Tp-link deco m4 vs. Orbi – Traditional router vs mesh Wi-Fi system

Tp-link deco m4 vs. Orbi

Keeping up with technological changes is essential. People no longer rely on traditional routers but are switching to mesh Wi-Fi systems. Comparing Tp-link deco m4 vs. Orbi is a great place to start.

Since routers were first introduced, I have been switching from one model to the other in the search for an excellent network. When everybody started talking about the efficiency of mesh Wi-Fi systems, I disregarded them for a while since I assumed that this was just a marketing gimmick. I once visited a friend at his home and got a chance to connect to his Wi-Fi. He was using one of the mesh network units, and its performance left me curious. This inspired me to start comparing units such as Tp-link deco m4 vs. Orbi since I was finally convinced about buying one for my home. I discovered the following.

What are the differences between Tp-link deco m4 and Orbi?

Tp-link deco m4
Radio bands
5500 sq. ft.
4000 sq. ft.
Download speed-507Mbps

Upload speed-356 Mbps

Download speed-100 Mbps

Upload speed-35 Mbps

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Tp-link deco m4 vs. Orbi-how do they compare?


Most people notice the design of mesh networks first before they start looking at the specifications. You can distinguish the two systems by focusing on their appearance. The Tp-link deco M4 kit is made up of three pieces that are designed in the shape of vertical cylinders. Each cylinder has identical hardware, so you can choose any of them to be the primary router.

Orbi mesh network, on the other hand, is a two-piece system that comes with a single satellite and router. The two-piece mesh network looks like a squashed cylinder. While most people find the design of Tp-link deco m4 aesthetically appealing, not many users like the appearance of Orbi.

Radio bands

I also distinguished the two in regards to the number of bands that each model operates. Tp-link deco m4 runs with dual bands that include 5GHZ and 2.4 GHz. Orbi, on the other hand, is a one-of-a-kind mesh Wi-Fi system that works with three bands simultaneously. It has one 2.4 GHz band and 2 5GHz radio bands. One of the 5 GHz radio bands is used as a backhaul link between the nodes, while the other two regular bands can be used entirely for clients.


The size of your home can determine the mesh network system you choose. If you want one for huge spaces, then you should consider Tp-link deco m4 since this offers a maximum network coverage of up to 5, 500 sq. ft. Orbi, on the other hand, can cover an area of up to 4,000 sq. ft.


For you to manage Tp-link deco m4, you need to use the deco app available on the Android play store. It comes with a user-friendly app that enables you to set your network according to your preferences. If you choose to work with Orbi, you can set it up and configure it using a web-based console. Most users reveal that the console is still user-friendly. This contains both advanced and basic settings that make the mesh Wi-Fi system ideal for beginners and the tech-savvy.

Security features

Even though Tp-link deco m4 is equipped with most of the features, it does not offer anti-malware and virus protection. This makes it less efficient compared to Orbi, which ensures that you can browse the internet securely. The mesh network system has a multi-layer software that enhances security and prevents your network from such threats.

Tp-link deco m4 vs. Orbi – comparison overview

Tp-link deco m4

TP-Link Deco Whole Home Mesh WiFi System – Up to 5,500 Sq.ft. Coverage, WiFi Router/Extender Replacement, Gigabit Ports, Seamless Roaming, Parental Controls, Works with Alexa(Deco M4 3-Pack)
  • JD Power Award ---Highest in customer satisfaction for wireless routers 2017 and 2019
  • Better Coverage than traditional WiFi routers: Deco M4 three units work seamlessly to create a WiFi mesh...

Most people who have never used mesh network systems before are often looking for a budget-friendly one that can deliver a reliable router performance. This is a clear definition of what you get from choosing Tp-link deco m4. The three-piece system is designed for large houses since it can offer network coverage of up to 5, 500 sq. ft. It comes with three nodes that are easy to install and manage.

Though I liked the fast router performance of Tp-link deco m4, the lack of anti-malware tools was disappointing. Most people who choose it are large families that have teenagers who are always browsing. Since this comes with robust parental controls, you can protect your children from accessing some sites.

This mesh Wi-Fi system comes in the form of three vertical cylinders that measure 3.6 inches in diameter and 7.5 inches in height. They have black grillwork on the top part and a white outer surface. You will also notice an LED indicator on the top part and Gigabit LAN ports on the different sides of the unit. The base contains a reset button and a power jack.

Tp-link deco m4 is also a dual-band unit that supports MU-MIMO data streaming and automatic band steering. One of the main factors that make internet users consider mesh Wi-Fi systems is internet speed. According to most users, choosing Tp-link deco m4 can help you enjoy high internet speeds. This unit can deliver maximum rates of up to 867 Mbps on the 5 GHz band and 300 MBPS on the 2.4 GHz band.

Though this system fails to provide home automation capabilities, it can support Alexa voice commands as well as IFTTT applets. While using this mesh Wi-Fi system, you can manage your network through the well-designed mobile app. This app helps you monitor the status of your network and also configure it the way you want.

The app lets you view notifications like when a particular update is available. Some of the router settings available on the app include update deco, advanced buttons as well as wireless backlist. This blacklist button gives you the option of denying access to some devices or clients. You can use the update deco button for you to view the firmware updates.

Some of the homecare settings available here include QoS options, managers buttons, and monthly reports. The quality of service options gives you the flexibility of assigning bandwidth priority to particular clients. Ensure you make use of the managers button to invite your family and friends to utilize the app so that they can help you in managing your network. Most people find the mobile app efficient since it allows you to manage your network via your phone.


  • Reasonable price tag
  • Simple installation
  • Great router performance


  • Does not offer malware protection

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NETGEAR Orbi Tri-band Whole Home Mesh WiFi System with 3Gbps Speed (RBK50) – Router & Extender Replacement Covers Up to 5,000 sq. ft., 2-Pack Includes 1 Router & 1 Satellite White
  • No more dead zones: Whole home mesh WiFi coverage of up to 5,000 sq. ft. and 25+ devices. Mesh technology...
  • Tri-band backhaul: A dedicated band between your Orbi router and satellite frees up the other two bands...

The Orbi is a capable system that can offer speedy and wireless connectivity to every room in your house. People who live in big houses with different floors complain about not getting a great network connection on the upper floors. You can say goodbye to such problems by choosing Orbi.

It is a tri-band network system that comprises of a router and one satellite. Using this mesh Wi-Fi system enables you to blanket your entire house in Wi-Fi without necessarily adding extra wiring or getting range extenders. While most of the systems make use of mesh technology to facilitate the communication between the satellites, Orbi router is different since it makes use of a dedicated band that communicates with its satellite.

The satellite and router of Orbi mesh Wi-Fi system look alike and come in a soft-touch enclosure, which has the appearance of a squashed cylinder. These components measure 3.1 x 6.7 x 8.8 inches. Though they may not have sleek aesthetics, they provide excellent performance. Your package comes in the form of a two-piece kit that offers internet coverage of up to 4,000 sq.ft.  The Orbi router features at least six internal antennas which enhance the throughput speeds.

Orbi mesh network system can deliver speeds of up to 1266 Mbps. On the 5GHZ band, it delivers speeds of 866 Mbps while on the 2.4 GHz, it can offer speed of up to 400 Mbps. Apart from the two conventional bands, this comes with a third band that makes it stand out among other mesh Wi-Fi systems such as Tp-link deco m4. This band represents the backhaul band, which is dedicated to communication between the satellite and router.

If you focus on each component, you should notice an LED light ring on the top part. This ring keeps on changing color depending on the internet status. At the bottom part of the router, you will notice at least three Gigabit LAN ports, a USB port, reset buttons, and the WAN port. Though the USB port is designed to help you connect peripherals such as printers or hard drives, some people complain that it does not work as expected. All of these parts are also present on the satellite component.

While most of the mesh Wi-Fi systems are controlled from a mobile app, Orbi makes use of a web-based console. When I tested it, I found the console easy to use since it contains both advanced and basic settings that are present with a conventional router. From the settings, you can always find out the status of your network and even check the number of devices attached to it. Make use of parental controls if you have young internet users around your home. It also allows you to create guest networks as you please.

The advanced tab gives you the chance to control your network in ways you never imagined. For instance, you can restrict access to specific users and receive email notifications when a person tries to log into a blocked site. The advanced wireless settings allow you to adjust the transmit power or even enable MU-MIMO. I did not have any problems trying to install this mesh network system.


  • Fast throughput
  • It is highly configurable
  • Installation is easy


  • Some users reveal that it is bulky
  • The mesh network system is expensive

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Having a Wi-Fi network at your premises can make you achieve a lot of things. You get the chance to entertain yourself through things such as streaming movies, watching YouTube videos, or even playing video games at the comfort of your home. Unlike in the past, many people nowadays also work from home, thanks to the introduction of advanced WIFI systems. Mesh networks are better compared to traditional routers since they deliver fast and reliable internet throughout the house. They also offer extensive network coverage so that you can access WIFI regardless of where you are in the house.

If this is what you have need, then you need to be familiar with models such as Tp-link deco m4 and Orbi. Though both of these models are from reputable companies that have been supplying quality mesh networks for years, they have differing capabilities.

Verdict: So, which is better? Tp-link deco m4 or Orbi

After doing a lot of research on both Tp-link deco m4 and Orbi, I decided to give Tp-link deco m4 a try. Since it was my first mesh network, I did not want to spend so much on it. I loved the speed that this unit delivered. Though it enabled me to stream data from different devices simultaneously, it did not give me a high level of security. The lack of sufficient security features in this unit disappointed me, so I decided to switch to Orbi. Since I made the switch, I am quite satisfied with my network since this unit gives me not only fast connections but also a secure network. It made me conclude that Orbi is better than Tp-link deco m4.


  1. Is it possible to use Orbi with my router?

Orbi mesh Wi-Fi system is designed in such a way that it can work with your existing router or modem. You should, however, switch off the WIFI on the current router to boost the performance of this unit.

  1. What is the function of a Mesh WIFI system?

Whole-home WIFI system contains a router and satellite nodules that are placed around a home to give you full internet coverage.


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