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TP-Link Deco M4 Whole Home Mesh Wi-Fi System

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Dabbler
Posts: 14
Thanks: 2
Registered: ‎27-03-2020

TP-Link Deco M4 Whole Home Mesh Wi-Fi System

The Plusnet router wifi is fine in the lounge (where the phone socket is), but once you get to the opposite end of the house, the signal is unusable. I've experimented with splitting the wifi bands, and as I have an ethenet cable from the lounge top the opposite corner of the house, set up a separate router. None of this is really perfect, so I had a look for other solutions.

After a bit of searching, I decided to go for the TP-Link M4 wifi system. Ordered from Amazon, arrived yesterday and unpacked and working within 15 minutes.

Honestly, this was the easiest setup I've ever used. All I needed to do was to turn off the wifi on the Plusnet router, plug one of the M4's into the ethernet port on the router and follow the instructions on the app on my phone. If I plug my laptop into the ethernet port (no wifi) and run a speed test, I get around 33 down, 2 up. I now get that on wifi anywhere in the house.

You can also plug the slave devices into the wired network if you have one, and then they will use the ethernet connection for the backhaul to the main station. No setup required. It just works.

If you have deadspots, I can recommened these.

23 REPLIES 23
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Hooked
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎07-04-2020

Re: TP-Link Deco M4 Whole Home Mesh Wi-Fi System

I have just purchased the Deco M5 system but haven't set up yet. I am reading conflicting reports as to whether the Hub One can be used as the modem in the Deco system (as it can't be set to bridge mode) - but you don't seem to have had a problem. Have you set the mesh up as Access Point or Router mode?

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Dabbler
Posts: 14
Thanks: 2
Registered: ‎27-03-2020

Re: TP-Link Deco M4 Whole Home Mesh Wi-Fi System

No need to set the Plusnet router up at all, other than just turn off the wi fi - both channels.

The M4 (and I guess the M5 as well as the phone app is the same) get's an IP address from the Plusnet ethernet port.

So the procedure is:

Turn off the wifi on the Plusnet router.

Open the app on your phone.

Plug the supplied ethernet cable into the TP-Link and then into any LAN port on the Plusnet router.

Turn on the TP-Link and wait for the LED to turn blue.

Follow the instructions on the phone.

That's all I did - oh, and enable the Alexa skill as well. Not quite sure why, but I'm sure I'll find a use for it.

 

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Hooked
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎07-04-2020

Re: TP-Link Deco M4 Whole Home Mesh Wi-Fi System

Thanks for quick reply. Which Plusnet router do you have? And did you set up the Deco as Access Point or Router?

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Dabbler
Posts: 14
Thanks: 2
Registered: ‎27-03-2020

Re: TP-Link Deco M4 Whole Home Mesh Wi-Fi System

I have the Plusnet Hub One that has the phone connection, a WAN port and four LAN ports on it.

I don't think that there is an option on the M4 to choose whether it's an Access Point or Router. Surely it has to be set up as an Access Point, as there's no capability to be a router? Certainly on the M4, the instructions state that you need a "modem" to connect to. Whilst turning off the wifi and using the DHCP server on the Plusnet router isn't really a modem, as there is no modem mode (like there was on my old Virgin Superhub) it's all I can do.

All I can say - it works a treat.

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Aspiring Champion
Posts: 1,150
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Registered: ‎22-10-2015

Re: TP-Link Deco M4 Whole Home Mesh Wi-Fi System

While I can see what you are trying to achieve, why turn off the Wifi on the PN router. I'd have thought more Wifi sources the better.

Ever helpful. Grin Sure, I’d love to help you out. Now which way did you come in?
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Dabbler
Posts: 14
Thanks: 2
Registered: ‎27-03-2020

Re: TP-Link Deco M4 Whole Home Mesh Wi-Fi System

Because having an integrated mesh solution means that you can move through any part of the network and connect to the nearest mesh device seamlessly. You don't know that you have changed connection. You can set up numerous separate routers with the same SSID and password, but if you move between routers, the connection will drop as you log on to the new router. If you are on a Skype or Whatsapp voice or video link, the call will be dropped and you have to redial. With a mesh network, this doesn't happen.

The main mesh device is situated close to the router anyway, so if you left the Plusnet wifi on, I'm sure it would just interfere.

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Aspiring Champion
Posts: 1,150
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Registered: ‎22-10-2015

Re: TP-Link Deco M4 Whole Home Mesh Wi-Fi System

Something I hadn't thought of. Thanks

Ever helpful. Grin Sure, I’d love to help you out. Now which way did you come in?
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Hooked
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎07-04-2020

Re: TP-Link Deco M4 Whole Home Mesh Wi-Fi System

All up and running now after some trial and error. There are two possible configurations with Deco M5:

1. The first Deco unit is set as the router for the mesh system and the existing router is bridged to function as modem only (not possible with Plusnet Hub One) or

2: The Deco is configured in Access Point mode whereby the original router is still used. This is the only option if keeping the Hub One rather than adding a 3rd party modem. Unfortunately the Deco setup through the app defaults to option 1 and has to be changed via advanced settings but once done, the setup is pretty straightforward.

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Newbie
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎28-04-2020

Re: TP-Link Deco M4 Whole Home Mesh Wi-Fi System

@norwegian 

I too have been having some issues with the wifi range of the Hub One (been through the process of splitting the bands and now gone back as it was unbearable) and have been seriously considering The Deco M5 to boost things around the home. How are you finding things with the Deco set up in Access Point mode?

I'm not really sure of the difference (in terms of results) between Router mode and Access Point mode but having the Hub One I see I don't have much choice between the two - unless I buy a better router/modem combi like the BT Home Hub 6 or newer and bridge that? 

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Dabbler
Posts: 14
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Registered: ‎27-03-2020

Re: TP-Link Deco M4 Whole Home Mesh Wi-Fi System

I've tried both ways - Access Point and Router mode.I've got both a BT Business Hub and the Hub One. I can't tell the difference between the two. My tests showed no measurable difference in throughput with any of the speed test sites. I'd just connect it to the Hub One and then turn off the Hub One wireless.

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Hooked
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎07-04-2020

Re: TP-Link Deco M4 Whole Home Mesh Wi-Fi System

As far as I'm aware, there is no performance difference between Router and Access mode. Everyone at home is very happy with the new setup. We are in apx 3000sq ft house with mainly solid brick internal walls and have placed two points at opposite corners on the ground floor and one upstairs - wifi seems strong in every room. The app is pretty cool too as you can see which device is connected to which access point although it is sometimes slow to register changes. Speed tests on my iPhone show ~32MBps which is not far off my best ethernet connection speed on my PC.  

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Newbie
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎28-04-2020

Re: TP-Link Deco M4 Whole Home Mesh Wi-Fi System

Thanks both - I'll crack on with the M5 into the Hub One option then. Sounds positive.

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Newbie
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎28-04-2020

Re: TP-Link Deco M4 Whole Home Mesh Wi-Fi System

Hi there, I live in a single storey house of 12 rooms (4 bedrooms, kitchen, utility, dining room, study, living room, bathrooms and cloakroom). The attic is one huge open space. Should I place the three nodes in the open space above the living areas for optimum reception or place them on the ground floor?

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Moderator
Moderator
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Registered: ‎11-01-2008

Re: TP-Link Deco M4 Whole Home Mesh Wi-Fi System

You don't put the nodes in the same area, you'd put them on different floors for example.
I'd have thought there would be an app for best placing of the units.
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