Thursday, April 22nd, 2021

Linksys Velop MX4200 vs. TP-Link Deco X5700: Which Vendor Do You Trust?

Deco X5700 vs Velop AX4200 4
Linksys Velop MX4200 vs. TP-Link Deco X5700: The former is available in 2- or 3-pack.

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.)

Linksys Velop MX4200 vs. TP-Link Deco X57000: Similarities

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.

READ  Wi-Fi 6 Explained in Layman's Terms: The Real Speed, Range, and More

Linksys Velop MX4200 vs. TP-Link Deco X57000: Hardware specifications

Full NameTP-Link Deco X5700 AX5700 
Whole Home Mesh Wi-Fi Router
Linksys Velop Tri-Band AX4200 
Whole Home Mesh Router
HardwareDeco X5700MX4200
Mesh AvailabilityMultiple identical routersMultiple identical routers
Dimensions (each unit)8.3 × 5.1 × 4.8 in 
(210.5 × 130 × 123 mm)
4.5 x 4.5 x 9.6 inches 
(11.43 x 11.43 x 24.38 cm)
Weight (each unit)1.6 lbs (722 g)2.5 lbs (1.33 kg)
Wi-Fi SpecsTri-band X5700AX4200
5GHz-1 BandAX: 3×3, up to 3843Mbps2×2: Up to 1200Mbp
5GHz-2 BandAX: 2×2, up to 1201Mbps4×4: Up to 2400Mbps
2.4GHz Band2×2: Up to 574Mbps2×2: Up to 574Mbps
Dedicated Backhaul BandDynamicDynamic
Wired Backhaul SupportYesYes
Processors1.5GHz Quad CoreQuad-core 1.4 GHz processor
MemoryUndisclosed512MB NAND flash and 1GB RAM
AP (bridge mode) SupportYes (as a single router or a system)Yes (as a single router or a system)
Channel Width Support20MHz, 40MHz, 80MHz, 160MHz20 MHz, 40 MHz, 80 MHz
Backward Compatibility802.11b/g/n/ac802.11b/g/n/ac
Mobile AppTP-Link Deco (forced)Linksys Velop (forced)
Web InterfaceYes (limited)Yes
Ports (each unit)1x Auto-Sensing1x Gigabit WAN, 3x Gigabit LAN
Multi-Gig Port1x 2.5Gbps Auto-SensingNone
Link AggregationNoneNone
Price (at launch)$399.99 (2-pack)$250 (1-pack), 
$399.99 (2-pack), 
$499.99 (3-pack)
Hardware specifications: TP Link Deco X5700 vs. Linksys Velop MX4200

Linksys Velop MX4200 vs. TP-Link Deco X57000: Differences

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.

Deco X5700 vs Velop AX4200 1
The Linksys Velop MX4200 has more network ports and a USB port compared to the TP-Link Deco X5700.

Linksys Velop MX4200 vs. TP-Link Deco X57000: Performance

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.

Linksys Velop MX4200 vs TP Link Deco X5700
(☆) 4×4 client (router) and and 3×3 client (satellite) / (★) Tests performed only on the router units.

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 MX4200 vs. TP-Link Deco X57000: Ratings

Linksys Velop Tri-Band AX4200 Whole Home Mesh Router WiFi 6 System (MX12600)

8.3

Performance

8.0/10

Features

8.0/10

Ease of Use

8.5/10

Value

8.5/10

Pros

  • Reliable Wi-Fi with excellent coverage
  • Helpful mobile app, full web interface
  • Fast NAS speeds when hosting external drives
  • Comparatively affordable

Cons

  • 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

8

Performance

8.0/10

Features

7.0/10

Design and Setup

8.5/10

Value

8.5/10

Pros

  • Excellent Wi-Fi performance and coverage
  • Tri-band with multi-gig port and 160MHz channel width support
  • User-friendly, comparatively affordable
  • Good-looking

Cons

  • Spartan Wi-Fi customization, network settings, and features
  • Only one multi-gig port per hardware unit
  • No USB or additional Gigabit network ports
  • HomeShield Pro requires a monthly subscription, limited web interface, impractical design

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.

9 thoughts on “Linksys Velop MX4200 vs. TP-Link Deco X5700: Which Vendor Do You Trust?”

  1. TP-Link AX5700 vs Linksys MX4200
    5GHz-1 Band AX: 3×3, up to 3843Mbps 2×2: Up to 1200Mbp
    5GHz-2 Band AX: 2×2, up to 1201Mbps 4×4: Up to 2400Mbps

    Question: why is it that the 4×4 5Ghz band from the Mx4200 is only 2400 compared tot he 3×3 5Ghz band from the TP-Link AX5700? Wouldn’t a 4×4 setup be more powerful than a 3×3? What am I missing here.

    Reply
    • I explained that in the Differences section, Recardo. Take a *real* read. You’ll miss everything if you don’t pay attention. 🙂

      Reply
  2. One would never, ever allow the two things above to be directly connected to the Internet. Neither company can be trusted. You should ALWAYS use a trustworthy firewall or firewalling router. Break this hard and fast rule, expect to be hacked. Research truly secure routers and firewalls on your own, so that you’ll believe!

    Reply
  3. BTW, I just realized one important factor about all of the TP-Link mesh devices. (All the one that required the use of their app and their TP-Link account). Aside from many privacy concern, which you should be. The other big concern you should worry about is, you are not buying a device, you are only leasing them. Even though you are paying full price like the other. These devices will only works at the pleasure of TP-Link, not you. And if the the Linksys one do “required” the Linksys account as well, meaning you cannot do a full management locally, then it’s just as bad.

    Imagined, TP-Link decided that it no longer want to support a certain device model and forcing you to buy a new one. It would simply disable the ability for you to do any management or even completely stop the device from working properly. Think your router start acting weird after using it for exactly 2 years and one week. Or it insist to drop a function or feature your entire network relied upon. Or unintentionally upgraded the firmware that block the WAN traffic and lock you out or messed up the authentication method. Not sure if you can factory reset them like a normal router since they are tied to your TP-Link account.

    Reply
  4. Probably neither. I was leaning on either getting Deco X60 or X5700 because of the price/value they delivered, but the more I read the more I want to stay away from. If I don’t have a full control of it, then I am not very owning it. I can have my OPNsense firewall block the other router(AP) from directly access the internet, meaning the auto firmware upgrade won’t work and I would be fine w/ that. All other stuff like NTP can be proxy via the router. But for these type of routers, I can’t do that otherwise they would be unusable. I ending up ordered a pair of used AX92U for about $300 instead. I probably will try to set them as AP and see if I can use the AP mode w/ Link Aggregation (there won’t be any single client that need more than 1gig anyway) while dealing w/ the hand off issue via tweaking the related setting manually.

    Reply
      • Do you believe Asus has the best firmware or is there another your partial to? Also, do you have any recommendations for high-end routers that do custom firmware? I currently use an R7000 with asus-merlin on it that I really like but it is starting to get long in the tooth. I was thinking of using the deco x60’s as AP’s only but wonder if the privacy stuff still comes into play. It does truly annoy me they won’t build a webgui in.

        Reply
        • I kinda agree w/ what Dong said. While I am not well verse in all the routers. I do own the Synology NAS as well. (brought off used as well. About $700 a few months ago.) In term of the Web UI, I very do think Synology is very good and stable. But not only that, Synology do keep all of they older devices up to date as well. If I took that as a sign of how Synology deal w/ other devices as well, then the Synology router firmware will be kept up to date for many many years. My old DS1812+ I brought used many year ago for about $500 still alive and kicking and still received firmware update. That is something I never have good experience with for about any router manufacturer. Which is why I intended to used them as AP only and have OPNsense be the actual gateway. But, very, the true is the best one is the the one w/ the most feature pack or the best bang for thr buck but the one that is best suite you. Thus I never ask what is good for me(given a rough situation) like other do. It is best to read and do research. Sit and let it soak, then do more digging and find out yourself which actually suite you best. Dong will never know you full situation. There are things that you could and do research yourself first like what are the best frequency range at certain part of the house. Thus sometime even if you are in a small house it is better to have two AP on diff frequency at each end if the house rather than one w/ super long long range in the middle. Also wireless devices are transmitting and receiving, so even if you buy the best AP with the longest and best penetrate the wall but your phone wont be able to response back then it is of no use. Will you even benefit or utilize the 5GHZ or the 6GHz?

          Reply

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