When the deco x90 ax6600 was not released even though it was already showcased on its website, tp-link has been successful with its deco x20 ax1800 and deco x60 ax3000. Since then there have been couple of ax6000 mesh wifi products that have been dominating the market such as Orbi rbk750, Velop mx and also Asus xt8. In April 2021 Deco X90 was released to the market, how deco x90 will compete with Asus xt8 Zenwifi ax6600 mesh wifi 6?
New Deco x90 Series
Unlike the previous deco x60 series which were designed with a cylindrical round body as well as the dexo x30 series, the deco x90 is designed with a slightly more stylist round cylindrical body with the addition of some sort of layered enclosure, still compact with small footprint. With tower factor, it allows the antenna at higher place for wider signal coverage and also to reduce signal interference with machine board that is slightly far apart.
Amongst all deco series released to the market, only this new deco x90 is designed with dedicated backhaul approach. Commonly the tri-band mesh wifi products mostly use dedicated backhaul on one of its two @ 5GHz band radio bands. You can see all Orbi series with three radio bands which is always consistent with dedicated backhaul @5GHz. Although the previous deco m9 series which is also designed with a tri-band mesh, does not use dedicated backhaul approach but dynamic backhaul. We’ll see how Asus xt8 uses backhaul link approach.
Tp-link claims Deco x90 is equipped with AI-driven mesh technology with a complex algorithm that allows x90 to learn all the elements involved in wifi network including user behavior and client quality to be able to provide a solid Wi-Fi environment covering all corners of your home uniquely.
AI (Artificial intelligent) technology is widely applied to various smart devices today including security cameras that can recognize human faces and detect motion by humans and vehicles only so that it ignores other motions of night animals such as ferrets or dogs to reduce false alerts.
Are Asus xt8 is not equipped with this AI technology; it could be that they have already implemented a complex routing technology for best route to ensure optimal backhaul which is one of the AI technology features.
Technically, deco x90 ax6600 is not much different from other ax6000 products like Asus xt8 zenwifi ax6600. There are only few minor differences such as port interfaces and security protection. Now take a look at how technically these two products compare.
Deco x90 vs Asus xt8
Before deco x90 was released, deco x60 is the top level of mesh wifi 6 product offered by TP-link to compete with Asus zenwifi xt8 ax6600, they seem not comparable since deco x60 is @ ax3000 network segment. Now with Deco x90, Asus xt8 is comparable you may consider upgrading your existing legacy wifi ac network at homes.
In order to understand the differences between these two products, table 1 represents the spec comparison between deco x90 and Asus Zenwifi xt8.
See also Deco x90 vs Orbi rbk852, comparison between this Deco x90 series and Netgear Orbi rbk850 series.
Now let’s see how the specs are compared by using table 1 below.
Both products are actually having the same ax6600 tri-band mesh wifi system, each of radio bands are also the same bandwidth. Except the backhaul approach is different.
Like commonly Orbi tri-band series, Deco x90 is designed with dedicated backhaul using one of its two 5GHz radio bands. TP-link uses dedicated backhaul @4,800Mbps @5GHz radio band and it also allows you to use optional wired Ethernet backhaul.
On the other hand Asus xt8 is flexible; you can select which one of its two @5GHz radio bands is used as dedicated backhaul and the wired Ethernet backhaul is also available. When you connect couple of xt8 nodes you should select the 4,800Mbps @5GHz backhaul for larger bandwidth backhaul.
The concept of wired Ethernet backhaul is typically the same. You can connect two deco x90 units by using Cat5e or Cat6 UTP cable with RJ45 connection in each end.
Connect one end of the cable to the deco x90 which is connected to the modem and the other end to the Ethernet port of the other deco; assure the cable length is no more than 300ft (100m) which is the maximum length of the UTP cable to operate without a signal booster. When the cable connection is ready, then the wired backhaul will operate automatically and the wifi backhaul will be disconnected.
Please note that with the wired backhaul operational, the wifi backhaul does not function as connected device connection, because it is like a backup when your wired backhaul is disrupted, the wifi backhaul will resume operation. So it works like a failover system.
Table 1 TP-Link Deco X90 vs Asus XT8 Zenwifi
|Mesh wifi model||TP Link Deco X90||Asus XT8 Zenwifi|
|Wifi technology||Simultaneous tri-band ax6600 mesh wifi-6 system with 8-streams (for connected devices)||Simultaneous tri-band ax6600 Mbps wifi 6 with 8-steams|
|Signal rate||4,804 Mbps on 5 GHz (1) + 1,201 Mbps on 5 GHz (2) + 574 Mbps on 2.4 GHz||Up to 574 Mbps @2.4GHz up to 1201 Mbps @ 5GHZ-1 up to 4804 Mbps @ 5GHZ-2|
|Antennas||4x high gain antennas + 2 smart antennas||6x internal antennas|
|Coverage||6,000 sq ft||7,000 sq ft / 2-pack|
|Ethernet||1x 2.5 Gbps port + 1x gigabit port per Deco unit (WAN/LAN auto-sensing)||1x RJ45 2.5G BaseT for WAN 3x RJ45 Gigabits BaseT for LAN|
|USB port||N/A||1x USB 3.1 gen 1|
|Backhaul||Dedicated Wifi backhaul @5GHz with smart antennas Optional wired Ethernet backhaul||Selectable which @5GHz radio band is used as backhaul link or optional wired Ethernet backhaul|
|Security||WPA/WPA2-PSK/WPA3 encryptions TP-link Home Shield||WPA2 supports Free AiProtection Commercial Grade Security & Advanced Parental Controls powered by Trend Micro|
|Processor||1.5 GHz Quad-Core CPU||1.5GHz quad core processor with 256MB Flash + 512 MB RAM|
The good thing with both products is the available of 2.5Gbps WAN port you can connect to high speed DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem that comes with 2.5Gbps Ethernet port for optimum data throughput between modem and the mesh router. Today you can find few models of high speed DOCSIS 3.1 cable modems that come with multi-gig Ethernet ports such as Arris Surfboard s33 or Netgear CM2000 or Motorola Mb8611. See also Motorola vs Arris Surfboard DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem.
Both Deco x90 and Asus xt8 Zenwifi ax6600 come with built-in security protection software. Deco x90 comes with basic plan TP-link home-shield, while for the pros plan you have to pay for an annual service plan. On Asus xt8 you are lucky with the free built-in business-grade Aiprotection software powered by Trend Micro for network threat protection.
See that both deco x90 and asus xt8 are almost the same, same technical specs. Only few minor spec differences such as WPA3 security encryption ready for x90, and no USB port available for deco. However Asus xt8 with free AiProtection software is very advantage for connected devices on your network.
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For Asus loyal users, you may like to see DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem with wifi-6 router – the Asus CM-ax6000 cable modem router with ax6000 router.
For high speed wifi-6 router, you may like new product TP-Link Archer ax90 ax6600 router in comparison with Netgear rax70 and Asus.