CNET logo Why You Can Trust CNET

Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. How we test routers

Linksys' new Wi-Fi 6 mesh router system costs $699

Mesh and Wi-Fi 6 are two of the top reasons you might want to upgrade your router. Want both? It'll cost you.

Ry Crist Senior Editor / Reviews - Labs
Originally hailing from Troy, Ohio, Ry Crist is a writer, a text-based adventure connoisseur, a lover of terrible movies and an enthusiastic yet mediocre cook. A CNET editor since 2013, Ry's beats include smart home tech, lighting, appliances, broadband and home networking.
Expertise Smart home technology and wireless connectivity Credentials
  • 10 years product testing experience with the CNET Home team
Ry Crist
2 min read

Mesh networking allows you to wirelessly link your router with additional satellite devices to better blanket your home in reliable Wi-Fi coverage. Wi-Fi 6, or 802.11ax, is the new generation of Wi-Fi technology that promises faster top speeds and better, more efficient Wi-Fi performance. Each is a compelling reason to upgrade your router on its own -- and now, Linksys is covering both bases with a new Velop mesh router system that supports those speedy Wi-Fi 6 connections.

Read more: Give the gift of a better, faster router for the holidays | The best Wi-Fi routers in 2019 

Watch this: Wi-Fi 6 may be more life-changing than 5G

Just don't expect it to come cheap. A two-piece setup like the one pictured above will retail for $699 on Amazon and at Best Buy -- more than twice the current cost of the Wi-Fi 5 version of Velop

Locating local internet providers

Enlarge Image

Each Velop device includes four Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports.


In fairness, $699 is the same as what you'll pay for the newest Netgear Orbi mesh system, which also supports Wi-Fi 6. Meanwhile, the Asus RT-AX92U, a two-piece Wi-Fi 6 mesh system, retails for considerably less than either of those, with a current asking price of $399 on Amazon.

That's still expensive, but manufacturers like Linksys, Netgear and Asus are betting that Wi-Fi 6 and mesh will make for an especially compelling combination, and one that'll put Wi-Fi 6 to work in people's homes in more immediate fashion. On its own, a single Wi-Fi 6 router can't do anything to speed up existing gadgets that use Wi-Fi 5 and earlier -- but with a mesh approach, where both the router and the nodes support Wi-Fi 6, the system should be able to spread a faster signal throughout the home more efficiently, which benefits everything.

Locating local internet providers

On the other hand, both Google and Amazon decided not to incorporate Wi-Fi 6 into their newest mesh systems. At $269 for a two-piece Nest Wifi setup and $249 for a three-piece Eero setup, both of those alternatives cost less than their Wi-Fi 6 counterparts.

We'll know more about how all of it compares once we have a chance to test everything out for ourselves. In the meantime, here's the rundown on the new Velop system's specs. The two-piece setup is available now, with additional Velop units available for preorder on Amazon for $399 each.

  • Tri-band AX5300 (1,147Mbps 2.4GHz, 2,402 Mbps 5GHz, 1,733Mbps 5GHz)
  • 2.2 GHz quad-core processor
  • 512MB Flash memory, 1GB RAM
  • 4x4 MU-MIMO
  • 4 x 1Gbps LAN Ethernet ports
  • USB 3.0 port

Meet the Wi-Fi 6 routers that support 802.11ax

See all photos