Deco M5 - Is there any advantage to running the Deco in Router mode rather than Access Point mode?

Deco M5 - Is there any advantage to running the Deco in Router mode rather than Access Point mode?
Deco M5 - Is there any advantage to running the Deco in Router mode rather than Access Point mode?
2020-11-21 17:07:56 - last edited 2020-11-21 17:13:46
Model: Deco M5
Hardware Version:
Firmware Version:

So I plan on adding a Deco into my network as follows:-

 

Currently:-

--internet --> [Sky Router] --ethernet--> [Switch] --ethernet--> [ALL DEVICES]

 

With Deco:-

--internet --> [Sky Router] --ethernet--> [Deco] --ethernet--> [Switch] --ethernet--> [ALL DEVICES]

 

Access Point mode

By using this mode I believe the Deco mesh will simply plug/slot into my existing network with no issue at all. All I'll do is turn off the wifi on my Sky Router, and set the Deco's wifi network to the same name. Done!

 

I'm not fussed about the loss of features such as:-

  • Antivirus
  • Parental Controls
  • Address Reservation
  • Device bandwidth control
  • etc

 

Router mode

To permit this I believe:-

  • I'd have to move my port forwarding rules (mentioned below) to the Deco.
  • I'd have to create a DMZ on the Sky Router to the Deco.
  • Risk things not being happy?

 

Network Concerns

I have a PC with Plex on and it runs gaming servers too. So it has a fixed IP, and has port forwarding rules to it (currently on the Sky Router).

 

With the Deco in Access Point mode I'd hope none of that would change and all would simply just work. The concern is, in Router mode, I may hit issues (eg: double Nat).

 

One Main Desire?

In the Deco application, I'd like to see realtime per device download and upload speeds (eg: The data download/upload to an IPad). Ideally for wireless devices and wired devices. Would I be able to do this both in Router Mode and Access Point mode?

 

SO, IS THERE ANY REAL BENEFIT TO ROUTER MODE?

So if the desires mentioned above are offered in Access Point mode, are there any benefits to Router Mode? Improved speed or any other odd things like that?

 

I believe the Mesh network/behaviour of say three M5 units is not effected by it being in Access Point mode or Router mode?

 

 

Thanks...

 

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8 Replies
Re:Deco M5 - Is there any advantage to running the Deco in Router mode rather than Access Point mode?
2020-11-21 21:26:16

@NeilF 

 

In scenario you descibed, there is no benefit of running Deco in router mode, just potential headaches. 

 

I had similar situation: home network configured the way I want, for wired and wireless devices, but WiFi signal from ISP provided Gateway unsatisfactory weak. Bought Deco nodes, set them in AP mode to provide WiFi coverage and very happy with results. 

 

I expect better performance from Deco in AP mode than in Router mode, just because it would not have to do all the stuff you correctly listed it does in router mode. Parental controls and device bandwidth control do not come for free.

 

If you go with Deco in AP mode, I suggest at the beginning you keep your current network configuration and plug Main Deco to one of available switch ports, such as:

 

--internet --> [Sky Router] --ethernet--> [Switch] --ethernet--> [ALL DEVICES including Main Deco]

 

The reason is, when you turn on Deco first time and start configuring it, it'll be in router mode by default and may start managing your network, until you reconfigure it into AP. So, for configuring just plug it to available switch port and move later if initial setup went without issues.

 

Also, this:

 

--internet --> [Sky Router] --ethernet--> [Deco] --ethernet--> [Switch] --ethernet--> [ALL DEVICES]

 

reduces your home network resiliency. You will depend on Deco doing everything right all the time. It should, in theory, but just read through these forums.

 

Of course, if you don't plug Deco in front of everything you have on your network, you won't have realtime per each device download and upload speeds. Yes, they are reported for both AP and Router modes. Yet, after looking at that report few times I now ignore it. The report is really real time with no historical data saved, not always accurate and occasionally delayed by a second or few. 

 

So, you choose: network resilliency or realtime bandwidth utilization reporting. Yet, whatever you choose, Deco in AP mode is the right mode for your network with your expectations. Just like it is for mine.

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Re:Deco M5 - Is there any advantage to running the Deco in Router mode rather than Access Point mode?
2020-11-21 22:04:06 - last edited 2020-11-21 22:05:10

@Alexandre. 

 

Hey! That's great help thanks!

 

I'll definately plug the Deco Router simply into the switch/router with nothing else attached to it just in order to configure it to AP mode.

 

Then I'll move it to:-

 

--internet --> [Sky Router] --ethernet--> [Deco] --ethernet--> [Switch] --ethernet--> [ALL DEVICES]

 

Later, I can shuffle the stuff to move wired elements off the Deco. eg: Move a number bits of the wired network off into the three available ethernet sockets I still have on my router, to take them away from the Deco's control.

 

 

 

 

BTW, which Deco did you go for. I think I'm down to the M5 (£150) or M4 (as newer and under £100) as my choice?

 

Again, thanks for the help!

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Re:Deco M5 - Is there any advantage to running the Deco in Router mode rather than Access Point mode?
2020-11-21 22:20:40

@NeilF 

 

I went with 2-pack M9, because I needed to wall mount one of them in narrow corridor and because I knew I will utilize M9 feature, which is backhaul on separate 5GHz channel. If not for backhaul, I would have chosen M5.

 

My only regret is I didn't buy 3-pack, so later bought single M5 for an ideal WiFi coverage in my house, and hardwired it. 

 

If you choose between M5 and M4, and form factor is not important for you, consider this:

 

1. M4 is slower on 2.4GHz comparing to M5: 300Mbps for M4 vs 400Mbps for M5. If you plan to run everything on 5GHz or your Internet speed is under 200Mbps, you probably won't see the difference.

 

2. M4 should have better heat dissipation than M5, because M4 is tall tower. If you plan to tunnel all your Internet to home network traffic through Deco, like it is on your final diagram, you'll probably be better with tower device, meaning M4. Especially, if later you decide you'd rather run Deco in router mode.

My M9/M5 Decos don't get hot, but all my heavy Internet using devices are hardwired and connected directly to ISP Gateway through switches. Decos just sit aside to provide WiFi to smartphones, tablets and IoT devices. I saw someone complaining on this forum their M5 is getting too hot to touch, which is too hot, indeed. 

 

 

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Re:Deco M5 - Is there any advantage to running the Deco in Router mode rather than Access Point mode?
2020-11-23 10:44:21 - last edited 2020-11-23 10:57:53

@NeilF Two further question if it's not too much bother:-

 

1) Is there a single list of devices attached to any/all of the mesh units? Or do you have to click into each of the mesh units, to look at the list of devices attached to each one? ie: If you want to see how much data an iPad is using, can you look at a single list of all devices attached to the mesh? Or do you have to click through the individual mesh units, and find the iPad in question?

 

2) Can you see if a device attached to the mesh is connected via 2.4hgz or 5hgz?

 

 

Many thanks again!

 

ps: Sorry a bonus question. Can you still create a Guest Network in AP mode?

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Re:Deco M5 - Is there any advantage to running the Deco in Router mode rather than Access Point mode?
2020-11-23 11:22:31

@NeilF 

Good day!

Please refer to the following information based on the latest firmware 15.1 of Deco M5:

  1. There would be a list which included all the online devices and when you chose the specific device, you could which Deco, which band it is connected to; also a list which showed how many devices under the specific Deco;
  2. But the APP did not support showing how much data the device had used;
  3. You could still have a guest network on the AP mode;

Thank you very much.

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Re:Deco M5 - Is there any advantage to running the Deco in Router mode rather than Access Point mode?
2020-11-23 12:33:11 - last edited 2020-11-23 14:03:29

@NeilF 

 

>Can you still create a Guest Network in AP mode

 

Yes, you can - but it does not mean what we think it should mean.

 

Devices on Guest Network in AP can see and can access Main Network. There is no separation between both networks.

 

What I am using Guest Network for is to separate WiFi bands: my Main runs on 5GHz only and Guest is set as 2.4GHz only for IoT devices that can only use 2.4GHz.

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Re:Deco M5 - Is there any advantage to running the Deco in Router mode rather than Access Point mode?
2020-11-23 13:11:32

@TP-Link Excellent... So in AP mode:-

1) You can see all devices (wireless and wired) attached to the mesh as a whole, and their download/upload speed.

2) You can drill into an individual mesh unit, and see the devices attached specifically to it.

3) You can drill into an individual attached device and see its details, including if its on the 2.4ghz or 5ghz network.

 

And this was shown for the M5, and I assume the same is true of the M4 Deco software?

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Re:Deco M5 - Is there any advantage to running the Deco in Router mode rather than Access Point mode?
2020-11-23 13:13:15

Ah, so the Guest Network is almost pointless in AP mode for its intended purpose (of being slightly more secure/easy to access). You may as well just give folks your real network name/password. OK thanks...

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