This Linksys Velop MX4200 vs. TP-Link Deco X5700 matchup is basically about Linksys vs. TP-Link as two home networking brands. That’s because they deliver similar values, despite some noticeable differences.
(Note: Technically, the 2-pack Linksys has the model MX8400 number, and the 3-pack is MX12600, which I reviewed. But to avoid confusion, I’ll call the set that of a single unit: MX4200. Also, in my testing method, a 2-pack will deliver the same performance result as a 3-pack.)
These two mesh systems have a few things in common.
First, they share a similar up-standing design that can topple fairly easily, and both use the same hardware units in a mesh setup. They are all a bunch of standalone-by-itself tri-band Wi-Fi 6 routers meshed together.
Both use a vendor-assisted approach via a mobile app, which you must use to set up and manage the network. And in a wireless setup, both use dynamic backhaul. The two also support wired backhaul.
And finally, their 2-pack share the same pricing of around $400.
The Velop MX4200 and Deco X5700 are more different than they are similar.
First of all, each Deco X5700 router comes with only two auto-sensing network ports, one of which is a 2.5Gbps multi-gig port — it can handle a multi-gig broadband connection. It has no USB port, so there’s no option for network storage.
The Velop MX4200, on the other hand, has one WAN port and three LAN ports, all gigabit. It also comes with a UB port to host a storage device. And it proved in my testing to be a decent mini NAS server.
In terms of Wi-Fi, the two share two common bands that cap at 1200Mbps (5GHz) and 576Mbps (2.4GHz).
Their 2nd 5GHz band is totally different, however. That of the Linksys is a 4×4 and of the Deco is a 3×3. However, the Deco supports the 160MHz channel width while Linksys doesn’t. As a result, the Deco can actually deliver faster performance.
In terms of setup and management, Linksys is a bit more flexible since it has a full web interface. Do you need to know a few tricks to get that to work through. Still, it’s better than Deco which requires the mobile app at all time.
The Linksys also comes with more settings and features right out of the box. The Deco requires a $6/month subscription to deliver what Linksys has, plus a protection feature that Linksys doesn’t. The difference on this front is not really earth-shattering, however.
Thanks to the multi-gig port and most importantly the support for 160MHz channel width, the Deco clearly edged out the Linksys as a single router. Its satellites also did better overall.
But either will be able to deliver a sub-Gigabit broadband connection in a large property. When used with multiple devices, they performed similarly in my trial.
The Linksys was also fast as a mini NAS server, as shown here, and you can connect a portable drive to each of the hardware units in a mesh setup.
Linksys Velop Tri-Band AX4200 Whole Home Mesh Router WiFi 6 System (MX12600)
- Reliable Wi-Fi with excellent coverage
- Helpful mobile app, full web interface
- Fast NAS speeds when hosting external drives
- Comparatively affordable
- No support for 160MHz channel bandwidth
- Mobile app (and login account) required for initial mesh setup
- Spartan Wi-Fi settings, modest feature set
- No multi-gig network ports, Dual-WAN or Link Aggregation
- No setting backup/restore
TP-Link Deco X5700 AX5700 Tri-Band Whole Home Mesh Wi-Fi 6 System
- Excellent Wi-Fi performance and coverage
- Tri-band with multi-gig port and 160MHz channel width support
- User-friendly, comparatively affordable
- Spartan Wi-Fi customization, network settings, and features
- Only one multi-gig port per hardware unit
- No USB or additional Gigabit network ports
- HomeSheild Pro requires a monthly subscription, limited web interface, impractical design
Which is a better choice?
Of the two, if you want multi-gig and 160MHz support, the Deco X5700 is clearly the better option. On the other hand, the Linksys MX4200 is the only one that can give you the support for built-in network storage.
Other than that, in my opinion, the choice between the two which vendor do you trust more. That’s because both will make your home network connect to a cloud-managed portal, resulting in a certain level of privacy risks.
By the way, to minimize the privacy impact, you can opt for the access point mode, which both support. That will work out well if you want to use them in tandem with your existing router or ISP-provided gateway.
Looking to compare other Wi-Fi solutions? Check them all out here.