Linksys debuts cheaper dual-band Velop Wi-Fi mesh system

Posted:
in General Discussion edited May 2018
On the heels of Apple's official discontinuation of AirPort Wi-Fi hardware, Linksys on Tuesday announced a new dual-band version of its Velop Wi-Fi mesh system that packs many of the same features as its bigger tri-band sibling into a smaller, more affordable package.

Linksys Dual Band Velop


Building on the success of its Velop Tri-Band system, the first third-party Wi-Fi router to be sold by Apple, Linksys is introducing a mass market mesh networking option that provides customers a slew of features at an attractive price.

AppleInsider reviewed the original tri-band version and found the setup to be top notch in terms of performance and convenience, but noted a two- or three-node solution can be quite expensive at just under $500.

Limited to dual-band connectivity, the new Velop family member is smaller than the tri-band iteration, but includes a number of advanced mesh networking features. The nodes, for example, are AC1300 devices with dual-band dual stream (2x2) capabilities supporting 802.11ac, offering combined speed up to 1300 Mbps. The devices feature MU-MIMO radio configuration, modular wired/wireless design, integration with Velop mesh technology, Amazon Alexa compatibility and more.

Along with connecting to each other via wired or wireless technologies to form a blanket of Wi-Fi coverage, each node can also act as a parent or client access point, allowing users to expand on existing systems as their wireless needs grow. For those who already have a Velop outfit, the dual-band version is interoperable with tri-band hardware, making extensions to existing wireless infrastructure easy.

As with the tri-band version, the new dual-band devices are controlled via app, feature "spot finder" technology for optimal node placement, boast the ability to self-heal a constructed network if a node should go offline and run an automatic update cycle.

The new dual-band Velop will be sold in one-, two- and three-pack configurations and is available for pre-order today through Linksys for $129, $199 and $299, respectively. Pre-orders are expected to launch on Amazon later today. Linksys is in talks to sell Velop Dual-Band through the Apple store, but for now Apple customers are relegated to the more expensive tri-band offerings.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 21
    jingojingo Posts: 109member
    "Amazon Alexa compatibility" doesn't give much away. So how can you use it in conjunction with Alexa? "Alexa, disconnect Dad because he's watching sport again", or "Alexa, increase my QoS because I want to watch an 8k stream" - or - what, exactly?
    willcropointGeorgeBMacirelandairnerdfastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 21
    irelandireland Posts: 17,783member
    Links?
    ravnorodom
  • Reply 3 of 21
    airnerdairnerd Posts: 693member
    ireland said:
    Links?
    LinksYS, actually. ;)
    foregoneconclusion
  • Reply 4 of 21
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,646member
    Curious as to how these will work and how well they will work. How do they handle backhaul? 
  • Reply 5 of 21
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,947member
    So this cheap(er) lower power mesh system is supposed to pacify Apple users? Not likely. The shape is a knockoff of the Extreme and doesn't really add anything to what we already have. As for including Alexa, forget it.

    I was researching internet providers on San Juan Island, WA, and found Rock Island Communications supports San Juan as well as Orcas Island with gigabit fiber internet. They also can provide an AirTies mesh system. They mention the same dual band, 2x2 components as Linksys is talking about although AirTies also sells a 3x3 model. I don't remember hearing about this manufacturer. It seems it's the choice of some internet providers around the world. 

    --AirTies' customers include: AT&T, Atlantic Broadband, Deutsche Telekom, Frontier, Orange, Midco, Singtel, Sky (SKY Q in the UK; GermanyItaly; and New Zealand), Swisscom, Vodafone, Waoo, and many other operators.
  • Reply 6 of 21
    sirozhasirozha Posts: 801member
    2x2 MU-MIMO dual mode will never get anywhere to 1300 Mbps combined. It will be about 350 Mbps on 5 GHz and about 120 Mbps on 2.4 GHz, and that is best-case scenario with the Wi-F node in the same room as the client.
    edited May 2018
  • Reply 7 of 21
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,461administrator
    MplsP said:
    Curious as to how these will work and how well they will work. How do they handle backhaul? 
    We'll let you know when ours arrives.
  • Reply 8 of 21
    robjnrobjn Posts: 263member
    I’d like to see this new $299 three node duel band system go head to head with the $299 Eero+beacon.

    The Eero is simultaneously tri-band (2.4, 5.2, 5.8) The Eero beacon is duel band (2.4, 5.0). So the Eero system actually works using 4 frequencies.

    So what’s better, having an extra frequency band (or two) or having an extra node?
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 9 of 21
    maciekskontaktmaciekskontakt Posts: 1,106member
    Call it stealing channels from neighborhood. I used to bump WiFi power when AirPort Extreme software allowed that years ago just to get rid of pesky interferences from neigbors, but now I play nice. This solution sounds like running tens of processing threads in your process on dual core CPU. Yep stealing resources/time "improves performance". I would say go more channels with adding bands would be more fair realistic improvement.
    edited May 2018
  • Reply 10 of 21
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,947member
    robjn said:
    I’d like to see this new $299 three node duel band system go head to head with the $299 Eero+beacon.

    The Eero is simultaneously tri-band (2.4, 5.2, 5.8) The Eero beacon is duel band (2.4, 5.0). So the Eero system actually works using 4 frequencies.

    So what’s better, having an extra frequency band (or two) or having an extra node?
    Typically the extra band is used for backhaul, the communications between nodes. This means the user has faster communication to a local node while the nodes talk to each other on a different frequency/network. I’d say an extra band for backhaul is better than an extra node. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 21
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,067member
    robjn said:
    I’d like to see this new $299 three node duel band system go head to head with the $299 Eero+beacon.

    The Eero is simultaneously tri-band (2.4, 5.2, 5.8) The Eero beacon is duel band (2.4, 5.0). So the Eero system actually works using 4 frequencies.

    So what’s better, having an extra frequency band (or two) or having an extra node?
    I'm curious about this too.

    I'm interested in the Eero because the beacons can be plugged into a wall outlet and don't take up much space, rather than installing a bunch of towers throughout the house. So the beacons are dual-band instead of tri? How does that potentially affect normal performance?
  • Reply 12 of 21
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,690member
    I find the wifi/ networking space all quite confusing, and really don't know what to make about Apple abandoning it. For all their "we make peoples' lives better with better products" and "be true to ourselves as Apple" I sure am not seeing that in this case. While wifi and home networking was something quite techy in 1998 or so, home networks including wifi seem to me to be more like a simple utility. My house has electricity, water, and sewer service, all of which I pay a fee for. The electrician had to put in wires, the plumber the pipes, and that's it. Internet service, and wifi in a home, shouldn't be this mysterious.

    AI's article here is informative and perhaps interesting, but it is a tech article.There's a lotta buzzwords here, along with tech specs...and I'm not sure why any of that is important. To me, the important part is the price at the end. 

    OK, after that, I get that speed is important so I can stream 4k video, and along side that, security so someone ins't uploading the kiddie porn on my IP address (or breaking into my home devices to steal passwords.) What better company to promise security than Apple? And are they promising to make my life better? To use their products in my home, I have to understand spectrum usage, bands? Find a company that isn't going to fold next month, or is Evil like FB, the Google, or Amazon? And a user interface that requires an EE degree? Yuck.

    Wifi should be like my other utilities. A fee to have it made reliable and safe. Apple could do this easily. 

    Gads, how coole would it be to take a device out of a box, plug it into the wall, and say, "hey Siri. Set up my wifi." She might ask a few questions, and...done.
    wonkothesanewatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 21
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,040member
    What does "Amazon Alexa Compatibility" mean anyway?
    I mean any router would support the data from an Alexa device. It's just bits, and is no different than a Siri request, or my loading a web page. To the router it's just data. 
    But if somehow Alexa is built into the device then this is a non starter for me.
    I will not have Alexa in my house.
    SpamSandwichwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 21
    Eric_WVGGEric_WVGG Posts: 958member
    With so many good alternatives to choose from, I have no idea why anyone gives Linksys or Netgear the benefit of the doubt on anything. From 1998 through 2010, I never heard of one of their products lasting longer than 18 months. Eero is great, Plume is great, Google Wifi is great if you don't mind their business model. Linksys and Netgear have a history of building shitty products and should be regarded with skepticism.
    viclauyyc
  • Reply 15 of 21
    Eric_WVGGEric_WVGG Posts: 958member

    eightzero said:
    I find the wifi/ networking space all quite confusing, and really don't know what to make about Apple abandoning it. For all their "we make peoples' lives better with better products" and "be true to ourselves as Apple" I sure am not seeing that in this case… 

    Wifi should be like my other utilities. A fee to have it made reliable and safe. Apple could do this easily. 

    Gads, how coole would it be to take a device out of a box, plug it into the wall, and say, "hey Siri. Set up my wifi." She might ask a few questions, and...done.
    Regarding their leaving the router space, it's because Apple still runs like a small company. They can dedicate engineers to boring shit like laser printers, displays, and wifi routers, or they can revolutionize the world with iPads and Airpods. They don't have enough engineers to do both and if they did the company would grow so large that it wouldn't really be Apple anymore.

    They can't make wifi "like a utility" for the same reason that they can't fix cable television with the Apple TV: the "pipes" are run by companies like Verizon and Comcast that are hostile to their customers.

    The experience you describe at the end is honestly not far off from Plume, though. They'd make a "plum" acquisition target for Apple IMO, kind of a hands-off Beats style arrangement.
    edited May 2018 StrangeDaysjdb8167
  • Reply 16 of 21
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,690member
    Eric_WVGG said:

    eightzero said:
    I find the wifi/ networking space all quite confusing, and really don't know what to make about Apple abandoning it. For all their "we make peoples' lives better with better products" and "be true to ourselves as Apple" I sure am not seeing that in this case… 

    Wifi should be like my other utilities. A fee to have it made reliable and safe. Apple could do this easily. 

    Gads, how coole would it be to take a device out of a box, plug it into the wall, and say, "hey Siri. Set up my wifi." She might ask a few questions, and...done.
    Regarding their leaving the router space, it's because Apple still runs like a small company. They can dedicate engineers to boring shit like laser printers, displays, and wifi routers, or they can revolutionize the world with iPads and Airpods. They don't have enough engineers to do both and if they did the company would grow so large that it wouldn't really be Apple anymore.

    They can't make wifi "like a utility" for the same reason that they can't fix cable television with the Apple TV: the "pipes" are run by companies like Verizon and Comcast that are hostile to their customers.

    The experience you describe at the end is honestly not far off from Plume, though. They'd make a "plum" acquisition target for Apple IMO, kind of a hands-off Beats style arrangement.
    But my water and electricity and sewage are all run by horrible providers too. My cable modem from comcast is remarkably stable. I think they'll sell me a wifi router too, but I really haven't needed this because I had reliable and trustworthy airports. I'd kinda like a baked in VPN service too, but I'm pretty sure comcast wants nothing to do with that. In fact, I have every expectation that comcast is watching my stream quite carefully, and with net neutrality being killed off, I expect them to be making me "exciting new offers." I'm lucky that there is a competitor (Century Link) but their pricing is incomprehensible. If they would simply offer "$50/mo, free equipment to try it out, cancel after 90 days, or opt in after that" I'd do so. But they want to bundle stuff I dont want, need or use.

    In the 1950, the United States built an actual superhighway system. It seems odd we can't solve the internet provider problem. Apple abandoned the effort (and your small company comment is well taken as to why.)
  • Reply 17 of 21
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,476member
    Eric_WVGG said:
    With so many good alternatives to choose from, I have no idea why anyone gives Linksys or Netgear the benefit of the doubt on anything. From 1998 through 2010, I never heard of one of their products lasting longer than 18 months. Eero is great, Plume is great, Google Wifi is great if you don't mind their business model. Linksys and Netgear have a history of building shitty products and should be regarded with skepticism.
    Anecdotal, but I have 2 8-port Netgear Gigabit Ethernet switches which have been running 24/7 for over 10 years now without problems.  And my Linksys WiFi router has been doing the same for over 2 years.
  • Reply 18 of 21
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,067member
    eightzero said:
    Eric_WVGG said:

    eightzero said:
    I find the wifi/ networking space all quite confusing, and really don't know what to make about Apple abandoning it. For all their "we make peoples' lives better with better products" and "be true to ourselves as Apple" I sure am not seeing that in this case… 

    Wifi should be like my other utilities. A fee to have it made reliable and safe. Apple could do this easily. 

    Gads, how coole would it be to take a device out of a box, plug it into the wall, and say, "hey Siri. Set up my wifi." She might ask a few questions, and...done.
    Regarding their leaving the router space, it's because Apple still runs like a small company. They can dedicate engineers to boring shit like laser printers, displays, and wifi routers, or they can revolutionize the world with iPads and Airpods. They don't have enough engineers to do both and if they did the company would grow so large that it wouldn't really be Apple anymore.

    They can't make wifi "like a utility" for the same reason that they can't fix cable television with the Apple TV: the "pipes" are run by companies like Verizon and Comcast that are hostile to their customers.

    The experience you describe at the end is honestly not far off from Plume, though. They'd make a "plum" acquisition target for Apple IMO, kind of a hands-off Beats style arrangement.
    In the 1950, the United States built an actual superhighway system. It seems odd we can't solve the internet provider problem. Apple abandoned the effort (and your small company comment is well taken as to why.)
    Apple isn’t the federal government. Apple can’t regulate or reform how ISPs operate in this country. Putting all of your hopes for such things onto Apple is incredibly unrealistic. It’s not their problem space. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 21
    eightzero said:
    I find the wifi/ networking space all quite confusing, and really don't know what to make about Apple abandoning it. For all their "we make peoples' lives better with better products" and "be true to ourselves as Apple" I sure am not seeing that in this case.
    Does Apple currently have an in-house technology that makes WiFi routers "better" versus the other competitors? Not really, which is probably why they're dropping out of that product space. Compare it to something like Bluetooth, where they have the W series chips that provide a significant enhancement to hardware using Bluetooth. I think Apple wants to focus on leveraging their own hardware tech now and skipping things that are largely industrial design exercises and not much else. The discontinued Cinema Display falls into that same category. 
  • Reply 20 of 21
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,690member
    eightzero said:
    Eric_WVGG said:

    eightzero said:
    I find the wifi/ networking space all quite confusing, and really don't know what to make about Apple abandoning it. For all their "we make peoples' lives better with better products" and "be true to ourselves as Apple" I sure am not seeing that in this case… 

    Wifi should be like my other utilities. A fee to have it made reliable and safe. Apple could do this easily. 

    Gads, how coole would it be to take a device out of a box, plug it into the wall, and say, "hey Siri. Set up my wifi." She might ask a few questions, and...done.
    Regarding their leaving the router space, it's because Apple still runs like a small company. They can dedicate engineers to boring shit like laser printers, displays, and wifi routers, or they can revolutionize the world with iPads and Airpods. They don't have enough engineers to do both and if they did the company would grow so large that it wouldn't really be Apple anymore.

    They can't make wifi "like a utility" for the same reason that they can't fix cable television with the Apple TV: the "pipes" are run by companies like Verizon and Comcast that are hostile to their customers.

    The experience you describe at the end is honestly not far off from Plume, though. They'd make a "plum" acquisition target for Apple IMO, kind of a hands-off Beats style arrangement.
    In the 1950, the United States built an actual superhighway system. It seems odd we can't solve the internet provider problem. Apple abandoned the effort (and your small company comment is well taken as to why.)
    Apple isn’t the federal government. Apple can’t regulate or reform how ISPs operate in this country. Putting all of your hopes for such things onto Apple is incredibly unrealistic. It’s not their problem space. 
    The Federal Government didn't build those roads. Yes, there were some CCC and CWA federal workers in the past, most of that concrete was poured by federal contractors - private companies.

    That list of things Apple isn't responsible for sure seems to be growing. Steve reinvented the phone. The TV experience sucked. Music players and buying music sucked. Office operations sucked. Well.. now internet and wifi service sucks. 

    Space travel sucks. SpaceX and Blue Origin are fixing it. And they have federal contracts. 
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