Out of the box, TP-Link’s Deco M9 Plus is an unimposing yet impressive Smart Home solution » Manila Bulletin Technology

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Out of the box, TP-Link’s Deco M9 Plus is an unimposing yet impressive Smart Home solution

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By Jayvee Fernandez

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TP-Link’s Deco M9 Plus is absurdly easy to set up, its manual is literally 3 inches long. Not 3 inches thick. Like literally the text inside the tiny manual is shorter than a banana. Out of the box, the two Deco units that come in the package look more like designer LED lights than wireless routers.

In today’s age of Internet of Things (or IoT) there is a trend to making technology less imposing to non-techies. Routers are looking more like appliances and setting up these devices can be done by downloading an app on your phone. Gone is the tedious chore of setting up a home Internet network.

The Deco M9 Plus  can be installed by your teenager. After downloading the Deco app from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store, simply plug the first router into your modem and connect to the app via Bluetooth. The app immediately finds the device and updates it to the latest version. From there you have the option of adding additional Deco units where WiFi signal is sparse. For most homes within 200 to 300 square meters with a second floor, the two units that come in the package is more than enough.

What sets TP Link’s Deco M9 Plus apart is that it comes ready with smart home integration. If you have an Amazon Echo (Alexa), you can pair the Deco with voice commands to power your smart appliances. In the Philippines, we don’t have a huge selection of IoT appliances so the regular workaround is to buy smart plugs from Lazada and other online shopping sites and use these to remotely control your appliances plugged in.

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Perhaps the best feature of the Deco app is the option for “Triggers.” What this means is that you can schedule certain smart home functions to automate. For instance, I can plot a daily schedule for my smart bulbs / lights to turn on at 6PM, or have my espresso machine automatically heat the boiler at 5:40AM so that when I get down at 6AM, I can already make espresso without having to wait. All of these features are controlled via the app and it really is just a matter of pairing them with out of the box smart devices or smart plugs.

If you’re looking for the best implementation of a home mesh WiFi network that also has smart home capabilities built in, there really is no need to look further.

Pros

App has option for multiple admin account

Built in anti-virus / anti-malware scanner

Routers come with a USB port that is marked as “reserved” for future use. Intriguing!

Cons

The package only comes with one ethernet cable for the main router. You will need to purchase  additional cables if you wish to make more wired connections to your desktop PC, gaming console or Android TV.

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