Wireless made better.
The popularity of Mesh-based networking has led to companies like Netgear, Google and Linksys to make their own devices that support the new standard. Simply put, mesh-based network allow you to have a bigger coverage in your home without losing quality in speed and performance.
The difference between using systems like these compared to an extender / access point is that they all share the same signal quality over different bands to deliver 100 percent coverage without any dead spots.
The Linksys Velop offers a simple way to setup your own mesh router system – so simple that you only need an app to configure it. It’s both and advantage and a disadvantage, conspiring that the app doesn’t have all the options you would want to tinker on the router.
It comes in packs of 1-piece, 2-piece (used in this review) and 3-piece but you can configure one and keep adding more if you prefer. Even with multiple routers present, you only need one Wi-Fi name and password to connect to them.
Each node on the Velop comes in a matte white minimalist design that should blend well on any place you put it. It’s small in size too, different from the huge routers with crazy antennas that you’ve come to know.
The small size though has it caveats: it only has two Ethernet ports. Since one will be used for the main internet line, you will only be able to connect one wired accessory on the device. Along with that, the Velop does not have any USB port, so the ability to share content across your wireless network won’t be supported.
As mentioned, you would need to download the Linksys app to be able to set up the device. The app is available on iOS and Android and gives you a step by step guide on setting up each node. An LED light on top of the Velop gives you the status, and you would initially connect via Bluetooth while you set it up to work with your internet connection. The app also includes Parental Controls, Device Prioritizations and even a Guest channel that you can turn on without the need to give out your own personal Wi-Fi password.
I initially had problems setting up the Velop to work with my existing Etisalat connection – though it seems to be a problem on my ISP rather than on the device. But as mentioned, everything was done through the app, and once I entered the right settings I got it up and running in no time.
Each Velop node is an AC2200 router that features six internal antennas. It’s a tri-band device, letting you achieve speeds of 400 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band and 867 Mbps on the two 5 GHz bands. It also supports Multi-User Multiple Input, Multiple Output (MU-MIMO) data streaming for improved throughput speeds.
In our throughout tests, I managed to get a 550 Mbps reading between two devices in the same room. Going farther from the router, I still managed to get 236 Mbps, enough for a decent file transfer between two laptops at a decent rate. One the other node which we’ve placed a couple of feet away, we managed to get around 250 Mbps on the throughput tests.
But translate that to real-world usage and it basically meant that I got a full 50 Mbps speed (my current connection from my ISP) from everywhere in the 3 bedroom apartment I tested it with. Add to the convenience of setting it up using only an app and it stands as one of the best home Wi-Fi mesh systems out there.
Probably the only drawback is its price. A single Velop unit will cost you 999 AED, while two units and three units will set you back 1,599 AED and 1,999 AED respectively.
The Linksys Velop offers an easy to use way to set up your home network, if you’re willing to pay for the price.