How Good Deco X90 vs Asus Xt8 vs Surfboard Max

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 mx5 and also asus xt8. In April 2021 Deco X90 was released to the market, how deco x90 will compete with asus xt8 ax6600 and surfboard max ax6600?

Deco x90

Like Asus Zenwifi xt8 and Arris Surfboard Max, the Deco X90 is also designed with tower factor model to reduce the footprint. Of course, it is not just narrower footprint preference, but to allow the antenna at higher place for wider signal coverage and also to reduce signal interference with machine board that is slightly far apart.

Dedicated backhaul

Amongst all deco series released to the market, only the 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 like all tri-band Orbi series which is always consistent with dedicated backhaul. Although the previous deco m9 series which is also designed with a tri-band mesh, does not use a dedicated backhaul approach.

AI-Driven Mesh

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.

TP-Link Deco X90 AX6600
TP-Link Deco X90 AX6600

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 and Arris Surfboard max 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 part of the AI technology.

Technically, the x90 is not much different from other ax6000 products such as the Asus xt8 and Arris Surfboard Max. There are only few minor differences such as port interfaces and security protection. Now take a look at how technically these three products compare.

Deco x90 vs Asus xt8 vs Arris Surfboard

In order to understand the differences between these three products, we present two comparison tables. Table 1 represents the spec comparison between deco x90 and Asus Zenwifi xt8, while table 2 represents the spec comparison between deco x90 and Arris Surfboard.

Backhaul

All the three products are actually having the same ax6600 tri-band mesh wifi, each of radio band are also the same bandwidth. Except the backhaul approach is different.

Deco x90 and Arris Surfboard have the same dedicated backhaul @5GHz @4,800Mbps and they also have optional wired Ethernet backhaul. On the other hand Asus xt8 is flexible; you can select which @5GHz radio band 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.  

Asus zenwifi xt8
Asus Zenwifi XT8 AX6600

Table 1 Deco X90 vs Asus Zenwifi XT8

Mesh wifi modelTP Link Deco X90Asus Zenwifi XT8
Wifi technologySimultaneous tri-band ax6600 mesh wifi-6 system  with 8-streams (for connected devices)Simultaneous tri-band ax6600 Mbps wifi 6 with 8-steams
Signal rate4,804 Mbps on 5 GHz (1) + 1,201 Mbps on 5 GHz (2) + 574 Mbps on 2.4 GHzUp to 574 Mbps @2.4GHz up to 1201 Mbps @ 5GHZ-1 up to 4804 Mbps @ 5GHZ-2
Antennas4x high gain antennas + 2 smart antennas6x internal antennas
Coverage6,000 sq ft7,000 sq ft / 2-pack
Ethernet1x 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 portN/A1x USB 3.1 gen 1
BackhaulDedicated Wifi backhaul @5GHz with smart antennas Optional wired Ethernet backhaulSelectable which @5GHz radio band is used as backhaul link or optional wired Ethernet backhaul
SecurityWPA/WPA2-PSK/WPA3 encryptions TP-link Home ShieldWPA2 supports Free AiProtection Commercial Grade Security & Advanced Parental Controls powered by Trend Micro
Processor1.5 GHz Quad-Core CPU1.5GHz quad core processor with 256MB Flash + 512 MB RAM
Price$499.99 (2-pack)$447.99

Ethernet interfaces

One of the specs absent for Arris Surfboard is the 2.5gbps WAN port except for 1gbps wan port. If the internet requirement is below 1gbps all the three products are appropriate. However, if your internet needs are up to 2gbps then Deco x90 and Asus xt8 are both equipped with 2.5gbps wan ports. You need to use high speed cable modem with Ethernet port up to 2.5gbps such as the surfboard s33 and cm2000 so that the optimal connection between the cable modem and router is achieved.

Arris Surfboard Max AX6600
Arris Surfboard Max AX6600

Security protection

Deco x90 and Asus xt8 come with built-in security protection software, but Surfboard max doesn’t. The 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.

Table 2 Deco x90 vs Arris Surfboard

Mesh wifi modelTP Link Deco X90Arris Surfboard Max (2-pack)
Wifi technologySimultaneous tri-band ax6600 mesh wifi-6 system   with 8-streams (for connected devices)Simultaneous tri-band ax6600 8-streams
Signal rate4,804 Mbps on 5 GHz (1) + 1,201 Mbps on 5 GHz (2) + 574 Mbps on 2.4 GHzup to 4,800 @5GHz band 1 up to 1,200Mbps @5GHz band 2 up to 600Mbps @2.4GHz
Antennas4x high gain antennas + 2 smart antennasOne 4×4 and two 2×2
Coverage6,000 sq ftUp to 5,500 sq ft / 2-pack
Ethernet1x 2.5 Gbps port + 1x gigabit port per Deco unit (WAN/LAN auto-sensing)2x Gigabit WAN/LAN port
USB portN/AN/A
BackhaulDedicated Wifi backhaul @5GHz with smart antennas Optional wired Ethernet backhaulDedicated 4×4 4.800Mbps @5GHz Optional wired Ethernet backhaul when connected between Surfboard mesh router
SecurityWPA/WPA2-PSK/WPA3 encryptions TP-link Home ShieldWPA/WPA2
Processor1.5 GHz Quad-Core CPUARM processor 1.8GHz 
Price$499.99 (2-pack)$355.99

The rest, these three products either deco x90, Asus xt8 or Arris Surfboard have the same spec, if there are differences only minor ones. Prices always fluctuate by time; check the latest prices by clicking the product link below and shopping on Amazon (#ads).

Related products

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. 

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