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Wi-Fi 7 is genuinely incredible with massive speed increases over previous generations with new wider channels and multi-link operation modes. But there’s a problem. Nearly all of your wireless devices will need to be upgraded or replaced to get the full benefits of Wi-Fi 7, right? Actually, one of the best and most immediate uses for all of this extra speed is a mesh system with the extra bandwidth enabling ultra-fast backhaul connections. That means you’ll likely see improvements on your older tech, like a PS5, that can connect to a much closer access point maximizing its 2x2 Wi-Fi 6 connection.

That being said, the most likely reason one might be interested in Wi-Fi 7 is for the near future when more new tech is shipping with 6GHz Wi-Fi support and (hopefully) internet connections continue to get faster. TP-Link has made sure the Deco BE85 nodes are ready for multi-gig connections with dual 10Gbps Ethernet with SFP+ and RJ45, as well as four 2.5Gbps ports on each node. Whether you’ve got a fast NAS or the latest in fiber optic internet speeds, the Deco BE85 is ready for it, at least when it comes to hardware.

About this review: The TP-Link Deco BE85 was provided by TP-Link for the purpose of this review and had no say into its contents. OnePlus provided a OnePlus 11 phone to test Wi-Fi 7 and also had no input into the article.

TP-Link Deco BE85 Wi-Fi 7 mesh router tri-band BE22000
Source: TP-Link
TP-Link Deco BE85
Powerful Wi-Fi 7 mesh
9 / 10

The TP-Link Deco BE85 is a fast tri-band Wi-Fi 7 mesh kit with BE22000 speeds and multi-gig Ethernet on every node. With support for modern Wi-Fi features like Multi-Link Operation and 4K-QAM, the mesh kit will have no trouble keeping up with fast LAN and WAN connections for those with home servers or fast fiber connections.

Wi-Fi Bands
2.4GHz, 5GHz, 6GHz
Ethernet Ports
2x 10GbE, 2x 2.5GbE (per node)
USB Ports
1x USB 3.0 Type-A (per node)
Mesh Network Compatible
Yes (Deco)
Supported standards
Wi-Fi 7
BE22000 12-stream
App requirements
Deco app
5.04x5.04x9.29 in
RJ45 Ethernet, SFP+
9x antennas
$1000 (2-pack), $1500 (3-pack)
  • Strong coverage
  • Ultra-fast wireless speeds (BE22000)
  • Several multi-gig Ethernet options
  • Easy and fast setup with Deco app
  • Large nodes need some breathing room
  • Disappointingly barren WebUI
  • Lacks advanced features including power levels and channel width
  • Does not support EasyMesh expansion with Archer routers

The TP-Link Deco BE85 two-pack I tested for this review comes in at a cool and simple $1000. That’s a lot for a Wi-Fi system, even a very fast one, relegating this mesh kit to the enthusiast corner. While the two-pack comfortably covered my three-bedroom single-story home, a three-pack is also available for $1500. Each node is identical, so you can expand down the road with more Decos if you want. But hold your horses because TP-Link has thankfully made all Decos work with each other, so you can add cheaper nodes where speed is less important to save some money.

I tested this mesh with the firmware updated to 1.0.7 Build 20230509 using two nodes. The first primary node was placed in the living room, where I test all other routers with the remote node in the bedroom location with two walls between it and the primary node.

Design and hardware

Large, hot, and powerful

TP-Link Deco BE85 mesh system: the top of the nodes with ventilation

I’ve always liked the way TP-Link’s Deco line has looked with simple rounded nodes that can fit in with just about any room decor without standing out too much. The Deco BE85 has a large “7” molded into the front node with a concave vented top allowing for heat dissipation. Speaking of heat, these nodes produce quite a lot of it but manage to stay cool with two small fans in the base. There’s often a tangible warm draft coming from the node and if I put my ear up to it, I can hear the fan, but it’s not loud enough to be annoying. Unless you live in an anechoic chamber, you probably won’t hear it.

The Deco BE85 is a BE22000 tri-band Wi-Fi 7 router with 12 streams. Its 2.4GHz band can deliver up to 1376Mbps, 5GHz up to 8640Mbps, and 6GHz up to 11520Mbps. The outrageous speeds at 6GHz are thanks to a wide 320MHz band, compared to just 160MHz with Wi-Fi 6, and 4K-QAM. The OnePlus 11 used for testing showed a connection speed of between 3Gbps and 5Gbps depending on how close it was to the router. Wi-Fi 6 devices with 160MHz support showed up to 2402Mbps at 5GHz, and a Wi-Fi 6E Zenfone 8 showed 2880Mbps at 5GHz. When it comes to getting the most out of this router, it’s really going to come down to the devices you’re using with it.

TP-Link Deco BE85 mesh system: Each node has two 2.5Gbps ports and two 10Gbps ports for wired devices

On the back, there’s a barrel jack for power, a USB 3.0 port (Type-A), two 10Gbps Ethernet ports, and two 2.5Gbps Ethernet ports. One of the 10Gbps ports can also be used as RJ45 or SFP+. SFP+ is an adapter most commonly used with fiber optic networking so if you have long distances to travel between nodes, such as to a detached workshop, it could be very handy. Adding to this, 10Gbps wired backhaul is supported, so you can link your nodes with top speeds. That’s a total of four wired devices on the remote node and three on the primary node.

One thing to keep in mind about multi-gig Ethernet is that it is only as fast as the device it connects to. For example, a lot of smart TVs only include old and slow 100Mbps Fast Ethernet. The multi-gig Ethernet on these Deco nodes will do nothing to speed that up, but in reality, a lot of those streaming devices don’t need a ton of speed with 4K movies rarely exceeding 50Mbps. Their laggy performance typically has more to do with slow CPUs and poorly optimized software.

TP-Link’s software can also combine multiple wireless bands and a wired connection for backhaul, so you always have the best connection possible. If you’re set up to use an older Ethernet run, power line kit, or MoCA adapter, there’s a chance that the Deco’s wireless connection is stronger, so it’s nice that the router will be able to best determine the connection. It’s worth noting that some user reviews are pointing out inconsistent performance with this setup, so your mileage may vary. That being said, TP-Link has been frequently updating the firmware for the Deco BE85 and as it’s a new hardware line, some bugs are to be expected.

Setup and software

The Deco app is required

TP-Link Deco BE85 mesh system: An Android phone with the Deco app

I have mixed feelings when it comes to TP-Link’s software. The Deco app on Android and iOS, thanks to consistent iterative improvements, has become one of the best mesh Wi-Fi apps you’ll find with quick and easy setup, a clean and sensible layout, and both remote and local management. You can update to the latest firmware and set a time to check for updates automatically. You can also use the Deco app to set up smart home tech from TP-Link Taco, TP-Link Kasa, and Philips Hue.

You can see your network status with a simple network map, internet usage, and how many clients you have connected. You’ll get a basic report of the quality of your backhaul, so you can get an idea of how well-placed your nodes are. Looking into clients, you can disable mesh roaming, set it as a high priority, or attach it to a family member’s profile. One thing I really like is the connection preference options let you set a preferred Deco and Wi-Fi band for each device.

Security and parental controls

VPN connections are supported in both server and client mode. VPN Server allows a device to connect to your home network over the internet. This can be handy for those that travel for work and want access to their secure home network from anywhere. VPN Client allows your router to connect to a VPN, such as one of the best VPN services, to add a layer of security or connect as if you're in another location.

There’s a Security tab that checks things like your firmware version, password strength, port forwarding, and guest networks. This tab is mainly for Security+ subscribers with additional options including Web Protection, Intrusion Prevention, IoT Protection, and Comprehensive Reports. You get a 30-day free trial with the router and can sign up for a year of service for $59.99, or a month for $6.49. At the time of writing, these were on sale in the app for $35.99 per year and $4.99 per month.

Next up, parental controls allow you to set up profiles and attach devices to those profiles. From there, you can pause the internet for select users, block specific websites, and filter sites by category. If you want the full package with some upgrades like SafeSearch, time limits, time rewards, and detailed reports, you’ll need the Advanced Parental Controls. The upgrade costs $29.99 per year or $3.99 per month with a 30-day free trial. And like Security+, it’s on sale for $17.99 per year and $2.99 per month in the app.

Truth be told, some people will get a decent value with these subscriptions, especially the Advanced Parental Controls, but it’s impossible to ignore that Asus gives you a similar set of tools for free on many of its mesh kits. I want to be clear, most people don’t need either of these subscriptions and Deco mesh works perfectly fine without it.

Set up your network

Finally, Wi-Fi settings are basic but good enough for most of the people looking for a complete solution like this. The 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands are combined by default with a separate SSID for 6GHz. You can choose the width of the 5GHz band as well as your security type. There are no power level controls or channel options. The 6GHz band is separate by default with very limited settings beyond choosing between WPA-3 or open security. If you want to combine all of these bands, an MLO network can be enabled with all three bands. MLO stands for Multi-Link Operation and allows Wi-Fi 7 devices to use multiple Wi-Fi bands at once to improve speed and consistency. Wi-Fi 6E devices can also use MLO though they will only connect to one band at a time.

You also have a few options to help your connection run as smoothly as possible. A network optimization tool scans for and fixes interference issues on all bands. While the system will optimize on its own over time, it's nice to have the options if there's an issue. You can enable a QoS to prioritize the most important devices on your network. You can also check for updates manually as well as enable automatic updates to be sure your network has the latest software fixes in place.

I don’t love that you need a TP-Link account to use the Deco app, even locally. I also don’t love that the first checkbox the app presents you opts you in to the User Experience Improvement Program. While some people won’t mind sharing basic usage information to improve the app, I’m tired of dishing out permissions for my data every time I download a new app or visit a new website.

You can connect to your Deco router in a web browser, but it's nearly pointless. You can see a basic network map, a list of your connected devices, and the CPU and RAM load. You can check for firmware here and apply manual updates. You can also see system logs and reboot your system and that’s really about it. It’s disappointing that TP-Link has decided to so thoroughly strip back the web UI on Deco while its Archer line still has a solid web UI. Even the Wi-Fi 7 Archer BE800 has a robust web browser interface with plenty of options to feel like I’m the one in control of my network.

It wouldn’t even be so bad if the web UI was at least as useful as the app, but it’s clear that TP-Link wants everyone to use the Deco app to change any settings with plenty of links to sign up for its growing list of subscription services.

When it comes to expanding your mesh with more nodes, TP-Link has maintained support with all previous Deco nodes. If you’re upgrading an older Deco system, you don’t need to throw your old nodes in the recycling bin, you can use them to add a bit more coverage where speed isn’t as important. It’s worth noting that while some products in TP-Link’s Archer line are getting upgraded with EasyMesh support, they won’t work with Decos. For now, at least, you can only pair Decos with other Decos and certain EasyMesh Archer routers with other EasyMesh routers.

Wireless performance

Wi-Fi 7 shows its muscles

TP-Link Deco BE85 mesh system: Netflix's Fast speed test app with 710Mbps down and 830Mbps up, latency 18ms unloaded and 28ms loaded

Wireless performance is where the Deco BE85 system should really shine, and it does. With its BE22000 connection and support for the latest tech, the Deco BE85 is the fastest Wi-Fi system I’ve ever tested, with some of the best upload speeds I’ve seen. First things first, I wanted to make sure the backhaul was strong enough to keep up as 6GHz Wi-Fi doesn’t penetrate walls as well as 5GHz or 2.4GHz. Using two MacBooks with 2.5Gbps Ethernet adapters, I performed a few file transfer tests. Connected to the same node, I got a full 300MB/s, which is pretty close to 2.5Gbps. Connected to different nodes with a couple of walls between them, speeds were a little less consistent but still managed 200-250MB/s.

I also used Fast, a speedtest application from Netflix, throughout my testing period for spot checks. Fast, also available at, gives you an idea of how fast your connection is to one of Netflix's servers which are located all around the world. In my case, the Chicago server is the closest. Depending on the time of day, I saw results generally in excess of 500Mbps down with peaks up to 900Mbps. Upload speeds were consistently impressive on this mesh and could easily reach 1Gbps, the maximum for my fiber connection.

Moving on to the Speedtest app, download and upload speeds were generally quite strong. I use a local fiber ISP with speeds up to 1Gbps down and up, which also hosts a couple of Speedtest servers. I tested the TP-Link Deco on my gigabit fiber internet connection in three locations. The primary node is in the living room while the second node is in the bedroom using the wireless backhaul with two walls in between them. The garage is nearest to the primary node with an insulated wall between it and the testing location, which demonstrates well how much 5GHz and 6GHz are affected by thick walls. The Deco's eight internal antennas coped very well, however.

Deco combines its 2.4GHz and 5GHz band so all of these results used the 5GHz band.

Living room (primary node)


Bedroom (secondary node)

LG G8 (Wi-Fi 5)

651/626 Mbps, 633/610 Mbps

580/586 Mbps, 522/560 Mbps

553/545 Mbps, 567/601 Mbps

Galaxy S20+ (Wi-Fi 6)

774/700 Mbps, 781/641 Mbps

799/612 Mbps, 755/606 Mbps

787/722 Mbps, 791/706 Mbps

Asus Zenfone 8 (Wi-Fi 6E)

845/942 Mbps, 848/942 Mbps

819/910 Mbps, 870/921 Mbps

871/920 Mbps, 909/890 Mbps

OnePlus 11 (Wi-Fi 7)

905/921 Mbps, 911/919 Mbps

851/913 Mbps, 848/899 Mbps

888/907 Mbps, 700/915 Mbps

For 6GHz, I tested two devices, a Wi-Fi 7 OnePlus 11 and a Wi-Fi 6E Asus Zenfone 8. The Zenfone 8 had an issue where it stopped seeing 6GHz Wi-Fi and needed to be factory reset to work properly again. As a result, the OnePlus and Zenfone results are from different days, so there could be some slight variances in the theoretical top speed. That being said, Wi-Fi 6E results were mostly solid with the biggest issues in the garage with its insulated walls. It's worth keeping in mind that if I hadn't disabled the 2.4/5GHz connections for this test, the phone would have likely switched over to the more stable band automatically. Wi-Fi 7 at 6GHz on the OnePlus 11 was a lot more promising with better consistency overall.

There are a few likely reasons for this speed improvement with features like QAM, a type of modulation used to avoid interference, being upgraded from 1024 on Wi-Fi 6E to 4K. The 6GHz channel is also twice the width with 320MHz support compared to 160MHz with Wi-Fi 5 through 6E.

Living room (primary node)


Bedroom (secondary node)

Asus Zenfone 8 (Wi-Fi 6E 160MHz)

799/942 Mbps, 702/835 Mbps

242/1.52 Mbps, 73.4/1.34 Mbps

576/78.8 Mbps, 720/573 Mbps

OnePlus 11 (Wi-Fi 7 320MHz)

867/942 Mbps, 859/942 Mbps

888/757 Mbps, 883/876 Mbps

896/942, Mbps 903/928 Mbps

If you’ve been following Wi-Fi and 5G development, you’ll know that the higher the frequency gets, the worse the coverage gets. The problem is that 2.4GHz and 5GHz spectrum are in high demand and if you’ve got close neighbors, you’re going to be dealing with some interferences. The new spectrum at 6GHz used by Wi-Fi 6E and Wi-Fi 7 has way more capacity than the lower-frequency bands so even in the future when most people have 6GHz-capable routers, you’ll still have more capacity than 5GHz.

Like Wi-Fi 6E, mesh routers seem to make the most immediate use of Wi-Fi 7’s 6GHz spectrum. These mesh nodes support fast Wi-Fi 7 connections between them, so your devices can connect to the closest node. That means improved performance in the rooms further away from the router, like my bedroom where even older Wi-Fi 6 devices like the Galaxy S20+ are seeing nearly 800Mbps with the Deco BE85.

I’m impressed by what TP-Link has delivered with its first Wi-Fi 7 mesh system with good stability and strong performance.

One thing I want to make clear about mesh systems is that the performance you see in a speed test app doesn’t always reflect the experience you get. Mesh systems need to balance their capacity between connecting the mesh nodes and wireless devices. If you perform a lot of speed tests back to back around the house, you may see your speeds internet speeds dip lower than expected, but the quality of the connection should stay high. For example, you don’t need 800Mbps to stream the highest quality video on Netflix, so it’s not a big deal in day-to-day usage if your speeds dip a bit in service of the whole network.

If you want to see tip-top speed test results every time, a mesh won’t always be your best friend. That being said, apart from a couple of issues on my end, this Wi-Fi 7 Deco mesh network has been one of the most reliable hands-off 6GHz mesh systems I’ve used. This is made even more surprising when you remember just how new this hardware and software is.

If you want a Wi-Fi 7 mesh from TP-Link but don’t like the restrictions of the Deco software, you can also put together a mesh using EasyMesh with an Archer router like the TP-Link Archer BE800. It requires a lot more configuration and has fewer node options (for now), but gives you many more advanced settings. If you’re replacing an older mesh, you might even find that you need fewer nodes, or no mesh at all, with the coverage of a newer router.

TP-Link Deco BE85 mesh system: Front of the main node and rear of the second node

You should buy it if:

  • You’re looking for multi-gig whole-home wireless speeds.
  • You want a Wi-Fi 7 network with expandable coverage.
  • You’re looking to upgrade an existing Deco mesh.
  • You want to be one of the first with Wi-Fi 7.

You shouldn’t buy it if:

  • You want advanced Wi-Fi settings.
  • You want EasyMesh-compatible expansion.
  • You want a compact mesh system

The biggest problem with Wi-Fi 7 is the price. While TP-Link’s low prices are typically one of its biggest selling points, it’s also one of the very first to introduce the world to this latest generation of Wi-Fi. That means the Deco BE85 with two nodes is a staggering $1,000. No matter who you are, that’s a lot of money to build a Wi-Fi network that the vast majority of your devices won’t be able to fully utilize. It's a lot of money to spend on a network that offers very little in the way of advanced settings and can't even be set up in a web browser.

Building an ultra-fast multi-gig home network was more of a hobby in years past for those who wanted to see how quickly they could buffer a 4K Blu-ray rip or move terabytes of data per day for redundant backups to their NAS. Now, however, more people are able to take advantage of these speeds, such as work-from-home video editors keeping track of multiple large projects, Twitch streamers that need to keep multiple hours of high-quality VoDs per day, or maybe even a company owner who has decided to put their offsite backup server in their basement. Some of those people are willing to pay a bit more for a fast and reliable Wi-Fi network with a five-minute setup and easy management from an app.

I’m impressed by what TP-Link has delivered with its first Wi-Fi 7 mesh system with good stability and strong performance. The BE85 has received several firmware updates since its release in the name of stability and performance and the version I tested was always fast and responsive. On that note, TP-Link has been knocking it out of the park these last couple of years with even its older flagship, the Archer AXE300, one of the best Wi-Fi 6E routers, impressing me. If you want a multi-gig mesh Wi-Fi system that’s ready for the fastest devices of today and the next couple of years, and don’t mind the eye-watering price tag, the Deco BE85 is an excellent mesh kit.

TP-Link Deco BE85 Wi-Fi 7 mesh router tri-band BE22000
Source: TP-Link
TP-Link Deco BE85
Powerful Wi-Fi 7 mesh
9 / 10

The TP-Link Deco BE85 is a fast tri-band Wi-Fi 7 mesh kit with BE22000 speeds and multi-gig Ethernet on every node. With support for modern Wi-Fi features like Multi-Link Operation and 4K-QAM, the mesh kit will have no trouble keeping up with fast LAN and WAN connections for those with home servers or fast fiber connections.