Mesh-technology promises to be the solution for WiFi-problems: the advantages of access points, combined with those of repeaters, without the disadvantages of either. Linksys promises that you can effortlessly have WiFi-coverage throughout an entire house with their Velop-system. In this article we take a closer look at said system.
Creating a WiFi-network that covers the entire house is a problem for many people. Why is the WiFi not strong enough to watch Netflix in bed or why do those big attachments arrive so slow in the home office on the first floor? A poor coverage of the home network is often the issue. This is usually solved by something like a Wifi-repeater, but for the most part this solves very little if anything at all. A repeater does strengthen the signal, but because the radio has to switch between receiving and sending, it halves the bandwidth. An access point is a more effective solution, but the wires that are necessary for this are exactly what people that choose for WiFi want to avoid.
According to network manufacturers the solution is mesh. Mesh is a system where every part of the network can both send and receive, thereby creating a big network. Mesh-networks are relatively new in the consumer market. The best known example might be the Sonos audiosystem. Every player of this brand is both a sender and a receiver. Because you do not need a lot of bandwidth for audio, Sonos succeeded in creating a reliable network using this method a few years ago.
In order to realize this with a lot more bandwidth is a bigger challenge. This is the reason why mesh-systems are relatively expensive and were limited to business use up until this point. The first consumer sets are far from cheap. The Linksys Velop has an average price of 510 pounds / 571 euros at the time of writing. This is very steep, although it can be found for 446 pounds / 499 euros in our Price Comparison.
Velop consists of eye-catching towers; every tower forms a so-called node in the mesh-network. These all look the same and are equipped with two network connectors. One of these – on the node that you use as router – can be used to pair it with the modem of your internet service provider.
Technically speaking the Velop is a so-called tri-band router with two 5 GHz-radios and a single 2.4 GHz-radio. One of the 5 GHz-frequencies is used for the connection between the nodes. The other are free for clients. In a Velop box you will find three nodes which should be enough to provide even a bigger house with WiFi. There are also Velop-versions with one or two nodes.
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