This TP-Link Deco X5700 vs Netgear Orbi AX4200 matchup is a fight between two well-performing mesh systems. Sure, they look distinctive enough, but there is much more to them than meets the eye.
If you want to see how different TP-Link Deco is different from Netgear Orbi, or any other mesh brand for that matter, though, check out this post on popular home mesh brands.
TP-Link Deco X5700 vs Netgear Orbi AX4200: Similarities
First of all, I consider each of these the best mesh system to date from the respective vendor. Neither is the best on the market as a whole, but compared to their cousins, they both sure have an edge, especially when you consider the cost.
The two are available in a 2-pack, and you can scale up the coverage by adding more units. Design-wise, they are good-looking in their own way -- with identical-looking hardware units --, but both can topple fairly easily. You can't mount either unless you get some mounting accessories.
Both use a vendor-assisted mobile app for setup and ongoing management. Both also use tri-band hardware with a dynamic backhaul and share two bands of the same specs. They also work via a wired backhaul.
Finally, neither has a USB port -- they can't work as a mini NAS server. And that's about it. Their similarities end there.
TP-Link Deco X5700 vs Netgear Orbi AX4200: Hardware specifications
|Full Name||TP-Link Deco X5700 AX5700 |
Whole-Home Mesh Wi-Fi Router
|Netgear Orbi AX4200 Whole Home |
Tri-band Mesh Wi-Fi 6 System
|Hardware Model||Deco X5700||Router / Satellite |
RBR750 / RBS750
(Of same physical size)
|Mesh Availability||Multiple identical routers||Router + Satellite(s)|
|Dimensions (each unit)||8.3 × 5.1 × 4.8 in |
(210.5 × 130 × 123 mm)
|9.1 x 7.2 x 2.8 in|
(23.11 x 18.28 x 7.11 cm)
|Weight (each unit)||1.6 lbs (722 g)||1.9 lbs (862 g)|
|Wi-Fi Specs||Tri-band X5700||Tri-band AX4200|
|5GHz-1 Band||AX: 3x3, up to 3843Mbps||AX: 4x4, up to 2400Mbps|
|5GHz-2 Band||AX: 2x2, up to 1201Mbps||AX: 2x2, up to 1201Mbps|
|2.4GHz Band||2.4GHz AX: up to 574 Mbps||2.4GHz AX: up to 574 Mbps|
|Dedicated Backhaul Band||Dynamic||5GHz-2 (Permanent)|
|Wired Backhaul Support||Yes||Yes (5GHz-2 still not available to clients)|
|Processors||1.5GHz Quad-Core||Quad-core 1.4 GHz processor|
|Memory||Undisclosed||512 MB NAND flash and 1GB RAM|
|AP (bridge mode) Support||Yes |
(Single router or a system)
(Single router or a system)
|Channel Width Support||20MHz, 40MHz, 80MHz, 160MHz||20MHz, 40MHz, 80MHz|
|Mobile App||TP-Link Deco (Forced)||Netgear Orbi (optional)|
|Web Interface||Yes (limited)||Yes|
|Gigabit Port||1x Auto-Sensing||1x WAN, 3x LAN / 2x LAN|
|Multi-Gig Port||1x 2.5Gbps Auto-Sensing||None|
|Link Aggregation||None||WAN only (WAN+LAN1)|
|Price (at launch)||$399.99 (2-pack)||$450 (2-pack), |
TP-Link Deco X5700 vs Netgear Orbi AX4200: Differences
There are a lot of differences between these two.
As a mesh system, the Orbi comes in two types of hardware: A router and a satellite. The Deco, however, uses the same hardware -- you get two identical routers.
The Deco has slightly more processing power, and one of its 5GHz bands has higher Wi-Fi specs. Most importantly, it comes with a 2.5Gbps auto-sensing port and supports the 160MHz channel bandwidth. It's slated to be faster, at least at the router unit.
The Orbi has more network ports and supports Link Aggregation on the WAN side. When working with a supported modem, you can combine its WAN port and LAN1 into a 2Gbps WAN connection.
On the inside, the Netgear is a more satisfying system. For one, it comes with a full web interface and therefore has a lot more options in network settings and features. You also can use it via local management completely independent of Netgear. The Orbi app is just an option -- you don't have to use it.
The TP-Link, on the other hand, like all Deco hardware, requires the mobile app to work. You can't set up or manage your network without a live internet connection. As a result, it's more of a privacy risk.
The Deco does have a web interface, but it's purposely neutered to include just a few essential functions, such as status viewing or firmware update.
Both the Deco and Orbi come with add-on subscription-based online protection features called HomeShield Pro and Netgear Armor, which cost around $70 per year. That of the Netgear is much more comprehensive and also includes protection software for multiple devices.
TP-Link Deco X5700 vs Netgear Orbi AX4200: Performance and ratings
I tested both in a wireless setup.
Thanks to the multi-gig port and the 160MHz channel width support, the Deco proved to be much faster at the router unit. At the satellite, though, the two were very similar, with the Orbi having a bit of an edge in some instances.
TP-Link Deco X5700's Rating
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
App and login account required -- privacy risks
HomeShield Pro requires a monthly subscription, a limited web interface, an impractical design
No USB or additional Gigabit network ports
Netgear Orbi RBK750 Series Rating
Fast, reliable Wi-Fi with extensive coverage
Practical, well-designed mobile app
Support WAN 2Gbps Link Aggregation
Full web interface with all standard settings and features
No 160MHz channel support, limited Wi-Fi customization
Incompatible with Wi-Fi 5 Orbi hardware
Few LAN ports; No Multi-Gig, Dual-WAN, LAN Link Aggregation, or USB port
The fast 5GHz band only works as backhaul, even in a wired setup
Which is a better choice?
Either of these two will make an excellent choice for a large of 4500 ft2 (408 m2) or so, especially one where you can't run network cables.
So, if you feel a bit cavalier about your privacy and can live with the forced cloud-based management, the TP-Link Deco X5700 is an excellent choice, especially considering its lower cost.
On the other hand, if you want to have more options in terms of settings and the control of your own home network, the Netgear Orbi AX4200 is totally worth the extra cost.
It's your call.
Looking to compare other Wi-Fi solutions? Check them all out here.