The year in tech began at CES 2017, where dozens of technological advances are being shown off one by one. From a simple upgrade to a 2-in-1 notebook, or an astonishingly new approach to watching television using facial recognition, CES came and went. So what if it’s over? It left us with all the goodies! This is the time to dwell, as there are so many things to talk about. In the case of internet solutions, let us consider Linksys, the all-American solution for data networking hardware products for the home and small business, a new type of router popped up just in time for its gorgeous unveiling at the electronics expo.
The business, established back in 1988 by two Taiwanese immigrants, is known as a wired and wireless router provider, also selling Ethernet switches, wireless Internet video cameras, as well as audio visual products and network storage systems. Unveiled at CES was Belkin’s first Wi-Fi system, the Linksys Velop, meant to show the company’s growing efforts in the most popular of Wi-Fi environments. There is no need to explain the reason why Wi-Fi is in higher demand than ever. If you consider an average American day-to-day, everything makes sense. Our lives move quick. They consist of jobs/careers, schooling, the need to be social, plus the consistent need for information. All of the details that make life easier require us to rely more and more on our devices, a.k.a our internet connection.
Without that, we are nothing. That’s part of why the future of home Wi-Fi looks like it’s going to consist of not one, but multiple routers throughout the home. No one wants to be upstairs and experience a lesser connection that being downstairs near their unit. A multi-router system is what Linksys is providing as an answer. Now, last year, we saw plenty of multi-unit systems for this very purpose, and from some of the top router providers around (Netgear, Google, Eero, Plume). But now, good ol’ Linksys rounded up Velop, which is meant to place two or three of the routers around the home, as to provide “the best Wi-Fi around”.
That being said, it’s important to know how this so-called wondrous Wi-Fi works. As mentioned, Velop works with three radios inside of it, similar to Netgear’s solution to Wi-Fi, Orbi (a highly popular option among consumers). Each Velop unit has two 5GHz bands with up to 867Mbps, as well as one 2.4GHz band, at up to 400Mbps. Velop is powered by a quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 chip with 4GB of flash memory, a 512MB DDR3 system memory, as well as Bluetooth 4.0. That’s not bad, not bad at all. A single Velop is used as the main router (this is how most Wi-Fi set ups work), while the other units live in one or two rooms away. The special part of it all is how all three units working together allow one 5GHz band for the back-haul. This allows Velop to create a consistency in connection, as it always holds a tie to the other routers. This is said to extend the network, as well as prevent some of the possible speed drop-off that two-band routers experience. The only other known Wi-Fi system to use a similarly effective strategy is the previously mentioned Orbi.
Touted as powerful enough to double real-world Wi-Fi, Velop doesn’t come cheap, and that’s something it surely has in common with its competition. At $500 for a set of three units, $200 for a single unit, and $350 for two, Velop is available now with a three-year warranty. Despite the price tag, I think we should go ahead and admit that these routers host a bunch of raw power, plenty enough to cover up to 6,000 square feet when using all three units.
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