Linksys Velop Review (Page 1 of 5)

By: Jonathan Kwan
September 15, 2017

A story was told of an engineer, a doctor, and a pastor who went golfing one morning. As they were waiting for a particularly slow group of golfers ahead of them, the engineer began to complain. "What is with these guys?" he began. "We must have been waiting for half an hour!" The doctor, sharing a similar impatience, responded, "I do not know, but I have never seen such ineptitude!" The pastor, being the more patient one of the three, approached the greens keeper as he came walking by. "Marco, what is with the group ahead of us? They seem rather slow on the course." Marco nodded and began to explain. "Oh yes, that is the group of blind firefighters. They lost their sight saving our clubhouse from a fire last year, so they can come in at any time and play for free." The group of three was silent for a moment before the engineer began to speak. "Why cannot these guys play at night instead?" Sometimes, you have to give it to the engineers for suggesting overly practical solutions to problems we encounter in our daily lives. However, while asking a group of blind firefighters to play golf at night is indeed a practical solution, it is not necessarily an elegant way to approach people. That said, there are times where practical and obvious solutions can be implemented in an elegant manner by engineers. For example, is your house too large that one Wi-Fi router cannot cover every corner? The obvious solution is to add more access points, but having multiple SSIDs is not an elegant solution. Fortunately, the mesh Wi-Fi concept aims to alleviate this problem. Inspired by large corporate Wi-Fi networks, the Linksys Velop promises total and complete coverage to every corner of your home seamlessly under one SSID. Will it work as well as it sounds? We took a three-node kit in to find out.

Our review unit of the Linksys Velop arrived in a relatively large brown corrugated cardboard box from the company's public relations firm in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. As it was with my Linksys WRT3200ACM review back in June, I was a bit confused as to what was in the package at first. The reason was because the same environmentally-conscious fellow Canadians recycled an old Viewsonic 23" monitor retail box for shipping this mesh Wi-Fi system. Anyway, using FedEx Ground, everything arrived in pristine condition to us here in Calgary, Alberta, Canada for our review today.

Upon opening the box, I was pleased to see a retail package of the Linksys Velop wireless system. The predominantly white, teal, and magenta color scheme is clean and modern in every way; appropriate for a product targeted towards home users. As you can see in our photo above, Linksys' logo and product name can be seen at the top left corner, with the text "whole home Wi-Fi" underneath to show what this is all about. In front of a watercolor background are three Linksys Velop nodes in three-quarters view. Across the bottom, you will find the slogan "Wi-Fi that sets you free" and four icons highlighting its modular system with three nodes, full-speed Wi-Fi for up to 6,000 square feet, tri-band AC6600, and three-year warranty. Diagrams, further feature highlights, and specifications can be found on the remaining sides of the box.

Before we move on, let us take a look at the specifications of the Linksys Velop, as obtained from the manufacturer's website:

Wi-Fi Mesh connectivity for Seamless Wi-Fi and simultaneous streaming
• Wi-Fi AC2200 (867 + 867 + 400 Mbps) with MU-MIMO
- 2.4 GHz Radio - 400 Mbps
- 5 GHz Radio - 867 Mbps
- 5 GHz Radio 2 - 867 Mbps
• Simultaneous Tri-Band
- IEEE 802.11b/g/n – 2.4 GHz – 256 QAM support
- IEEE 802.11n/ac – 5 GHz – 256 QAM support
• Beamforming for 2.4 GHz and 5GHz bands
• Seamless Roaming Technology

Processor and Memory for faster processing
• 716 MHz Quad Core
• 4 GB Flash and 512 MB RAM

Antenna for expanded coverage
• Six antennas and high powered amplifiers

Wired Connectivity for WAN/LAN Connectivity
• Two auto-sensing Gigabit Ethernet ports for WAN and LAN connection
Bluetooth 4.0/LE for secure and easy App based set-up

• WPA2-Personal encryption

Dimensions – Smaller footprint to blend into your home
• 3.1 inch Square base
• 7.3 inch from top to bottom

Required for set-up - Simple and secured App based set-up
• Mobile devices with Android 4.0.3 or iOS 8 and higher

The retail box opens by a flap at the top. The first thing you will see is are three Linksys Velop nodes on a white plastic tray on the right. On the left is a quick start guide with a flat Ethernet cable on a tray underneath it. Removing the tray will reveal three power adapters with its cable neatly wrapped. I found everything to be very organized out of the box, and the product presentation was done a very classy manner.

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Hardware
3. Configuration and User Interface
4. Performance Tests
5. Conclusion