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Fixing The Dead Spots

Linksys' mesh wi-fi system Velop offers an easy way to get reliable, high-speed Wi-Fi coverage throughout your home

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Mesh wi-fi systems are increasingly be­coming popular these days, and for good rea­son. If you live in a slightly spa­cious home or one with multiple floors spread out over a large area, you are likely to have more than a few dead spots where your existing wireless router just doesn’t serve up a reliable signal. A mesh system relies on several base stations/routers working together across your home to blanket your home with one single, stable wireless net­work. Among the established players is Linksys with its Velop system, and its latest sensibly-priced dual-band avatar makes a compelling case for mesh Wi-Fi for a wider audience.

Pulling the small white nodes out of the box – they come in packs of one, two or three nodes to cater to homes of different sizes – they are pre­cisely the sort of unobtrusively designed objects that can fit or hide in any corner of your home, so long as you can find a power outlet nearby. You can add additional nodes over time as well if you want to say, build an additional floor or extend wire­less coverage onto a garden. Getting started is exceedingly easy, and Linksys only requires you to connect one Velop node with your modem and from there on, the process is handled via an iOS/Android app, which interestingly uses Bluetooth to connect to the first Velop node for setup, with subse­quent nodes being added to the network in a similar manner. You will have to be careful that the nodes are within a suitable distance from each other, which will differ based on how your house is designed, building materials etc.

Setting up the three-pack Velop system across your home, you can either connect all the nodes wirelessly to each other and connect any of the nodes to a wired network if you want to extend the wireless network even further. While testing, the network held up pretty well, maintaining con­sistent network speeds as one moved from one node to the other and only really dropping speeds at the furthest points. As one would expect, if you con­nect one of the nodes to a wired network, the performance boost is significant.

Aside from the coverage benefits of the mesh network, Linksys has delivered a host of easy-to-use capabilities in the Velop system via the app. For instance, you can set up a guest network easily for visitors and throttle any connected device’s speed if needed. You can even set parental controls to grant or deny access to kids’ devices at specific hours and assign higher prioritization to specific devices that are used for streaming video, video calling and other bandwidth intensive activities.

All said, the Velop system is best suited for folks with larger homes who don’t want to mess around with wiring the whole place up and installing multiple routers across the home. Spending close to 20 grand on a wireless router isn’t for everyone, even though a good mesh network across your home can significantly improve your productivity and allow you to take your work or leisure to spots you couldn’t consider earlier.

Plus, consider the ease of setup, smart networking and improved network coverage and performance, and the fact that Linksys allows you to start small and add more nodes as you go along, and the Velop makes a strong case for itself.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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magazine 29 september 2018 gadgets linksys

Tushar Kanwar

The author is Technology Columnist and Program Manager in Bengaluru, India

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