What you need to know
- TP-Link has unveiled a ton of new router tech at CES 2021, including a Mesh WiFi 6E running on the 6 GHz Band for 7800 Mbps, and another 10Gbps router.
- Its highlighted consumer router is the TP-Link Deco Voice X20, which covers 4,000 square feet with WiFi 6 Mesh and has a built-in Alexa smart speaker.
- TP-Link also unveiled new smart home tech like a motion-activated smart dimmer that turns off when you've left the room or dims when it's time for bed.
Even after the pandemic ends, many companies are shifting to a long-term work-from-home model. That means individual employees will need faster internet speeds throughout their homes, plus better security for their devices and information. Then, once the workday ends, people want faster internet for streaming 4K content or enjoying cloud gaming services like Google Stadia and Amazon Luna.
The solution starts with a faster internet plan and ends with a router capable of supporting it. We're big fans of TP-Link routers in particular, and the company has developed some seriously heavy hitters for 2021, and is showing them off virtually at CES 2021.
The router you'll most likely want in your home is the Deco Voice X20, a Wi-Fi 6 mesh router built to provide consistently fast speeds across 4,000 square feet. The Deco X20 is already one of the best Wi-Fi 6 mesh routers available today, but this version adds a built-in Alexa smart speaker for smart home management, Alexa calling, music streaming and other features. It's a nice way to make buying an expensive new router more appealing, by adding more bells and whistles to it.
For more niche shoppers willing to go all out for next-generation internet speeds, TP-Link has also developed the AX7800 Whole Home Mesh WiFi 6E System, or Deco X96. This monster router works on the 6 GHz Band, allowing it to hit 7800 Mbps. It comes with "smart antennas" to boost the signal across your home and reportedly uses "AI-driven mesh" that adjusts the signal based on your home's layout. 6E routers are only just arriving this year, so you can expect some of the best bandwidth and lowest latency ever — though we also expect a high price tag.
If that speed (somehow) isn't enough for your needs, TP-Link is releasing another hardcore router mostly aimed at small businesses: the Archer AX206. It's a 10G router with multiple ethernet ports capable of hitting 10Gbps, plus a dedicated 6 GHz band for Wi-Fi 6E.
All of these routers come with the option for a paid HomeShield security subscription, which enables your router to monitor your smart home devices for security issues and block malicious URLs and DDoS attacks.
We don't have any information on when these routers will be commercially available, or how much they'll cost. For now, if you're struggling with your current internet speeds, check out some of Android Central's favorite routers available now, including the best Wi-Fi 6 routers, best cheap Wi-Fi 6 routers and the best Wi-Fi routers overall.
You can check out all of these devices at TP-Link's virtual CES exhibit. Besides routers, the company is also showing off several smart home devices, including security cameras and video doorbells. We were particularly excited by the Kasa Smart Dimmer Switch (KS220M). It can detect motion in a room, and then shut off the light after a certain amount of time once you leave the room. It also has an automatic Fade In and Out function that dims the light as the sun goes down, then brightens the light in the morning.
Sign up for Black Friday email alerts!
Get the hottest deals available in your inbox plus news, reviews, opinion, analysis and more from the Android Central team.
Michael spent years freelancing on every tech topic under the sun before settling down on the real exciting stuff: virtual reality, fitness wearables, gaming, and how tech intersects with our world. He's a semi-reformed Apple-to-Android user who loves running, D&D, and Star Wars. Find him on Twitter at @Michael_L_Hicks.