If you want to make the most of your internet connection, you really need to take a good hard look at your WiFi network. You see, when your internet provider sends you your “modem” it might have “WiFi” but is it really any good?
WiFi has come a long way in a few years. But let me demonstrate graphically. Using the Telstra WiFi Maximiser app, and connected to the standard modem my Internet provider supplied – this is what the WiFi coverage downstairs at my house looks like:
See those dead spots – in red. Little or no coverage there. Plus, when the colour changes, so does your speed. So if you’re doing a speedtest you’ll notice the further you get from your modem the slower it gets.
Until this year, you’d buy a WiFi range extender to fix that, but they weren’t great. They would create a second network, and only amplify the speed they were able to receive themselves.
Enter a new style of WiFi – Mesh networks. We’ve reviewed another of these systems already – the Netgear Orbi – and we’ll compare the Velop and Orbi in the next day or two.
What matters is this – when you add a Mesh network to your home – it just makes it all work. Here’s my home with the Linksys Velop installed:
In this example, there is a Velop “node” in the corner of the lounge room – almost exactly half way across the house. Plus, another “node” on the far end of the house.
As it happens, my home was perfectly well covered with two nodes. Not a bad thing, given the cost of two nodes is $649 vs the $799 for three.
Installation takes a bit of time, and you may need to have a drink ready – my experience wasn’t ideal. The app strolled through most of the process only to freeze at the end when it really mattered.
I walked away, tried again, and somehow got it working.
Once I did, I had the joy of a full speed network across my home.
Each Velop has two ethernet ports – only the Node you place next to your modem needs one to make the system work. The rest allow you to hard wire products like your TV or computer if you choose – though for the Node next to your modem you would most likely be keen on a few more plugs for Computers and other gear.
The design is small, and nice enough to sit on a shelf or entertainment unit.
Frustratingly, the power points for the Velop are huge – big squares that might have looked good on the drawing board, but infringe on almost anything plugged into a two point power point. It’s simply unnecessary.
Putting that aside, these products allow you to finally take full advantage of the internet speeds you have coming into your home – especially for NBN users, if you’re getting high speeds, you should take that speed and spread it across the whole house – only a mesh network like the Velop can provide that.
You’ll get consistently high speeds across the house – something most people are certainly not getting now.
At $799 this three pack is a pricey item, but you’ve gotta pay for quality folks.
Trev is a Technology Commentator, Dad, Speaker and Rev Head.
He produces and hosts two popular podcasts, EFTM and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He also appears on over 50 radio stations across Australia weekly, and is the resident Tech Expert on Channel 9’s Today Show each day and appears regularly on A Current Affair.
Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave.