TP-link Deco M4 vs Orbi RBK33

TP-link offers new model of mesh wifi system with dual modes of operation either you can use as the router system or just for wireless access point – the TP-link Deco M4. This is one of TP-link lines of mesh router products including TP-link Deco M5 and TP-link Deco M9 tri-band mesh wifi router.

Deco M4 vs M5

Previously TP-link released Deco M5 which was the first model of TP-link in the mesh wifi system and M5 becomes one of the best mesh wifi systems on the market together with Google. See also top 10 mesh wifi system. Now TP-link released Deco M4 which was designed to be physically different from the first product Deco M5. From the given series M4 should be lower than M5, is that right? We see the following comparison table Deco m4 vs deco m5:

Model Deco M4 AC1200 Deco M5 AC1300
Wifi speeds 300Mbps @2.4Ghz + 867Mbps @5Ghz 400Mbps @2.4Ghz + 867Mbps @5Ghz
Antennas 2x internal antennas 4x internal antennas
Interfaces 2x Gigabit Ethernet   2x Gigabit Ethernet 1x USB type C Bluetooth 4.2
Coverage 2,000 sq ft 1,500 sq ft
Mode Mesh wifi router / access point Mesh wifi system

The main difference between Deco m4 vs m5 is the speed at 2.4Ghz where m5 is slightly higher than m4, and physically the Deco m4 interface has no USB port.

Deco m4 is designed with a tower form factor so that the antenna gets height for better coverage even though only 2x antennas compared to Deco m5 which is designed with flat and 4x antennas.

TP-link Deco M4
TP-link Deco M4 Mesh system

TP-link Deco M4 vs Orbi RBK33

I will compare this product with one lines of Netgear’s mesh router products, Orbi rbr40 router plus two wall-plug satellites rbw30, it is the Orbi Rbk33 mesh wifi system.

As a reference the following table 1 shows you spec comparison table between TP-link Deco M4 and Netgear Orbi RBK33 set of three mesh wifi system.

Wifi technology

Physically the model is different in appearance, Deco M4 is designed with a round tube model while Orbi is designed as a router in general plus two satellites in wall plug model for easy placement on the desired power outlet where you need strong wifi.

Radio Bands

The first difference is the number of radio bands that the product operates. Deco operates with a simultaneous dual band at 2.4GHz with a speed up to 300Mbps and at 5Ghz band with speeds up to 867Mbps. For legacy 802.11b/g/n based clients connect to 2.4Ghz band and most new clients products with 802.11ac based work @5Ghz band with speed up to 867Mbps.

Orbi RBK33 AC2200 Tri-band Mesh wifi system

Backhaul link

On the other hand Orbi operates with three simultaneous bands with AC2200-based network segments, one 2.4GHz radio band for legacy clients connection speed up to 400Mbps and two 5GHz radio bands with speed up to 867Mbps where one of the 5ghz band is used as dedicated backhaul link between nodes.

If Orbi uses a dedicated band (one of 5GHz band) as backhaul link between nodes so that the other two bands can be used entirely for the clients, while Deco uses shared band both for backhaul and client, of course for user’s needs will be reduced.

Unlike Deco M4, the other TP-link model – the Deco M9 a tri-band mesh wifi system design the backhaul link in different way. One of 5GHz band can dynamically works as the main backhaul while the other two bands can support the backhaul up to 50% from its bandwidth when backhaul link bandwidth demand increases significantly.

Table 1 TP-link Deco vs Orbi

Model TP-link Deco M4 (3-set) Orbi RBK33 (3-set)
Wifi technology AC1200 Simultaneous Two-band Wifi AC2200 Router & AC2200 Wall Plug Satellites Simultaneous Tri-band WiFi – FastLane3 technology with dedicated backhaul
Wifi speeds 300Mbps @2.4Ghz radio 1 867Mbps @5Ghz radio 2 867Mbps @5Ghz radio 1 867Mbps @5Ghz radio 2 400Mbps @2.4Ghz radio 3
Wifi coverage 5,500 sq ft 5,000 sq ft
Wifi features Parental Controls; Router and access point mode; optional Ethernet backhaul; MU-MIMO; Auto Path Selection; Self-Healing; AP Steering; Band Steering; Beamforming Dedicated backhaul; Implicit/Explicit Beamforming for 2.4 & 5GHz bands; MU-MIMO; Voice Control: – Amazon Alexa™ / – The Google© Assistant; Circle® with Disney – Smart Parental Controls
Ethernet Ports 2x WAN/LAN auto sensing (6x total) 4x Gigabit Ethernet Ports on router 1x WAN / 3x LAN
Mode Mesh router / AP mode Mesh wifi system
Antennas 2-internal dual band antennas / Unit (4) high-performance antennas with high-power amplifiers
Price $179.99 $259.99

Operation modes

Both Deco M4 and Orbi as default work as the router mesh wifi system as usual. However Deco M4 can work as the wireless access point, Orbi cannot. You need to connect one of Ethernet LAN ports to the network switch using UTP Cat5e or Cat6 network cable.

However, should you require wifi network to support your business you better consider wireless access point products for business such as TP-link eap series, EnGenius or Ubiquiti. See comparison products here TP-link eap225-v3 vs EnGenius vs Ubiquiti.

Most people will choose a product at a lower price, and indeed both Deco and Orbi products are tagged with price difference around $ 80. Deco is offered at a cheaper price than Orbi. You may also like the newer version of Orbi mesh wifi router – check here Meshforce m3 vs Orbi RBK20 mesh wifi system.

To learn more spec details click the following product links and links to shop the product in Amazon.

Related products

To taste new wifi6 (6th generation of wifi technology) products you may consider wifi6 routers by Netgear or TP-link – click here Netgear RAX200 Nighthawk AX11000 wifi6 Router or Netgear RAX120 Wifi6 AX6000 Router, Or you may also like the wifi6 routers offered by TP-link – click here TP-link AX6000 wifi6 Router vs Nighthawk.

For gamers, consider gaming router offered by Netgear – the Netgear Nighthawk XR700 Wireless AD Gaming Router – the fast router for gamers in mind.

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