As we acquire more and more mobile and smart home devices, it becomes quite clear that the average Wi-Fi router isn’t up to the job. The further away from it you are, the less reliable the connection, which can affect the speed or even whether you can get on the internet at all.

Unfortunately, modern homes aren’t exactly Wi-Fi friendly. Obstacles such as metal beams, thick walls and large appliances can weaken or interfere with your router’s Wi-Fi signal.

The new Deco PX50 from TP-Link tries to overcome these obstacles using not only typical Mesh Wi-Fi, but also Powerline technology. That means your home’s mains wiring carries data between each router, rendering those obstacles largely irrelevant.

It means you get a single network that offers excellent Wi-Fi coverage and speed throughout your whole property… and beyond.

Features & design

For this review, TP-Link sent the three-pack of the Deco PX50. In the box you will find three white units that are identical in size (165mm x 105mm), weight (330g), and features.

Usefully they each have 3 Gigabit Ethernet ports, and a cloverleaf-type power socket – the transformer and powerline tech is all built into the units.

An ethernet cable is provided so you can connect one of the Decos to your existing modem/router. Any of the three units can be used as the main one, with the other two (or more, if you buy extras) used as the receivers or ‘nodes’ which are placed around your home.

Setup is quite straightforward. There is no user manual: a quick setup guide asks you to start by downloading the Deco App on your mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet. Once installed you simply open the app and follow the step-by-step instructions.

This process takes just a few minutes, and we had our first Deco PX50 connected to the existing router and set-up as the main unit. After that, it’s simply a case of deciding where the other two Deco devices should be placed around the house, plugging them into a mains socket and again using the Deco App to add another unit.

You can name each so they’re easier to identify in the app. Last, it’s good practice to disable Wi-Fi on the old router to avoid interference with the new mesh system.

It’s plain to see the Deco PX50 provides a significant improvement in Wi-Fi coverage and especially when there are solid walls between rooms

In this reviewer’s typical three-bedroom British terraced house, there were some Wi-Fi blackouts especially in two of the upstairs bedrooms, which are one floor up and furthest away from the old ISP-supplied router.


In order to see how much of an improvement the PX50 would bring, we tested Wi-Fi coverage with the old router, and then, separately the PX50 system. Using the Netspot app, we went around the entire house, testing at various points to check signal strength.

You can see from the heat maps below how strong the coverage is on each floor with the old router installed.

Here’s how it looks with the PX50 installed.

It’s plain to see the Deco PX50 provides a significant improvement in Wi-Fi coverage and especially when there are solid walls between rooms. As you might expect, this was more apparent on the first-floor: the original Wi-Fi router performed surprisingly well throughout the ground floor despite several solid concrete walls.

Where the Deco PX50 really shines is its ability to eliminate the pesky blackspots upstairs, and because it also provided a decent Wi-Fi signal in the garden.

But what about the speed? Well, if you’re on typical UK broadband it’s likely this will the bottleneck. In other words, the PX50 provides much faster speeds than the 80Mbps you may be getting from your ISP.

So long as you don’t have full fibre with 900Mbps download speeds, you should be very happy with the PX50. And it’s also good for futureproofing, as the system should provide you with plenty of speed now and in future when your internet speed increases.

To test speed, we used Wi-Fi SweetSpots on a 2022 iPadAir and saw just over 800Mbps when within a meter of any of the 3 Deco devices. This suggests that the powerline tech does work, but not as advertised – more on that later)

Speeds dropped to about 550Mbps at 5m away from any node and had one wall between the iPad and node. At the furthest point – 7m (around 21ft) away from the Deco, we still got a very respectable 277Mbps.

Impressively, we could even get 141Mbps at the end of the garden, which is about 12m (almost 40ft) from the closest Deco, with a cavity brick wall in the way.

These speeds are nowhere near what you’ll see advertised on the box (2402Mbps with 5GHz and 574 with 2.4GHz) but are still very acceptable for the price.

One of the main reasons to choose the PX50 is because it has built-in powerline tech

Despite the claims of “AI-Driven Mesh” and “Seamless roaming”, the PX50 didn’t seem to be any smarter than other mesh system that don’t talk about AI, especially when it comes to handing off.

The process of changing over the connection of your phone, say, from one Deco unit to another could take a minute or more. This means that you could be connected to one downstairs, the walk upstairs but remain connected to the downstairs node for a while with a weaker signal and slower speed than when connected to the close-by node upstairs.

Plus, occasionally, the only way to force a handover was to turn the phone’s Wi-Fi off and on to get it to choose the Deco unit that was closest. But in general, this wasn’t a big issue, and not really noticeable in day-to-day use. It simply means you should take the “AI” talk with a pinch of salt. powerline

One of the main reasons to choose the PX50 over, say, the X50, is because it has built-in powerline tech. This means that although it’s technically only a dual-band Wi-Fi system, the fact it can send data to the other Deco devices using your existing home electrics means it’s really a tri-band system. And it use both “PLC” and Wi-Fi to communicate.

TP-Link claims speeds of up to 1428Mbps using “next generation” powerline. It isn’t the first to use it, though: Devolo has been taking advantage of this faster powerline technology for quite a while now, and claims speeds of almost 1Gbps more.

And just as with the theoretical Wi-Fi speed you see plastered on the box, we saw a maximum of 811Mbps and an average of 780Mbps when close to a Deco device – around half the advertised speed.

Since there is no way to turn off the powerline backhaul, it wasn’t possible to test the system with and without it to find out whether it could go faster (or slower) using Wi-Fi only.

As ever, your mileage may vary. Powerline speeds differ in different homes. But as this is only a six-year-old house, the electrics should be decent.

Deco app

The Deco app is mostly easy to use and understand. It’s a great way to check If all Deco units are connected to each other, if there are any problems, and how many devices are using the system.

You can create a guest network for when you want to temporarily and safely share your Wi-Fi password with friends and family. And you can even block certain devices from connecting altogether.

There are also extra features such as security, which scans your network for vulnerabilities and any intrusions, and parental controls, where you can set up profiles for your family members and set-up age-appropriate web filtering as well as bedtime restrictions.

The Parental Control restrictions can be a bit heavy-handed, preventing our son from accessing his school Google account among other things.

Unfortunately, to get access to all the features, you need to subscribe to HomeShield Pro which costs of £5.99 per month or £53.99 per year. You do get a free one-month trial to help you decide, but do note that you’ll still need proper antivirus software at least on your Windows and Android devices.

Price & availability

The 3-pack Deco PX50 costs £300, although you’ll find it cheaper than that from Amazon, where it was £239.99 at the time of review.

TP-Link also offers a 2-pack and you can buy single units to add to an existing system.

The company says a 3-pack is good for 6500 square feet of coverage, reducing to 4500 for a 2-pack and 2500 for a single unit.

In the US, a 3-pack is $299.99, but again Amazon sells it for less: $269.99 when we checked.

As it’s relatively new, it can be hard to find single units for sale, and even the 2-pack is not good value: where we could find it, it was more expensive than the 3-pack.

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