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TP-Link Deco BE63 Preview (vs. Deco BE85): A Potentially Sensible Canned Mesh Set for Most Homes

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Since I reviewed the Deco BE85—the very first and top-tier Wi-Fi 7 mesh system on the market—many of you have asked when or if I’ll review the TP-Link Deco BE63 Tri-Band Wi-Fi 7 BE10000 counterpart

The Deco BE63 is the mid-tier Wi-Fi 7 version for the U.S. market. In the E.U. or Asia, it’s available as the Deco BE65, which has one minor difference to be mentioned below.

The answer is unlikely. I just can’t test all Deco variants.

However, this quick preview will help you understand how this lesser alternative compares to its higher-end older cousin. After all, as Decos, they are very similar. Right off the bat, at the current street price of $700 for a 3-pack, the Deco BE63 seems an excellent deal for those not caring for the greatest of the latest.

TP-Link Deco BE63 Wi-Fi 7 Mesh
The TP-Link BE63 is available in a 3-pack of three identical mesh routers, a 2-pack, or a single router.

Like the Deco BE85, the Deco BE63 is a mesh system that includes identical routers with no additional band for backhauling. Each shares the same tube design but is smaller.

Still, it has the same number of ports, including four 2.5Gbps Multi-Gig auto-sensing WAN/LANs and a USB 3.0. Compared to the higher-end version, the BE63 has no 10Gbps ports and doesn’t support SFP+, which is a minor point.

The table below shows the similarities and differences between the two.

TP-Link Deco BE63 vs. Deco BE85: Hardware specifications

As you will note, the Deco BE63 has less than half the Wi-Fi bandwidth of the Deco BE85, which makes its lack of support for 10Gbps port understandable—chances are its real-world

As you will note, the Deco BE63 has less than half the Wi-Fi bandwidth of the Deco BE85, which makes its lack of support 10Gbps Multi-Gig understandable—chances are its real-world rates won’t be much faster than 2.5Gbps anyway.

TP-Link Deco BE63Deco BE85 BE22000 Whole Home Mesh WiFi 7 System
Full NameTP-Link Deco BE63 BE10000 Tri-Band Mesh RouterTP-Link Deco BE85 BE22000 Tri-Band Mesh Router
ModelDeco B63Deco BE85
Mesh Availability3-pack or 2-pack
(identical routers
Dimensions
(each unit)
4.23 × 4.23 × 6.93 in
(107.5 × 107.5 × 176 mm)
5.04 × 5.04 × 9.29 in
(128 × 128 × 236 mm)
ProcessorUndisclosed
Wi-Fi BandwidthTri-band BE10000Tri-Band BE22000
2.4GHz Band specs
(channel width)
2×2 AX: Up to 574Mbps
(20/40MHz)
4×4 BE: Up to 1376 Mbps
(20/40MHz)
5GHz Band Specs
(channel width)
2×2 BE: Up to 4324 Mbps
(20/40/160/240MHz)
4×4 BE: Up to 8640 Mbps
(20/40/160/240MHz)
6GHz Band Specs
(channel width)
2×2 BE: Up to 5188 Mbps
(20/40/160/320MHz)
4×4 BE: Up to 11520 Mbps
(20/40/160/320MHz)
Backward Compatibility802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax Wi-Fi
Wireless SecurityWPA2, WPA3
Mobile AppTP-Link Deco
Web User InterfaceLimited
Bridge ModeNo
AP ModeYes (as a mesh or a single unit)
USB Port1x USB 3.0
Internal FanNoYes
Gigabit Port
(WAN/LAN auto-sensing)
None
Multi-Gig Port
(WAN/LAN auto-sensing)
4x 2.5Gbps2x 2.5Gbps
1x 10Gbps
1x 10Gbps / SFP+ Combo
Link AggregationNone
Firmware Version
(at review)
Not yet tested1.0.14 Build 20231124 Rel. 32537
Power Input110-240V
Power Consumption
(per 24 hours)
Not yet tested≈ 485 Wh
(router unit)
Retail Price
(at publication)
$699.99 (3-pack)
$449.99 (2-pack)
$269.99 (single unit)
$1499.99 (3-pack)
$999.99 (2-pack)
$499.99 (single unit)
TP-Link Deco BE63 vs. Deco BE85: Hardware specifications

Deco BE63 vs. Deco BE65: The latter is made for the E.U. and Asia, where the 6GHz band is regulated differently and has the best-case-scenario theoretical bandwidth of 5760 Mbps (as opposed to 5188 Mbps of the BE63), yielding the hardware’s total marketing bandwidth of 11000Mbps (rounded up). The rest of the two are the same.

A Wi-Fi 7 Deco variant

As part of the Deco family, the BE63 is expected to share the same feature set as other Wi-Fi 7 Deco sets, as mentioned in this primer post. Specifically, in terms of Wi-Fi, you can expect the following:

  1. A primary SSID (network name) for the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands via Smart Connect. A couple of things to note about this network:
    • You can’t separate these bands in two SSIDs, but you can turn either off, making the network exclusively 2.4GHz or 5GHz.
    • There is an option to make the 5GHz band operate in 80MHz, 160MHz (default), or the new 240MHz channel widths.
  2. A second SSID for the 6GHz band—automatically takes the primary SSID’s name and adds the “-6GHz” suffix. You can change this name to anything you want, including the same as the primary SSID. (This is new since the Deco XE200 doesn’t allow the 6GHz to share the same SSID name as the others.)
  3. An optional third SSID with Wi-Fi 7’s Multi-Link Operation (MLO) feature. This SSID automatically has the “_MLO” suffix, but you can also name it to your liking. A couple of things to note:
    • This SSID uses all three bands by default, but you can turn off the 2.4GHz and include only the 5GHz and 6GHz bands.
    • Wi-Fi 7 clients can connect to this SSID using two bands simultaneously to increase the bandwidth. Wi-Fi 6 devices can only use one band at a time.
    • This SSID only supports WPA3 encryption, which generally doesn’t work with Wi-Fi 5 and older clients.
  4. Two optional Guest Network SSIDs, one for the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands and the other for the 6GHz band. You can also name these networks to your liking as long as they are different from those used in #1, #2, or #3.
  5. An optional IoT Network SSID for the 2.4GHz band (default) or the 2.4GHz + 5GHz combo, which is a virtual SSID, part of the primary network, for low-bandwidth smart devices.

As usual, users have the option to have the SSIDs broadcast (default) or hidden from the public.

As for the hardware, if you get a 2- or 3-pack, you can expect the units of the same set to be pre-synced–all you have to do is pick one as the primary router, and the rest will work as the satellite when plugged in.

Additionally, considering the four 2.5Gbps ports, you can get a wired system with multi-Gigabit backhauling right out of the box without getting a switch.

New to the idea of backhaul? Open this cabinet

When you use multiple Wi-Fi broadcasters—in a mesh network or a combo of a router and an extender—there are two types of connections: fronthaul and backhaul.

Fronthaul is the Wi-Fi signals broadcast outward for clients or the local area network (LAN) ports for wired devices. It’s what we generally expect from a Wi-Fi broadcaster.

Backhaul (a.k.a backbone,) on the other hand, is the link between one satellite Wi-Fi broadcaster and another, which can be the network’s primary router, a switch, or another satellite unit.

This link works behind the scenes to keep the hardware units together as a system. It also determines the ceiling bandwidth (and speed) of all devices connected to the particular broadcaster. It’s the backbone of the system.

At the satellite/extender unit, the connection used for the backhaul—a Wi-Fi link or a network port—is often called the uplink. Generally, a Wi-Fi broadcaster might use one of its bands (2.4GHz, 5GHz, or 6GHz) or a network port for the uplink.

When a Wi-Fi band handles backhaul and fronthaul simultaneously, only half its bandwidth is available to either end. From the perspective of a connected client, that phenomenon is called signal loss.

A Wi-Fi connection between two direct parties occurs in a single band, using one fixed channel, at any given time. This principle applies to all existing Wi-Fi standards, up to Wi-Fi 6E.

When a Wi-Fi band functions solely for backhauling, it’s called the dedicated backhaul. Often, that means no other band will do this job, though that depends on the hardware.

In a mesh system, only traditional Tri-band hardware—those with an additional 5GHz band—can have a dedicated backhaul band without ostracizing clients of the same band.

Generally, it’s best to use network cables for backhauling—wired backhauling, which is an advantage of mesh hardware with network ports. In this case, a satellite broadcaster can use its entire Wi-Fi bandwidth for front-hauling.

In networking, network cables are always much better than wireless in speed and reliability.

Besides that, like other Decos, the BE63 will have a standard set of networking settings, including Dynamic DNS (with a free domain from TP-Link), port forwarding, VPN (server or client), IPTV VLAN tagging (required by certain Internet providers), and the ability to work in the AP mode (as a single router or a mesh system.)

Basically, the Deco BE63 does the same thing as the Deco BE85 or any other Wi-Fi 7 Deco. The only noticeable difference is in performance.

TP-Link Deco BE63: Likely entry-level multi-Gigabit performance

As mentioned, I haven’t tested the Deco BE63 and likely will never do so. However, it’s my educated guess that its performance will be limited by its 2.5Gbps network ports—and that’s plenty fast.

In fact, for a home with slower-than-2.5Gbps broadband–Gigabit or Gig–which is the case for most homes, the Deco BE63 will deliver the same result as higher-end hardware, such as the Deco BE85 or Deco BE95.

What is Gig+

Gig+, or Gig Plus, conveys a speed grade faster than 1Gbps but slower than 2Gbps. So, it’s 1.5Gbps, give or take, and it’s not speedy enough to qualify as Multi-Gig Ethernet or multi-Gigabit. Intel coined the term to call its Wi-Fi 6E client chips—the AX210 and AX211—to describe their real-world speeds.

Gig+ generally applies to the sustained speeds of Wi-Fi 6 or 6E—via a 2×2 at 160MHz connection, which has the 2402Mbps theoretical ceiling speed—or Internet speed. It’s generally not used to describe wired network connections.

However, if you want the fastest possible local bandwidth, especially in a wired backhauling setup, the Deco BE63 is decidedly inferior to higher-end hardware.

TP-Link Deco BE63's UNTESTED Assessment

7.6 out of 10
TP-Link Deco BE63
Hardware Specs
7 out of 10
Features
7 out of 10
Design and Setup
8 out of 10
Value
8.5 out of 10

Pros

Four 2.5Gbps Multi-Gig ports, multi-Gigabit wired backhauling out of the box

Wi-Fi 7 support, backward compatible with existing clients; excellent overall real-world performances;

Easy to use; fanless

Cons

No 10Gbps ports or SFP+ support; mid-tier Wi-Fi 7 specs

Vendor-connected mobile app required; HomeShield Pro costs extra

Conclusion

The TP-Link Deco BE63 BE10000 Tri-Band Wi-Fi 7 mesh system—a.k.a. the Deco BE65, depending on where you are—is not meant to be the greatest and greatest. It’s not to replace the top-tier Deco BE85.

However, with four 2.5Gbps network ports and multi-Gigabit-capable Wi-Fi specs, it’s still an excellent Wi-Fi solution for most homes, especially those with 2Gbps or slower broadband, already wired with network cables. At $700 for a 3-pack, it’s definitely worth the consideration. Check it out today.

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18 thoughts on “TP-Link Deco BE63 Preview (vs. Deco BE85): A Potentially Sensible Canned Mesh Set for Most Homes”

  1. Hi Dong,

    Thank you for providing real world testing data and detailed information about all these routers. It is so helpful in a market that is saturated with misleading claims. I’ve been experimenting with many routers in my apt home (1 gig fiber). I am currently testing this router against the Netgear RAXE300 (which is enormous in size), but I am curious, if you just have an apt home less than 1000 sq feet (and using only one router), would the TP Link BE9300 be a better choice? Both TP links seem similar, but perhaps if you’re only using one unit, the Deco BE63 is not as good as standalone?

    Reply
  2. I am looking at the Deco BE65 (in UK). Can you clarify, if there is no dedicated wireless backhaul and you rely on WBH this uses the 6Ghz band? If so – what happens to your wifi 6e/7 performance?
    Can you achieve efficient Wifi 6e/7 performance without a wired backhaul? Thanks

    Reply
  3. Hey Dong,

    I know you said you will probably not review the BE63, but I think it would be really interesting to see the differnce the 2×2 vs 4×4 Bands make, especially for a wireless backhaul.

    My use case is a bit weird, I will have wired backhaul between the main Router and 1 Satellite and then wireless backhaul between the 1st and 2nd Satellites and want to know if the difference in Band Specs (2×2 vs 4×4) makes much of a difference on the last jump.

    Reply
      • Haha thats fair enough.

        Do you think realistically for my use case with gigabit internet on the last hop (about 10 metres with line of sight) it is going to be a huge difference? The devices will be connected by ethernet to the last satellite.
        Just worried about it losing a lot of speed going from the 1st to the 2nd satellite. And since its over double the cost for the BE85 in the UK.

        Reply
        • No, it likely won’t make a huge difference. If you a top-tier client, chances are you still get your Internet speed in full, or almost full. Good luck!

          Reply
  4. Hi Dong. Really helpful!
    Do you think I would benefit from the deco BE85 if I have a 1 Gb fiber optic plan or will not see the difference and would be OK with the BE 63?
    Also… why did you put fanless as a pro of the BE 63? Thought that a fan would help prevent overheating and lagging.
    Thanks again for all that useful information.

    Reply
    • No you wouldn’t since the BE63 has 2.5Gpps which is much faster than you need, Mats. No fan means no noise and no chance of having something that might break over time. Many high-end hardware (you’ll see) doesn’t need fans thanks to better thermal control. The case of the BE63, it’s mid-tier hardware that doesn’t produce lots of heat. Still, no fan is a plus.

      Reply
      • Thank you for answering so quicky.
        By any chance… do you know if it is compatible with fiber optic internet providers?

        Reply
          • Thanks Dong!
            I have a last question… if I have a one floor 3000 sq feet house, would i benefit from 2 or 3 bodies?
            I actually own a regular tp link router AX3000 and despite being in the middle of the house, signal does not go to the corners (where the bedrooms are unfortunately)… my guess is the walls given that all the rooms are on the first floor.

      • “No fan means (…) no chance of having something that might break over time”
        I agree: I’ve had to replace a BE85 due to fans that became faulty after 3 months, leading to WiFi shutdowns

        Reply
  5. Thanks for your Quick Take article on the Deco BE63. It sounds like it’s a pretty solid and affordable mesh system. One thing I wasn’t aware of is that the BE63, and even the BE85, don’t support Link Aggregation or have a dedicated band for wireless backhaul—which are not deal breakers for me as I’ll likely be using a wired backhaul setup.

    That said, I’ve narrowed my choice to either the Deco BE63 or the forthcoming Asus BQ16, the latter of which seems to have better specs. Where do you think the BQ16 (non-pro) version will fall price-wise, and is there any downside to only having two mesh units versus three in a 3,700 SF 2-story house?

    Thanks again, Dong!

    Reply

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