Two minutes of review
The attractive design and ease of use of the Linksys Velop line of mesh networking systems have made them a popular choice with many home users looking to upgrade their home WiFi. Linksys first added a Wi-Fi 6 model to their range last summer, but that model was quite expensive. So it has now released a cheaper model called the Linksys Velop WiFi 6 AX4200.
There are actually three models available – but with slightly confusing model numbers. Linksys claims that each Velop router known as a “node” can cover areas of up to 2,700 square feet, so you can get a single node (Model Number: MX4200) for £ 229.99 ($ 249.99, approximately AU $ 410 ) This is good for most small and medium-sized homes with just one or two bedrooms.
Larger homes or homes with thick walls that can block the Wi-Fi signal can upgrade to the two-pack kit (MX8400), which we get here for £ 399.99 ($ 349.99, about AU $ 700 ), while luxury mega-version owners can opt for a three-pack (MX12600) that costs £ 599.99 ($ 499.99, approximately AU $ 1,000). That’s still pretty expensive, of course, but Wi-Fi 6 is cutting edge technology, and the Linksys tri-band Velop WiFi 6 AX4200 is still competitive when compared to other Wi-Fi 6 systems like the Netgear Orbi WiFi 6.
Design and functions
The new Linksys Velop WiFi 6 AX4200 sticks to the familiar Linksys design, with those distinctive – and rather clunky – white plastic towers that are 244mm high and 114mm wide and deep.
That means you’ll need to find a spot with plenty of room for each node, but it also ensures that the internal antennas have plenty of breathing space to fire off their high-speed WiFi in all directions.
As the name suggests, the Linksys Velop WiFi 6 AX4200 supports the latest in Wi-Fi 6 technology – also known as 802.11ax – with tri-band Wi-Fi offering a top speed of 4.2 Gbps.
This is far faster than most broadband home services, so the Velop can easily handle 4K streaming video, music or online games. Each node has four Gigabit Ethernet ports for game consoles or other devices that may prefer a wired connection. There’s also a USB port for connecting a USB storage device so you can share it with other people on your network.
The Linksys app is easy to use and offers a number of useful features, such as: For example, you can set up a guest network, temporarily block Internet access for individual devices or create a weekly schedule to restrict access for the children on school evenings. You can prioritize your network bandwidth for devices like a gaming PC that need peak performance, and the app even has a “Channel Finder” that can search for other networks nearby and adjust the Velop’s Wi-Fi channels to Reduce interference.
However, the app has some notable limitations. Parents can block Internet access from their children’s devices, but there are no filters to block access to inappropriate websites or content. The app just expects you to manually enter the web addresses of millions of shady websites. Another important limitation is that the app automatically merges the frequency bands to create a single network, but does not offer the option to create separate networks in the 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz bands. This may be something that experienced users will need.
Performance and get started
However, the Linksys Velop WiFi 6 AX4200 gets full marks for ease of use. The Linksys app explains that you need to use an ethernet cable to connect one of the nodes to your existing broadband router in order to use its internet connection. Then use Bluetooth to connect to the node and set up your new network for you.
It gives tips on where to place additional nodes for the best WiFi reception and then just asks you to provide a name and password for your new Velop network.
We had the new mesh network up and running in minutes and were also impressed with its performance. Devices in the same room as the first Velop node registered a connection speed of 110 Mbit / s per second and Steam downloads of 12.5 Mbit / s – this corresponds to the speed of our normal router.
However, our normal router cannot reach our back office. Hence, we always have to rely on powerline adapters to provide a wired connection for our office computers. But picking up my laptop and walking down the hall to the office didn’t bother the Velop at all. The Wi-Fi signal passed smoothly to the second node we placed in the office in the hallway and these speeds were maintained without interruption.
While a super-fast Wi-Fi 6 mesh system like this one can be overkill for smaller homes, it’s ideal for owners of larger homes or buildings with thick walls that hinder Wi-Fi reception.
Buy it when …
You need WiFi for the whole house
A cheap range extender can fix poor WiFi in a room or two. However, if you want to improve your WiFi speed throughout your home, you can use a state-of-the-art WiFi 6 mesh system like the Linksys Velop WiFi 6 AX4200 is the ideal solution.
You’re ready for Wi-Fi 6
If you have a new PC or smartphone with Wi-Fi 6, it makes sense to buy a Wi-Fi 6 router or mesh system that really offers maximum performance (and at the same time is backwards compatible with older devices too) .
They like to keep things simple
Advanced users may prefer an app with more extensive configuration controls. However, the easy-to-use Linksys app is ideal for first-time users and will get your new network up and running in no time.
Don’t buy it if …
You are on a budget
New Wi-Fi 6 routers are still expensive – especially for multi-router mesh systems like the Velop – and there are plenty of existing routers that offer good 802.11ac Wi-Fi at a much cheaper price.
They just want Netflix in bed
If you currently have a WiFi deadspot in one or two specific locations, e.g. For example, in an upstairs bedroom or garden, you can likely fix this problem with a simple, affordable WiFi range extender instead.
You are a network guru
The Linksys app is quick and easy to use, but fairly simple, and you will have to spend some time researching the Linksys website for information about more advanced features and controls.
Source link : https://www.techradar.com/reviews/linksys-velop-wifi-6-ax4200/