Linksys Velop mesh routers promise whole-home coverage

Wireless is considered less of a luxury these days and more of an expectation. We expect it to work and to be relatively simple, despite the sheer complexity inherent to network devices and the variety of different environments we use them in, from crowded apartment buildings and old homes to concrete McMansions. Mesh routers are a step toward that goal, and Linksys is entering the fray with its new Velop modular mesh Wi-Fi system.

The Velop system can be configured as a one-, two- or three-node pack, with each device serving as a router, range extender, access point, and bridge simultaneously. The nodes each have six antennas inside broadcasting three Wi-Fi radios, which Linksys says will ensure that users get 100% of their speed right up to the edge of the router's signal. The hardware uses its three radios to find the best path across all the nodes to any client devices. Linksys says its system differs from its competitors since it doesn't use a "back haul" radio to handle inter-node communication.

The company also promises that configuring the Velop system is simple. Each node on the network should auto-configure itself to connect to the other nodes, and if one fails, the others will try to compensate. To further simplify things, users can use a Velop-specific app (available for both Android and iOS) that includes functionality for managing guest access and parental controls. Velop can be connected to Amazon's Alexa devices for voice-activated guest authorization, too. The system also offers automatic updating, which Linksys says can be turned off.

The one-, two-, and three-node packs will be available from retailers like Newegg starting on January 15 for suggested prices of $200, $350, and $500.

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