The two-node Linksys Velop mesh network sells elsewhere for at least $180. Plus: Save 50 percent on US Mobile cell service!
Rick BroidaSenior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Whew! I'm glad that's over. Prime Day, I mean. I don't know about you, but I'm suffering from
fatigue. (That said, if you want one last stab at super-cheap Amazon gear, here's how to get it.)
Today, let's talk about the
in your home. If it's not as good as you think it could or should be -- you have pockets where the signal is weak, for example -- it might be time to consider a mesh network.
That may sound intimidating, but it's really just two to three little plug-in stations that extend the Wi-Fi signal so the whole place gets even coverage.
What do I mean by "similar"? This particular configuration is a Walmart exclusive, an AC2400 version of the Velop that's not available elsewhere.
proper sells an AC2600 model for $230, though it's currently on sale for $180. Amazon's AC1300 version is also $180.
Uh, oh: jargon! Let me just say that AC2400 indicates the bandwidth of the system, the size of the wireless pipe through which data can flow, and that it should be more than sufficient for the majority of people.
Beyond that, the Velop is a dual-node, dual-band network designed for homes as large as 3,000 square feet. One node plugs into your modem. The other gets placed on a different floor -- or near the other end of the house, if you live on a ranch. Fire up the Linksys app, finish the setup and bam, you're done.
I will say that user reviews are at least as important as professional ones, if not more so, and the Velop currently has a 4.3-star average from buyers at Amazon, Walmart and Linksys. (Interesting coincidence!) What's more, both the Android and iOS versions of the Linksys app have high ratings. To me that's all very telling. It means the vast majority of users are quite happy with the product.
One caveat, though: I don't see any option to purchase additional nodes if you want to expand your coverage. Looks like you'd need another two-pack like this one.
Even so, I'm thinking seriously about grabbing this kit for my parents, as Wi-Fi coverage has long been a challenge in their house. If you have any experience with the Velop, please hit the comments and share your thoughts!
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