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TP-Link Decos are great, but sometimes we run into problems with them that we can’t seem to find quick answers to!
As I was equally as frustrated as you are about help regarding TP-Link Decos, I did my own research and compiled these answers for you.
Read on more to learn about the solutions:
Introduction to TP-Link Deco
Before we dive right into the problems encountered by Deco, it might be practical to first learn how Deco works.
TP-Link Decos are known to work on a different system from modems and routers; they work in what’s called a mesh system. This mesh system will create a WiFi network for your home.
For context, my working TP-Link Deco is the X90, but the solutions in this article will work for most Decos.
Here’s how Deco’s mesh system works:
Mesh systems have broader home WiFi coverages and are able to cover homes up to 7000 square feet!
The best part about Decos is their ability to provide a seamless transition between each Deco, all within the same network name, unlike range extenders which work on a different connection name.
My specific Deco model is the Deco X90, and I found I have very few problems with this model. It doesn’t show the red light as often.
This means that if you’re walking around the house, your device won’t lose connection.
Decos also features Adaptive Path Selection which can automatically switch between WiFi bands so neither the 2.4Ghz nor 5GHz band gets congested.
If you’d like to learn more about other mesh wifi systems, read this post on eero mesh wifi:
Decos work as multiple units that work together to provide fast, strong WiFi throughout a household.
Here’s a video to show you how this works:
If you’re curious about some common questions on TP-Link Decos and modems, check out this article I wrote:
Now, let’s get right into the problems and their solutions:
1. How To Connect Deco to Main Deco?
Here are 8 simple steps for the setup process to connect Deco to the main Deco:
1) Open up the Deco app and tap on [+] at the top right corner to add a new Deco unit.
2) Select the model of your Deco
3) Select your home layout
4) Turn on your 2nd Deco unit and wait for the LED to turn into a pulsing blue, then tap “Deco’s LED is pulsing blue”.
NOTE: If the LED is not pulsing blue, please press the RESET button at the bottom of the unit for one second and then release it; the LED will turn yellow. Just wait for about 2 minutes until the LED turns to pulsing blue and go on.
5) Wait for the main Deco to look for the new Deco. Keep your phone connected to Deco’s Wi-Fi network.
6) Select a room identifier for the new Deco (Bedroom, hallway, study, etc.)
7) Wait for Deco to optimize network settings
8) Setup is complete! A new Deco can now be added or exit.
2. Are All TP-Link Deco Compatible?
All TP-Link Deco are compatible and can work together in one mesh system. However, to ensure the internet connection performance, the latest model should be set as the main Deco. Subsequent older Deco models should be used as satellite Decos.
3. Do I Need 2 or 3 Deco Mesh?
Most homes need a 3 Deco mesh configuration. 2 Deco mesh devices cover 2,000-3,800 square feet or 2-4 bedrooms, whereas 3 Deco mesh devices cover 3,800-5,500 square feet or 3-5 bedrooms. For even larger homes, it is recommended to add more Decos up to a maximum of 10 Decos in one mesh network.
Check out this tool by TP-Link to determine how many and what kind of Mesh are recommended for your home size.
Scroll down to the portion of “Deco Covers Every Home” and click on “Need a recommendation?” to start.
4. How Do I Know if My Deco Is Working?
To know if your Deco is working, check the Deco app if all Decos are online. Alternatively, you can also check to make sure that the light on your Deco has a solid green color. This means that your Deco is powered on and connected to the internet.
Here’s how to check if your Deco is working:
(a) Open up the Deco app and tap on the globe icon.
(b) Check that it says “All Decos are online”. If they are, then your Decos are working!
(c) Check that your Deco has a solid green light
5. How Do You Manually Reset Deco?
Decos can be manually reset by pressing the Reset button at the bottom of the Deco unit for 1s. Alternatively, Decos can be manually reset through the Deco app or by simply unplugging and plugging the Deco from the power source. All actions above will reboot the Deco.
I demonstrate how to reset it through the app in screenshots I took:
(a) Click on the Globe Icon
(b) Click on the Deco you want to reboot
(c) Click the 3 dots in the top right corner
(d) Click Reboot
Alternatively, you can unplug the Deco unit and then plug it in again, which will reboot the Deco.
If rebooting does not solve your problem, consider removing and adding back the Deco instead.
Watch this video for a specific guide on how to reset your Deco:
6. Why Is My Deco Light Red?
Deco lights can turn red due to 2 reasons. A deco red light might mean it may be bricked and a firmware recovery needs to be done. If a deco light turns randomly red, it might be an internet instability issue.
Read this for TP-Link’s possible solutions.
|Color Description||Meaning of the LED status|
|Red pulse||Deco is disconnected from the main Deco|
|Red solid||Deco has an issue|
For more specifics, check out TP-Link’s website on the different LED colors.
7. What Does the Reset Button on Deco Do?
The reset button on Deco will reset the Deco to factory settings when held for more than 1 second. It is recommended to reset the satellite Decos first before resetting the main Deco.
8. How Do I Fix Deco Red Light?
Deco red light can be fixed by either checking if the internet service is working well, rebooting a Deco, and a firmware recovery as a last resort.
Read more details on how to do so on TP-Link’s website.
9. How Do I Reconnect Deco to Main Deco?
To reconnect a Deco to the main Deco, open up the Deco app, tap on [+] icon, tap Decos, select your Deco model, select your home layout, wait for the LED to pulse blue, wait for your Deco to be found, select a room identifier, wait for network settings to be optimized, then the Deco is reconnected to the main Deco.
What Makes TP-Link Deco Different from other Routers?
TP-Link Deco can support high upload speeds thanks to its mesh router when connected to a cable modem. It can also support a guest network, which some other mesh routers do not support.
Personally, I use my TP-Link Deco X90 to connect lots of smart home devices, and I have seamless coverage of my apartment home.
Also, my deco device allows me to achieve faster speeds on a 5GHz network band compared to a 2.4GHz band.
Moreover, since my unit comes with a second Deco, I can have whole home coverage, and can even add additional deco units to support multiple devices.
There are many ways that the TP-Link Deco can go wrong, especially when there is a power outage or a blackout!
These Decos tend to get really wonky whenever it happens, and it frustrates me so much.
This article is for you (also for myself!) to refer back to whenever you need to troubleshoot your Deco!
I hope this article has helped you resolve some of the issues you faced or just to answer some of your simple questions about setup and about the product.
Thanks for reading thus far and I wish you all the best.
Stay smart and keep hacking up your homes!
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Justin is the founder and author of Justjooz. He is a Nanyang Technological University (NTU) alumni and a former data analyst.
Now, Justin runs the Justjooz blog full-time, hoping to share his deep knowledge of business, tech, web3, and analytics with others.
To unwind, Justin enjoys gaming and reading.