Recently I received the Deco m5 or the Deco AC1300. A whole home mesh WIFI unit that is designed to offer a wide range of features at the tips of your fingertips. I have recently been using Vodafone’s NBN Wifi Modem and was relatively happy with it except for when I hit dead spots in my garden, shed and front driveway. The Vodafone WIFI Hub also offered 4g in times of nbn outages. So I had some sacrifices to make. Or did I?
Firstly I installed the first M5. I have 3 to give me full coverage of the property. Here I was all ready for a full 4 hours of setting up the WIFI unit and setting all the settings etc. But no, this was easy to set up. I mean easy. I downloaded the Deco app, plugged in and turned on the unit and followed the steps on my smartphone. I kid you not the process took me about 3 minutes. The main thing to remember is that you need to make the name of the M5 and the password the same as the last router you had. This made everything connect automatically without any problems. I kid you not i have about 40 devices in the house and not one of them had problems connecting to the M5. Installing the next 2 M5’s was easier than the first one. For install and set up i don’t think it could be any easier.
Design – This is a pleasant area for me to look at, now i’m the man of the house but i don’t pay too much attention to how things look. Heck it took me 3 years to realise there was a new tissue box cover in the house. However the Deco M5’s have a minimalist design and offer a clean modern look. 1 of these is only 3.8cm tall and 12cm wide. The last one I had was about 4 times the size of this. These are streamlined and look good in any home. They are also easy to tuck out of the way if you don’t want people to see them so not only does it paint your home in wifi it also makes it invisible.
Day to Day use, the Deco M5’s have been flawless for me since i started using them in terms of day to day use. I don’t have any disconnects at all no matter where i stand on the property and the signal is strong. I have one in the front garage and one in my daughter’s bedroom at the back of the house and the main unit in the centre of the house. Out of the 40 devices we have 30 are always connected. Not once have i heard anyone in the house complaining of buffering. The network will have on a Friday night 3 TVs streaming media and 2 phones. No lag, no buffering. I actually haven’t had to prioritise any devices, which is a great feature to have but simply i havent had to use it. No Dead Zones, One SSID, too easy. I can also use IFTTT and alexa, sadly no google yet. I can also pair smart lights although third party use is limited. Unfortunately i cannot access tp link cameras through it at this stage. The connection is also seamless across the house so if i walk from the front to the back it doesn’t have to reconnect to the different routers.
Security – Due to its ease of use the security features on the M5 are easy to find, easy to understand and easy to control. From your home screen you can turn on or off the Trend Micro Features
- The Malicious content filter
- The intrusion Prevention System
- The infected device quarantine
All of which are self explanatory and easy to navigate. For me the real features come into the user profile set up where i can set the rules for users. Having young children and teenagers in the house I have a little bit more control over what comes into the lounge room via the internet. I can make it device specific too so i don’t monitor what my adult children do however my 7 yr old is restricted by time and content type.
Areas to improve –
- when setting a time limit for individuals it doesn’t take into account the app running in the background. Example it cuts my daughters internet use off every day even if she hasn’t physically used it as her phone is always connected. Then I have to manually unlock it. Don’t get me wrong, i’m the parent and i need to act like one at all times but this was slightly frustrating.
- I did have 4g back up from my providers modem. It would be nice to retain that. If I get an internet outage i can plug in my old router but it still would have been nice to retain this in the M5’s.
- I cannot add tp link cameras at the time of writing.
To some it all up, simplicity is the key here. They were simple to set up, simple to use, they have simple clean minimalistic design and are aesthetically pleasing. The price, ease of use when it comes to setting them up and using them on a daily basis makes the negatives easy to overlook. If you are in the market for a mesh wifi system then this has got to be in your bag for consideration.