Linksys Velop : First Look

Linksys is the latest company to unveil a WiFi mesh system

Got a dead spot? Buy another module.

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    Mesh networking has become trendy for folks looking to fill every nook and cranny of their homes with WiFi. So it should be no surprise that the makers of the most iconic router ever is unveiling its own system. The Linksys tri-band Velop setup is a modular system that the company says is made to expand as your needs do.

    Each Velop Tri-Band 2x2 802.11ac Wave 2 MU-MIMO node pulls quadruple duty as a router, range extender, access point and bridge. According to Linksys, each Velop is capable of a combined speed of 2,200 Mbps. It's like having a bunch of little routers in your home all working together to make sure you can stream The OA regardless of which room you're in.

    The Velop can be set up and maintained via the Linksys iOS and Android companion app and it supports Amazon's Alexa platform out of the box. For example, it has a skill to turn guest access guest WiFi on and off with your voice. The smarts continue under the hood as well: Linksys says that the network will also dynamically adjust itself to deliver the best WiFi speeds.

    And so it looks good in your home but will ultimately be mistaken for a speaker, the power and Ethernet ports are on the bottom of the Velop so it maintains a clean profile from all angles.

    Since the device is modular, Linksys is selling it individually for $200 or in packs of two and three for $350 and $500, respectively. That makes it pricier than Google's offering. Of course, though, it's Linksys, which means it has a strong track record in networking products that Google hasn't yet earned. Fortunately, we won't have to wait long to see how they stack up against each other, as the Velops are available today.

    Click here to catch up on the latest news from CES 2017.

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