TP-Link makes mysterious entry into Wi-Fi system market at CES

TP-Link makes mysterious entry into Wi-Fi system market at CES

The company introduces two Wi-Fi mesh systems without providing details such as pricing, availability or even Wi-Fi standard. More to come later this year.

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TP-Link’s Deco M5 Wi-Fi system.Photo by Dong Ngo

TP-Link made it clear today at CES 2017 that it’s ventured into the Wi-Fi system market, with not one, but two products. What’s not clear, however, is the details of these systems. For now, even the release dates and the pricing aren’t available.

The first system is called the Deco M5 Router. It includes three identical hardware units, each about the side of the Eero, and has two network ports. Each unit can work as an independent AC1300 router, and they can also work together as a Wi-Fi system. What’s cool about the Deco is that each it uses USB-C as charging port.

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Each Deco M5 unit is a router with two network ports.Photo by TP-Link

The second system is called Deco M5 Plus Router with Powerline. It’s basically the same as the first with one addition: It uses a different power adapter that also works as a powerline adapter. In other words, when using a new Powerline-enabled power adapter, TP-Link’s first Wi-Fi system will become its second system. And now, apart from Wi-Fi, each unit in the system has the option of using the electrical wiring of the home to connect to one another. TP-Link says the system will automatically detect in real-time which is faster, the Wi-Fi or the Powerline connection, to use as the back-haul connection to connect the hardware units together.

As far as what Powerline standard is used, that’s not available right now. My guess is it’s going to use the latest Powerline standard with a top speed of 1,300 megabits per second.

In addition to the Deco product line, TP-Link also unveiled the Archer C2300 AC2300 Wireless MU-MIMO Gigabit Router that supports Wave 2 Wi-Fi and vRE650 AC2600 Wi-Fi Range Extender. This extender will work with all existing router and access points to extend a Wi-Fi network. Other than that, no more information on these devices is available.

TP-Link says it’s going to release more details on these products later this year.

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The Archer C2300 router (left) and the RE650 range extender from TP-Link.

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