TP-Link at CES 2017
A few years ago, almost no one at CES had heard of TP-Link - a networking company that had super bargain prices and mainstream networking gear. Now, TP-Link shows up on the shelves of most consumer electronics stores as well as many more online stores and things just keep getting better for them as a company. In their early days, they adopted mainstream technology and tried to gain market share by price alone. It must have worked for them as they now have a large chunk of the market.
Things have evolved at TP-Link though, and they aren't just trying to compete on price alone. They have some amazing routers, range extender/powerline hybrids that really offer a lot of performance, easy setup and are very functional. One of the things they were pretty excited to share with us this year was their deeper step into Smart Homes. They do offer a Zigbee router, but they wanted to take it a bit farther and now have worked with Google Home and Amazon Echo to bring deeper integration into their networking gear, their own smart bulbs as well as a limited array of motion and window/door sensors.
While TP-Link could probably do very well as a full IoT Smart Home company, they are mostly sticking to their core strengths and remaining fixed solid in the networking side of things. As a networking company, they have a lot of experience and can offer great integration solutions for other companies sensors; and that is currently their plan.
One product that was announced at CES was their Deco Mesh system. The premise of this is a range-extender that integrates with your existing networking, or has the ability to become a full-on wireless router, complete with seamless expansion. The difference between standard range extenders and a mesh system, such as the Deco, is the single SSID and password required. As you move from place to place in your home or business, the wireless network won't change, shift or drop. This is the idea behind mesh. It covers you with one system that integrates perfectly.
The Deco M5 Plus also integrates powerline networking through a USB Type-C connector, but if you don't need the powerline option, the Deco M5 is the option that will save you a few dollars. Each node is a AC1200/AC1300 dual-band system and it will be interesting to see how these compare with other units that we've seen that utilize tri-band.
Take a look at all of the TP-Link images and more in our CES Day 2 gallery here. Also, you can catch all of our CES coverage as it happens right here.
For more information about TP-Link products, check out their site.