Disappointing Deco X20 — 200 Mbps on a 1GB fiber connection :(

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Disappointing Deco X20 — 200 Mbps on a 1GB fiber connection :(

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Disappointing Deco X20 — 200 Mbps on a 1GB fiber connection :(
Disappointing Deco X20 — 200 Mbps on a 1GB fiber connection :(
2023-01-20 03:40:35 - last edited 2023-01-20 03:45:49
Tags: #Speed
Model: Deco X20  
Hardware Version: V2
Firmware Version: 1.1.3 Build 20211103 Rel. 32888

TL/DR: This supposedly "1800 Mbps" router can't break 250 Mpbs; the Netgear router it's meant to replace runs circles around it. What gives?

 

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I bought a used Deco X20 this week, hoping to replace a Netgear AC wifi router that has never performed as expected. My home has a 1GB fiber connection, and my 2021 M1 MacBook Pro is usually connected via ethernet through the router. With that setup, I generally get ~230 Mbps on wifi and 900 Mpbs on ethernet.

 

The 5 Ghz range around our home is mediocre, so I wanted to finally kick that router to the curb and get a mesh/wifi 6 system. After reading reviews on several options, this one seemed like a solid price/performance choice. It has not turned out that way so far.

 

After setting up the Main unit, which is just under my desk, I am getting — at best~220 Mbps on wifi and 250 Mbps on ethernet. And yes, I have isolated the latter, right now I have wifi turned off on my MBP and I can't even break 100 Mbps. 🤦🏻‍♂️

 

I've tested with an older MBP and my iPhone, the results are the same. This late model MBP has an 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 card, if the Deco X20 supports up to 1800 Mbps then I should have no trouble getting close to my fiber speed of 900 Mbps, but at the very least I should be matching that speed with ethernet! 

 

Am I missing something here? I've gone through every setting I can find in the app and online dashboard.

 

Other things I have tried:

 

  • Fully reset the router, I started with it that way last night.
  • Made sure the firmware was up to date, it is.
  • Ran "Network Optimization."
  • Identified the ideal 5 Ghz channel, at least with the Netgear in place — 149. But of course I can't change that with the Deco, it's stuck on 40 (I had read that the admin for this was simpler than usual, but WOW it is anemic).
  • Turned off UPnP, turned on IPv6 (though I don't know if my broadband uses that).

 

Any help is appreciated. If this doesn't turn around then I'm back to square one and will have to resell this system.

 

 

Edit: I meant to include the wifi specs that my MBP is seeing...

 

IP Address: 192.168.---.---
Router: 192.168.68.1
Security: WPA2 Personal
BSSID: 1e:5f:67:58:65:9
Channel: 40 (5 GHz, 80 MHz)
Country Code: US
RSSI: -30 dBm
Noise: -89 dBm
Tx Rate: 1,200 Mbps
PHY Mode: 802.11ax
MCS Index: 11
NSS: 2

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Re:Disappointing Deco X20 — 200 Mbps on a 1GB fiber connection :(
2023-01-20 17:33:16

  @Whitfield,

For such a drastic difference in speed, I would assume that your QoS settings may be attempting to manage the bandwidth between the device and the network. I would recommend manually setting the QoS from the Deco App to what you are expecting to receive from your ISP.

Also, I want to make sure that you are using the Deco App for configuration, rather than the web interface. The web interface is being developed and currently is very bare bones and is meant for use when people cannot connect to their wireless network, the Deco App is far more configurable and has additional options for some settings. 

 

Last thing that helps most people improved their overall speed is that they will change the DNS settings to a common service such as Cloudflare or Google.

 

 

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#2
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Re:Disappointing Deco X20 — 200 Mbps on a 1GB fiber connection :(
2023-01-20 17:49:13

Thanks for the suggestions, @Riley_S, but I'm afraid that didn't get me anywhere. I set the QoS to 1024 up and down (the max allowed, and my network occasionally does hit that mark) and chose my MBP as one of the "fast" devices, but the speed test didn't change, still about 200 Mbps. 

 

I'm a bit confused by your second suggestion. As a web designer, I'm familiar with using Cloudflare as a CDN in DNS settings, but I've never heard of applying anything like that to a local network. I'm not sure where in the app I would change that.

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#3
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Re:Disappointing Deco X20 — 200 Mbps on a 1GB fiber connection :(
2023-01-20 19:39:03

  @Whitfield 

 

You can learn more about where the DNS settings FAQ: Changing the DNS Settings for a Deco Network

 

Depending on your location to the DNS servers, the connection quality can dramatically increase. Any Wi-Fi router will be shipped with a default DNS service that is being used. For ISP routers/gateways, they will often use the DNS server provided by your ISP... For TP-Link we provide a DNS server that comes default, as the cost of using another companies service can be extreme or unreliable in terms of security. 

 

I usually recommend changing the server to Cloudflare's, or Google's DNS servers as they tend to have the best connections and have the most widespread availability of servers.

 

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The fact that you seem to have reached a hard cap of 200mbps no matter what you do, wired or wireless, leads me to believe that your router is not actually receiving the full bandwidth from your modem. If for instance the ports negotiated to 1000 half duplex, rather than full duplex; the speed would be cut in half, and then the wireless connections would have further falloff as a result of the nature of wireless communications and overhead. 

 

Even though your TX is 1200, that is only describing the connection between the device and the network, this does not account for anything further upstream.

Just in case, try changing the Ethernet cable running between the modem and router, as these are subject to degradation and can go bad over time.

 

I would reboot the network's modem with and without the main deco attached to see if the port negotiation was incorrect and is fixed when rebooted.

 

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If you have a network switch in your setup or availiable, you may also try to attach this between your Deco and Modem, while the other ports cannot be used to attach the device to the network, the negotiation between the deco and a switch is sometimes more stable than the deco having to negotiate with a specific ISPs modem.

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Re:Disappointing Deco X20 — 200 Mbps on a 1GB fiber connection :(
2023-01-21 18:50:46 - last edited 2023-01-21 18:55:02

Thanks for the additional ideas, @Riley_S! That's really interesting re: the DNS, now I'm remembering the whole '1.1.1.1' thing that appeared a few years ago, I think I set that on whatever router I was using then and totally forgot about it. :) I've changed it as such (with 1.0.0.1 as the alternate) but it doesn't seem to have had any effect in terms of speed. 

 

I had taken for granted that replacing the old router with the Deco with the same wire in the same place should produce the same or better results, so I failed to mention that I do have a switch in our network, for reasons that aren't worth going into. The setup is:

 

ONT > ethernet switch > router

 

I decided to try plugging the Deco directly into the ONT output to see if that changed anything, but this doesn't appear to have made a difference either, even after fully killing power to the ONT and restarting it. :/ I'm wondering if I should reach out to the ISP?

 

Edit: I've also wondered if resetting one of the other two bases and trying that as the Main unit might be a good test? That would imply that the one I chose has an actual fault in it. 🤷🏻‍♂️

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#5
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Re:Disappointing Deco X20 — 200 Mbps on a 1GB fiber connection :(
2023-01-23 23:07:34

  @Whitfield,

Normally, adding a switch here doesn't have an impact, as long as you are not attempting to add other devices to the switch. However, some switches when they are connected will provide a separate address from what the ISP router is providing. This was actually used to fix a lot of users that had difficulty with the way that the Starlink Gateway would communicate with third-party routers.

 

I did see that you have an update available for your Deco X20. If you have Verizon as an ISP; it is possible that this update will fix the behavior, as this update was released immediately following a beta firmware for certain deco models working with Verizon. Make sure that you have checked for an update to the deco through the application, otherwise the firmware can be manually updated from the web interface. You can learn more about the steps on how to do so here: https://www.tp-link.com/us/support/faq/1599/

 

 

I do not think that your ISP will have very many solutions for you, other than sending a technician out to test the speed of the lines; which you know is already beyond what can be received through the Deco right now.

 

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#6
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Re:Disappointing Deco X20 — 200 Mbps on a 1GB fiber connection :(
2023-01-24 16:51:49 - last edited 2023-01-24 16:59:58

  @Riley_S I just took out a x20 system for the same issues. Units say x25 on the bottom, 1gb down and 40 up connection when ran through the deco as router I get 240 wired max, same on Wi-Fi. Pitiful 4mb up max. This is with nothing at all connected to them except one desktop connected to the primary Deco via Ethernet. No QoS ever turned on.
 

When set to access point mode and ran through an older netgear router I get 600-680 down. 
 

This is new behavior, worked fine for several months, though max speed always topped out around 700 down. Recently performance plummeted, not sure if there's a bad firmware out there or what. Does not matter what unit is the primary Deco, all perform the exact same, 240 down and 2-4 up. 
 

I replaced them with a Deco 5400pro setup yesterday and the new setup works fine. I added the new units one at a time and then removed the old x20 ones using the app and everything is fine now, 970 down and 39 up in testing. As these were added to existing deco setup that means all settings are the same exactly, so it's not a setting issue, it's a firmware or hardware issue on the x20.

 

This was with Spectrum Cable, not Verizon. Was on latest firmware.

 

 

 

Edit to add more info - hard rest the x25 Deco units and took one elsewhere and connected it to an x68 Deco network. Hardwired performance on this new network also maxes out at 250mb down, though it is just a satellite unit it has a perfect strong connection and still only 250 down when on this new network. Very strange.

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#7
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Re:Disappointing Deco X20 — 200 Mbps on a 1GB fiber connection :(
2023-01-24 17:00:55 - last edited 2023-01-24 17:02:32

Oh wow, glad I didn't have a chance to do any more troubleshooting! This post is validating, @SpiderLANit suggests that there really isn't anything I can do at the moment, the TPL engineers need to be aware that this is happening.

 

That said, since I do have a router that is working (poorly in isolation, but with strong ethernet speed), I wonder if switching the entire Deco network to AP mode would get me where I want to go. Would this setup work?

 

ONT > Netgear router > (ethernet) Deco Main > (wifi) Deco children

 

I haven't tried AP mode in years and this is my first mesh product, so I have no idea if the children/nodes will work like this if the Main is set to AP mode. 

 

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Oh, and one edit that relates to the previous post: we don't use Verizon either, we're on Ziply fiber, so that latest firmware isn't likely to help unless it contains more than that one fix.

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#8
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Re:Disappointing Deco X20 — 200 Mbps on a 1GB fiber connection :(
2023-01-24 17:14:14

  @Whitfield Yes, try access point mode and see what you get. That fixed me temporarily to adequate speeds at least. In the app you just switch them to access point mode, then connect one to your router and you are all set. Takes a couple seconds in the app to do, you should see improvement I expect.

 

Definitely an issue with the x20 series that even hard resets do not fix. Hope they are able to update and resolve it soon, until then use AP mode to get by.

 

Shut off wireless altogether on your old router also, will keep it from interfering with the Decos.

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#9
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Re:Disappointing Deco X20 — 200 Mbps on a 1GB fiber connection :(
2023-01-24 17:19:30

  @Whitfield,

Unfortunately, our engineering team is actually on Holiday at the moment, but they will be back in a few days. We usually hear back very quickly when they return from holiday.

I would definitely still recommend updating your firmware to the most recent version. Each firmware update seems to add a bunch of new features and optimizations, even if they are not listed below the firmware update. Even though you may not use Verizon, the behavior over a fiber connection was the same and the fix may still apply to your setup.

 

You can always use the nodes in AP mode such as this, many people are limited to setting up their network like this if they are in an apartment or share a public IP address with other people. It would be worth attempting to set them up in AP mode to make sure they are receiving the full connection when not managing the network.

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#10
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Re:Disappointing Deco X20 — 200 Mbps on a 1GB fiber connection :(
2023-01-24 17:24:55

Terrific, thanks guys! I'll try the firmware update first in case that does fix the problem then give AP mode a shot.

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#11
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