Linksys Velop AX4200 Tri-Band Mesh WiFi 6 System assessment

Look on the back of the Linksys Velop AX4200 Tri-Band Mesh WiFi 6 System for its ports

The Linksys Velop AX4200 Tri-Band Mesh WiFi 6 System presents the options Apple customers want. And that’s very true for followers of HomeKit because the routers add further safety to those house automation equipment. Plus, the system presents an improved model of Wi-Fi.

To check the system out, I added Linksys mesh Wi-Fi routers to my house. Right here’s how they work in real-world use.

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Linksys Velop AX4200 Tri-Band Mesh WiFi 6 System assessment

With so many individuals working and finding out from house, the times are over when a single Wi-Fi entry level was sufficient. It’s time to get a mesh system that gives a number of entry factors. These act like a single router so you possibly can seamlessly hook up with any of them and even be switched between them with out noticing.

My wired connection to the Web is at one finish of my home so again after I had a single Wi-Fi router I didn’t have an incredible connection on the reverse finish. With the Velop AX4200 system, I’m capable of unfold the routers round my house and get a significantly better connection in every single place.

That’s essential for me as a result of I’ve HomeKit equipment in each room. And the current addition of a HomeKit firewall to the Linksys system makes my sensible house safer.

{Hardware} and design

The Linksys Velop AX4200 Tri-Band Mesh WiFi 6 System (whew, that’s lots of identify) belongs to the monolith college of design, with no exterior antenna. Every unit is 9.6 inches tall and 4.5 inches sq.. The one shade possibility is white.

The nodes are cumbersome however look acceptable to enter a lounge. Which is good as a result of there’s a very good likelihood that’s the place one among them will find yourself. That is what occurred with me, anyway.

You’ll discover three open Ethernet ports on the again of every router for hooking up computer systems and equipment. You’ll be able to, for instance, put a secondary node in your desk and join your Mac to it by Ethernet.

There’s additionally a USB-A port on the again of every Velop AX4200 unit. Plug in a drive and you’ll entry the contents from wherever in your Wi-Fi community. These seem as SMB drives.

The Velop AX4200 makes plugging in Ethernet equipment a snap. And USB drives too.
Photograph: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Software program

The mesh system is constructed with iPhone customers in thoughts. All of the setup is finished by way of a free Linksys iOS utility. I discovered the software program simple to make use of, strolling me by way of the method step-by-step with clear directions. Upon getting the community setup and configured, you possibly can verify its standing by way of the identical app.

The iPhone app runs on iPad however solely in portrait mode. Happily, Linksys supplies a well-designed internet interface for controlling the mesh routers. Almost all of the options of the app are right here however not each one. HomeKit setup appears to be lacking, for instance.

HomeKit

The Velop AX4200 isn’t model new however Linksys just lately took it to a brand new stage by including a HomeKit firewall by way of a firmware replace. This lets you set limits on how a lot Web entry your numerous equipment have. Most notably, you possibly can prohibit them to allow them to solely hook up with your hub utilizing the Dwelling app. It will forestall them from getting firmware updates however will even cease them from speaking with anybody you don’t need them to.

After I set this up I discovered {that a} couple HomeKit equipment wouldn’t keep related to my hub except I gave them unrestricted entry to the web. Mockingly, each of them are made by Belkin subsidiary Wemo, and Linksys can be a Belkin subsidiary.

Use the Velop AX4200 as a HomeKit firewall.
You need to use the Velop AX4200 to firewall your HomeKit sensible house units.
Screenshot: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Wi-Fi  6

As you possibly can see within the prolonged model of the identify, the Velop AX4200 helps Wi-Fi 6. That is the consumer-friendly identify for 802.11ax and is a greater/sooner model of the wi-fi networking customary all of us love. It tops out at 9.6 Gbps in comparison with 3.5 Gbps on the older customary. And it may well hook up with extra units on the similar time.

Current Apple units — iPhone, Mac and iPad — help Wi-Fi 6 however that doesn’t do any good if you’re utilizing an older router that doesn’t supply it. That’s not an issue right here.

Connectivity choices

The Linksys Velop AX4200 Tri-Band Mesh WiFi 6 System has the practically all of the bells and whistles I’ve come to anticipate from a top-quality router. That features a Visitor Mode so that you don’t have to present guests full entry to your community.

And there are Parental Controls that allow you to deny Wi-Fi entry to particular units at specified instances and days of the week. You’ll be able to, for instance, block little Johnny’s iPad from connecting between 9 pm and eight am on week nights.

Linksys Velop AX4200 Tri-Band Mesh WiFi 6 System efficiency

You get a mesh system to cowl a number of house. Linksys says its three-unit model supplies Wi-Fi over 8,100 sq. ft. My house isn’t wherever that huge however assessments with Ookla SpeedTest point out I can take my iPad wherever in the home and get the identical connection velocity I do when standing subsequent to the first router. I can even get a usable connection over a lot of the yard.

Switching between nodes is seamless. A lot in order that I don’t know when it’s taking place. If I actually need to I can dig round within the app and discover out but it surely’s by no means mattered.

Because the identify says, this can be a tri-band gadget. The system presents as much as 600 Mbps on the two.4 GHz band, 1200Mbps on one 5 GHz band and 2400 Mbps on the opposite 5 GHz band. That’s sooner than my consumer-grade web connection.

The 2-unit model of the Velop AX4200 can deal with as much as 80 units. The three-unit model can tackle as much as 120, based on Linksys. I’ve 23 units proper now and the mesh system is dealing with them tremendous.

Linksys Velop AX4200 Tri-Band Mesh WiFi 6 System last ideas

Attempting to get by with a single Wi-Fi router is so 2010. A mesh system just like the Velop AX4200 is a lot extra handy. Set it up proper and also you’ll get web entry wherever in your own home with none pesky useless zones.

And it’s higher than most rival mesh methods due to HomeKit integration. And Wi-Fi 6 is the cherry on prime.

Pricing

You’re not selecting a top-quality mesh Wi-Fi system like this out of the discount bin. The model with three nodes is $499.99. A single node is $249.99.

Purchase from: Amazon

Costco members can get a two-node model.

The Velop AX4200 is pricy however nonetheless cheaper than many rivals. For instance, a three-pack of the comparable Eero Professional 6 is $599.

Belkin supplied Cult of Mac with a assessment unit for this text. See our evaluations coverage, and take a look at different in-depth evaluations of Apple-related objects.

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