Linksys' Velop promises better NBN Wi-Fi
LINKSYS has unveiled its premier home Wi-Fi product, Velop, which promises to bring the speed of the NBN to every corner of even the largest homes.
The firm, the first to sell 100 million routers globally, says Velop is the first Tri-Band modular Wi-Fi system that can be installed in various mesh configurations.
The device, which looks more like a small speaker than a router, serves as a router, range extender, access point and bridge.
Velop is being showcased at CES 2017 in Las Vegas - which is expected to attract more than 160,000 people from January 5 to 8.
A big theme of the gadgets show, which features 3800 exhibitors, will again be connectivity and the 'Internet of Things' - how devices ranging from light bulbs to 4K televisions will connect via our smartphones.
Linksys says its Velop devices will connect via Bluetooth while smart features include guest access, parental controls, and device prioritisation.
For example, you could turn off your child's Wi-Fi access for the Xbox after a certain time, or give priority to your smart TV streaming at night.
Velop will be available in 3-pack, 2-pack and 1-pack options, and will be launching in Australia early April.
"This is why I purchased Linksys in 2013. I had a vision of solving a huge problem in almost everyone's life, slow and unreliable Wi-Fi", Chet Pipkin, founder and CEO of Belkin International, said.
"Linksys has always been pioneers in home networking and I knew this was the team that could innovate and deliver the ultimate Wi-Fi experience.
Linksys says the difference between its Velop device and others is that with traditional router and range extenders, Wi-Fi speed is cut in half with each 'hop' from one access point to the next.
"If you are upgrading to the NBN broadband network, then you want to make sure you get that speed in every corner of your house", said Greg Morrison, ANZ Country Manager at Linksys.
So how does it actually work?
Velop uses three radios dynamically to determine the optimal path from the modem and "parent" node to each "child" node to ensure the fastest speeds.
Dynamic channel scanning algorithms to select the best band (either 2.4 GHz or one of the two 5 GHz radios on-board) as well as the channels within each of the bands to improve performance between nodes and client devices.
Velop can also use an Ethernet connection for inter-node communication to allow all three radios to communicate with clients and help Wi-Fi reach distant locations, such as the cellar or garage.
The product is a 2017 CES Innovation Award Honoree.
Linksys says the the vertical orientation of the 18cm high device also has performance benefits, with the six antennas placed at the top and middle of the unit, some pushing signal up and down and others pushing signal left and right.
To eliminate cable clutter, the base of the design features a cavity where power and Ethernet ports are hidden and a small notch with rubber tabs to organise cables.
Linksys says its app has been completely redesigned and includes an innovative setup process for Velop.
It presents animated visuals and troubleshooting instructions to guide even the most novice Wi-Fi user through the uninstallation of networking hardware.
Velop uses a highly integrated System on a Chip from Qualcomm with a 716 MHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 processor, three Wi-Fi radios (one 2.4 GHz and two 5.0 GHz) and two auto sensing LAN/WAN Gigabit ports.
It has 4GB of flash memory, 512MB DDR3 memory and a Bluetooth 4.0/LE radio. Velop contains six antennas and high power amplifiers.
The Linksys Velop Whole Home Wi-Fi will be available in Australia in April as a 1-pack ($299.95), 2-pack ($589.95) and 3-pack (749.95).
The price includes a three year warranty and 24/7 consumer support.