Performance Meets Flexibility
The latest Linksys entry into the world of Mesh WiFi is not one of the cheapest Tri-band mesh systems out there but it is one of the fastest. It’s also the most flexible. A Linksys Velop system can be purchased in 1,2 or 3 packs of 2 or 3 bands nodes you can mix and match to form just about any configuration to fit your home and budget. There is even a “best of both worlds” combo option that combines a single tri-band node with two dual-band nodes and offers the ultimate in coverage area without breaking the bank.
The Linksys Velop Whole Home WiFi Mesh System allows for multiple customization options. The mesh system covered in this review is the Tri-Band 2-Pack. Linksys also offers Dual-Band and Tri-Band nodes that can be mixed and matched to create a wide range of configuration options for your home as well and multiple price points for your budget.
- Bands: Tri Band
- Processors: Quad Core
- Antennas: 6 per node
- MU-MIMO: Yes
- QOS: Yes
- Parental Controls: Yes
- Ethernet ports: 2
- USB: None
- Nodes: 2-Pack
- Setup: Phone, Web
- Devices: 40
- Coverage: 4,000 sq. ft
- Speed: 4400Mpbs
- WiFi Type: AC (WiFi 5)
Of all the Mesh designs I’ve seen the Linksys Velop Tri-Bands are my favorites. They’re very sleek and modern looking square towers that gradually taper upwards. On top of each tower is a single status light that tells you the connectivity status of that node. The status light is solid blue when connected and turns red when the connection is lost. During the initial setup, the status light shines purple and yellow when it’s out of range of the main mesh node. Hidden in the underside of the base are two Ethernet ports, the power port, an on-off switch, and a reset button. Unfortunately, the Velops don’t have a USB port for external storage.
Each Linksys Velop node is actually an AC2200 router with six internal antennas. Each delivers up to 400Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and 867Mbps on each of the two 5GHz bands for a total of 2,134Mbps (Rounded to 2,200Mbps) per node. You get the total theoretical maximum of your entire mesh system by multiplying that number by the number of nodes you purchase. Each Tri-band node covers up to 2,000 sq ft. The total coverage area your system is capable of is reached by multiplying that number by the number of nodes.
The Velop Tri-Band System supports MU-MIMO which is an important feature that allows dedicated, simultaneous connections to your devices instead of forcing them to wait their turn as you would with several devices sharing the same connection. This immediately allows for faster throughput on devices that support MU-MIMO.
You’ll also find the usual features you’re accustomed to on high-end wireless routers such as Parental Controls, Guest Network, and device prioritization features. Unlike many lower end Mesh systems, the Velop Tri-Band provides access to advanced settings such as port forwarding, MAC filtering, and allowances for different connection types.
The intuitively designed phone app allows for easy customization of features like device prioritization and parental controls by simply tapping on a node and making your selections. It doesn’t get any simpler than this.
In terms of WiFi speed, the Linksys Velop is a top performer in most tests. At close proximity, the Linksys Velop’s main node showed significantly better speeds than the Netgear Orbi and laid the Eeros throughput speed to waste by a wide margin. At 30 feet the Velop scored slightly better than Orbi but not by much.
The Velops satellite nodes scored slower than the Orbi but significantly better than Google WiFi at close proximity. At 30 feet the Velop slightly edged the Netgear Orbi and crushed Google WiFi. When you pay top dollar you expect top performance and with the Linksys Velop Tri-Band system, you get it.
To Backhaul Or Not To Backhaul
Both the Dual-Band and Tri-Band Velop nodes support wired backhauling. That means if you can manage to string an Ethernet cable between the a main node and a satellite that will serve as the communications channel between nodes. This frees up an entire channel for wireless clients to use and speeds things up quite a bit since the WiFi isn’t doing “double duty” maintaining a connection back to the main node and each of the clients. The difference in speed will be more noticable when the Dual-Band nodes.
Simply download the app on your iPhone or Android, create an account, and login. The app will want some preliminary info about your current modem router setup. Note: It’s best to have a single modem or router/modem in bridge mode. You don’t want to try to integrate the Velop nodes with your current wireless router. Connect the Ethernet cables and the power and let your modem connect to the Velop node. It should take about thirty seconds. When it connects the light on top will flash a pretty purple color.
Now walk your satellite node to another location, plug in the power adapter, and repeat the process. If you go too far the status light will turn yellow. Once you find the right spot run the same setup routine you did on the main node. It’s as simple as that. If your big plan for the afternoon was to set up your new Mesh WiFi system you may need to find something else to do because the initial setup only takes a few minutes.
The Linksys Velop Mesh system offers a highly customizable way to get whole-home coverage without the hassle of configuring multiple access points and extenders. It’s priced lower than both the Orbi and Google WiFi but also offers more coverage and way more flexibility than either. That combined with its overall performance, features, and ease of use makes it the WiFi Guys top-rated WiFi Mesh system.
The latest Linksys entry into the world of Mesh WiFi is not one of the cheapest Tri-band mesh systems out there but it is one of the fastest. It's also the most flexible.
- Throughput performance
- Ease of use
- No USB ports
Where To Buy
- All prices mentioned above are in United States dollar.
- This product is available at Amazon.com, Newegg.
- At amazon.com you can purchase Linksys Velop Mesh Router (Tri-Band Home Mesh Wi-Fi System for Whole-Home Wi-Fi Mesh Network) 2-PackAmazonUs/ White for only $229.99 , which is 23% less than the cost in Newegg ($299.99).
- The lowest price of Linksys Velop Tri-band Whole Home Wi-Fi Mesh System, 2-Pack (Coverage Up to 4000 sq. ft.), Works with Amazon Alexa was obtained on May 21, 2022 8:52 am.
|Price history for Linksys Velop Mesh Router (Tri-Band Home Mesh Wi-Fi System for Whole-Home Wi-Fi Mesh Network) 2-PackAmazonUs/ White|