Who doesn’t know the problem – in the kitchen the WiFi signal is very good, in the living room directly in front of the TV as well, but at the latest in the study it gets a bit weaker and if you go up one floor, the smartphone or laptop only shows a bar. No matter how often you work with WiFi repeaters and search for the best point in your home for an almost perfect signal, you will rarely find a satisfactory result. You come to terms with it, but there is a solution – the mesh system.
Linksys Velop WiFi system in review – interference-free WiFi in the whole house?
At the latest since the last IFA trade show in Berlin and the Mobile World Congress, mesh systems are on the rise and a real alternative to existing WiFi systems with conventional technology.
Anyone who has ever tried to configure a network in a house with thick concrete walls, underfloor heating and perhaps routers in the basement (like ours) will be willing to try a new system that uses a new technology and thus bypasses precisely the weak points of the conventional WiFi signal.
Mesh systems are designed to span an area-wide network across the entire apartment, the entire office, and even inside the house, providing an equally strong WiFi signal at every location. What sounds like a dream for many homes has received very good reviews for a few months now, and we took a closer look at the Linksys Velop system.
Already in the announcement, the devices looked stylish and completely without annoying antennas or permanently blinking green LEDs, which are taped off in the living room or bedroom at the latest.
The packaging is kept simple and very tidy. The step-by-step installation instructions with all necessary cables and the two power supplies are on one side, and the two Linksys Velop boxes are on the other. These look much larger in the pictures than they are in reality and are very easy to integrate into the home.
Linksys Velop WiFi system in review – Who is the Linksys Velop system suitable for?
Basically, the Velop system is suitable for any person, whether they are a technology freak or even a home user who just wants to set up a network for their family. The Velop system is very easy to explain and even laymen can easily set it up with the installation instructions.
Compared to a conventional router, which costs between 50 and 100 EUR, the Velop system is of course a bit more expensive, but it also guarantees higher coverage, the use of fewer repeaters in each room and, most importantly, consistent speed between all users and no speed drops in individual rooms.
Especially in today’s world, where more and more devices are connected to the Internet, the refrigerator, light bulbs and of course the smart TV, more and more connections are needed and the performance of tablet, smartphone or laptop continues to decline.
The great advantage even for beginners that Velop system from Linksys can be connected directly behind the modem, which is already supplied via many cable network providers. Simply connect the included LAN cable to the Velop box and modem, and the first connection is established.
Tip: Be sure to switch off the WiFi from the modem or router and only generate the WiFi network via the Linksys Velop system. (Often there is already a button directly on the device – WiFi/WiFi On/Off).
Linksys Velop WiFi system in review – How does the mesh system work?
The big advantage with the mesh system is the third channel. While in conventional WiFi systems two channels were responsible for receiving and sending data and at the same time took over the communication between the WiFi station, as well as WiFi station and end device, the Linksys Velop mesh system separates this communication.
As an end user, you always had to wait a bit for your data if the WiFi points were already communicating with another device. Often, this is especially noticeable during streaming broadcasts when many devices are logged in. The well-known hourglass occurs and the broadcast stops in the middle because another participant is on Instagram or is running through all the rooms with the smartphone while having an intensive video chat, for example.
With the Linksys Velop system, this communication between stations and to detect the best station for the end user is placed on the third channel, guaranteeing a constant and even flow of data. It has already been almost unbelievable in the first review how fast and above all reliable the data was sent throughout the apartment.
Especially when connected with picture transmission (like Facetime), you notice relatively quickly when the connection deteriorates or is interrupted. This could not be determined even when quickly changing the living areas.
Linksys Velop WiFi system in review – setup of the devices – number of devices
The big advantage of the devices in the Velop system is also the flexibility. One can buy the set with one station, two devices or three devices directly. For our review, we used the set with two devices, using an area of 120sqm with various rooms, concrete walls and underfloor heating.
The devices were distributed over almost the entire living area during installation, so that in the middle area of the apartment the two mesh circuits could link up and the devices passed.
If at a later date you realize that the connection should be even stronger or you want another device for the patio, balcony or outdoor area, you can easily expand the set.
The devices of the Linksys Velop system currently cost about 140 EUR per device. If you compare this to a good router and various repeaters in the rooms, the price is quickly put into perspective.
The devices are timeless and elegant, no disturbing antennas and connected in a short time. On the bottom, there are only two LAN ports, a connector for the power supply (which is also kept in white) and ready. You can thus quickly connect and install the device.
The quick start guide already includes a reference to the Linksys app, which is available for both Android and iPhone and quickly recognizes the stations and connects them to the Internet.
The implementation is also very suitable for beginners and offers many different configuration options.
Compared to many other systems, I still waited for the challenge during installation, but after less than five minutes, the system greets the user with confirmation and completion of the installation. It really could hardly be simpler.
What I find very positive is the ease of use of the app, which explains all the function in a large and clear way on different screens, not only for technology professionals, but also for beginners. You can quickly see how many devices are currently connected, which devices are actively using the network, and so on.
Another positive feature, if you often have friends over, is how easy it is to install a guest network and give out the password directly to friends.
For families, the function of family sharing and preferences is also suitable. Especially in this day and age, the use of the Internet can be easily regulated for children and quickly adjusted with the smartphone.
Based on reviews of various routers, this was previously only possible in a cumbersome way via the browser and numerous settings; in the Linksys Velop system, this is done quickly and easily via the smartphone.
The app follows the overall impression of the devices and seems simple and easy to use even for laymen.
Linksys Velop WiFi system in review – performance and technical values
The Linksys Velop Wifi System transmits data at a maximum of 867MBit/s on the 5GHz band, which is of course a bit lower compared to high-end routers in terms of technical values, but it’s still not a problem since these amounts of data cannot technically be accessed by most devices at all.
For this, the Linksys Velop system has another 5GHz channel with 867MBit/s as well, which is reserved for the communication between the stations, and a 2.4GHz network with a maximum of 400MBit/s.
Even if you only take the “smaller” 2.4GHz value as a basis, 50MB/s are still transmitted (or 108MB/s for the 5GHz band). A YouTube video in high resolution needs just 3-4 MB/s. Even if the whole family watches YouTube and Netflix on different devices at the same time, the line in the own network is still absolutely sufficient (as long as the own Internet connection offers enough performance).
Unlike repeaters in the house, however, this performance remains constant. If you have several repeaters connected in series, the performance is halved in each case. So instead of the known 50MB/s, only 25MB/s are available at the first repeater and only 12.5MB/s at the second repeater. This problem and the interruption is completely eliminated with the Linksys Velop system and you don’t notice any differences, no matter which room you are in.
Another advantage that is immediately noticeable is that if one receiving station fails, the other station takes over and the entire Internet is not interrupted, as is the case with repeaters. As soon as the station is activated again, it automatically reconnects with the other stations and increases the overall performance.
CONCLUSION – Linksys Velop WiFi wifi system in review
Why wasn’t the Linksys Velop system available earlier – would probably be the appropriate question after the review. How many hours and days have already been spent to install a working WiFi system that is stable in all parts of the home.
There were always attempts to optimize the performance a bit more with additional repeaters and the drawers filled with some old devices. I have to admit, it didn’t look that neat and stylish at the same time yet. You can place the station discreetly and it will be considered an art object or accessory in the home, but certainly not a WiFi station for home use.
Certainly, it can be argued that the cost of the Linksys Velop system is a bit higher than a combination of repeaters and strong routers, but the overall package is almost identical in terms of pricing and much more stable.
The biggest advantage is certainly the simplicity of the Linksys Velop system. There have been few WiFi systems I’ve reviewed that have achieved success so quickly. Simply find two places in the apartment, place a power outlet and the station. Start the smartphone, select the app and go through the few installation steps.
For more than three weeks now, the Linksys Velop set has been in constant use in our home, and “I don’t have WiFi right now” situations are a thing of the past. The Linksys Velop system has completely convinced us and we can recommend it – without reservation.