to expand their Wi-Fi network and eliminate weak spots. This is one of the best mesh networks you can buy because it'll cope with even the busiest of households.
Delivering ultra-fast speeds of up to 6600Mbps, this Wi-Fi 6 tri-band system might be pricey but it is definitely worth it if you have hundreds of connected devices at home and lots of internet users. It does an incredible job at giving you seamless coverage, once you’ve set this up you’ll never look back.
In this TP-Link Deco X90 (AX6600) review, I’ll cover everything you need to know from its design and setup to the performance and more on its features to help you figure out if this is the right mesh network for you, or not.
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TP-Link Deco X90 (AX6600) review: price and availability
Available to buy now from a number of retailers, the TP-Link Deco X90 (AX6600) will set you back around $450 in the US, £450 in the UK and AU$700 in Australia.
That’s for a pack of two, but you can also buy them one at a time for $230 / £238 / AU$419, or even in packs of three.
Take a look at the widgets on this page to see the most recent prices in your region from across the web.
TP-Link Deco X90 (AX6600) review: design and setup
Smart, modern white towers make up the TP-Link Deco X90 (AX6600) mesh Wi-Fi system. Each unit measures 130 × 123 × 210mm so they’re not the most compact routers you can get and you’ll need a good-sized spot to tuck them away in.
As far as networking devices go, these are some of the better-looking ones out there. White plastic wraps itself around the outside of the device, and a glossy plate sits on the top with a tiny TP-Link logo.
On the bottom of each Deco X90, there’s an LED light that will let you know the status of that unit, while on the back you’ll find two Gigabit ports. The power input is even more discreet, placed on the underside of the device with a small gap to allow the wire to pass through. There are no USB ports here.
Setting up the network is really easy. You’ll first need to download the Deco app on your smartphone, it’s available for both iOS and Android devices. Then, it’s just a case of plugging the router into power and using an ethernet cable to connect the router to your modem.
When you open up the Deco app, you’ll need to login or create an account before being prompted to name your home network. The app will pretty much do the rest for you, detecting the TP-Link Deco X90 automatically and creating the new mesh network. The whole setup process took me about 5 minutes to do.
To add more mesh routers to the network, you just need to plug them in and tap + in the top right corner of the app. Again, the Deco app will do all the hard work for you.
TP-Link Deco X90 (AX6600) review: performance and features
The TP-Link Deco X90 (AX6600) is a tri-band Wi-Fi 6 mesh network with the potential to boost overall speeds up to a whopping 6600 Mbps - that’s more than double the maximum speeds of the TP-Link Deco X60.
With two or more Deco X90 units, you’ll be able to cover a large 4, 5 or even 6 bedroom house. Do bear in mind that only newer devices will support Wi-Fi 6 so if your laptop or phone is outdated then you won’t be able to make the most of it.
As you move through the house, your devices will automatically be switched between the TP-Link Deco X90 (AX6600) routers without your connection dropping at all. The system uses AI to learn when and where to do this.
Because this is a tri-band network, you get an extra 5GHz band on top of the usual 5GHz and 2.4GHz bands. That extra band makes the whole system more efficient and your connected tech will automatically be sorted between them according to how much bandwidth they need. According to TP-Link, you’ll be able to reach speeds up to 4804 Mbps on 5GHz (1), 1,201 Mbps on 5GHz (2) and 574 Mbps on 2.4 GHz.
Once set up, the network can handle up to 200 connected devices, which means everyone in the house should be able to go about their business without suffering from long loading times whether they’re streaming Netflix shows, playing Fortnite on their PC, downloading large files, making video calls or simply scrolling through social media. The TP-Link Deco X90 (AX6600) should be able to deal with even the busiest households.
I tested out the TP-Link Deco X90 (AX6600) system in my flat to replace my standard router. Without a mesh network installed, the thick walls created quite a significant weak spot in the bedroom. Before using this, I could only expect to reach 12.5Mbps download and 14.6Mbps upload speeds in there on my Wi-Fi 6 smartphone. Now that I have an X90 unit at that end of the house, I’m getting 18.2Mbps upload speeds and 64.8Mbps downloads speeds - so it's made a huge difference.
Even right by my Wi-Fi router things have improved. Before using the Deco X90 network I got speeds of 45.9Mbps download and 14.5Mbps upload in the living room, and now I’m getting 66.1Mbps download and 17.8Mbps upload. Not only is my network faster and more efficient, but it doesn’t struggle to cope when I’m working from home or streaming video in 4K. The only thing I would say is that this system is probably overkill in my small London flat but if you live in a bigger home then it really is quite incredible.
To manage your network and keep an eye on internet usage, the Deco app is really easy to use. Whether you’re at home or not, you can easily see what devices are connected to the network and how much internet they are using at that moment in time. You can also set devices to be classed as High Priority.
The TP-Link Deco X90 (AX6600) comes with the most basic HomeShield plan which runs network scans to protect your devices against cyber threats and will let you know each time a new device connects to your network through a notification on your phone.
For more advanced security features, you can sign up to HomeShield Pro for an extra $5.99 / £5.99 / AU$9.99 a month. That gives you security for IoT smart home devices, time limits in parental controls, filters for malicious content and 30 days of internet usage statistics.
The parental controls are quite in-depth allowing you to see who’s looking at what sites and for how long, as well as giving you the option to set custom time limits and online time allowances per person or per device.
TP-Link Deco X90 (AX6600) review: verdict
If you’re after a powerful mesh network for a busy household then the TP-Link Deco X90 (AX6600) is a good choice. Not only does it work well to boost Wi-Fi coverage and eliminate dead spots, but it’s very easy to set up and manage as well.
Security-wise, this mesh system does a great job especially if you opt for the Pro plan. But even the basic HomeShield features do enough to ensure your devices are protected against cyber threats, while the app clearly displays each connected device so you can keep an eye on how your network is being used.
The TP-Link Deco X90 (AX6600) won’t be for everyone because it is very expensive and won’t really be worth it if you live in a small house. I would say it’ll only really make sense to buy a pack of two if you have 3 or more bedrooms to cover.
TP-Link Deco X90 (AX6600) review: also consider
If you don’t need something so powerful, or you’re on a budget, you could consider buying the Eero 6 system instead. It’s a lot cheaper so won’t be able to cope with as many devices but it’ll suit the needs of most people just fine.
Those who are willing to splash out on a mesh Wi-Fi system should take a look at Netgear Orbi Wi-Fi 6 - it’s the best premium mesh network you can buy. It’s easy to use and will provide exceptional coverage around your home.