Written by Lawrence Ng
If you are paying top dollars for your broadband plan and you just want the best of best, read on. WiFi 6 is the new buzzword, in the geeky world of wireless network and if you have no clue what WiFi 6 is, we have a video that explained what it is.
In short, WiFi 6 is a big improvement to WiFi 5, better known as 802.11AC. In our real-world test with the Linksys Velop MX5 WiFi 6 router, we got about 2x increase in speed and also less latency, especially when the distance increases, compared to their old AC mesh.
FAST AND STABLE AS ADVERTISED
The Linksys Velop WiFi Mesh series got a massive upgrade from their AC series. The new Linksys Velop AX series is the very first few WiFi Mesh that has adopted the WiFi 6 technology.
When we first tested the Linksys Velop AC version, it was one of the WiFi Mesh that offered a stronger and more stable connection. We were also impressed with the ease of setting it up with the help of their app. The new Linksys Velop AX series sets up the same way, using the same app.
It seems like Linksys is one of the few companies that have successfully implemented the use of just one app to manage all their network products. This is a huge advantage for users who are ardent fans of Linksys products. The app lets you prioritise connections to your devices and you can also limit WiFi time for your younger ones.
To realise the full potential of WiFi 6, we have decided to use two Linksys Velop MX5 units and immediately it’s called the MX10. Confusing? Well, if you purchase a single unit, it’s called the Linksys Velop MX5, but if you purchase a pair, it’s called the Linksys Velop MX10. It’s basically the same product, that’s just how Linksys markets their products. Now back to the test.
As we have shared initially, you can guarantee a big jump of stability and speed if you upgrade from the previous model and the main reason is because of its implementation of WiFi 6 technology. We did a simple speed test comparing the Linksys Velop MX5 (WiFi 6) with the Google Nest WiFi (WiFi 5), which is also one of the strongest Mesh we tried last year, and using a mobile device (WiFi 5). You can immediately see the big jump in the result.
The result became more obvious when I moved to the weakest spot in my HDB, which happens to be in my toilet (2 doors, 2 walls away).
And if you are one of the early adopters of technology and happen to have a WiFi 6 compatible device like your Samsung Note 10 or iPhone 11, you can even get better results especially when you push it to its limit. Here is the result I get using the Samsung Note 10 and from the spot with the weakest coverage.
By the way, I am using an M1 500mbps connection and it’s fantastic. You pay less and honestly, whatever I stream can barely scratch the maximum bandwidth offered. M1 broadband is also less popular so I rarely get affected by the sudden surge in users over the weekend.
IT CAN REPLACE YOUR ROUTER
The Linksys Velop MX5 or MX10 is also a Wireless Mesh that you can finally replace your router with. Just last year, most of the WiFi mesh only provided one network port but the new Linksys Velop offers a generous 1 WLAN and 4 LAN ports and 1 USB 3.0 for remote storage. If you are using it as a child node, you also get the same amount of ports for wired backhaul. Why would you need a wired connection you might ask? Well, only a wired connection can guarantee a stable and fast connection and it is also easier to troubleshoot if you have any network issues.
The new Velop is a huge upgrade, quite literally. Usually, for mobile phones, you wouldn’t mind a bigger phone because you will usually also get a bigger screen. In this case, I was curious to find out why Linksys needed to make the Velop MX5 bigger and heavier than its predecessor.
To my surprise, it’s not to house larger antennas. A massive heat sink inside is the reason for the weight and size increase and it’s actually for a good reason. The Velop MX5 runs really cool and one thing about routers and meshes is that due to the fact that you need to constantly leave it on, it can get pretty hot, especially when the weather gets warm. I personally appreciate that as I like to hide all my devices in one enclosed area to keep my console clean (e.g. PlayStation, routers, streaming devices, soundbar). I know that’s bad for hardware, but I really enjoy a clean and simple decor.
As always, Linksys generally has good and user-friendly products, and it’s no exception for the Linksys Velop MX5 WiFi 6 mesh. Price is on the steep side at S$699 per unit but honestly, there are not too many WiFi 6 Mesh options out there for you to choose from. It is a big improvement for your network coverage and stability, and if you have a big house and you are willing to pay for the best, I think this is a great choice.
More information about the Linksys Velop MX5 can be found on the Linksys website.