Differences between Deco Mesh, OneMesh, and Range Extenders

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A brief introduction to Deco, OneMesh™, and Range Extenders

In the article below each type of network is summarized not to detail, but to give a general sense of what benefit each one has. This can be used more as a reference on what you plan to move forward with, as there is still a great deal of information not included in this article.

Here is a chart that shows the basic points that each networking device has when compared to the others:



Range Extender

-Dynamic dedicated backhaul, Deco creates the fastest path between devices

-Create a mesh network with existing TP-Link hardware

-Can work with any manufacturer router

-Network is managed by one app, locally and remotely

-Cost is lower compared to Deco mesh

-Lowest priced solution compared to Deco and OneMesh™

-Coverage area of approx. 1800 – 3000 sq. feet per unit (depend on model) with a max of 10 units on a mesh network

-Can be managed on a computer browser or app

-Quick to install

-Able to monitor network activity of any connected device

-Able to have one network name for both bands or a custom name for each band

-Can customize extended Wi-Fi name


  • Deco Mesh

The mesh system replaces your router and range extenders with an intelligent Wi-Fi system made up of multiple units working together seamlessly. Deco maintains a single network throughout your home, so you only see one network name and need only one network password. It ensures the best connection to all your devices, even when moving from room to room. Management of the network is done through an app on your smartphone, not with a computer browser like typical routers. Our Deco system does have the ability to be accessed through a web browser that gives information about your network and system logs. As the image demonstrates below how the system works, but also shows you do not need an additional router as the Deco mesh system is the router.


Key benefits to a Mesh network are:

Adaptive Routing

While a user is connected to the Mesh network, in the backend the Deco units determine the fastest route to get your data across the network. This will always change, a route that was determined to be best when you are on the second floor, will not be the same when you are on the first floor.



Deco units are designed to work as one network so when one node goes offline, the network still stays up. What will happen is the nodes will communicate with one another to find an alternative router for the connected devices. Should the downed Deco unit come back online the best route for a connected device will be established again.


Dedicated Backhaul

Depending on the Deco model, it will utilize a wired or wireless backhaul – or both. This backhaul acts as a means of dedicated mesh communication between each of the Deco units within your network. Having this dedicated path for the Deco nodes to communicate allows your connected devices to maintain full, unimpeded network bandwidth.


Managing the network

Normally you would turn on your PC, open a web browser, then log into the router using an IP address. With Deco, you instead use the Deco app on your smartphone to set up and manage the network; not a web browser. After the Deco units are set up you can access all their available features, such as parental controls, or set up a guest network. The Deco app also allows for remote management; you will have access to all available features even when you are away from your network.


  • OneMesh™

Without replacing your existing devices or buying a whole new Wi-Fi ecosystem, OneMesh™ helps you create a flexible and cost-effective network that covers your entire home with TP-Link’s OneMesh™ products.

Key benefits to a OneMesh™ network are:


The intention of OneMesh™ is to provide an affordable alternative to users who want to experience a mesh network without having to invest a great deal of money. In order to begin utilizing OneMesh™ a compatible router will need to be installed (https://www.tp-link.com/us/onemesh/compatibility/). Next, a OneMesh™ compatible extender or powerline adapter will be needed.

Band Steering / AP Steering

Similar to the Deco adaptive routing, a OneMesh™ network is able to assign the client the best wireless band (2.4GHz or 5GHz) depending on the demand needed. Additionally, OneMesh™ can provide the connected client with recommended devices to connect to. For example, if a user gets closer to a RE300, the connected device will be advised by the network to switch over. This is also known as roaming which you see in a Deco mesh network.

Central Management

Settings for all devices on a OneMesh™ network will be handled by the installed OneMesh™ compatible router. When expanding your network, you can add an extender with WPS, or by utilizing the extender’s alternative setup options. When making changes on your OneMesh™ network, all settings will be synchronized across OneMesh™ devices, so you do not need to configure each individually


  • Range Extenders

TP-LINK’s range extenders connect you to your router wirelessly, strengthening and expanding its signal into areas it can’t on its own. Range extenders have been the go-to solution when it came to expanding your network. Range extenders do offer quick solutions and can make sense for people seeking extra coverage.

An important point to make about using range extenders is that having the same network name for your router and extender is not a mesh network. It may seem that you have a mesh network having only one network name showing up. What will happen is that your client device will switch between the router and extender depending on what that device has set for thresholds. This can be where the device will stay connected to the router until the signal is gone or switch depending on the signal strength. The router and extender do not have any control or say where your client device will connect to. This why if this setup is done, having different wireless network names works best to avoid issues or false impressions the extender is not working giving weak signals.


Key benefits to a Range Extender network are:



Our range extenders can be installed with almost any wireless router. This gives a great deal with flexibility when it comes to choosing an extender.


Range extenders are available at a very affordable price. A popular model of ours is the TL-WA855RE which depending on the retailer can be around the $20 or less range. There are higher priced models such as the RE450, but in the end can be a cheap alternative.

Time to set up

Should everything go smoothly, setting up an extender can take a couple of minutes. It can be a matter of pushing the WPS button on the router, and then on the extender. Other means of setting up a TP-Link extender can be done utilizing the Tether app which walks you through each step.

Giving Wi-Fi to a specific area

A common need for an extender would be for a doorbell or security camera. In cases like that the client device will not move and just needs an adequate wireless signal. You can still move throughout your residence, but you will need to connect to whichever network device you are close to. Usually, the client device will automatically jump to another wireless network, but there are times it will not.


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Absolutely maddening that OneMesh devices can't work with Deco and vice-versa.


Also infuriating that the Archer AX50, which was previously listed as planned to get OneMesh firmware upgrade, will no longer receive it.


Be very careful when buying TP-Link products because of the incompatibility issues and broken promises on future updates.