Velop vs Orbi – Netgear or Linksys?

When it comes to Wireless Mesh, Orbi and Velop are at the top of the line in the field of this new wireless technology.

The Orbi stands above the rest! Current Amazon Price

As you know, we highly recommend the Netgear Orbi over the top competitor, the Linksys Velop, but why is it a clear winner? Well, I have put together this article and detailed comparison chart to inform you of its advantages and why it is superior to the runner-up, the Linksys Velop WiFi.

Linksys Velop vs Netgear Orbi Comparison Chart

Orbi Vs Velop
WiFi Coverage5,000 Sq. Ft.6,000 Sq. Ft.6,000 Sq. Ft6,000 Sq. Ft.
Devices Supported60+50+2060
Max Speed6Gbps5.3Gbps2.2Gbps2.2Gbps
CPU2.2 GHz Quad-Core2.2 GHz Quad-Core710 MHz Quad-Core716 MHz Quad-Core
RAM1 GB1 GB512 MB512 MB
Flash Memory512 Mb512 MB256 MB4 GB
Gig Ethernet Ports9(5+4)10(5+5)6(2+2+2)6(2+2+2)
Dedicated BackhualYesNoYesNo
SourceUser ManualUser ManualUser ManualUser Manual
Current PriceAmazonAmazonAmazonAmazon

Best Wireless Mesh Between Netgear and Linksys

Without even diving very deep into the inner workings of each wifi system, there are a few key components that really set the 2 brands apart for home consumers.

First for most users will be ease of use.

Netgear is very easy to set up and the firmware, router interface, and app to control your wireless from your phone is top of the line. Picked time and time again by consumers over the Linksys system. If you’re an advanced user, this will not matter because you are probably already used to the Linksys GUI.

Next will be wireless coverage

This will be important for those of you with a really large house. All of these wireless mesh systems have coverage areas of 5,000 Square Feet right out of the box. So that’s not an issue. And they all have the ability to be expanded. You can just buy a separate satellite to attach to your existing mesh system if you need to cover a larger area.

Where it really starts to matter here is how much bandwidth the router can push through it and how many devices it can support. That’s where Wireless AX vs Wireless Ac comes into play so we’ll explain that in the next section.

Strength – Wireless AX Mesh vs Wireless AC Mesh

Wireless AX is not just “faster WiFi”(up to 4 times) with higher throughput. It is a new technology known as WiFi-6. A new way of encoding data to be transmitted can provide better speeds and longer battery life due to more efficient encoding and power management. Most devices will not be able to take advantage of this yet, but the future is near. More and more consumer gadgets ship with the ability to utilize Wi-Fi 6 features.

One big advantage of Wireless AX is the ability to perform better in crowded spaces with overlapping wireless channels. If all of your neighbors are blasting their wireless into your home, Wireless AX could be a huge benefit for you. There are more benefits if you want to read more in depth.

Wireless AC Mesh is till best for most homes on a budget

Wireless AC, aka Wi-Fi 5 is still considered to be among the best available home wireless mesh for most users. It is very affordable now compared to what it was a few years ago and it is not going away. Most devices currently support it and will always support it. It has high speeds, great for large houses with normal to even heavy internet usage. You will not be slowed down if you’re streaming while your kid is gaming.

If you live in a large house with several devices but no interference from neighbors like you would get in an apartment building, you probably do not need Wireless AX yet. But if you have the money and truly want the best available wireless, AX it is.

CPU & RAM – What do they mean?

Both higher-end Wireless AX Mesh systems contain a powerful 2.2 GHz Quad-Core Processor, so this is good. They also all have 1GB of RAM and 512MB of internal flash memory.
If you have a high number of devices over a large home, nothing less should be implemented for your mesh system.

The CPU and RAM are what handle all of the data packets and streaming passing through your router to all of your live devices. So the more active streams you have at any given moment, the more workload strain on the routers hub or brain. If you have Netflix streaming, Kodi Streaming, someone playing XBOX, an Echo or Google Home performing queries, an Arlo uploading footage, a network backup running, a few phones connected, all at once, you may not realize it but that is a heavy amount of processing through one device. This is why these modern-day routers have high-performance CPU Quad Core Processors and enough Memory to handle all these tasks at once.

In several highly controlled environment tests from various publishers and highly esteemed tech labs, the Orbi ranks number one with a constant performance at all ranges. But why? Well, as you can see it is the highest-rated router at an astonishing AX6000 while the Velop only comes in at AX5300. But it mostly has to do with the firmware, the ease of use, setup and the app that you can use to control your wifi.

Dedicated Backhaul
The Orbi has a huge advantage over all others; it has a dedicated 5GHz backhaul channel communicating with the base station at all times on its own channel. The advantage here is that you do not interfere with wireless data transfer from satellite to satellite while using the internet.

This is the foundation of mesh networking. It also does not take from the two remaining wireless channels for your devices to connect to. You get a 2GHz and 5GHz for your home use on top of the dedicated 5Ghz backhaul. Making the Netgear Orbi the obvious champion over all other mesh kits.

The Linksys Velop uses its dual 5GHz channels from the Tri-Band for its backhaul removing from the overall performance.

Both systems have at least a dual channel with a 2.4GHz and a 5GHz band. However, Orbi is superior for these reasons and many more.

Orbi vs Velop WiFi Coverage

The Orbi lacks here. It currently only supports three units in a system at 2,000 square feet each for a total of 6,000 square feet

The Linksys Velop can support up to 10 units daisy-chained at 2,000 sq ft for a theoretical 12,000 sq ft mansion. So in some cases, you may be forced to get the Velop even if you want the Orbi for it’s better speeds and features.

Netgear says they may update the firmware in the future for this support and I am sure they will, but for now, if you’re home is larger than 6,000 square footage, you will need the Linksys Velop mesh wifi system.

Updated October 2019: Netgear has updated its firmware so that the Orbi is now a true wireless mesh system and it is able to daisy chain. This was not available in their original firmware.

Ethernet Ports
The Orbi’s have four ethernet ports each on the back of them to support multiple hardwired devices while the Velop only has 2. I try to hardwire everything because let’s face it; wireless will never be as good as hardwired. No matter the advancements in the technology.

USB Ports
The Orbi is the clear winner here with one USB port per unit. The Velop and Google simply skipped this important feature. In the beginning, the Orbi had the USB port, but it had no functionality which has been changed.

Why is a USB port important? Well, it’s the easiest way to plug any old external hard drive into your router and create a network-attached storage setup to backup your computers over your home wifi. It is also an easy way to hook up a printer to the network. You might not think this is important, but if you ever have a hard drive crash or a virus wipe out your computer, you will insist on backup solution and the USB port is a key feature for this environment.

Easy Setup! GUI
All the systems have an easy setup. If you have a phone that supports these apps. Orbi blows the competition away yet again as it is the only system that has a web GUI(Graphical User Interface) as well. It runs the critically acclaimed battle-tested Netgear backend GUI with all of the advanced options that a Netgear Nighthawk would have. The Linksys abandoned their own GUI and took the app management only road for some insane reason. Users have reported frustration with the app and its lack of true networking controls.

Orbi is the only option for an advanced network guru who needs full control, a web GUI and a battle-tested firmware.

Linksys Velop Vs Orbi Comparison Conclusion

Wireless Mesh is only a wifi solution. You will still need a cable
for actual internet signal from your ISP.

On almost all fronts the Orbi runs the wireless mesh kit game. The one place it could be seen as lackluster is its ability to link up more than three satellites where the Velop can link up to 10 satellites.

Netgear has hinted at releasing a firmware update to add more units into the equation. This is only a downfall if you have a massive home. Otherwise, the Orbi is a Tri-Band dedicated 5GHz backhaul, USB port enabled, beamforming, MU-MIMO, a powerhouse of a wireless system and it will be the best bet for almost all users.

6 thoughts on “Velop vs Orbi – Netgear or Linksys?”

  1. Why not just make more powerful routers with stronger radio antennas. Not everyone want to have a bunch of units spread across the house. Me personally would rather have one powerful router with a large Omnidirectional Antenna on my roof that would broadcast for blocks. I have a Linksys EA9500. Best router in all my years of buying them. I’ve done the Orbi and Velop but wasn’t satisfied because I wasn’t really getting that extra reach outside my house. Don’t get me wrong, I can still pick up my router 6 houses down the street, and 40 feet out to my shed. Just not with 100% Signal strength. People want the range and no loss of signal strength. My only complaint is that my router doesn’t have detachable antennas. Otherwise I would mount an Omnidirectional Antenna on on my roof back to the router.

    1. A standard idea but not possible. The FCC regulates all radio broadcasts from radio, TV, and yes your router. All items radio transmitter devices have to meet guidelines on RF (Radio Frequency) Interference. This is to protect the consumer from one manufacturer producing an item that produces stray RFI and interferes with another. Example. You router causing your FM radio to be effected.
      The FCC limits the power output of routers. All good manufacturers put out the same output, the maximum allowed. Where you see the differences is in the work of the electronic engineers with their antennas, placement of components, and software.
      With WIFI-5 standards things have gotten much better than the original WIFI routers of old. Even a router that is four years old and isn’t WIFI-5 is far inferior. With WIFI-6 it is theoretically better but I’ll hold judgment out on that until I try one.

  2. The Orbi is a tri-band radio. The 1733Mbps 5GHz band is indeed used for the backhaul, leaving just one 5GHz radio for clients.
    The main difference with the Velop is that both of the Velop’s 5GHz bands operate at 866Mbps, and that neither is dedicated to the backhaul — the Velop might use any of its three radios for that purpose.
    The Orbi’s backhaul has twice the bandwidth, so it’s still faster…

  3. Orbi is not mesh technology. Satellites don’t communicate with one another so there is no path it can take other than the one from the satellite/s to the main unit.

    1. Yeah, that is explained in the article already and what it means to very large home users. And why Orbi is still better.

    2. Currently, with the launch of Orbi firmware OS2.0, the satellites can now be daisy chained and they DO communicate with one another so it IS now a mesh setup as opposed to the older spoke and hub system.

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