Linksys Velop Pro 6E's Entry into the Mesh Network Market
Design and Features: Aesthetics Meets Functionality
The Velop Pro 6E sports an attractive node design that is both modern and minimalistic. Its tower-like structure, about 7.5 inches tall, is similar in size to a 20-ounce bottle of soda, albeit thicker. The all-white design with curved edges offers a pleasing aesthetic that fits seamlessly into various home environments.
Specifications at a Glance:
- Processor: Unlisted
- Memory: Unlisted
- Operating Frequency: 2.4 GHz / 5 GHz / 6 GHz
- Data Rates: Up to 5.4 Gbps
- Ports: 1x Gigabit WAN, 1x Gigabit LAN
- Encryption: WPA/WPA2/WPA3-Personal, AES Encryption, WPS supported
- Wi-Fi Technology: Wi-Fi 6E, MU-MIMO (2x2x2), DL-OFDMA
- Dimensions: 7.56 x 3.74 x 3.74 inches per node
- Weight: 1.5 pounds per node
- Price: $169 - $349
Setup Process: Navigating the Linksys App
Setting up the Velop Pro 6E requires the Linksys app, guiding users through a 17-step process. While comprehensive, the setup can be somewhat lengthy, taking up to 30 minutes in larger homes. The lack of a web-based interface for setup and configuration might be a constraint for some users.
Connectivity and Expansion: Cognitive Mesh Technology
Linksys' Cognitive Mesh technology allows for easy expansion and compatibility with other Cognitive Mesh routers. The system supports wired backhaul, enhancing Wi-Fi consistency in challenging areas. However, it is not backward compatible with Linksys' older Intelligent Mesh routers.
Performance Metrics: Assessing Wi-Fi Bands
The Velop Pro 6E delivers decent performance on the 5 GHz and 6 GHz bands, with respectable speeds in both near and far scenarios. However, the 2.4 GHz band shows underwhelming results, trailing behind competitors. Ping times are relatively high, and the absence of multi-gig Ethernet support might be a limitation for users with gigabit internet connections.
User Experience: Balancing Features and Simplicity
The Velop Pro 6E is tailored for users seeking a balance of features and ease of use. Its Cognitive Mesh feature, coupled with an intuitive phone app, enhances user experience. The system is less suited for power users who demand top-tier performance and extensive customizability.
Pricing and Value: A Mid-Range Option
With prices ranging from $169 to $349, the Velop Pro 6E offers a mid-range option for those looking to establish a mesh network. Its compatibility with Wi-Fi 7 nodes adds value, allowing for future upgrades without the need for a complete system overhaul.
Conclusion: Weighing the Pros and Cons
The Linksys Velop Pro 6E presents itself as a competent mesh network system with an emphasis on design and future-proofing. While its performance on certain Wi-Fi bands and the lack of a web-based interface may deter some users, its attractive design, ease of use, and expansion capabilities make it a viable choice for homes requiring extensive coverage.
In summary, the Velop Pro 6E is a fitting solution for users who prioritize design and future expandability in their mesh systems, without needing the highest level of performance. Its ability to integrate into evolving Wi-Fi standards and the simplicity of setup and use position it as a noteworthy contender in the mesh networking space.