Smart home

Linksys Velop boosts home network throughput

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EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the third in a series on smart home networking: Our introductory article set the decor for this series, and the second one focuses on home hubs.

If you are going to invest in smart home tech, you want a solidly performing wireless network throughout your house. There are two ways to increase performance: one is to optimize the connection between you and your ISP. The other is to provide better wireless coverage and boost the signal inside your home.

To address the first issue, I’ve been using IQrouter, which automatically adjusts for the minimum network latency between your home router and your ISP.

To boost in-home coverage, I tried out a new product from Linksys called Velop. It is a mesh-connected set of controllers, sold in packages of up to three different access points that can be easily assembled to distribute a wireless signal throughout your home, no matter how big or how many stories.

I set it up in our test home, a 1,200 square foot suburban St. Louis property with a finished basement. The DSL modem is located in the basement, so that is where the first access point is connected, via a wired Ethernet port. Once this first access point is configured, adding other access points around the house is very easy: they don’t require wired connections and you can experiment moving them from one room to another to optimize your signal strength.

Why would you bother with replacing your existing access point? Several reasons. First, your home may not be friendly for wireless networking. You may have a lot of steel or concrete, which eats wireless signals. Or you may have dead spots in different rooms, depending on where your existing access point is located. Or you may have installed multiple access points around your home, which creates different SSIDs and requires you to login to different wireless networks as you move your laptop or other device from one room to another.

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