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TP-Link Wi-Fi 7 Hardware Unveiled: Archer Routers, Deco Systems, and Omada APs

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Since late 2021 and especially during 2022, Wi-Fi 7 has been the talk of the networking town. And while you likely won't be able to experience it until late 2023 or even early 2024, you can get your home partially ready for it in a few short months.

Indeed, determined to be the first on the market, TP-Link today, in a special event aptly called "Hi, Wi-Fi 7", announced an extensive collection of Wi-Fi 7 broadcasters (routers/access points) encompassing its multiple business segments.

A bit of a PTSD: TP-Link's announcements today remind me of its enthusiasm toward Wi-Fi 6E back in early 2021, of which the then products eventually turned vaporware.

TP-Link cited the pandemic as the reason for missing its original deadlines and eventually managed to keep most of its subsequent Wi-Fi 6E promises by late 2022.

With the pandemic now on the way out, there's a chance the networking vendor will soon turn Wi-Fi 7 into a reality, albeit only on the broadcasting end.

And that's exciting.

TP-Link Wi-Fi 7 Hardware: The Archer GE800 BE19000 Wi-Fi 7 gaming router has a radical design.
TP-Link Wi-Fi 7 Hardware: The Archer GE800 BE19000 Wi-Fi 7 gaming router has a radical design.

TP-Link Wi-Fi 7 hardware: The new standard is now (almost) a reality

TP-Link doesn't hold back when it comes to the latest Wi-Fi standard. The company today debuted not one, not five, but nine new consumer products that support Wi-Fi 7, including four Archer routers, three Deco mesh systems, and two Omada business access points.

It's important to note that the new products are all on the broadcasting side and are just half of the requirements for an actual Wi-Fi 7 experience. The other half is on the receiving end – devices/clients that support this standard. And for those, you'll need to wait a year or so longer.

In the meantime, these new broadcasters support existing Wi-Fi clients -- they will not be useless, far from it. In other words, you can get them even when you don't have any Wi-Fi 7 devices yet.

Wi-Fi 7 devices, when available, will also support existing broadcasters. So if you're happy with your current Wi-Fi 6 or 6E performance, Wi-Fi 7 is not a must-have and will be so for years.

If you're new to the latest Wi-Fi standard, this primer post on Wi-Fi 7 will offer all the details, or you can open the drawer below for quick highlights.

Wi-Fi 7 (802.11be) in brief

Four key improvements of Wi-Fi 7

The new Wi-Fi standard, technically known as 802.11be, encompasses all previous Wi-Fi revisions with many new features -- some still being worked out. However, you can remember four essential items below.

1. The all-new 320MHz channel width

The first is the new and much wider channel width, up to 320MHz or double that of Wi-Fi 6/6E.

This new channel width is generally available on the 6GHz band, with up to three 320MHz channels. However, Wi-Fi 7 can combine portions of the 6GHz and 5GHz bands to create this new bandwidth -- more in the Multi-Link Operation section below.

Details of Wi-Fi channels can be found here, but the new channel width generally means Wi-Fi 7 can double the base speed, from 1.2Gbps per stream (160MHz) to 2.4Gbps per stream (320MHz).

So, in theory, just from the width alone, a 4x4 broadcaster 6GHz Wi-Fi 7 can have up to 9.6 Gbps of bandwidth -- or 10Gbps when rounded up. But there's more to Wi-Fi 7's bandwidth below.

Depending on the configuration, Wi-Fi 7 routers and access points will be available in different speed grades, including those offering bandwidths higher or lower than 10Gbps on the 6GHz band.

Wi-Fi 7 also supports double the partial streams, up to 16. As a result, technically, a 16-stream (16x16) Wi-Fi 7 6GHz band can deliver up to over 40Gbps of bandwidth, especially when considering the new QAM support below.

Like Wi-Fi 6 and 6E, initially, Wi-Fi 7 will be available as dual-stream (2x2) and quad-stream (4x4) broadcasters and dual-stream clients.

Going forward, the standard might have 8x8 broadcasters and single-stream or quad-stream clients.

Again, you need a compatible client to use the new 320MHz channel width. Existing clients will connect using 160MHz at best. In reality, the 160MHz will likely be the realistic sweet-spot bandwidth of Wi-Fi 7, just like the 80MHz in the case of Wi-Fi 6.

2. The 4K-QAM

QAM, short for quadrature amplitude modulation, is a way to manipulate the radio wave to pack more information in the Hertz.

Wi-Fi 6 supports 1024-QAM, which itself is already impressive. However, Wi-Fi 7 will have four times that, or 4096-QAM. Greater QAM means better performance for the same channel width.

As a result, Wi-Fi 7 will have a much higher speed and efficiency than previous standards when working with supported clients.

Wi-F 7 vs Wi-Fi 6/6E: The realistic real-world speeds

With the support for the wider channel width and higher QAM, Wi-Fi 7 is set to be much faster than previous standards.

The table below summarizes what you can expect from Wi-Fi 7's real-world organic performance compared to Wi-Fi 6E when working on the 6GHz.

Wi-Fi 6EWi-Fi 7
Max Channel Bandwidth
(theoretical/top-tier equipment)
160MHz320MHz
Channel Bandwidth
(widely implemented)
80MHz160MHz
Number of Available Channels7x 160MHz or 14x 80MHz channels3x 320MHz or 6x 160MHz channels
Highest Modulation 1024-QAM4096-QAM
Max Number
of Spatial Streams
(theoretical on paper / commercially implemented)
8 / 416 / 8 (estimate)
Max Bandwidth
Per Stream
(theoretical)
1202Mbps (at 160MHz)
600Mbps (at 80Hz)
β‰ˆ 2.9Gbps
(at 320MHz)
β‰ˆ 1.45 Gbps (at 160MHz)
Max Band Bandwidth
(theoretical on paper)
9.6Gbps
(8x8)
46.1Gbps
(16x16)
Commercial Max Band Bandwidth Per Band
(commercially implemented)
4804Mbps
(4x4)
23Gbps
(8x8)
Actual Available Max Real-word Negotiated Speeds(*)2402Mbps
(via a 2x2 160MHz client )
1201Mbps
(via a 2x2 80MHzclient)
β‰ˆ 11.5Gbps
(via a 4x4 320MHz client)
β‰ˆ 5.8Gbps
(via a 2x2 320MHz client or a 4x4 160MHz client)
β‰ˆ 2.9Gbps
(via a single stream 320MHz client or a 2x2 160MHz client)
β‰ˆ 1.45Gbps
(via a single stream 160MHz client or a 2x2 80MHz client)
Wi-Fi 6 vs Wi-Fi 7: Theoretical data rates on the 6GHz band
(*) The real-world sustained speeds depend on the client and environment and generally are much lower than negotiated speeds. Wi-Fi 6/6E has had only 2x2 clients. Wi-Fi 7 will also use 2x2 clients initially, but it might have 4x4 and even single-stream (1x1) clients.

Multi-Link Operation, or MLO, is the most exciting and promising feature of Wi-Fi 7 that changes the norm of Wi-Fi: Up to Wi-Fi 6E, a Wi-Fi connection between two direct devices occurs in a single band, using a fixed channel at a time.

In a nutshell, MLO is Wi-Fi band aggregation. Like Link Aggregation (or bonding) in wired networking, MLO allows combining two Wi-Fi bands, mostly 5GHz and 6GHz, into a single Wi-Fi network (SSID) and connection. The bonded link delivers higher bandwidth and reliability.

MLO only works at its full potential with Wi-Fi 7 clients, and in this case, it can be a game-changer in a wireless mesh network. We can potentially count on having no signal drop or brief disconnection. And it's also when seamless handoff (or roaming) can become truly seamless.

On top of that, on each band, a connection can also intelligently pick the best channel, or channel width, in real time. In other words, it can channel-hop, just like Bluetooth, though likely less frequently.

This new capability will help increase the efficiency of Wi-Fi 7's range, allowing all its bands to deliver faster speed over longer distances than previous standards.

One Plus 11 5G Wi Fi information MLO
Here are the Wi-Fi setting pages of the One Plus 11 5G. Note how it has the new "Dual Wi-Fi acceleration." Also, a Wi-Fi 7 broadcaster, such as TP-Link Deco BE85 used in the screenshot above, will have a separate MLO network in addition to the existing traditional network for backward compatibility.

In more ways than one, MLO is the best alternative to the existing so-called "Smart Connect" -- using the same SSID (network name) and password for all the bands of a broadcaster -- which doesn't always work as smartly as expected.

But MLO is not all perfect -- a few things to keep in mind:

  • MLO only works with Wi-Fi 7 clients. Older clients, such as Wi-Fi 6 or 6E, will still use a single band at a time when connecting to a MLO SSID.
  • MLO requires the WPA3 encryption method and generally won't work with Wi-Fi 5 or older clients.
  • The reach of the combined link (of 5GHz and 6GHz) is as far as the range of the shorter band.

By default, the 6GHz band has just about 75% of the range of the 5GHz when the same broadcasting power is applied. That said, MLO can only be truly meaningful with the help of Wi-Fi 7's next feature, Automated Frequency Coordination.

4. Automated Frequency Coordination

Automated Frequency Coordination (AFC) applies only to the 6GHz band, which is the fastest yet the shortest range compared to the 5GHz and 2.4GHz. It's an optional feature -- it's not required for the general function of a Wi-Fi 7 broadcaster.

At any given time, there can be existing applications already using the spectrum. For example, fixed satellite services (FSS) or broadcast companies might have already had called dibs on certain parts of the 6GHz band. A new Wi-Fi broadcaster must not impact those existing services -- a concept similar to DFS channels in Wi-Fi 6 and 5.

That's when AFC comes into play. The idea is that all new 6GHz broadcasters check with a registered database in real time to confirm their operation will not negatively impact other registered members. Once that's established, the broadcaster creates a dynamically exclusive environment in which it can operate without the constraint of regulations like the case of Wi-Fi 6E and older standards.

Specifically, the support for AFC means each Wi-Fi 7 broadcaster can use more power and better flexible antenna designs. How much more? That depends.

But it's estimated that AFC can bring the broadcasting power up to 36 dBm (from the current 30 dBm max) or 4 watts (from 1 wat). It's safe to say AFC will help the 6GHz band to have a comparable range to the 5GHz band -- about 25% more.

Before you get all excited, this feature requires certification, and its availability is expected to vary from one region to another. It won't be available in the US before late 2023, if not after. All hardware released before that is said to be capable of handling AFC, which can be turned on via firmware updates.

A crude AFC analogy

Automated Frequency Coordination (AFC) is like checking with the local authorities for permission to close off sections of city streets for a drag race block party.

When approved, the usual traffic and parking laws no longer apply to the area, and the organizers can determine how fast traffic can flow, etc.

The quick takeaway is that Wi-Fi 7 is faster and, thanks to the support for AFC, will likely increase the range of the 6GHz band a great deal -- limited range has proven to be the biggest shortcoming of this band in existing Wi-Fi 6E broadcasters.

With that, let's check out the new hardware TP-Link unveiled today.

Four TP-Link Wi-Fi 7 Archer standalone routers: Multi-Gig is now the norm

TP-Link's Archer has been one of the go-to brands for those needing a single broadcaster in a home.

With the support for the 6GHz band, all Wi-Fi 7 broadcasters are generally expected to be Tri-band since they all need the 5GHz and 2.4GHz for backward compatibility and the MLO feature mentioned above.

TP Link Wi Fi 7 Router
TP-Link Wi-Fi 7 Hardware: The Archer routers

TP-Link's new Wi-Fi 7 router models include the Archer BE900, Archer BE800, Archer BE550, and Archer GE800. All of them have two or more Multi-Gig ports. Some don't even have any Gigabit ports.

The "BE" notion in the model names conveys the fact that they support the 802.11be (Wi-Fi 7) standard, just like "AXE" (such as in the Archer AXE300) and "AX" (Archer AX11000) are for hardware supporting Wi-Fi 6E and Wi-Fi 6.

TP-Link says all of its new Wi-Fi 7 routers support Wi-Fi EasyMesh, the direction it wants to steer the OneMesh approach. We'll need to wait to see how that pans out.

Wi-Fi EasyMesh in a nutshell

Wi-Fi EasyMesh is Wi-Fi Alliance's certification program, first announced in early 2020, that aims to simplify the building of mesh systems.

The idea is that any Wi-Fi EasyMesh-certified hardware from any vendor will work together to form a seamless Wi-Fi system.

The program hasn't caught on since first announced. By mid-2023, only Netgear has supposedly Wi-Fi EasyMesh-compliant mesh systems -- part of its Nighthawk product line. In August 2022, TP-Link said it would join the cause by transitioning its OneMesh over.

Generally, we need the supported hardware of at least two vendors to know the idea of Wi-Fi EasyMesh as a universal mesh approach is real. But even then, things can get complicated in terms of liability or tech support.

Specifically, if a mixed hardware Wi-Fi EasyMesh system is not working as expected, it's hard to know which hardware vendor is at fault, and consumers might be stuck between two networking companies pointing fingers at each other.

For more reasons than one, users tend to use mesh hardware from the same vendor, and Wi-Fi EasyMesh has so far been a nice idea with little impact. But the concept has no downside -- it doesn't prevent users from keeping hardware of the same vendor -- and its adoption might increase over time.

Of these new routers, the flagship Archer BE900 is the only one that's a Quad-band broadcaster, similar to the recently released Archer AXE300. The additional band is to increase the bandwidth on the 5GHz.

The Archer GE800 is TP-Link's first Wi-Fi 7 gaming router -- replacing the Archer GX90 or Archer AX11000. The company says it has "quad acceleration features for games" to deliver "exceptional performance for the most intense gaming networks." The new router has a pretty radical design, looking like a landed Imperial Shuttle spacecraft in Star Wars.

Other details of the new Archer Wi-Fi 7 routers are still sketchy. The table below includes all the currently available information on them.

TP-Link Wi-Fi 7 Archer routers: Quick hardware specifications

Archer BE900 BE24000 WiFi 7 Router Archer BE800 BE19000 WiFi 7 Router Archer BE550 BE9300 WiFi 7 Router Archer GE800 BE19000 WiFi 7 Gaming Router
NameTP-Link Archer BE900
BE24000 Quad-Band Wi-Fi 7 Router
TP-Link
Archer BE800
Tri-Band BE19000
Wi-Fi 7 Router
TP-Link
Archer BE550
Tri-Band
BE9300
Wi-Fi 7 Router
TP-Link
Archer GE800
Tri-Band BE19000
Wi-Fi 7
Gaming Router
ModelArcher BE900Archer BE800Archer BE550Archer GE800
Wi-Fi BandwidthQuad-band
BE24000
Tri-Band BE19000 Tri-Band
BE9300
Tri-Band
BE19000
Bandwidth per Band2.4 GHz: 1376 Mbps
5 GHz-1: 5760 Mbps
5 GHz-2: 5760 Mbps
6 GHz: 11520 Mbps
2.4 GHz: 1376 Mbps
5 GHz: 5760 Mbps
6 GHz: 11520 Mbps
2.4 GHz: 574 Mbps
5 GHz: 2880 Mbps
6 GHz: 5760 Mbps
2.4 GHz: 1376 Mbps
5 GHz: 5760 Mbps
6 GHz: 11520 Mbps
EHT320 Support
(320MHz on 6 GHz Band)
YesYesYesYes
Multi-Gig Ports1Γ— 10 Gbps WAN/LAN
(RJ45/SFP+ Combo)
1Γ— 10 Gbps WAN/LAN
4Γ— 2.5 Gbps LAN
1Γ— 10 Gbps WAN/LAN
(RJ45/SFP+ Combo)
1Γ— 10 Gbps WAN/LAN
4Γ— 2.5 Gbps LAN
1Γ— 2.5 Gbps WAN
4Γ— 2.5 Gbps LAN
1Γ— 10 Gbps WAN/LAN (RJ45/SFP+ Combo)
1Γ— 10 Gbps WAN/LAN
2Γ— 2.5 Gbps LAN
Gigabit Ports1Γ— Gbps LANNoneNone4Γ— 1 Gbps LAN
USB Ports1Γ— USB 3.0
1Γ— USB 2.0
1x USB 3.01x USB 3.01Γ— USB 3.0
1Γ— USB 2.0
Features
LED Screen
Touchscreen
EasyMesh-Compatible
LED Screen
EasyMesh-Compatible
EasyMesh-Compatible5 GHz Gaming Band
Abundant Gaming Acceleration
Features
Quad Acceleration for Games
Gaming Panel
MSRP (US)$699.99TBDTBDTBD
TP-Link's upcoming Wi-Fi 6 standalone routers

Three TP-Link Wi-Fi 7 Deco mesh systems: Gigabit ports are no longer

TP-Link's Wi-Fi 7 Deco mesh hardware retains a similar cylindrical shape but with one significant change: It now tapers toward the top instead of the bottom.

TP Link Deco BE85 Wi Fi 7 Mesh System Ports
TP-Link Wi-Fi 7 Hardware: The new Deco mesh routers, represented by the Deco BE85 pictured here, now have a slightly more stable design and only use Multi-Gig network ports. They also have a USB port.

This new design likely helps the broadcasters to stay more stable on a surface than the case of some previous Wi-Fi 6E and Wi-Fi 6 counterparts, such as the Deco AX5700 or Deco XE200.

The hardware of different grades comes in various physical sizes, but the appearance remains the same.

Another significant change: The Gigabit port is no longer. All TP-Link Wi-Fi 7 mesh variants, including the Deco BE95, Deco BE85, and Deco BE65, come with multiple Multi-Gig ports, either a few 2.5GbE, some 10GbE, or a mix of those.

The Deco BE95 and BE85 also support SFP+ by having a 10GbE Multi-Gig/SFP+ combo port. This type of combo port was first able in the Archer AXE300, giving consumers extra flexibility.

SFP+ in brief

Multi-Gig (Base-T) vs SFP+

BASE-T (or BaseT) is the common port type for data communication and refers to the wiring method used inside a network cable and the connectors at its ends, which is 8-position 8-contact (8P8C).

This type is known via a misnomer called Registered Jack 45 or RJ45. So we'll keep calling it RJ45.

On the other hand, the SFP or SFP+ (plus) port type is used for both telecommunication and data communication, mostly in enterprise applications. SFP stands for small form-factor pluggable and is the technical name for what is often referred to as Fiber Channel or Fiber.

Best among Multi-Gigabit Routers: The Asus RT AX89X 10Gbps TP Link Archer AXE300 Ports Multi Gig
BASE-T Multi-Gig vs SFP+: The two are generally available as separate ports, such as in the Asus RT-AX89X's case (left) but can also be part of a combo port in some hardware, such as the TP-Link Archer AXE300.

For data communication, an SFP+ port has speed grades of either 1Gbps or 10Gbps. The older version, SFP, can only do 1Gbps, though it shares the same port type as SFP+. This type of port standard is more strict in compatibility and more reliable in performance.

While physically different, BASE-T and SFP/+ are parts of the Ethernet family, sharing the same networking principles and Ethernet naming convention -- Gigabit Ethernet (1Gbps) or 10 Gigabit Ethernet (a.k.a 10GE, 10GbE, or 10 GigE).

Generally, you can get an adapter to connect a BASE-T device to an SFP or SFP+ port. Still, in this case, compatibility can be an issue -- a particular adapter might only work (well) with the SFP/+ port of certain hardware vendors.

The BASE-T wiring is more popular thanks to its simple design and flexibility in speed support. Some routers and switches have an RJ45/SFP+ combo which includes two physical ports of each type, but you can use one at a time.

TP-Link Deco BE95: First Dual-6GHz quad-band hardware

Among the three new Decos, the Deco BE95 is the flagship, and it's also the first Quad-band broadcaster with two 6GHz bands.

Previously all Quad-band broadcasters, including the Asus GT-AX16000, Netgear Orbi RBRE960, or TP-Link Archer AXE300, come with two 5GHz bands.

With two 6GHz bands, the Deco BE950 can use one as the dedicated backhaul. How that works out remains to be seen, but with the help of Automated Frequency Coordination (AFC), which allows higher broadcasting power, there's a chance this band can overcome its innate short range, like in the case of existing Wi-Fi 6E mesh systems.

Generally, all Tri-band Wi-Fi 6E broadcasters have difficulty making their 6GHz effective. The high frequency and 30dBm max broadcasting power make this band suitable only for open spaces. Wi-Fi 7 might change this via the support for AFC.

The table below includes the current information on the new Wi-Fi 7 Deco hardware.

TP-Link Wi-Fi 7 Deco systems: Quick hardware specifications

Deco BE95 BE33000 Whole Home Mesh WiFi 7 System Deco BE65 BE11000 Whole Home Mesh WiFi 7 System Deco BE65 BE11000 Whole Home Mesh WiFi 7 System
NameTP-Link Deco BE95
BE33000 Whole Home Mesh Wi-Fi 7 System
TP-Link
Deco BE85
BE22000 Whole Home Mesh Wi-Fi 7 System
TP-Link
Deco BE65
BE11000 Whole Home Mesh Wi-Fi 7 System
Wi-Fi BandwidthQuad-band
BE33000
Tri-Band BE22000Tri-Band
BE11000
Bandwidth per Band2.4GHz: 1148Mbps
5GHz (*): 8640Mbps
6GHz-1: 11520Mbps
6GHz-2: 11520Mbps
2.4GHz: 1376Mbps
5GHz (*): 8640Mbps
6GHz: 11520Mbps
2.4GHz: 574Mbps
5 GHz (*): 4320Mbps
6GHz: 5760Mbps
EHT320 Support
(320MHz on 6 GHz Band)
YesYesYes
Multi-Gig Ports1Γ— 10Gbps WAN/LAN (RJ45/SFP+
Combo)
1Γ— 10Gbps WAN/LAN
2Γ— 2.5Gbps WAN/LAN
1Γ— 10Gbps WAN/LAN
(RJ45/SFP+ Combo)
1Γ— 10 Gbps WAN/LAN
2Γ— 2.5 Gbps LAN
4Γ— 2.5Gbps WAN/LAN
Gigabit PortsNoneNoneNone
USB Ports1Γ— USB 3.01x USB 3.01x USB 3.0
FeaturesAI-Driven Mesh
Ethernet Backhaul
Router/AP Mode
AI-Driven Mesh
Ethernet Backhaul
Router/AP Mode
AI-Driven Mesh
Ethernet Backhaul
Router/AP Mode
US MSRP$1199.99
(2-pack)
$999.99
(2-pack)
TBD
Hardware specifications: TP-Link's upcoming Wi-Fi 6 standalone routers
(*) Due to local regulations on the spectrum, the 5 GHz band of the EU version cannot have 240MHz channel bandwidth and have approximately 67% of bandwidth compared to the corresponding US versions.

Two TP-Link Wi-Fi 7 Omada business access points: The fun of DIY mesh continues

If you've never heard of TP-Link's Omada access points, they are excellent ways to add Wi-Fi coverage to an existing network. And if you live in a large home or have a large business, a couple of them and a controller will work as a robust Wi-Fi mesh system.

Omada EAP780 BE22000 Enterprise WiFi 7
TP-Link Wi-Fi 7 Hardware: The new Omada access point shares a wall/ceiling-mounting design similar to the existing Wi-Fi 5 and Wi-Fi 6 counterparts.

This segment of the broadcasters has been available since Wi-Fi 5, and I recently reviewed some of the Wi-Fi 6 options. They all proved excellent alternatives to canned mesh systems, including TP-Link's own Deco.

TP-Link Omada access points: The best hardware for a robust DIY mesh

And for Wi-Fi 7, TP-Link introduced the Omada EAP770 and Omada EAP780. Both are PoE access points supporting PoE++ 10GbE Multi-Gig. The former has a single port, and the latter has an additional 10GbE port.

The two are Tri-band broadcasters with a total bandwidth of 11000Mbps and 2200Mbps, respectively. Either works as a standalone solution, or you can use multiple units to create a seamless mesh, as mentioned above.

The table below includes all available, though likely incomplete, information on the new Omada access points.

TP-Link Wi-Fi 7 Omada business access points: Quick hardware specifications

Omada EAP780 BE22000 Enterprise WiFi 7 Omada EAP770 BE11000 Enterprise WiFi 7
NameTP-Link Omada EAP780 BE22000 Ceiling Mount Tri-Band Wi-Fi 7 Access PointTP-Link Omada EAP770 BE11000 Ceiling Mount Tri-Band Wi-Fi 7 Access Point
ModelOmada EAP780Omada EAP770
Wi-Fi BandwidthTri-band BE2200Tri-band BE11000
Bandwidth
per Band
2.4 GHz: 1376Mbps
5GHz {*}: 8640Mbps
6GHz: 11520Mbps
2.4 GHz: 574Mbps
5GHz {*}: 4320Mbps
6GHz: 5760Mbps
Multi-Gig Ports2x 10GbE 1x 10GbE
Gigabit PortsNoneNone
PoE SupportPoE++
(802.3bt)
PoE++
(802.3bt)
FeaturesBluetooth
Multi-Link Operation
4096-QAM
Mesh
Seamless Roaming
MU-MIMO
Private Pre-Shared Key (PPSK)
Omada App Support
Cloud Access
Integration with Omada SDN
Bluetooth
Multi-Link Operation
4096-QAM
Mesh
Seamless Roaming
MU-MIMO
OFDMA
Private Pre-Shared Key (PPSK)
Omada App Support
Cloud Access
Integration with Omada SDN
Hardware specifications: TP-Link Wi-Fi 7 Omada access points
{*} Due to local regulations on the spectrum, the 5 GHz band of the EU version cannot have 240MHz channel bandwidth and have approximately 67% of bandwidth compared to the corresponding US versions.

Homeshield 3.0 and Wi-Fi 7 Aginet gateways for Internet service providers

Besides the new standard Wi-Fi 7 devices above, TP-Link also showed off its latest online security version, the HomeShield version 3.0.

The company says this next-generation security software will provide "comprehensive, advanced security features including advertisement blocker and data tracking prevention." That's on top of safeguarding the user's home network and applications against external attacks.

Homeshield on existing Wi-Fi 6 and 6E hardware has been available in two flavors, free Basic and Pro, which cost $6/month. It's unclear how HomeSheiled 3.0's implementation will pan out, but I guess it will be similar.

And finally, TP-Link also announced new products in its Aginet family of gateways based on Archer routers and Deco mesh systems above. Aginet is TP-Link hardware explicitly made for Internet service providers and available as standalone broadcasters, mesh systems, or 5G-enabled mobile gateways. They are only available from the support ISPs.

Pricing and availability

TP-Link says the new standalone Wi-Fi 7 Archer routers and Deco mesh above will ship in the first or second quarter of 2023.

Of those, the company said you'd be able pre-order the Archer BE900 ($699.99), the 2-pack Deco BE85 ($999.99), and the 2-pack Deco BE95 ($1199.99) as soon as December 31, 2022.

You can start saving or getting a loan today and check back in early 2023 for their in-depth reviews. That's if the claimed availabilities turn out to be true. Judging from past experiences with TP-Link, however, I wouldn't hold my breath.

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34 thoughts on “TP-Link Wi-Fi 7 Hardware Unveiled: Archer Routers, Deco Systems, and Omada APs”

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  1. Hi Doug, You often talk about the benefits of a wired backhaul, but can you recommend products for an inverse topology whereby the backhaul must be wireless and the fronthaul must be wired? I’ve been having a hard time finding compact satellites with 6 (min) LAN ports so maybe each satellite should instead consist of a travel size WiFi extender (wired clients don’t roam) having a single 10Gbps port connected to a compact 6 port switch? If that make sense, do you have a recommendation for this configuration (i.e., single broadcaster plus 1-3 “compact” satellites using strictly wired fronthaul)?

    Thank you very much!

    Reply
    • There’s no πŸ¦„ in networking, HW. You might want to read this post. If so, take your time with it.

      In any case, I don’t do nonsense, so count me out if you wanted to follow up. But a bit of attention will help.

      Speaking of attention, the name is Dong. πŸ™‚

      Reply
      • My deep apologies for misspelling your name Dong!😳

        Thank you as always for the prompt response. I am a little surprised that there are not more applications with legacy (pre-WiFi) client hardware in separate rooms whereby it’s not cost effective to upgrade the clients nor to wire between the rooms. I guess that’s what Ethernet-to-WiFi adapters are for.

        Reply
  2. Yesterday I setup the newly release 3-piece TP-Link BE85 mesh WiFi. WoW! Am I impressed! I updated to the latest firmware. All 75 devices in my house connected no problem. I’m upgrading from the TP-Link Deco M5. HUGE improvement! All my Ring cameras outside stay connected now and their signal strength has immensely improved. I easily get 1,000Mbps over WiFi now on my laptop with WiFi 6.

    I don’t care that WiFi 7 isn’t certified yet. THIS is the mesh WiFi I have been waiting for because of two things: 1. Multiple multi-gig ports on a mesh router, and; 2. 160Mhz channel width support.

    If you’re on the fence regarding TP-Links new BE85, get it! You won’t be disappointed. I have them all setup on 2.5GbE wired backhaul support. My phone and laptop roam seamlessly around the house perfectly just like the M5 units.

    My only complaint is that HomeShield Pro does not seem to do a good job at at blocking malicious websites. I enabled the free trial, but when visiting many websites listed on PhishTank website, TP-Link is literally not blocking any of the websites. From my understanding it’s now powered by Norton. Ewww. Netgear’s Home Armor is powered by Bitdefender. I will give Netgear credit where it’s deserved. Their Home Armor product is the best router security that I’ve tested over the years.

    Reply
    • You should use the 10Gbps backhaul. The wireless backhaul is already better than 2.5Gbps in ideal conditions. Thanks for the input. I’m under NDA as when I can publish my take on it. πŸ™‚

      Reply
      • Both 10Gbps ports are being used. 1 connected to my ONT and the other connected to my computer.

        I guess I could connect my computer to one of the 2.5Gbps ports on the BE85 router. However, my next gaming computer is going to either have a 5Gbe or 10Gbe port, which brings me back to the second 10GbE port being used by my computer.

        The key word is “ideal” conditions. I always preferred wired. I think you do too if I remember correctly from your previous posts. I won’t know if the 2.5Gbps wired backhaul is the bottleneck until WiFi 7 devices come out. Since I haven’t been able to get more than 1,100Mbps download over WiFi, I will stay with keeping everything wired to my 2.5GbE unmanaged switch for wired backhaul support.

        Reply
          • Oh, duh! lol Yes, I could do that. However, in my setup I would need two 10GbE switches. That’s over $600 right now (doh!) The 2.5GbE switch was only $100. Maybe in a few years if I see the need to upgrade to get maximum bandwidth I will and maybe 10GbE switch prices will come down by then. Thanks, Dong!

  3. In the last 24 hours, I have setup the Wifi 7 BE800 in my home for standalone use. Wifi performance, range and reliability are excellent so far. I have no 6E or 7 devices to test the 6HZ spectrum- but so far I am pleased with 2.4/5 GHZ performance/range. My fastest device (network wise) the S22 Ultra receives data at my Internet plan’s maximum speed.

    I am at least hopeful the router may eventually meet the requirements for full Wifi 7 certification- though only time will tell.

    The 2- 10 GHZ WAN/LAN ports (one with SFP) and the remaining 4- 2.5 GB ports are impressive- and hopefully when coupled with strong processing internals-will provide for significant added capabilities over the next 6-24 months. For example, I am anticipating increasing network speed to at least 2.5 GB/s over the course of the year and may purchase devices that can take advantage of the wired multi gig ports.

    Setup was easy and the overall experience has been solid. the IOT network capability was helpful and Homeshield Pro appears to work well for security.

    Reply
      • Actually I have the S22 Ultra which I just realized does support Wi-Fi 6E (6Ghz). It is super fast in the same room as the router-but loses a lot of performance on 6Ghz compared to 5 GHz in rooms further away. This was expected however. I believe Wi-Fi 7 devices will not be as limited in this respect.

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        • Interesting. I have similar experiences with wifi 6 and my ASUS XT8 and iPad- fine if in the same room, but once out of sight I really don’t notice any functional different over wifi5 (and I found some relatively unused bandwidth to use in my ultra-crowded wifi neighborhood).

          I’m hoping at least wifi7 because of its newness will be unused for long enough to not crowd the bandwidth too much.

          Reply
          • Hi Eric. The key operative here is 6E, not wifi 6. 6E uses the 6GHZ spectrum and I believe routers are now constrained power-wise such that range is poor. So on my network, Wifi 6/5GHZ (S22) in the same room as the router has a 1.1 GB/sec speed on a 1.2 GB ISP plan. With 6E/6GHZ it goes to 1.3 GB/sec (I am guessing the plan is slightly over-provisioned). I also presume that as ISP plan speeds increase further, Wifi 6E will deliver more performance benefits. However the range issue, at least for many homeowners makes 6E a mixed blessing. However Wifi 7, should overcome this issue and offer comparatively very high Wifi Speeds and excellent range on the 6GHz spectrum. However I am not an expert in this area.

            Of course, while 7 is downward compatible- to take advantage of this speed increase requires Wifi 7 clients.

  4. Do you believe the TP-Link Archer BE900 is superior to the Asus ROG Rapture GT-AXE16000 that you believe is one of the best on the market today? Talking purely on specs since the BE900 hasn’t been tested by you.

    Reply
  5. On the BE95 model, what does the Combo WAN/LAN port mean? Could I use the 10GbE port for WAN, and then buy a 1GbE SFP+ to theoretically get 5 ports on the router, or will it always just be 4 ports max?

    Reply
  6. If I want mesh, but would REALLY like VPN support, would going with 2 BE900 that support EasyMesh be the same as getting the BE95 model which is mesh and has 2 units?

    The dilemma is:
    1. Get 2x BE900 that support EasyMesh
    2. Get BE95 that does NOT support mesh, but supports mesh

    Not sure what is better. EasyMesh or Mesh? Are they they same. Thank you for your input.

    Reply
  7. Hi Dong,
    Will wifi 7 router make any difference (speed, performance, distance, etc.) to the existing wifi5/6 clients? Or will it be the same as if these are connected to ax router?

    Reply
    • Likely no. Its improvement involves the 6GHz band. But in a mesh that might help with the coverage — you can potentially place the broadcaster farther apart. Everything about Wi-Fi 7 remains to be seen, though.

      Reply
  8. Was serious thinking of purchasing an AXE300, now they announce their wifi7 products, so I might as well wait.

    I wonder what TP-Link’s logic was of announcing their next gen of products just as the AXE300 becomes available at retail? They must know that’s going to discourage a lot of people like me to wait.

    Reply
      • I realize it will be a while, but I don’t absolutely need to upgrade my router right now. So I might as well just wait on wifi7, however long it takes (I suspect a year or so). Maybe a deal will come up in that time.

        My biggest problem is the jammed bandwidth here, and since Asus enabled the upper 5g channels recently that seems to have helped my situation a bit.

        Reply
  9. Great read, and great news on hardware from TP-Link. Thanks for the info, Dong.

    Was really hoping for some new updates to TP-Link’s OneMesh feature though. Any idea if TP-Link will release an update to support mesh (OneMesh) between existing routers?

    Reply
  10. why the TP-Link Archer BE900 BE24000 Quad-Band Wi-Fi 7 Router comes with a single 6GHz band and the TP-Link Deco BE95 BE33000 Whole Home Mesh Wi-Fi 7 System with two 6GHz bands?

    Reply

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