TP-Link has announced a new mesh router system called TP-Link Deco M9 Plus which combines the best Wi-Fi features available with smart hub technologies and comes in either two-pack bundles or in singles. It also introduces a couple of novel features that allow for more than 100 devices to be connected. That's bound to be a useful selling point with consideration for the ever-increasing number of IoT, home automation, and other "smart" devices hitting the market. Meanwhile, as with nearly all mesh router systems, the signals are managed as a single network, allowing for seamless switching between connections to each individual node. Better still, security is built right in thanks to a partnership with TrendMicro which enables both robust Wi-Fi security and HomeCare to keep all of those devices safe.
Breaking down the various specs and capabilities of the new Deco M9 Plus mesh routers, a two-pack should cover approximately 4,500-square feet. Presumably, more routers can be bought to cover larger areas. Each of the nodes in the network is an AC2200 tri-band configuration, with speeds of up to 400Mbps on the 2.4GHz band or 867Mbps on either of the two 5GHz bands. Signals are sent and received along 6 Wi-Fi antennas, 1 Bluetooth 4.2 antenna, and 1 ZigBee antenna, allowing for a huge variety of connection options for smart home users and intelligent signal management on the Wi-Fi side. On the ZigBee front, the Deco M9 Plus is compatible with ZigBee HA 1.2, while smart home integration is also possible via Amazon Alexa or IFTTT. That's all managed by a quad-core chip backed by 4GB of eMMC storage and 512MB of RAM. With regard to managing the backhaul for consistent streaming, browsing, gaming, or home automation, the router is also capable of going beyond the standard 5GHz backhaul to deliver across more available Wi-Fi channels as needed.
On the outside, each of the routers also features a reserved USB 2.0 port and two 2 Gigabit Ethernet ports. All of that means that the new router should be able to handle just about anything that's thrown at it within a typical home and well over that. At the same time, it also means this won't be the most affordable mesh router system available. TP-Link hasn't said precisely where the routers will be available or when but they'll be sold for just $300 for a two-pack and $180 for a single router.