Linksys Velop Whole Home (Mesh) WiFi - More Velop Details

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Linksys Velop Whole Home (Mesh) WiFi
More Velop Details
Testing the Velop

Velop's Place in the Market:

There are a few solutions from other companies that offer similar features to what Velop claims. Some of them I've heard of, others I haven't. The truth is, the networking market is super crowded and in order to stand out, a company has to offer something better, cheaper, or different that the competition. Linksys thinks they've got this figured out for this generation of products, but as always, innovation and the driving market demands they keep pushing.

Velop Comparision

 

I'm sure that other companies could put up a list of features that they complete while the Velop would lack several, but still, this chart above gives you a good idea of what the Velop is capable of and it also gives us some expectations of the performance.

 

High Performance Node-working:

During the briefing, Linksys claimed the performance of the Velop was second to none as they utilize Tri-band and MU-MIMO technology. As you expand the mesh to include more nodes, the Velop system scans and switches to the best channels and there is a dedicated 802.11ac band (one of the three) responsible for node-to-node communication. This way performance between the nodes doesn't degrade exponentially as you add more nodes. The dedicated band should keep traffic and latency moving right along - which is something we'll be testing here in this review.

Velop Friendly

 

Setting Up the Velop:

Each and every node of the Velop system is physically identical, and even the software is identical out of the box. Once you start setting things up, there is one "master" node that acts as a router and it pushes the settings to each node to make the network mesh work seamlessly. The bottom of each node contains two Gigabit Ethernet ports, a power plug, reset button and a power switch.

Velop Bottom

 

The first node is to be plugged into your modem via an Ethernet cable during setup, and the other port is initially free. Once the nodes are setup and communicating with each other, you can use any of these ports to plug in wired devices as well. These nodes work as wireless repeaters as well as wireless access points - all while broadcasting the same SSID and network information in a perfect mesh. It's a great idea - if it works.

 

The setup is app-based as we mentioned before, so after a quick install of the new Linksys App, we were good to go with the setup wizard. The images below are pretty straightforward so there won't be a lot of commentary. If I've left anything out, please drop a line in the forum at the end of the review.

Velop Setup Start

Velop Setup Start

Velop - Connected

Node Found & Connected

Velop - Add Another Node

Add Another Node?

 

The above setup process takes a few minutes and Linksys has pictures and a description of all the setup steps, including unplugging and removing your old router. They also give detailed tips of proper placement as well as the hardware you'll need for each step. It really couldn't be any more simple and easy for anyone to hook up and set up.

Network of Nodes

Node Illustration

Node Placement Tips

Node Placement Tips

Required Hardware

Required Hardware

 

If you are installing more than one node, you have the option to keep on adding nodes to the mesh. The setup guide allows you to either finish setup after the first node, or add another node and this will continue until you run your box empty. At which point you are finished.

 

Trifecta Success

 

Before we jump into testing on the next page, we'll quickly talk about the types of setup available that the Velop is capable of. Traditional WiFi access points worked best if the remote repeaters connected directly to the central router. Velop allows you to setup with the traditional star as well, but adds the flexibility of tree setups as well as even a daisy chain. In addition to wireless connections between each node, you can actually use these over a wired network as well to expand wireless with the same SSID and settings across a much larger and more difficult installation. The flexibility is pretty fantastic.

Application & Coverage

 

On the next page, we'll jump into some WAN testing as well as local wireless performance testing as well to see how well this works.