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January 9, 2018

Linksys unveils a cheaper version of its WiFi mesh router

by John_A

Last year at CES, router specialist Linksys revealed its take on home mesh networking. Each tri-band ‘Velop’ tower could serve as a router, range extender, access point and bridge, giving you ultra-fast connectivity in every corner of your home. The only problem? They were fairly expensive — not everyone wants to spend $500 on a three-node bundle. If you fall into this camp, fear not — Velop is working on a cheaper, but slower dual-band mesh system too. The new towers are slightly smaller and will work with any tri-band module you might have already purchased. Bingo.

To get into the nitty-gritty for a moment — each node is a Dual-Band AC 2×2 802.11ac Wave 2 with MU-MIMO radio configuration, delivering combined speeds of up to 1300 Mbps. You can monitor your network through a companion app or by using a selection of custom Velop Alexa skills.

I was able to get up close with the new dual-band nodes at CES. They look, well, just like the old ones — plain and plastic, with few annoying lights and logos. That’s probably for the best, however — most people (myself included) would prefer their router to be as inconspicuous as possible, especially if there are five of them dotted around their home. The dual-band system will be available globally this spring, though unfortunately Linksys is staying tight-lipped about the pricing. A spokesperson for the company promised me, however, that each node would be “more than half the price” of its tri-band equivalent. Make of that what you will.

Click here to catch up on the latest news from CES 2018.

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