Linksys Velop Wireless Mesh System Review – Whole Home Wifi System vs. Google Wifi


hey everybody it’s lon seidman and we’re taking a look today at another wireless mesh system that is from linksys that is called the velop and we’ll be taking a look at this and maybe uh comparing it to the google Wi-Fi we looked at not that long ago i do want to mention in the interest of full disclosure this came in free of charge through the Amazon vine program however all the opinions you’re about to hear are my own nobody is paying for this review and no one is reviewing this content before it is posted all right let’s take a closer look now at the hardware and just like other wireless mesh systems on the market this is going to set you back quite a bit the 2-pack that amazon sent to me for the review across 349 dollars and you basically get two identical devices in that box and one of them becomes the router the first one that gets plugged in and the subsequent devices become the remote nodes and you can also get a three pack if you want to pay more for 485 dollars now by comparison the google Wi-Fi system gives you three units in the box for 299 and the reason why I think this one cost a little more is that it does have a more robust wireless radios this has a three-by-three wireless radio versus a two-by-two on the google Wi-Fi i’ll put a link down below to a video that I did explaining what that means but basically there are more channels available on these devices and that means at least in my testing that you will see faster speeds from the remote nodes when they’re connected wirelessly back to the main nodes so seeing almost double the speed i was seeing on the google Wi-Fi because there is just more radio to work with on these things so that is probably why they cost a little bit more whether or not you need that is going to be up to you now the bottom here you’ve got a couple of ports only two actually uh two ethernet jacks here and one of them on the main unit will go into your cable modem or DSL modem to bring the internet in the other Jack here you can use to plug in a game console or a computer or something like that on the remote nodes both of these ports will be available because this device will be communicating back to the mothership wirelessly so you can plug in at two different things on there now we have more things to connect via ethernet you can always get a very inexpensive ethernet switch i’ll put a link to one down below in the video description probably about thirty dollars or so you plug that switch into one of those ports and then you’ll get a bunch more ethernet ports available to you so these things tend to not have many ethernet ports and this one is no exception there’s a reset button here for getting it back to its the native state your power goes in there and there’s a power switch and speaking of power i noticed that the uh power adapter for this thing its just odly wide in fact wider than it should be so it doesn’t give you a little separate brick but they built it all into the unit that goes into the wall and I think it’s just a little too wide for some outlets at least maybe think he might have next to it atleast for me i have a light switch where I was testing and I couldn’t get the dimmer switch to work because the wide uh nature of the power plug took up a lot of room there and I ran a number of speed tests using the open-source iperf software to see how fast we can transit data over the wireless network my methodology is I take a laptop connected via ethernet to the main node and then i take another laptop out and try to connect back to it with a wireless connection and I used a brand new macbook pro that has the latest wireless technology on it to conduct the tests so we can get a good feel as to how everything would work under ideal circumstances and the first test I ran was a very ideal circumstances test where i had the wireless hub over here and our computer right here and i was getting speeds about 400-500 megabits per second wirelessly so the speed here is at least about the same as I thought on the google Wi-Fi when connected to the main node when I went out to the remote mesh node though it actually did better than the google Wi-Fi was getting anywhere from 200 to 300 megabits when i was connecting to that wireless remote node and sending that data back wirelessly to the main unit and I think that’s where I having the more robust wireless radio on this product makes a difference was really a lot faster than when i tested with the google Wi-Fi with that same equipment in the same spots in the house here so good performance on the back haul from the wireless side of things and I think if you are setting these things up ideally where you have one kind of overlapping the other I’ll get really decent wireless performance I didn’t see all that much of a drop-off in latency either we are getting about anywhere from four to nine milliseconds of latency connecting from the remote wireless note back to the main unit here so we actually doing pretty well and I was very impressed with how well it did work in the last thing I tested was I took the remote node and connected via ethernet back to the main unit because these units support a wired back hauling in other words instead of using the wireless to come back to the main unit I can actually connect it up to a network jack and have it send its data back via an ethernet cable and if you have ethernet throughout your home it’s a great way to get better performance when I did that I was getting about 500 megabits per second on the remote node because it didn’t have the bottleneck of the wireless network hopping back and forth between these notes back to the main ones if you can hook up via a wired network that is the way to go if you don’t have computer network jacks in your home but you do have a bunch of cable outlets are the technology called mocha that I’ve done a lot of videos about that i will put a link down to some of those videos in the description where you can actually turn your cable television wiring into ethernet essentially and get really good speeds back to your mother ship in the house so all in very good performance but let’s take a look now and see how the software side of this works using their mobile app and the software at least the time that i’m recording this video does need some work because i’m connected right now to velop system with this phone wirelessly as well as the computer that is here next to me i think one upstairs might be connected to it as well none of them are showing up here on the list of devices and I’m saying that this device which is very slow to update and sometimes if you go out of the app and then try to reopen it basically from scratch which I’m going to do it might give you a better connection here so let’s see if this all works better now at least give us an update here as to whether or not things are working at this screen here where it’s getting router settings you will see quite often even if you hop out the app for a minute or two and go back in sometimes takes awhile for this thing to update but now that we’ve come back into it is now giving us the correct number of devices so i have my iPhone and my macbook air here both connected via a 5 gigahertz connection the problem though is that was it doesn’t tell you which node that you’re connected to on the network you’re trying to troubleshoot why somebody connection is so bad you’re not really going to know which one they’re connecting to and that’s a bit of an issue for me I’d like to be able to see exactly which node i’m into so that i can figure out if it’s the computer or the node as something else on the network causing issues that was a problem that i saw there back to the dashboard here you can get a feel for your internet connection you can then go in and turn on the guest access there’s also parental controls you can set on a per device basis so for example i’m trying to prevent a phone or a computer from connecting to facebook.com I could go over here to the device section selected device that I wish to not get onto facebook go over to parental controls and then a block a specific site in here provided that the app they’re using to connect to it actually goes to facebook.com sometimes these apps connect to some other address and then you have to try to figure out what it’s connecting to but now that site is blocked and if they try to use it they can’t get on there likewise they can also just turn the computer off the internet completely just by clicking on the block button here and they are completely knocked out it doesn’t have any scheduling or any grouping or that kind of things you have to set up the blocking on a per-device basis you can’t just say here’s all the kids devices and then knock them all off at the same time this is just a couple things lacking on here that I’ve seen on other routers and Wi-Fi systems lately that are not really on here device prioritization might be something useful if you have a game console or gaming pc on the network that you want to make sure always get the best possible connection you can select up to three devices on your network to always take priority over everything else so that might be helpful if you have someone uploading a lot of stuff and you want to still have your game work you can have your gaming pc kind of be the primary device for that there isn’t much else on here though it really is a pretty Spartan interface actually very similar to many other devices like this one so for example if i go over here to advanced settings there was just a couple of things like port forwarding this basic port forwarding you might see on other routers you do have the ability to set up some Wi-Fi mac filters if you want to prevent certain connections from happening on your network for example and you have some very basic internet settings here as well there really isn’t much that you can do with this routing device again because it’s more of a consumer-driven thing my biggest gripe comes in the administration of the node so the setup process like I said it’s very easy to get everything hooked up it finds everything on the network and just kind of works but the problem is that you don’t get an ongoing connection status from the remote nodes right now I’ve got one of these things set up in my kitchen at the office one is the one that’s on the desk next to me but i have no idea as to a signal strength right now I got a little notice that it was good when I first took it up but I don’t have any way of knowing on an ongoing basis how good that connection is back to the main unit and I might want to adjust things over time and maybe move it around a better part of the room and the only way to really get another connection test out of it is to actually reconnect it from scratch and that seemed to me i’m not the best way to do it probably a fixable problem again this is all software stuff so that might be a better way to go about it but right now I’m not crazy about how those nodes report their status back to the main unit here I think there’s better ways to do that you also do have a guest network available as well in fact you can turn it on and off with alexa with your voice if you want to do something like that so there are some neat little features here that come into play but overall I think the software here is a bit lacking and i would like to see a little bit more robustness and it’s parental controls as well as some of the I maintenance kinds of things when you’re looking at different devices on the network now one other area that needs some attention on this device is how it picks the Wi-Fi channels that operates on so Wi-Fi like everything else that comes over the air like TV stations and radio stations has different channels available for devices to operate on and what they’re supposed to do is find the one that is the least saturated with other stuff so it doesn’t have as much interference which means you get a better performance and actually leave Wi-Fi channels available here at the house for things like this that i’m testing and for whatever reason why this device when I plugged it in insisted on attaching to the channel that everything else here in the house was operating on and as a result i wasn’t getting great performance out of it initially because it was interfering with my other equipment and I ran its channel search function and still kept putting itself on that channel until I unplugged it and plugged it back in a few times and finally it got itself onto something that would less saturated and i say this because if you are in a dense environment where you have a lot of other homes around you those other homes likely have Wi-Fi devices operating and those will present some interference and these things really need to be smarter about which channels they choose to operate on and this one didn’t demonstrate to me that it was doing that I think it’s fixable via firmware but it is i something i would like to see fixed on it because I really does perform well when it does find a nice clear channel to operate on in fact it’s the fastest device I’ve seen from the remote node perspective in other words the speed that I got when I was connected to a remote node wirelessly and then having that wireless node connect wirelessly to this one really was the fastest connection i’ve seen so far in some of the stuff that i have tested the really good performance out of it but again it wasn’t so smart about finding the right channels so the big question here is whether or not the higher price tag of the linksys makes sense compared to the google Wi-Fi and I think in most cases the answer would be no because for google system you get three notes for 300 bucks this one came in two nodes at $350 now these are faster in between each other but i don’t think most consumers will benefit from that speed and I think picking up an extra node for less money will actually improve things more than you might realize because I think a lot of folks are having Wi-Fi problems not because of the speed of their Wi-Fi but the quality of the connection to the more connection points you can set up throughout your home the better and i just think this is a little overpriced given that its software isn’t as good as the google system even though the speed in between nodes is a lot faster so i think if you are a enthusiast or someone who’s got a lot of data to copy back and forth between computers on your network this is going to do better of course because your file transfers will be faster but i think for what most consumers do on the Internet this won’t offer anything more for its high price than the google system does so just something to think about as you are out there shopping but there is room for improvement on this especially on the software side i think the hardware is very sound so im actually eager to come back to this maybe in a few months after some software updates have taken place to see what kind of improvements they’ve made because i really like the performance of the hardware the software is kind of lacking for me and again doesn’t make a justification for its significantly higher price tag over the google Wi-Fi this lon seidman thanks for watching this channel is brought to you by my patreon supporters if you want to help the channel you can by contributing as little as a dollar a month head over to lon.tv/patreon to learn more and don’t forget to subscribe visit lon.tv/s

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66 thoughts on “Linksys Velop Wireless Mesh System Review – Whole Home Wifi System vs. Google Wifi

  1. Also, Orbi is tri band and has a dedicated band just for communicating with the satellites. Is one of the fastest if not the fastest mesh on the market. It also has 4 Ethernet ports on each satellite.

  2. From the benchmarks I have seen, the netgear orbi is the fastest when not using an Ethernet backhaul, due to them going with a 4 stream 802.11ac radio dedicated to just the backhaul. Only issue is that it is insanely expensive for what it offers, as with most of these devices when you consider just how much money some people are putting in, just to avoid getting running some Ethernet cable. especially when you consider that you can get a 500 foot spool of Cat6, A cheap crimping tool, and a 100 pack of RJ-45 plugs for about $50, and have your wired networking needs taken care of for many years.

  3. hey I have a Google wifi and I was hoping you could recommend a switch for me that won't diminish my speed too much or bottleneck my speed! thanks! great videos love tuning in!

  4. Hi Lon, your videos are the best. If I could make a suggestion, I would suggest that you put product information in text in the video. This would help viewers of non-English speaking countries to be sure of the specifications. Sometimes you speak very fast, and that would make easy for a lot of people. Thanks for your great reviews and transparancy.

  5. Hello Lon, love your videos! I share your concern about the inability to determine which node a device is connected to. Is it possible to connect via the node IP address and view connected devices? The Linksys wifi extender allows this, perhaps the Velop system does also.

  6. Can you set this up from a browser or Windows or Mac? Or do you need iOS or Android? The latter seems the case more and more these days. A very bad sign for Windows.
    As for which router – at the same price or cheaper Google has a security model which makes it the one to buy for most people I think. Very few are going to take advantage of the increased bandwidth.

  7. I submitted a full english translation for this video and im wondering what happens afterwards, have you seen it? I know you have to approve it first

  8. Hey Lon,
    When connecting the nodes through ethernet cables, do you plug them into your modem or into another node?
    Maybe it's a dumb question but I'm new to all this.
    Thanks for the help!

  9. I have 2 nodes, one is the main one connected to my modem and the other is 35 ft away in the living room. I have a 100 ft ethernet cable le in the wall but when I try to set up it asks me to do it wireless and I don't know how it's done via ethernet any help would be highly appreciated. thanks for the video.

  10. thank you for your reviews. you're one of the only reviewers using iPerf and testing actual throughout for networking equipment, and not your ISP speed.

  11. Hey Lon, I noticed this review was from Feb. has Linksys done any updates to improve on the faults you have talked about?

  12. I currently own a Linksys AC5400 (Max Stream EA9500) and am having a hard time receiving coverage throughout the entire home. Especially our back addition. How would this compare and would this be a better option?

  13. Lon, I love your videos and respect your opinion on gadgetry. I have an opportunity to buy a Velop 3 pack for $280. I saw the Google Wifi 3 pack for $240 a couple of weeks ago. I try not to pay full price. My question to you is, will I be able to setup the main Velop, then ethernet cable out of that to a gigabit switch, then ethernet cable to the 2 other nodes separately from the switch. Linksys says a switch can be used (as you stated in this video) but they say to ethernet cable from the main Velop to the 2nd node and from the 2nd node to the 3rd node. I've got ethernet cables already ran from where the main Velop would be to where each of the 2 nodes would be so their way makes it more difficult for me. Please advise.

    Are you any happier with the firmware? Thank you.

  14. I just set one of these up for a friend – avoid like the plague – they are truly horrible. And don't even try to connect this thing if you need PPPoE to connect to your ISP. It is full of bugs and just plain bad. It shows up as a Belkin product on my WiFi analyser so they probably bought it out rather than developed it from scratch. And mid-way through the config (only possible on your smartphone) it suddenly wants to access your contacts? Junk

  15. Stay away from the Velop system: Terrible in every way.

    Sharing my experience with the Velop and Orbi systems:

    I have bought both the Orbi and the Velop system. Both not good, unfortunately. I want to use these devices to replace the free router/home gateway device provided by my ISP, and both appeared to support this from a spec review perspective. I run a relatively large wireless and wired network in my home, and as such, I have a separate DHCP service running on a NAS that is very good (more than 80 devices on the network). Consequently, the Orbi and the Velop system needed to have its local DHCP service disabled.

    The Orbi was returned for a refund the day I bought it as it does not support VLAN encapsulation (encap) on the WAN side as Dodo requires (my old ISP). For a device stating it supports direct WAN connectivity to not support VLAN encap is ludicrous in today's world. A fundamental 'black mark' for Orbi.

    The Velop system does support VLAN encap (yah!), but I changed to Optus that, as I found out, does not require VLAN encap. Optus provides a simple Ethernet connection with a DHCP derived IP address. Could not be simpler. Unfortunately, the Velop system has no clear demarcation of which of the two wired ports it supports is the WAN port or the LAN port. It has some fancy logic to test each port to work this out, but this has never worked correctly or, as it currently is designed, will it ever work. This 'logic' seems to easily get confused too. The Velop system for me was set up with a Statically Mapped IP address for the LAN side (192.168.1.1), and a DHCP derived address for the WAN side. When my ISP goes down (which happens all too often with the joys of HFC from NBN) the Velop system requests, eventually, another IP address from my DHCP server (one Static, one DHCP). This breaks IP protocol rules as you cannot have two routes to the same device on the same network segment from the same MAC address. Resulting in the Velop system becoming unreachable on the LAN side. As such when this happens I cannot connect to the Velop system via my local network or the WAN. The only option at that point is to Factory Reset it and start again (horrible). This problem does not resolve itself when the WAN starts working again either. The Velop system seems quite happy having two IP addresses for the one MAC addressed port. This is a clear bug as this should never happen. Linksys support still does not see it that way and after 6 hours and multiple calls on the phone with them are still debating.

    Love the support from Linksys BTW, but I wish this product were more mature.

    My biggest complaint though, other than the above, about the Velop system is the unbelievably hideous user experience during setup. The mobile app is unusable and the web app, hidden as it is, is not complete and missing basic networking features. As a company that has such pedigree in home networking products to release the Velop without a reasonable UI is unfathomable. Do not assume your customers are dumb. Linksys clearly have in this case, but the dumbness of their UI makes it all the more difficult to get the damn thing working. There is no:

    * Config Backup,
    * Ability to work out if the slave devices are backhauling via wired or wireless interfaces,
    * Lights on the Ethernet ports showing link or activity,
    * Clear difference between the 'booting' and 'running normally' status lights. Booting is Purple and Blue for operating normally. There is virtually no difference between these two colours, and as such, it is very hard to work out what the box is doing,
    * Easy way to add additional nodes without using the hideous mobile app that breaks on most attempts
    * Any feedback from the Nodes via the UI – there is none that is usable today
    * I could go on…..

    Would I recommend the Velop or the Orbi: Absolute 'No' for the Velop. A terrible experience. To release such a half-baked product it deserves to fail! Orbi! Not sure. A 'No' for its WAN support but I was not able to test any other part of the system as I hit an 'all stop' situation before I moved to Optus.

    Hope this helps.

  16. I have heard of a lot of software update. You mentioned that you may do an updated product review. Are you still considering a second software review of the Velop?

  17. I'm new to the mesh system and currently purchased the 3 pack velop system. You had categorized based on your test on different testing. What's your thoughts on the Velop? I do have 3 floors in my place. I thought the velop setup is straight forward. I had this running for few days. I would like to future proof my Wi-Fi in the future if there are changes? What's your thoughts between velop, orbi and amplifi?

  18. I have big trouble with velop. I cant use my wireless printers (epson & brother). Easy to connect but offline all the time. I dont know how to fix this problem. I google and found many people face trouble like me when using any brand of mesh wifi.

  19. Lost me at Macbook.

    The Velop takes down my network for almost any changes. Port forwards, adding nodes… etc. But the Throughput and response time is great so far. Orbi is a 4 letter word as it has Netgear attached. I was trying out Ubiquiti as a comparison. Based on Cost, I will stick with Velop. Obviously a wired gigabit back haul is mandatory.

  20. Hi!
    You mentioned at the end of this video you would like to come back with an updated review in a few months. Have you been able to do that?

  21. I was not impressed with the wifi coverage, as in I regret purchasing Velop, I dont know if I can add orbi nodes to Velop or Im stuck with Velop and have to purchase more nodes

  22. Hi Lon, great review, what would you suggest me to get for two floor house, the linksys velop or samsung smartthing mesh wifi? I do want to make smart home and Samsung comes with it, but if the velop is better I can only buy the smart things hub.
    hope you can help me.

  23. If you want a simple system that just work and you’re a non geek and don’t have any geeky needs, then this works just fine. This system works great for 90-95% of homeowners.

  24. Just learning about mesh, I know this video is 2 yrs old. Should I buy this? I want the best system. Large house with dead spots in critical rooms. Tired of the nonsense, which should I buy. Willing to pay for the best.

  25. Could you put an Ethernet switch on the main hub and connect both a computer AND run a line to the remote hub to link them via a wired connection?

  26. The Smart WiFi works with my non velop router. You can also use the default PC browser interface that needs no program to install to control your network.

  27. So here's the thing. I can pick up and AC wireless router for $35. I'm not seeing the difference in setting up the same SSID on each router turning off DHCP on all but one router and bridge each router together via a cat6 cable connected to it's switch port to backhaul the data. Wouldn't this essentially give me similar performance? Keep in mind I don't have to put the router into any type of repeater mode or bridge mode in it's software GUI for this to work. I've been doing this for years and it's worked out really well for me.

    My question is how is this different from MES WiFi?

  28. Hi please answer my comment 🙏🏻
    because I really have connection problems in my room because the router/modem is kind of far from the room (my net is fiber connection)
    so I searched for solutions and I found this velop, so my question is uhm the first node(mothership) is going to be beside the router or connected directly to the router right, so my plan is to put the other node into my room and since it has 2 ethernet ports i will connect my console and tv via those two ports, so the question is
    Will it work the same as connecting my console directly into the modem/router??

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