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TP-Link Deco BE85 WiFi 7 Mesh

With time and increasing demand for faster internet speeds, wireless technologies are perpetually advancing. And now Wi-Fi 7 has finally entered the frame, and so is TP-Link’s new WiFi 7 mesh, Deco BE85.

Starting at $999, this mesh system sets a high ceiling for the WiFi 7 routers with its rich veil of features and resulting performance. Some notable ones include a BE22000 speed rating, two 10 Gbps ports, a vast range, a robust processor, and more.

But do all of these features justify the hefty price? Let’s find out!

TP-Link Deco BE85 Specs

Wireless StandardWi-Fi 7 (802.11be)
Aggregated SpeedBE22000
Band FrequencyTri-band
2.4 GHz Speed1376 Mbps
5 GHz Speed8640 Mbps
6GHz Speed11520 Mbps
WiFi Range9,600 Sq. Ft (for 3 units) 5,500 Sq Ft (for 2 units)
Maximum Device CapacityUp to 200 (3-unit), 150 (2-unit)
Ports1× 10 Gig LAN + 1× 10 Gig SFP+/RJ45 Combo
+ 2× 2.5 Gig LAN/WAN + 1× USB 3.0
Suitable Internet PlanUp to 10,000 Mbps
App SupportYes
QoS PrioritizationYes
MU-MIMOYes
Security StandardWPA3-Personal
Processor2.2GHz quad-core
RAM1GB
NAND Storage512MB
Dimensions5.04 x 5.04 x 9.29 inches
Weight9.66 pounds
Release Date,May 14, 2023,

TP-Link Deco BE85 WiFi 7 Mesh Review

As soon as TP-Link launched the BE85 WiFi 7 mesh system, I got my hands on it and started using it as a primary internet source for my two-story home.

During a one-month period, I tested this mesh system on various parameters like speeds, WiFi range, security, device handling ability, and more, and presented my honest opinions in the subsequent sections.

Wireless Speeds & Suitability

Supporting an 802.11be Wi-Fi 7 tech, the aggregated speed of Deco BE85 comes at BE22000, where the respective share on each band is as follows:

6GHz: 11520 Mbps5GHz: 8640 Mbps2.4GHz: 1376 Mbps

To test its potential, I used Google Fiber’s 2 Gbps plan. You can however pair any higher-speed plans if needed. And despite its limited compatibility, I got my hands on the new 15-inch MacBook Air to collate the results.

When up close to the primary router node at about 40 feet, I got a throughput of 1.95 Gbps for downloads and 1.87 Gbps for uploads.

At 70 feet, the test device received download and upload speeds of 1.78 Gbps and 1.49 Gbps, respectively. Meanwhile, at the furthest point, the BE85 delivered a whopping 988 Mbps for downloads, surpassing the WiFi 6E mesh systems out there.

Other than that, I also used my WiFi 6E-supported iPhone 13 for speed tests. And at 30 feet, it received 1.61 Gbps of data. This shows the value of using the ultra-wide 320 MHz channel of WiFi 7 than the 160 MHz channel width of WiFi 6E.

After connecting my gaming console and smart TVs, I streamed 8K videos on my MacBook, listened to music on my iPad, and ran through my emails and official updates.

Additionally, there’s an MLO (Multi-link Operation) feature that lets you simultaneously connect to three bands to boost speeds, minimize latency, and improves reliability.

This is one of the major improvements in WiFi 7 over WiFi 6 and 6E where you connect to an individual band at a time.

Overall, the Deco BE85 WiFi 7 mesh system had an excellent performance in my 3,700 Sq Ft two-story house. And passing my informal saturation test was smooth sailing.

WiFi Coverage & Devices Capacity

TP-Link Deco BE85 Wifi Range and Devices Capacity

Each unit of Deco BE85 is equipped with 8 high-gain beamforming internal antennas to send a stream of data over long distances.

Although its 9,600 Sq Ft stipulated range with its three units is great but it’s no better than your existing WiFi 6E broadcasters. This is quite expected as the signal range is limited to the frequency.

With three units installed, you can expect a space of about 9,100 Sq Ft to be easily covered with powerful signals. And with two-unit, the range is limited to around 5,200 Sq Ft, with theoretical values standing at 5,500 Sq Ft.

Paired with powerful antennas, there’s 4×4 MU-MIMO and OFDMA tech that lets the mesh system communicate with multiple clients simultaneously. At a time, I could connect to up to 121 devices without affecting the signal strength.

It includes almost every available smart device like laptops, computers, smartphones, smart lights, smart speakers, and others.

Design & Wired Connectivity

TP-Link Deco BE85 Design

Following the footsteps of previous generation mesh kits, TP-Link WiFi 7 units are white cylindrical towers.

With the dimensions of 5.0 x 5.0 x 9.2 inches, they stand taller and broader than most mesh systems available out there. And weighing 9.66 pounds, it’s also heavier than any.

There’s a “7” and a “deco” logo imprinted at the front, and a single LED bar underneath. You can only see them glowing at night, where green means the network is connected and red means it’s gone. You can turn these off using the Deco app.

TP-Link BE85 WiFi 7 Ports

On the rear side of each unit, there are two 10 Gig Ethernet ports (one is an ethernet/fiber combo), two 2.5 Gig ports, and a USB 3.0 port. With a 10 Gig port, you have access to 9.86 Gbps data speed, provided you have the right plan.

This is also one of the few mesh routers that come with a high-speed USB port.

TP-Link Deco BE85 Setup

TP-Link Deco BE85 Setup

Like most mesh WiFi systems, installing and setting up Deco BE85 was super easy. To start, you’ll plug the main router unit into the modem using an ethernet cable and into the power plug. Wait for a few seconds for it to turn on, during which install the Deco app and create an account.

Open it to let the app detect the router, and once it does, follow the mentioned steps to complete the setup. Then you need to add the nodes by going to the Network tab, tap + and select a Deco unit. That’s it.

Security Features

TP-Link is always concerned about the security of its users and has HomeShield Basic and HomeShield Pro on offer.

The HomeShield basic software is free and includes several handy features like WPA3 encryption, access control, SPI firewall, and guest network.

It lets you manually block particular categories of websites like YouTube, Facebook, and others, and set a time up till which a user can access the internet.

The pro feature is rather advanced and requires you to subscribe by paying $5.99 per month or $54.99 per year. You get added features like real-time IoT protection, and intrusion prevention.

Malicious site blocker, DDoS attack prevention, and home network scanner. These are rather useful in corporate settings that deal with sensitive and important data regularly.

Price, Warranty & Availability

The three-unit TP-Link Deco BE85 is priced at around $1499 while its two-pack costs around $999. It comes with a two-year manufacturer’s warranty and is available to purchase from Amazon.

Hardware & Other Features

Aside from an extraordinary wireless capability, a mesh router needs powerful hardware to complement it well. And BE85’s 2.2GHz quad-core processor paired with 512MB flash storage and 1GB RAM is nothing short of a beast. During my three weeks of testing, none of my tasks including gaming, streaming, and others had a skip, frame-freeze, or glitch.

TP-Link Deco BE85 User reviews

“I was always a fan of TP-Link and now they have their first WiFi 7 router. And with the overall performance it achieved, I couldn’t be happier.”

Joseph A Green

“WiFi 7 is a new thing, and the wireless standard is not yet launched. But I wanted to future-proof my home network, and this Deco BE85 does just that. It filled my entire house with true gigabit speeds and congestion-free network connectivity.”

Emilia L Harris

“With a 2 Gbps plan, I got about 1.7 Gbps in most parts of my home with TP-Link’s WiFi 7 mesh network. That’s more than enough to satiate the hunger of my IoT devices.”

Matthew J Rodriguez

“I got a 2-pack variant of BE85 to set up at my new office, and I must say these work much better than my previous Deco M5. An expensive yet worthy upgrade.”

Victoria T Perez

“I was looking for a high-speed mesh WiFi for gaming, and at the same time, this thing got available. The powerful processor paired with QoS and multi-gig ports let me play Overwatch at 121 FPS despite running multiple streams in the background.”

Wyatt O Carter

“Almost had to empty my pocket to be able to afford it. But the performance I got was way beyond anything I ever experienced in a wireless network. Superb!”

Isla D Scott

Frequently Asked Questions

How fast is TP-Link WiFi 7 mesh?

With its wider channel and capacity gains from the 6 GHz band, Wi-Fi 7 can achieve peak speeds of up to 40 Gbps, four times than 6E.

What is the WiFi range of TP-Link Deco BE85?

The three-unit Deco BE85 has a theoretical coverage of 9,600 Sq Ft, while it’s around 5,500 Sq Ft for the two-pack system.

How many devices can you have on a TP-Link BE85?

With a main router and two nodes, TP-Link BE85 can connect to up to 200 devices.

Is it worth investing in Deco BE85 now?

If you have around $1000 and multiple data-hogging devices lying around, the features and performance it offers make it worthy of investment.

Conclusion

That’s it for my detailed review of the Deco BE85. WiFi 7 still has a lot uncovered that will be cleared up over time when manufacturers pair it with better hardware, and more compatible clients are available.

In the meantime, I can say that Deco BE85 is the best mesh router available. It’s very expensive but its features and overall performance make it worth investing in.

TP-Link Deco BE85 (2-Pack)
TP-Link Deco BE85 (2-Pack)
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