When it comes to mesh systems, there are two reigning favorites right now – the Linksys Velop vs Google WiFi. They both have a lot going for them, from increased coverage over larger distances and no dead spots – at least better than any single router you can buy.
Of course, they are not the first mesh systems by any means.
The Eero was the pioneer in the mesh system segment, with Luma and Orbi also being main contenders in this space. Knowing that there are many competitors in this space, we have to wonder what it is that makes the Linksys Velop vs Google WiFi really stand out.
What are Mesh Systems
For those who want to up their wireless coverage, but are uncertain of just how beneficial mesh systems are should read on.
Wireless mesh systems create a wireless network connected through a network of nodes. Although many people have used APs, wireless extenders and older routers to extend their network, wireless mesh systems are specifically created to eliminate the unreliability of using APs and converted routers and instead use specially created nodes that act like a more powerful beacon for your wireless network.
Knowing that mesh systems are a game changer in the way we view and use wireless routers, the BlueGadgetTooth team researched, tested and reviewed the Linksys Velop vs the Google WiFi to see which one was better in terms of performance, price points, coverage and overall design.
How are Linksys Velop vs Google WiFi Similar
- Easy Installation Process: Both Linksys Velop and Google Wifi have a user friendly set up process, as well as a great app that helps guide the user through the process.
- Great as a single router: These mesh systems are s powerful, that even as a single unit, they manage to provide great coverage for your home, if the area is within their coverage limits.
- Great Prices: They are competitively priced and are affordable for a user with a small living space or a large home.
- Device Prioritization: With the App, you can control which devices get priority on your network with both.
How are Linksys Velop vs Google WiFi Different
- App Control: Google Wifi App can control more than just your network; it can also manage certain smart home technology due to integration with smart hubs.
- Design: Thought has gone into the visual aesthetics of the Linksys Velop and Google Wifi, but the Velop is way larger than the small and compact Google wifi.
You will get to know more about the differences between the two and which one is our top choice and the reasons why. Keep reading!
1. Linksys Velop
(Performance & Coverage)
6000 sq. ft.
2. Google WiFi
(Budget & Design)
4500 sq. ft.
The Linksys Velop came out shining like an avenging angel, but the Google WiFi wasn’t far behind.
There are compelling reasons for both of them. Overall, for the advanced user, we would recommend Linksys Velop, only because of its powerful range, coverage, and performance.
For the average Joe, who is not looking for something complicated, we would recommend Google Wifi. It has a very easy set up process, is great to look at, it is simple in its overall UI and management options and as of now, is priced lower than Linksys Velop.
Design: Linksys Velop vs Google WiFi
The only thing the Linksys Velop and the Google Wifi have in common is their white colour and the concept behind the design – which is stepping away from the alien black spaceships that hover in dark corners. These gadgets are meant to blend it well with any background, while being aesthetically pleasing as well.
But perhaps that is where the similarity ends. When it comes to both gadgets, they are as different visually as night and day.
The first thing that will stand out is the size of the Linksys Velop. Standing tall at 7.5 inches and 3 inches in width, the Linksys Velop almost reminds me of the WTC, especially when placed next to the tinier, sleeker Google Wifi mesh system. They could be conversation starters or space hoggers, depending on how you place them in your space.
The Google Wifi mesh system pretty much looks like two white hockey pucks glued together, with Led indicator light in the middle to keep you appraised of the status of the mesh system.
There seems to be no ventilation problems with the Linksys Velop, with vents covering two sides of the Velop, ensuring good air flow to avoid overheating. This is something that is missing in the Google Wifi.
But the nice thing is the minimalistic approach the companies have taken, ensuring that they can be placed anywhere, especially the Google wifi due to its compact size.
The power adaptors are a different story however. As nice and sleek the Linksys Velop may be, their power adaptors are humongous and if you are planning on plugging them into a multi plug extension, you can forget about having any room for any other gadgets – they’re that much bigger.
For design, we have to lean towards the Google Wifi mesh system for its small footprint, very neat design which will fit in well anywhere, whereas you have to keep an eye out on the Linksys Velop. The big towers can be knocked down by careless hands much easier, if placed near table edges or heavy traffic areas.
Coverage: Linksys Velop vs Google WiFi
Before we get into specifics, it is worth noting that you can buy one unit, two or three Velop units, and one or three Google WiFi units. That being said, the range these devices offer is simply brilliant. How they work is very similar to each other – the first node gets connected to the Internet, and all nodes after that are used to extend the network coverage.
But what makes them different from just using old routers or AP’s to extend your wireless network is that the nodes all communicate with each other. So the limitation which was present earlier, where nodes had to communicate directly with the main router is eliminated, leading to better network coverage.
This allows for the data being transmitted to find the best and fastest route to travel, finding the path of least resistance, the path with least amount of interference and the least crowded channels. This property is what makes mesh systems so effective, better than other routers available, as they have the ability to adapt to the ever changing network demands.
Not only is this smart technology at its best, as of now, the mesh network will be informed if there is any node offline, and reroute the data accordingly. This ability allows you to be and remain connected to the network wirelessly, no matter where you are in the area and where you go, connecting seamlessly.
Getting more nodes and placing them all over your home will only make your wireless connection better and faster, but you don’t have to invest in multiple nodes as only a few are needed to get the job done.
Velop claims to offer coverage of 2,000 sq. feet + per unit, whereas Google Wifi covers 1,500 sq. feet per unit.
Our BGT team leans towards the more powerful Linksys Velop for coverage as only one node does the job extremely well. It has better range and coverage, whereas only one Google Wifi unit won’t provide the same coverage as one Velop unit.
Performance: Linksys Velop vs Google WiFi
Both mesh systems are built to deliver results, and the BGT team cannot find fault with either the Velop or the Google WiFi.
One point we have to concede to the Google giant is that they really simplified how we use and understand their mesh system. It may a good thing or a bad thing, depending on what you are looking to get out of your mesh system.
If you appreciate a plug and play gadget, one that does the job without you having to go deep into the settings to get things working, then the Google Wifi mesh system is the right. It is simple and easy to use, and this is what makes it a favourite for many who don’t want to go into the nitty gritty details of networking.
However, if you are like us, who want to go beyond what is offered and tweak the settings to really get something that is customized for your home, then you should take a better look at the Linksys Velop.
When it came to real time performance, the Velop delivered speeds averaging 542Mbps at a distance of 20 feet, which was better than the Google WiFi by a slight margin, with the Google Wifi reaching speeds of 524Mbps.
When it comes to performance, we have to choose the Linksys Velop because with the addition of extra nodes, you may face certain latency issues and the backhaul traffic may get a little hard to handle. The Linksys Velop is tri-band and although all three bands are for connected devices, but the extra band helps with the backhaul. The Google WiFi may be the weaker of the two, but if you have multiple nodes at medium distances, it works great! On the other hand, you have to place the Velop units a little further apart as they are much stronger, and could interfere with each other.
Features: Linksys Velop vs Google WiFi
Each Linksys Velop unit is theoretically capable of speeds reaching 2.2Gbps (rounded off from 2134Mbps), which means that all three units from a three unit pack can reach a crazy theoretical combined speed of 6.6Gbps. The Google Wifi unit can each reach theoretical speeds of 1167Mbps rounded off to 1200Mbps, which adds up to 3.6Gbps for a three unit set.
All this sounds great, but what are the features that make them the networking powerhouses that they are?
- Daisy Chain: Working on a 2x2 802.11AC mesh network, the Velop units daisy chain to pass data seamlessly, without having to depend on the main router to relay information.
- Tri Band: There are three bands to accommodate the ever growing number of devices connected to the 5GHz band, with the devices being 802.11ac and backwards compatible.
- Ethernet Backhaul: Apart from having the tri band, you can use Ethernet connectivity to manage your backhaul traffic, which is pretty reliable as well, even though it kinda defeats the purpose of having nodes for wireless connectivity.
- Linksys App: Guides the user through the set up process.
- Parental Controls: You can control which device is connected to your network, and also manage and create a guest network to prevent visitors and guests from accessing your private home network.
- Wirefree look: It has been designed to keep wires out of public view.
- Single network config: This means that even if one node fails or loses connectivity, the other nodes will automatically detect the failed node and re-establish connection with each other to ensure smooth transfer of data.
- Auto Fix Channel: Prioritize your devices and use this feature to get the best channel for your devices, to avoid congestion or interference while connected to the network.
- Dual Band: There are two bands – the 5GHz and the 2.4GHz bands for your devices running on 802.11ac and backwards compatible
- Ethernet Backhaul: Apart from having the dual band, you can use Ethernet connectivity to manage your backhaul traffic, which is pretty reliable as well, even though it kinda defeats the purpose of having nodes for wireless connectivity.
- Network Assist Technology: The best and fastest channels are selected for your connected devices to deliver a seamless and fast connection.
- Google Wifi App: This helps the user in the set up process and allows you to access a wealth of management settings, like device prioritization, managing guest networks, password sharing for guests etc.
- Parental Controls: You can pause Wifi access on your kids’ phones and other devices during bed times and meal times.
- 2x2 Wave AC1200
- 2 Gigabit Ethernet Ports: You can be connected WAN or LAN.
For feature per feature, the Linksys Velop vs Google WiFi both stand head to head. We love the tri band feature of the Velop, but we love how easy the Google App makes it to set up and get things up and running. We can’t decide the winner between the two for this one.
How To Set Up a Mesh WiFi Network
A mesh wifi network basically allows connected devices to remain connected via a network of nodes that help you connect wirelessly to the network. Each node helps to expand the wireless connection a little further, with each node acting like satellites for your wireless network.
Think of it like the nodes all chatting with each other to find the fastest and most efficient path for data to travel, each amplifying the signal so that you have a blanket of connectivity over your house.
- A Gateway: A router that acts like the main connector, accessing the internet via your modem.
- Nodes: These could be extra routers or APs you have at home, which help send data to and fro over a larger distance.
- A phone: Download the app to your Smart phone so that you can run through the config process.
- 5 Minutes: Of your time to get the whole thing set up.
All of the above are needed if you have purchased any of the two mesh systems mentioned in this comparison guide.
The Linksys Velop vs Google Wifi was a tough comparison, with both mesh systems having advantages of their own.
The Linksys Velop covers greater ground, but the design is large and leaves a way bigger footprint than the Google Wifi.
Google Wifi looks aesthetically pleasing, with a very minimalistic approach to design. It is also easy for any average user to set up, but doesn’t offer advanced settings for further customization.
While the Velop stands to be the winner overall for performance and range, Google Wifi stands pretty tall itself, for the price point and performance point of view.
We would suggest that if you are looking to increase your wireless connectivity in your home but want something easy to set up, without breaking the bank – Google Wifi is your best option. If you are looking for awesome connectivity, better range and want to be able to get into the settings to make the network truly your own, you should consider buying the Linksys Velop.
The choice is yours.