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Linksys Velop, review of the evolution of Airport

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Linksys Velop is basically a Wi-Fi router designed (especially) for the home and / or small office, capable of creating and extending a Wi-Fi network starting from a physical connection with any operator, in a simple and modular way.

Before detailing the strengths and weaknesses of this product, let's take a step back and try to understand why this solution is very interesting from a technical and commercial point of view.

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Airport Velop, the Review

A bit of history

To understand well what the Linksys Velop solution is and why it is important for the user, especially for the Mac one, we need to go back to the times when Apple introduced the first Airport in 1999.

In addition to the design, the real novelty of Airport was the configuration software, for the first time also suitable for those who were not technicians.

Over time, the characteristics of Airport have been maintained, but the current model, dated 2014, no longer in production and normal that Mac users are looking around (we have prepared a special guide).

Furthermore, in recent years Mesh technology has spread, which optimizes wireless networks without loss (as we will see later). Probably this was one of the reasons for the abandonment of Airport by Apple, considering that a product without Mesh today is not competitive.

Linksys Velop enters this market with an interesting proposal, which puts Mesh technology at the center on one side, and on the other offers very good software designed specifically for those who are not a network and configuration expert.

We are happy to see that Airport's legacy continues, at the same time certifying once again that Apple, almost twenty years ago, understood what was the right path for this type of technology.

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Form and substance

The packaging of Linksys Velop is simple, but well-kept: out of the box (the version we tested the two-node version) we find the two towers, the power cables, a small instruction manual and an Ethernet cable for connecting to the modem.

The installation is very simple: just place the two moon towers connected to a network and the other far enough to enlarge it, turn them on, open the App for iPhone and Android and basically follow the configuration instructions, in which you can give a name to the network (as desired) and choose a password (two if we create a guest network).

The installation phase takes very few minutes, in which the App guides us in the step-by-step phases, effectively creating a subnet of the main one that we have with the internet connection.

The turrets are made of white plastic and can be positioned anywhere, in sight or not: the neat design and the right attention has also been paid to the cables, whose exit positioned below with a lateral inlet.

Just below there is also the hardware power button, the two Ethernet sockets and the hardware reset button.

Mesh

The entire Linksys Velop system relies on Mesh technology, which has been heard a lot in recent years and which will substantially gradually supplant current extender techniques, certainly cheaper but typically full of contraindications.

Up to now often to extend the range of a signal a Range extender was used, a hardware device that simply received the wireless signal and repeated it, expanding the range but introducing a signal much dirtier than interference and with power more or less halved .

With Mesh technology, on the other hand, each node (in which case a turret) acts in turn as a small router, communicating with the others and creating a structure similar to the internet, albeit in a narrow circle.

The advantages are manifold: firstly the signal remains clean and with the same power, secondly the elastic network itself and can be easily expanded simply by adding new nodes, identical to the first ones. The only requirement is that each node must operate in an area where it can retrieve the signal from the others, so that it can be repeated (or can be reached via cable).

Last gem, the Linksys Velop turrets update themselves through the internet, without asking for anything.

linksys velop coverage 02A diagram of the functioning of the Mesh technology: each node covers an area and to extend it all, just add a new node

Linksys, the App for everyone

The Linksys app, as mentioned, built to be managed by non-professionals: all designed on pages with clear buttons and terminology suitable even for those who have never dealt with networks.

But the potential of the App is not limited to simple configuration, but to complete and constant control of all functions. First of all, the App has the great advantage of working even outside the Wi-Fi network, which allows you to check and change the parameters of your home Wi-Fi even from the office (goodbye forgotten children at home in front of the XBox).

Secondly, total control on all devices: you can set the priorities of one device on another (for example, the working Mac has the priority of the internet over the console), you can manage a guest access, set the warnings, apply a family filter that decides who, when and where he can navigate (setting the times or creating a black List of sites, all very useful functions for those with bricks or for those who want to block access to social networks in the office).

Finally, a handy tool also allows you to perform speed tests on the network, which are very convenient in case of problems or doubts before contacting the operator's technical assistance.

Considerations

Linksys Velop today is a fast, reliable system that does not have excessive requests for configuration.

The interesting and discreet design fits well in the living room as in the office, the extremely efficient App and offers many customizable functions.

Finally, the cost seems to be in line with the competition and suited to the potential of the product (even if we opt to purchase the package with at least two knots).

All that glitters is gold? Probably yes, it is difficult here to find a defect in a system designed to operate in total autonomy that does what it promises, a task as simple as it is delicate. If we want to find fleas, we could say that Linksys Velop is suitable for the home and small office, but that it is difficult to integrate into a complex network system, because it does not have the right elasticity for the professional market.

Linksys Velop distributed in Italy by Attiva, and readers can find it in all the Apple Premium Resellers of the peninsula, as in the best electrical and IT stores, but they are also available online.

Pro

Elegant and functional Automatic system, easy configuration App made really very well

Versus

It is a product designed for Basic use, it does not offer the elasticity of professional competitors.

Price

199.99 Euros (single knot version), 299.99 Euros (two knot version) and 429.99 Euros (three knot version)