TP-Link Deco X90 vs Orbi vs Velop

Since Netgear and Linksys have released their mesh wifi products that work on the ax6000 network segment, even though Tp-link has displayed its similar product Deco x90 on its website the Deco x90 was just released to the market on April 2021. How will this TP Link Deco x90 compete with Orbi and Linksys Velop?

Deco X90

TP-Link previously released two Deco series with wifi-6 technology, Deco X20 ax1800 and Deco x60 ax3000 which were quite successful in the market with more affordable prices and good performance compared to competitors in the same network segment. Both series use shared wifi backhaul link with connected clients, and they also have wired backhaul option. When compared to Orbi, Orbi doesn’t provide a wired backhaul option, since Orbi distinguishes between mesh router and satellite. 

Similar with Deco x5700

Previously TP-link released Deco x5700; physically this deco x5700 product is virtually exactly the same as Deco x90. However, there is a slight difference in wifi speed because technically they work in different network segment. Deco x5700 works on the ax5700 network segment (3,800Mbps + 1,200Mbps +574Mbps), while Deco x90 works on the ax6600 network segment (4804Mbps + 1,200Mbps + 574Mbps).

The other specs and features are almost the same between Deco x5700 and Deco x90 including the auto sensing 2,5Gbps Ethernet port in addition of 1xGigabit Ethernet Port and the same Quad processor with 1.5GHz clock rate.  

TP Link Deco X90 AX6600
TP Link Deco X90

Deco X90 vs Deco X60

What makes Deco x90 is different with previous series Deco x60? Take a look at the following spec comparison table 1 below for easy to read the comparisons.

Note that the main difference is that the deco x90 adds one more @5GHz radio band for dedicated backhaul compared to deco x60 which only has two radio bands with wifi backhaul shared with connected devices. And another major difference is the 2.5 Gbps Ethernet WAN port compared to only 1.0 Gigabit on the x60 series.

Table 1 Deco x90 vs Deco x60

Deco SeriesDeco x90Deco x60
Wifi technologySimultaneous tri-band ax6600 mesh wifi-6 system  with 8-streamsSimultaneous dual band ax3000 mesh wifi-6 with 6-streams
Wifi signal rate  4,804 Mbps on 5 GHz (1) +  4×4 1,201 Mbps on 5 GHz (2) + 2×2 574 Mbps on 2.4 GHz 2×2Up to 2402Mbps @ 5GHz 4×4 Up to 574Mbps @ 2.4GHz 2×2
Antennas4x high gain antennas + 2 smart antennas4xinternal antennas
Technical coverage6,000 sq ft /2-pack5,000 sq ft / 2-pack
Ethernet Ports1x 2.5 Gbps port + 1x gigabit port per Deco unit (WAN/LAN auto-sensing)2x Gigabit WAN / LAN auto sensing
USB portN/AN/A
BackhaulDedicated Wifi backhaul @5GHz with smart antennas Optional wired Ethernet backhaulShare wifi bandwidth and optional wired backhaul
Processor1.5 GHz Quad-Core CPU1.0GHz Quad core CPU
SecurityWPA/WPA2-PSK/WPA3 encryptions TP-link Home ShieldWPA/ WPA2/ WPA3; TP-Link Home Care

Dedicated backhaul

If you compare to the Deco x20 and X60 which are dual band mesh wifi model, TP-link Deco x90 uses a dedicated @ 5GHz backhaul link approach and of course the wired backhaul option is also available. This is different from the Linksys Velop mx10 which uses a dynamic backhaul approach.

For the needs of this wifi backhaul, Deco x90 is equipped with two smart antennas that automatically detect nearby deco nodes to be able to connect with a strong signal as a backhaul between nodes.

Which 5GHz

TP-link explained that deco x90 is designed with three bands and one @ 5ghz band is used as dedicated backhaul, but it is still unclear which @ 5ghz is used as dedicated backhaul, at 4,800Mbps; 1,200Mbps or works dynamically between the two @5GHz radio bands. If @4,800Mbps is a backhaul, two other bands of @ 1,200Mbps and 600Mbps (1,800Mbps) are available for the connected devices.

In Orbi rbk752 the backhaul uses dedicated @ 2,400Mbps, leaving two other radio bands of 2,400 + 1200 (3,600Mbps) for connected devices.

Deco x90 vs Orbi vs Velop

In the same network segment as the tp-link deco x90, there are at least two products that have long been available in the market with good ratings from two big vendors, namely Netgear Orbi rbk750 and Linksys Velop mx10. So far before Deco x90 was released, the deco x60 ax3000 was an incomparable competitor for the two ax6000 products considering the deco x90 is expected to be available in the market but almost a year later it was released to the market.

Orbi RBK852
Orbi RBK852

Wifi and backhaul

Although the three products are designed using simultaneous three radio bands, the bandwidth of the three radio bands is different for each product as you can see in the signal rate row table. X90 provides a wider total bandwidth than Orbi and Velop, but configurations for wifi backhaul requirement and connected devices can provide different performance.

Deco x90, Orbi rbk750 and Linksys Velop mx5 are designed with simultaneous three radio bands with different backhaul link approach in connecting between the mesh routers to each of the satellite nodes. We have discussed briefly above that tp-link deco x90 uses dedicated backhaul @ 5 GHz (quite possibly using 5GHz @ 4,800Mbps), like the Orbi which also uses dedicated backhaul @ 5ghz 2,400Mbps. On the other hand, the Linksys Velop uses a tri-band dynamic backhaul. Velop optimizes the use of the three radio bands between the backhaul connection requirements between nodes and connected devices.

2.5Gbps Port

Both deco x90 and Orbi are equipped with a 2.5Gbps WAN port, this port is very useful when you need internet service up to 2Gbps, and of course you need a fast cable modem like the Surfboard s33 or Nighthawk CM2000 which are equipped with 2.5Gbps port so that connection between cable modem and mesh router is optimal, reducing network bottleneck.

Unlike Orbi and x90, Velop mx5 only comes with 1x Gigabit WAN port.

Table 1 Deco X90 vs Orbi Rbk852

Mesh wifi modelTP Link Deco X90Orbi Rbk852
Wifi technologySimultaneous tri-band ax6600 mesh wifi-6 system  with 8-streams (for connected devices)Simultaneous tri-band ax6000 mesh wifi-6 system
Signal rate4,804 Mbps on 5 GHz (1) + 1,201 Mbps on 5 GHz (2) + 574 Mbps on 2.4 GHz1,200Mbps @2.4GHz 2,400Mbps @5GHz 2,400Mbps @5GHz – dedicated backhaul
Antennas4x high gain antennas + 2 smart antennas(8) high performance internal antennas with high-powered amplifiers
Coverage6,000 sq ft5,000 sq ft
Ethernet1x 2.5 Gbps port + 1x gigabit port per Deco unit (WAN/LAN auto-sensing)Orbi router:  1x 2.5Gbps WAN; 4x Gigabit LAN ports Orbi Satellite: 4x Gigabit LAN
USB portN/AN/A
BackhaulDedicated Wifi backhaul @5GHz with smart antennas Optional wired Ethernet backhaulDedicated wifi backhaul @5GHz 2,400Mbps
Working modeRouter Access pointOrbi Rbr850 mesh router Orbi Rbs850 mesh satellite
SecurityWPA/WPA2-PSK/WPA3 encryptions TP-link Home ShieldWPA2/WPA3 Netgear Armor
Processor1.5 GHz Quad-Core CPUPowerful Quad-Core 2.2 GHz processor 512MB NAND Flash and 1GB RAM
Price$499.99 (2-pack)$689.99 (2-pack)

Processor

All the three products are equipped with the same quad core processor, but the X90 processor’s clock rate is lower (1.5GHz) than the Orbi and Velop which have 2.2GHz clock rate. Technically the same quad core processor with clock rate of 2.2GHz provides faster processing speed than processor with lower clock rate.

Linksys Velop MX10
Velop MX10

Operation modes

The Deco x90 can be operated as a mesh router (default mode) or as an AP mode. There are still many people confused about when to use a mesh router or a mesh AP. Most cable internet customers at home use a native cable modem that does not have NAT (network address translation) feature and is only equipped with one Ethernet port which is used to connect the modem to the WAN port of the wifi router.

If your modem at home is a gateway model such as Arris Surfboard Sbg8300 (just an example, no way of purchasing Deco x90 if you already have good sbg8300 wifi network), which is a modem with NAT features that usually has two or more LAN ports, then the deco x90 connection to this gateway will use AP mode. With AP mode you lose advanced features like homeshield, dhcp etc. To change the AP mode, use the operation mode menu on the app and select AP mode, the default of the setup mode is mesh router.

With Orbi you only have one default mode as a router which needs to be connected to the native modem. While Orbi distinguishes which Orbi router and which Orbi satellite, so it cannot be exchanged.

Linksys Velop can also be used as either a router or a satellite like Deco. The first Velop node connected to the modem is the parent node, once setup you can add the next node as a satellite node when wider coverage is needed.

For home needs, the Deco x90 rarely functions as an AP mode, considering that customers at home use a native modem (mostly cable modems) such as Surfboard s33 or Netgear cm2000 DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem.

Table 2 Deco X90 vs Velop MX10

Mesh wifi modelTP Link Deco X90Linksys Velop MX10600 (2-pack)
Wifi technologySimultaneous tri-band ax6600 mesh wifi-6 system  with 8-streams (for connected devices)Simultaneous tri-band ax5300 mesh wifi-6 system  with 12-streams
Signal rate4,804 Mbps on 5 GHz (1) + 1,201 Mbps on 5 GHz (2) + 574 Mbps on 2.4 GHz1147Mbps @2.4Ghz; 2402Mbps @5Ghz band 1; 1733Mbps @5Ghz band 2
Antennas4x high gain antennas + 2 smart antennasInternal antennas
Coverage6,000 sq ft6,000 sq ft  
Ethernet1x 2.5 Gbps port + 1x gigabit port per Deco unit (WAN/LAN auto-sensing)1x Gigabit WAN 4x Gigabit LAN
USB portN/A1x USB 3.0 for shared storage
BackhaulDedicated Wifi backhaul @5GHz with smart antennas Optional wired Ethernet backhaulTri-band dynamic Wifi backhaul; Optional wired Ethernet backhaul
Operation Mode Mesh router / APMesh router
SecurityWPA/WPA2-PSK/WPA3 encryptions TP-link Home ShieldWPA2; WPA2 / WPA3 Mixed Mode; TP-Link Home Shield’s kit
Processor1.5 GHz Quad-Core CPU2.2 GHz Quad-Core processor Memory: Flash: 512MB; RAM: 1GB
Price$499.99$449.99

Note that TP Link Deco x90 is tagged with higher price than Velop, while Orbi Rbk852 is tagged with the most expensive price. Prices are usually fluctuating, click the link below to shop the product in Amazon.

Click here to SHOP Deco X90 in Amazon, Or You may also like to read more spec’s detail of Deco X90,

Or shop competing products below.

Related products

When mesh wifi system is not your preference, consider new TP-link Archer AX90 ax6600 wifi-6 gaming router and see how this product compared with Asus and Netgear.

For all-in-one model, you may consider Asus CM-AX6000 cable modem wifi-6 router, combining wireless ax6000 router with built-in DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem.

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