Linksys Velop

Over the course of the last year, we've seen mesh networking gain momentum thanks to the likes of Eero and Luma. Google also joined the fray with the Google Wifi, and now Linksys has launched its own mesh networking solution called the Velop. The modular system is made up of invidiaual nodes that you'll have to place around your house to maximize coverage.

Each Velop node is a tri-band AC2200 class device with 2x2 802.11ac Wave 2 MU-MIMO and three Wi-Fi radios that can cover up to 2,000 square feet, but you'll ideally need more than one to get coverage throughout your house. Standalone nodes can function in four modes — router, range extender, access point, and bridge — and can be configured through Linksys' Android app.

The system switches between the three radios to find the "optimal path" from the modem to each individual node. The system also supports Amazon's Alexa platform, allowing you to enable or disable the guest Wi-Fi network with your voice. Each node has two Ethernet ports, which are hidden at the bottom along with the power connector.

Linksys is selling the Velop as a standalone unit for $200 or in packs of two or three for $350 and $500 respectively. The pricing makes it costlier than the $299 retail price for a three-pack of Google Wifi. That said, Linksys has been in the networking game for far longer, and the hardware itself is a notch above what Google is offering.

The Velop system is now up for pre-order on Amazon, Best Buy, and direct from Linksys, and will be up for sale starting January 15 from Amazon, Best Buy, B&H, Fry's, Newegg, Microcenter, Staples and Linksys.

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