Linksys finally 'unlocks' Velop's web-based interface for all owners to use

Linksys Velop review
Simon Cohen/Digital Trends

Linksys first introduced its Velop whole-home networking solution in January. Now the company is enhancing the kit with a firmware update that adds a web-based interface for PC-based network management. Prior to the update, Velop system owners were required to install a mobile app (Android, iOS) to set up and manage the system from their smartphone or tablet.

“Similar to the browser-based user interface available with Linksys WRT and Max-Stream routers, the user interface is now available for Velop users to access advanced features as well as manage their home network from a Mac or Windows computer,” the company said. “With the browser-based setup, there are even more ways to control the home network for a better Wi-Fi experience.”

The web-based interface brings a new level of customization to the Velop kit. Users can adjust the network’s security spanning firewall, VPN passthough, and DMZ settings. The interface also provides greater insight into the network and its connected devices, such as providing a device table, ping/trace route capabilities, router logs, and more.

Other new settings provided by the new interface include access to the DHCP server, which automatically assigns a local IP address to each connected device. Users will also have the ability to change the DNS settings so they can rely on a third-party domain name system rather than what’s provided by their internet service provider.

The Velop networking kit starts at $350 (or $200 for one unit). Rather than relying on a single router and additional wireless repeaters, the Velop kit consists of two or more identical rectangular devices (miniature skyscrapers) based on mesh networking technology. They create a blanket of connectivity, and provide two 5Ghz connections at up to 867Mbps each, and a single 2.4GHz connection at up to 400Mbps.

Typically, mesh-based networking kits solely rely on mobile devices for setting up and managing the network, leaving desktops and notebooks out of the picture. That’s mostly because there are a minimal number of settings to tweak, thus the kits are best managed with a mobile device. Mesh-based networking systems are typically designed to be plug-and-play, with very little tweaking involved.

But Linksys seemingly wants to change that with Velop. The company heard the pleas of customers and is introducing the requested web-based interface in the latest firmware. It has actually been present since the kit went retail, but remained “hidden” for “testing purposes.” Many Velop owners discovered the interface and requested that it become an official, unlocked component.

In addition to the Velop kit, the Linksys App is also getting an update, too. Along with providing notifications, showing the best channel, and offering a speed test, the app now displays each node and their connected devices. In turn, the app will show each device’s signal strength so that users understand their networking performance.

The new firmware should download and install overnight if Velop’s Automatic Firmware Update feature is enabled. If the feature is turned off, users can download and install the firmware manually at Linksys’ website.