Linksys Velop router hands-on: Mesh Wi-Fi of the future

Linksys Velop

While CES 2017 has yet to offer up something as truly revolutionary as a 3G vaping smartphone, several interesting new devices have come out of the annual consumer electronics show, including a new mesh network capable router from Linksys called Velop. The company sent MobileSyrup the Velop three pack, set to cost $650 in Canada, which we unboxed.

According to Linksys, the Velop is the first 802.11ac mesh network-capable tri-band router.

linksys-velop-router-3

Mesh networks recently became all the rage among tech companies — and with good reason. In the past, if a homeowner found Wi-Fi dead spots in their home, their main recourse was to install one or more Wi-Fi extenders. In practice, Wi-Fi extenders present two significant disadvantages.

First, from a usability standpoint, they don’t work how most people expect. When moving between the coverage area of a router and extender, the transition isn’t seamless; the user has to manually move between networks on whatever device they’re on at the time. In addition, there is an approximately 50 percent drop-off in Wi-Fi speed with each subsequent extender in a network.

Linksys Velop

Unboxing the Velop, it becomes apparent Linksys and Belkin put a lot of thought into how packaging can play a major role in one’s experience of setting up a new device. Upon opening the box, new Velop owners are greeted with a card that explains that setup exclusively involves downloading the Linksys mobile app, available on iOS and Android.

The app acts as a guide during the setup process, even going so far as to suggest the optimal place to put each of the units. It also sets up the units through a secure Bluetooth connection, which allows Velop owners to skip switching between Wi-Fi networks while they complete the set up of their new wireless network.

linksys-velop-router-1

 

Turning the card over reveals additional information on how setup works, explaining at a more granular level the process of downloading a mobile app.

Removing the insert reveals a single white ethernet cable. Below it are multiple bays that hold each unit’s power brick.

linksys-velop-router-6

Each router has a reassuring heft and sturdiness to it. Linksys says the design isn’t just for show. The vertical construction allows each Velop to house six antenna and them out a signal in a way that improves performance in multi-story homes. Turning a unit over reveals two LAN ports, a single DC port and a reset button.

The Velop system starts at $250. In addition to the three pack we received, there’s a two pack that costs $500.

Comments

  • Chug that haterade

    Definitely interested in this but not at the $650 price tag. Half that and then maybe we’ll talk…

  • vn33

    Roll out the “mesh” bandwagon!
    I have the eero three pack. I love the full Wifi coverage in my house.

  • Mid

    I just bought the Netgear Orbi last week and it works great, wondering how this compares to it. Any plans on doing a review anytime soon?

    • Doug

      Me as well. Great setup & coverage in my house.

  • Newdeal99

    this isn’t a review…I got here from a twitter link saying it was a review. This is just an ad

    • Roger

      To be fair, it says it’s a hands-on impression and unboxing.

  • Ipse

    Six.Hundred.Fifty.Dollars…plus tax. Repeat after me:” Six….”

    • Z S

      For three high-end wireless APs, that’s actually a pretty good price. Most other mesh networks cost a lot more.

  • Pingback: Linksys creates mesh router disguised as a speaker()