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! View Current 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-ups, the Linksys Velop and the last place Google WiFi.
Netgear OrbiView Price
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Linksys VelopView Price
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Google WiFiView Price
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Orbi and Velop Performance Ratings
Both wireless systems contain a powerful Quad Core Processor, so this is good. They also all have 512MB of RAM and 4GB of internal flash memory. Pretty standard and nothing less should be accepted. However, in all controlled environment tests from various publishers and 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 AC3000 while the Velop only comes in at AC2200 per satellite and the not worth mentioning Google, comes in at only AC1200.
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. And the laughable G WiFi has only one 5GHz for the backhaul and your devices, so you are stuck sharing with the devices removing most of its throughput. All three systems have at least 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.
This also raises the debate over whether or not the Orbi is even an actual “mesh network.” The Netgear setup does not daisy chain like the Linksys setup does which is the true meaning of mesh. Instead, it is more of a hub and spoke kind of system with the base station in the center and the satellites connecting to it from various locations in your home. This is going to be great for anyone with a house under 6,000 sq ft, but again, if you have a bigger home, the Velop is for you.
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.
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 like this.
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. The Google WiFi, on the other hand, took it to a whole new level of lows. They have never made networking equipment and should stop now as they have failed. They force you to use their app, and all of your network settings are stored remotely on their servers in the Google Cloud. This proved to be a massive disaster when the servers did an unexpected unauthorized system reset of the user base on Feb 23rd causing masses of people across the nation to lose all of their advanced network settings at once. People who set up hundreds of devices were suddenly offline, entire businesses down, homes offline, all settings reset, etc. Do not buy this product; it will surely happen again. Orbi is the only option for an advanced network guru who needs full control, a web GUI and a battle-tested firmware.
Orbi Vs Velop Comparison Conclusion
Wireless Mesh is only a wifi solution. You will still need a cable
modem 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 dropping 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. Unless of course, your home is not a sizeable multi-level behemoth. If you are living in an average sized apartment, home condo, you may need the good wireless router.