After experiencing some issues with my current mesh wifi system, including one of the nodes going offline every few weeks or so, I decided to invest in something new. And I opted for the Linksys Velop AC6600.
This is the most stylish looking mesh system I've seen to date. As with other home Wi-Fi systems, the nodes communicate with each other using mesh technology to provide whole-house coverage and offer seamless roaming using a single network SSID and password. Each node has a Bluetooth radio used to communicate with your smartphone for system setup.
At 7.3 by 3.1 by 3.1 inches, they have two gigabit LAN ports and a power jack around back, along with a reset button and power button on the underside of the base. The LAN ports can provide wired connectivity to devices such as my Panasonic 65GZ2000 OLED TV (in the living room on the main floor) and Apple TV 4K (in my bedroom on the second floor). The ports can also be used to provide wired connectivity among each node.
A status LED at the top of the enclosure is solid blue when connected to the internet, solid red when the connection is lost, blinking red when the node is out of range of another node, and solid yellow when the connection is weak. It turns solid purple when ready for setup and blinks purple when setup is in progress.
Set up couldn't be easier. All you need to do is download a free Dashboard app and follow the step-by-step instructions shown on your smart device. You can even choose up to three devices to be given bandwidth priority just in case there are too many downloads running at the same time. I gave my phone, tablet, and laptop top billing since any streaming device will not require more than 50Mbps taken away from my sustained 600Mbps connection (I'm looking at you, Rogers, I have a 1Gbps package but never receive more than an 800Mbps connection!)
In addition to Parental Controls and Device Prioritization, the Dashboard has a button for enabling/disabling Guest Access and for tweaking Wi-Fi settings such as security type and Wi-Fi mode. There's also a Channel Finder setting that lets you scan for the Wi-Fi channels that will offer the best performance. In my case, setting it to auto doesn't work well - I keep losing my 2.4GHz connection every now and then, so I had to manually choose the channel.
Other menu choices include Speed Check (which measures internet upload and download speeds), Notifications (when enabled, it will alert you when a node goes offline), Velop Administration (time settings, firmware upgrades, and individual node statistics), and My Account (account e-mail and password information). It's a rather powerful app which, in a way, is great as I don't always have to use a laptop to customize my routers.
Within close proximity, using speedtest.net, I can consistently get a result of beyond 500Mbps. Just like any Wi-Fi connection, however, the further away I am from the node, the slower it gets. In my house, I'm essentially approximately within 30 feet from any node at any given time, which yields nearly 200Mbps of downstream regardless of the smart device I did the speedtest on. While it sounds disappointing, it is actually one of the better experiences I've had compared to other systems. It's about 100Mbps faster than the Asus Lyra system and 150Mbps faster than Velop's younger dual-band sibling.
Yes, this set is rather pricy at an MSRP of $599 (look out for sales - I bought this set while for $449). But for such a simple system to setup and use that does not noticeably slow down your internet speed, it truly delivers an enveloping experience.