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Wireless Reviews

Capacity

Our Wi-Fi System capacity test uses three 2x2 AC clients, one connected to each node of three node systems. Traffic is then run to all three clients simultaneously and throughput measured for each traffic pair. A 2.4 GHz client is connected to the root node and 5 GHz to the others. The Capacity bar chart shows total throughput for the three test clients in each direction.

Original Orbi is clearly the winner here for both down and uplink. But while Velop is in the #2 slot for uplink, it sits below all the Orbis and D-Link's Covr (review coming next).

Wi-Fi System Capacity

Wi-Fi System Capacity

The per-node plots show Velop takes a severe throughput hit when both leaf nodes (Hop 1 and 2) are loaded with 5 GHz traffic. Keep in mind that since Orbi has no second hop, both 5 GHz clients are banging away on the same satellite.

Wi-Fi System Capacity by Test Case - downlink

Wi-Fi System Capacity by Test Case - downlink

I sure didn't expect the results in the uplink plot; Velop's Hop 1 throughput jumps from 40 to over 300 Mbps!

Wi-Fi System Capacity by Test Case - uplink

Wi-Fi System Capacity by Test Case - uplink

Going to Velop's capacity test downlink time plot, it's clear Hop 1 is low throughout the test, but has some cyclical variation. Station statistics, however, show both up and down link rates steady at 866 Mbps (2x2 11ac maximum).

Wi-Fi System Capacity vs. time - Linksys Velop - Downlink

Wi-Fi System Capacity vs. time - Linksys Velop - Downlink

The Velop uplink plot shows higher throughput Hop 1 and 2. But Hop 1 still has the highest variation.

Wi-Fi System Capacity vs. time - Linksys Velop - Uplink

Wi-Fi System Capacity vs. time - Linksys Velop - Uplink

The Orbi downlink plot reflects the relatively similar throughput for the three clients shown in the downlink bar plot above.

Wi-Fi System Capacity vs. time - NETGEAR Orbi - Downlink

Wi-Fi System Capacity vs. time - NETGEAR Orbi - Downlink

The Orbi uplink plot show the "Hop 1"/Case B 5 GHz client throughput higher than the second 5 GHz throughput shown by the Case C bar above.

Wi-Fi System Capacity vs. time - NETGEAR Orbi - Uplink

Wi-Fi System Capacity vs. time - NETGEAR Orbi - Uplink

Closing Thoughts

The point of all the plots and data is to back up what was shown up front by the Wi-Fi System Ranker results; the original Orbi has earned its spot as the #1 Ranked Wi-Fi System for Performance. However, I also have to give kudos to Linksys for the second place showing for its Velop system. Whatever problems there were in backhaul management that I found in the original review appear to have been fixed. Now all Linksys needs to fix is Velop's price, which at $500 is $100 more than Orbi's $400 list and $150 more than Amazon's current price.

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