If you’re still using a “classic” blue and black router you bought two decades ago, the ultra-low $110 sticker price on this three-pack of TP-Link Mesh Wi-Fi system might finally convince you to supercharge your Wi-Fi. That’s an incredibly good price for a mesh router with a trio of units—this particular system is a good value even at its usual $150. Paying just $110 on Black Friday is bonkers.
You get three TP-Link Deco Mesh S4 routers in this package. Unlike your funky old router that works great when you’re in the room, but terrible in the garage or backyard, a mesh system lets you share the signal throughout your home. Even better, unlike the cheap Wi-Fi repeater system at your friend’s house that requires multiple funky network names such as JEFFREYS_WIFI_REPEATER_5GHZ, a mesh system lets you roam the house while remaining on one single signal.
With a mesh Wi-Fi system, you would set one unit up near your modem, plug the second unit in the living room and maybe drop the third unit in a room upstairs for maximum coverage. TP-Link says the kit is good to cover a typical home up to 5,500 square feet.
The Deco Mesh is a dual-band system, which means some of the bandwidth between the units is used as the “backhaul” connection, but since each unit has two gigabit ethernet ports, you could run a wired connection between all three as a “wired backhaul.” This is obviously easier for those with a home pre-wired with ethernet (many modern homes are) but by running a wired backhaul, you could essentially have the same or even better performance than far pricier tri-band systems running their wireless backhaul mode. But if you’re mostly concerned with just getting a signal to your garage in a reliable manner, running the standard wireless mesh mode should do just fine—much better than that ancient solo router you might be renting from your Internet provider.
Our last pitch for why you should replace that janky old router even if it means buying a new system? If you’re paying your ISP for faster Internet bandwidth but unable to take advantage of that it in most parts of your home, you’re paying for service you’re not using. It’s worthwhile to invest in a solid network backbone for your home—especially at this Black Friday deal price.
[Today’s deal: TP-Link Deco S4 Mesh Wi-Fi System for $110 at Amazon.com]
One of founding fathers of hardcore tech reporting, Gordon has been covering PCs and components since 1998.