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Wireless Reviews

Routing Performance

Velop runs fine without an internet connection, so I was able to run our Version 4 router performance tests on it with 1.1.1.177892 firmware. Functional tests were not run because Velop's app doesn't provide access to settings needed to put the router in the required standard test configuration.

It was recently brought to my attention that our UDP throughput benchmarks were not correct for many of the products tested with the V4 router process. This was due to an older version of the benchmark tests accidentally used. Since it isn't practical to retest over a dozen products, I've instead removed the UDP tests from the Router Ranker and Charts and V4 Router test process. You won't see them from now on.

Table 2 summarizes routing test results for Velop, Google Wifi and Luma. All three products have similar TCP throughput performance.

Test Description Linksys Velop Google Wifi Luma
WAN - LAN TCP (Mbps) 940 941 941
LAN - WAN TCP (Mbps) 941 941 941
Total Simultaneous TCP (Mbps) 1764 1539 1764
TCP Connection Pass Pass Pass
UDP Connection Fail Fail Fail
Table 2: Routing performance comparison

Wireless Performance

Velop is Wi-Fi Certified. Unlike most other DWS products, Velop does support Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS). It can be disabled via a software switch in the app. Velop supports WPA2/AES PSK wireless encryption only. Linksys also provided the following additional information about Velop's Wi-Fi features:

  • Band steering is not supported
  • AP mode (disabling NAT routing / bridging) is not supported
  • Devices are load balanced among Velop nodes (pre-association steering). "If a AP has exceeded certain pre-determined threshold on load, Velop will steer clients to associate to the other AP on initial connection or reconnection."
  • 802.11v and k are supported. This helps roaming only for devices that also support these standards
  • DFS channels are supported in Europe. DFS support is "in process" for U.S.

I was able to run the V9 test process without Velop connected to the internet. But because Velop provides no control over channel or bandwidth mode, I had to settle for using Channel 1 and 36 instead of our standard 6 and 40. Velop defaulted to 20 MHz bandwidth in 2.4 GHz, which was fine for throughput vs. attenuation, but which resulted in lower throughput for the maximum wireless throughput test, where we set the 2.4 GHz radio to 40 MHz bandwidth.

Velop was centered on the test chamber turntable in normal operating position, as shown in the photo below. The 0° position had the Linksys logo facing the chamber antennas.

Linksys Velop in test chamber

Linksys Velop in test chamber

Since Velop, NETGEAR Orbi and Google Wifi all ran the throughput vs. attenuation benchmarks properly, I plotted the three together for comparison. Note again, Velop used channels 1 and 36; Orbi and Google WiFi used the standard 6 and 40.

The 2.4 GHz downlink profile shows Velop taking the low road after starting out with throughput similar to the other two products.

2.4 GHz Downlink Throughput vs. Attenuation

2.4 GHz Downlink Throughput vs. Attenuation

Velop's throughput profile for 2.4 GHz uplink was even lower.

2.4 GHz Downlink Throughput vs. Attenuation

2.4 GHz Uplink Throughput vs. Attenuation

5 GHz downlink shows Velop with a slight throughput advantage over a large part of its range. But it disconnected earlier than the other two products.

5 GHz Downlink Throughput vs. Attenuation

5 GHz Downlink Throughput vs. Attenuation

5 GHz uplink reveals lower throughput at the start of the test run, then a recovery to a higher level that tracks Orbi and GWifi for most of the rest of the run. This quirk was produced in both of the two test runs that are averaged to yield the data entered into the Charts.

5 GHz Uplink Throughput vs. Attenuation

5 GHz Uplink Throughput vs. Attenuation

Of the two bands, I'd be concerned more with 2.4 GHz, especially uplink. Neither result bodes well for using that band for backhaul.

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