TP-Link Deco S4 vs Nokia vs Zenwifi

TP-link doesn’t feel enough just to offer Deco M5 which is so successful in the market, later on it introduces various model of Deco series including Deco M4, Deco E3, Deco M9, Deco P9, and Deco S4. We will focus on discussing Deco S4 in this article.

Deco S4

TP-link Deco S4 is designed with cylindrical tower form factor compared to its first generation Deco M5 and M9 series which are designed with a flat round model, and the number of Ethernet ports is also remained for only two ports (WAN or LAN).

TP-link Deco S4
TP-link Deco S4

What about Deco S4 compared with Deco M4? The Deco S4 and M4 have the same features and spec, except that the dimension is around 1″ shorter for Deco S4 and it seems that the S4 is the newer version of M4.

Deco S4 vs M5

If we look at what is offered by TP-link Deco S4, the spec offered is not much different from the Deco M5. There are several specs that are slightly different as shown in table 1 below. The wifi speed @2.4GHz band is slightly different, 400Mbps against 300Mbps.

 Table 1 Deco M5 vs Deco S4

  Deco M5 Deco S4
Wifi speeds 400Mbps @2.4GHz 867Mbps @5GHz 300Mbps @2.4GHz 867Mbps @5GHz
Antennas 4x Internal antennas / unit 2x Internal dual band antennas / unit
Bluetooth Bluetooth 4.2 N/A

Deco S4 vs Nokia Beacon 1 vs Zenwifi CT8

I’m not discussing more details about the product; you can read the spec and manufacturer’s detail later by clicking the product link. Now we’ll focus on comparing Deco S4 with Nokia Beacon 1 which has the same AC1200 network segment instead of Nokia Beacon 3 which is a tri-band model, and Asus Zenwifi CT8. Note that Asus Zenwifi XT8 is the wifi 6 version of Zenwifi mesh wifi system.

Nokia beacon 1 ac1200 mesh wifi
Nokia beacon 1 ac1200 mesh wifi

See also comparison between Nokia Beacon 3 and Orbi.

It might not be fair to compare Deco S4 with Asus Zenwifi CT8 considering that Zenwifi is a simultaneous three band mesh wifi while Deco S4 is a two band system. At least many questions about the Deco and Zenwifi comparisons can be represented by the spec comparisons of the two products.

Wifi

Both Deco and Nokia Beacon 1 are designed with the same dual band AC1200 network segment; however Beacon 1 doesn’t support MU-MIMO (but Beacon 3 does). Asus Zenwifi CT8 is simultaneous tri-band mesh wifi system with AC3000 network segment delivering total bandwidth up to 3,000Mbps with AiMesh technology. With AiMesh compatible device you can combine them in a single mesh wifi system with Zenwifi.

Asus Zenwifi CT8
Asus Zenwifi CT8

Backhaul Link

Deco S4 uses wifi backhaul or optional wired backhaul. You can use wired backhaul when one deco with another deco is out of wifi range, then you can run the UTP cable to connect between deco. Wired-backhaul will be preferred automatically than wifi backhaul.

The Beacon 1 uses hybrid backhaul, meaning that you can either use an Ethernet cable, or you can rely on a wireless backhaul. In either case, the Beacon will analyze the network, and will determine whether to use Ethernet, the 5GHz radio band or the 2.4GHz radio band as backhaul.

Both Deco and Beacon do not use dedicated backhaul, so what about Zenwifi? Asus Zenwifi uses dedicated backhaul link, however you can choose three choices, one of two 5GHz bands (@867Mbps or @1733Mbps) or wired-backhaul used as a dedicated backhaul.

Table 2 Deco S4 vs Nokia Beacon 1

Model TP-link Deco S4 (3-pack) Nokia Beacon 1
Wifi technology Simultaneous dual band AC1200 with MU-MIMO Simultaneous Dual band wifi AC1200 with 2.4Ghz (2×2 MIMO) & 5Ghz (2×2 MIMO)
Wifi speeds 867Mbps @5GHz + 300Mbps @2.4GHz 867Mbps @5GHz + 300Mbps @2.4GHz
Backhaul link Optional Ethernet backhaul Hybrid backhaul link
Coverage Up to 5,500 sq ft 4,500 sq ft
Ethernet Ports 2 Gigabit Ethernet Ports (WAN/LAN auto-sensing) per Deco unit 2 Gigabit Ethernet Ports (WAN/LAN auto-sensing) per Beacon  unit
USB Port N/A N/A
Others Router and Access Point modes; auto FW update  
Price $149.99 $249.99

Table 3 Deco S4 vs Zenwifi CT8

Model TP-link Deco S4 (3-pack) Asus Zenwifi CT8 (2-pack)
Wifi technology Simultaneous dual band AC1200 with MU-MIMO Tri-band AC3000 mesh wifi system with AiMesh technology
Wifi speeds 867Mbps @5GHz + 300Mbps @2.4GHz 400 @2.4GHz  + 867 @5GHz 1 + 1733 Mbps @5GHz -2
Backhaul link Optional Ethernet backhaul Choose which @5GHz band is used as dedicated backhaul link or wired Ethernet backhaul
Coverage Up to 5,500 sq ft 5,400 sq ft
Ethernet Ports 2 Gigabit Ethernet Ports (WAN/LAN auto-sensing) per Deco unit 4x Gigabit Ethernet Port
USB Port N/A 1x USB 3.1 gen 1
Others Router and Access Point modes; auto FW update AiProtection Pro with Advanced Parental Controls is free for life
Price $149.99 $329.99

Now you make up your mind which one of these three products is suitable to meet your need, TP-link Deco S4, or Nokia Beacon 1 or Asus Zenwifi CT8. Deco S4 is tagged at the cheapest price, almost $ 100 cheaper than Beacon 1, even much cheaper compared to Asus.

To learn more spec details and shop in Amazon click the product’s link below:

Related products

See also few models of mesh wifi system, new comer Rock Space AC1200 Mesh Wifi or security based mesh wifi Gryphon Guardian Mesh Wifi Router – a lighter model than its Gryphon AC3000 mesh wifi. Or you may also consider Google Nest Wifi System vs Orbi.

For new wifi 6 technology, you may consider new affordable model of wifi 6 routers including Netgear Rax20 AX1800 Router and Archer Ax20.

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