Around this time last year, we were formally introduced to the Linksys Velop whole home Wi-Fi system. You get these nodes (three is the standard package) that work together to create an intelligent mesh network. I really liked it then and I continue to use it in my home today. Now, they’ve come forward with a more affordable variant in the form of the Linksys Velop Dual Band.

This is almost a little curious, because the tri-band nature of the original Velop was one of its biggest selling the points. The third band means that there is no degradation or reduction in performance as you move through the network, because there’s a band dedicated to communication between nodes. But the inclusion of tri-band technology also means that the original Velop is a little expensive.

To help approach a larger demographic of consumers, the Linksys Velop dual-band system offers all the benefits of its tri-band cousin, except it’s just missing one of the bands. You still get the seamless intelligent mesh technology for whole home Wi-Fi. You also get easy controls and setup by way of the Linksys app. And conveniently enough, the new dual-band units are perfectly compatible with existing tri-band units if you want to expand your network.

This makes a lot of sense, seeing how 2017 seemed to be the year of home mesh Wi-Fi. The TP-Link Deco M5 system is a dual-band solution that’s decidedly more affordable. And then you’ve got alternatives like the Asus Lyra, Google Wifi, and Netgear Orbi. It’s getting crowded and Linksys wants to make sure it captures as much of that pie as possible without pricing out certain consumers.

The new Linksys Velop dual-band whole home mesh Wi-Fi system is also accompanied with some upcoming improvements to the Velop experience as a whole, likely inspired by some of the competitors in this space as well. We can expect to find improved security features and advanced parental controls, for instance, including website blocking and user grouping.

Instead of the AC2200 you get with the tri-band version, each node in the Linksys Velop dual-band system is AC1300. The tower-like design remains fundamentally the same with the same footprint, but the dual-band nodes are shorter and the ports (two Ethernet, one power) are found on the side rather than underneath. In Canada, we’ll only get the white versions, but the Velop will also be offered in black in some other markets.

Some other key features that Linksys wants to highlight are that the Velop system can self-organize (supporting both wireless and wired backhaul), self-optimize (forming the best possible configuration and helping you optimize performance), and self-heal (reconfiguring itself when a node goes offline or is added to the network).

We can expect the Linksys Velop dual-band system to launch some time this spring. In Canada, the 1-pack, 2-pack, and 3-pack SKUs will be priced at $169.99, $259.99, and $379.99, respectively.

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