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Linksys Velop Micro 6 Mesh System Review: Reliable (Dated) Wi-Fi and Ease of Use Meet True Ownership

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The Linksys Velop Micro 6 Mesh System, officially available today, is an exceptional Wi-Fi solution that is both humdrum and exciting.

Humdrum because it features the four-year-old Wi-Fi 6 standard. In case you've been busy, I've reviewed over a dozen and counting Wi-Fi 7 solutions since mid-2023, not to mention Wi-Fi 6E in between.

A couple of months ago, I thought the Asus ExpertWiFi EBR63 would be my last Wi-Fi 6 broadcaster review.

On the other hand, the new mesh system is also so different from the rest of the canned mesh pack that I had no choice but to enthusiastically take it out for a spin—that's the exciting part. We'll get into more details momentarily.

Here's the bottom line: If you're looking for a simple yet complete, aesthetically pleasing yet reliable mesh system you can uniquely own outright for a home with modest sub-Gigabit band needs, in more ways than one, the Velop Micro 6 Mesh is a safe buy that worth every penny of its current street price of $280 for a 3-pack. Consider one today!

Linksys Velop Micro 6 Mesh System
The Linksys Velop Micro 6 Mesh System includes a router unit and two wireless satellites. It is also packaged in an environmentally conscientious manner with minimal plastic wrapping.

Linksys Velop Micro 6 Mesh System: Representing a totally new and plausible home networking approach

Hardware-wise, the 3-pack Linksys Velop Micro 6 Mesh System is pretty different from recent canned systems I've reviewed. It includes a rectangle-ish primary unit, the Linksys Micro Router 6, and two satellites, each called the Linksys Micro Mesh 6.

All of them feature the new curvy "droplet" design. In fact, the two slender tube-shaped satellite units look like miniature versions of the Velop Pro 7. And even though they are a generation and a half apart in Wi-Fi, this new Velop Micro 6 and the Velop Pro 7 belong to the same Linksys Cognitive mesh family. Their similarities go beyond the "designer" look.

The point is if "wife approval" has been one of your main pain points in getting a Wi-Fi solution, the new Velop Micro 6 hardware will solve that for good. However, the new aesthetically pleasant design is only half of what's noteworthy about the Linksys Velop Micro 6 Mesh.

The other half is Linksys's effort to make the hardware easy to use and nonsense-free in its new "pain-free" approach. I'll discuss that. But first, the table below shows the new mesh system's hardware specs.

Linksys Micro Router 6 topLinksys Micro Router 6 underside
The top and underside of the Linksys Micro Router 6 unit.
The default Wi-Fi name, password, and QR code are all part of Linksys's new plug-and-play effort.

Linksys Velop Micro 6 Mesh System: Hardware specifications

Full NameLinksys Velop Micro 6 Mesh System
Mesh Availability3-pack
(router + 02 satellites)
Hardware unitsLinksys Micro Router 6
(primary router)
Linksys Micro Mesh 6
(satellite)
Model LN1100LN1200
Mesh TechnologyLinksys Cognitive Mesh
(dynamic backhauling)
Dimensions
(LxWxH)
21.5 x 14.2 x 4.9 cm5.8cm x 5.8cm x 11.7 cm
Wi-Fi GradeDual-band AX3000
5GHz-2 Wi-Fi Specs
(channel width)
2×2 AX: Up to 2404 Mbps
(20/40/160MHz)
2.4GHz Wi-Fi Specs
(channel width)
2x2 AX: 574 Mbps
(20/40MHz)
Wired Backhaul SupportYesn/a
Backward Compatibility 802.11ac/n/g/a/b
Wi-Fi SecurityWPA2/WPA3
Mobile AppLinksysn/a
Web User InterfaceYesn/a
AP (Bridge) ModeYesn/a
USB PortNo
Gigabit Port4x Gigabit LAN ports None
Multi-Gig Port1 x 2.5Gbps WAN portn/a
Link AggregationNon/a
Dual-WANNon/a
Power Intake110-240V
Power Consumption
(per 24 hours)
≈ 170 Wh
(as tested)
≈ 40 Wh
(as tested)
US Retail Cost
(at launch)
$279.99 (3-pack)
$179.99 (single router)
Linksys Velop Micro 6 Mesh System's hardware specifications
Linksys Micro Router 6 satellite topLinksys Micro Router 6 satellite underside
The top and underside of the tiny Linksys Micro Mesh 6 satellite unit. Note the QR code for easy setup when necessary.

As shown in the table, the Linksys Micro Mesh 6 satellite unit has no network port. Consequently, wired backhauling cannot be used with the satellite. Since this is Dual-band hardware, expect devices connected to a satellite to have just half of the unit's Wi-Fi bandwidth.

The app-free plug-and-play setup process

A couple of years ago, Linksys joined, if not started, the app-coercion trend by obscuring its hardware's access to local web-based management. That's no longer the case in the company's new app-free approach, which started the Linksys Velop Micro 6.

The company told me that it would retrospectively apply the new approach to the Velop Pro 7 and Velp Pro 6E. Older devices will remain the same.

Additionally, the networking vendor goes one step further by making its hardware—single routers or mesh systems—completely plug-and-play. Users won't need the Linksys mobile or web interface to get stuff up and running.

For example, new mesh hardware, like the case of the 3-pack Velop Micro 6, comes with pre-synced units. The moment you plug them into power, they immediately work together. As a result, the users only need to:

  • Connect the router unit's WAN port to an Internet source, such as a Fiber-optic ONT, a cable modem, or any other terminal device with a network port.
  • Place the satellite around the home within reasonable distances from the router unit, as described in this post on setting up a mesh system.

And that's it! The setup is completed.

To start using the new network, simply connect wired devices to the system's LAN ports or use the default Wi-Fi network with the SSID and password printed on the hardware's underside. Alternatively, there's also a QR code mobile users can scan to get connected without having to fumble with the password.

The Linksys Web User Interface remains familiarThe Linksys Web User Interface no longer has mobile app coercion
With the new pain-free approach, the web user interface remains the same, but it no longer has app coercion. Instead, the app and a Linksys Smart Wi-Fi account are now optional.

Having the default admin and Wi-Fi access printed on the underside is not new. In the past, that was considered a security risk. If you're worried about that, keep in mind one major difference: This information is unique and varies from one device to another—it's not persistent with all Linksys hardware.

But yes, you should change it if you're concerned, which you can. That brings us to the next aspect of Linksys's new pain-free approach: giving users what they want.

A minor valid security concern: The Velop Micro 6's default password for admin access is the same as that of the Wi-Fi network (SSID). Generally, it's best to separate these two in router security best practices.

Total ownership with all possible management options

Many home users want to be creative about their Wi-Fi SSID and password or keep them the same when doing hardware upgrades to have a smooth transition. Others have the desire to tinker with the hardware in their nature.

This type of user is not left out! The web user interface and the Linksys mobile app are still there within the new pain-free approach.

The local web interface is available at the default IP address, which remains 192.168.1.1. Point a web browser there, and you can log in using the default password mentioned above—the way you'd set up any standard router. The difference is, now, the app coercion is no longer.

For example, with the Linksys Micro 6, there's no need to use the old trick to bypass the app suggestion. Instead, you'll get directly to the web interface. Once logged in, you'll note that everything remains familiar—it's still that of the Linksys Smart Wi-Fi firmware—and you can use the CA mode to access all possible settings and features.

The Linksys Web User Interface standard modeThe Linksys Web User Interface CA mode
Users can still use the standard user interface (left) or turn on the CA mode, which enables access to a lot more settings.

As for the Linksys mobile app, it remains the same as it has always been. You can use it to manage the hardware locally after logging in using the default admin password.

Whether you use the Linksys app or the web interface, you won't need to register an account with Linksys Smart Wi-Fi and have to worry about privacy. For remote access, the hardware supports Dynamic DNS and remote web-based management, something Netgear no longer does and most other app-operated canned mesh brands don't offer.

But what if, for the hell of it, you want to risk your privacy and opt for a vendor-assisted remote access solution? That's available, too. Linksys still allows you to tie the hardware to an online account and log into the local interface via the Linksys Smart WiFi portal.

In short, starting with the Velop Micro 6, Linksys wants to remove all the potential pain from its hardware—privacy risks, data collection, app/login requirements, etc.—to give users the pleasant experience of having complete control over the hardware. At the same time, the company doesn't remove anything, including the potential pain, that existing users might have gotten used to or comfortable with.

And choices are always a good thing.

A familiar mesh solution at the heart

Despite the new and welcome pain-free approach, the Linksys Velop Micro 6 is familiar. It shares the same Linksys Smart Wi-Fi platform as the previous Velop system.

I detailed the platform in this primer post, but generally, you can get the standard set of network settings and features, including Dynamic DNS, IP reservation, port forwarding, and more. Additionally, there are accessible, simple Parental Controls, QoS (called Priority), and single-SSID Guest access.

As for Wi-Fi settings, the Velop Micro 6 is relatively limited. You get one SSID per band, and that's it. There's no way to create a virtual SSID (other than the single Guest network) in case you want some flexibility in device management. But, for most homes, the new mesh, as well as the Linksys Smart Wi-Fi lineup as a whole, generally has enough. In fact, it has a lot more than other canned mesh brands.

Overall, if you have used a Linksys router before, you'll feel comfortable with the new system.

Linksys Micro Router 6 has a USB C port for chargingLinksys Micro Router 6 ports
The router unit uses a standard power port, and the satellite uses USB-C.

Linksys Velop Micro 6: Excellent performance overall (for a Wi-Fi 6 system)

For this updated review, I used the 3-pack Linksys Velop Micro 6 for over a week and was generally happy with it. Considering the mid-tier Wi-Fi 6 specs, I didn't expect top Wi-Fi 6 performance out of it.

However, thanks to the 2.5Gbps WAN port, the Linksys Micro Router 6 did quite well, achieving Gig+ sustained rates and faster than many higher-end systems with Gigabit ports.

Linksys Velop Micro 6 Mesh Router Long Range PerformancesLinksys Velop Micro 6 Mesh Router Close Range Performances
The Linksys Micro Router 6 (primary router unit)'s performance when hosting Wi-Fi clients of different standards.

What is Gig+

Gig+, or Gig Plus, conveys a speed grade faster than 1Gbps but slower than 2Gbps. So, it's 1.5Gbps, give or take, and it's not speedy enough to qualify as Multi-Gig Ethernet or multi-Gigabit. Intel coined the term to call its Wi-Fi 6E client chips—the AX210 and AX211—to describe their real-world speeds.

Gig+ generally applies to the sustained speeds of Wi-Fi 6 or 6E—via a 2x2 at 160MHz connection, which has the 2402Mbps theoretical ceiling speed—or Internet speed. It's generally not used to describe wired network connections.

As a wireless system, the Linksys Micro Mesh 6 did as expected with sustained real-world speed, at best, being less than half of the router.

Linksys Velop Micro 6 Mesh Satellite Long Range PerformanceLinksys Velop Micro 6 Mesh Satellite Close Range Performance
The Linksys Micro Mesh 6 (satellite unit)'s performance when hosting Wi-Fi clients of different standards.

It's always hard to figure out Wi-Fi coverage, but I estimate that the primary router unit itself can handle about 1700 ft2 (158 m2), and each satellite can add about 1500 ft2 (139 m2). But that depends on the speed you want and the way you arrange the units. So, your mileage will vary.

A bit of a hiccup, but still reliable

I did run into a bit of a hiccup with the new mesh system. After the first plug-and-play experience, I decided to change the router's settings and found that the default password didn't work. To access the system's web interface, I reset the hardware, which caused the units to be disconnected—they were no longer synced. Consequently, I had to manually add the two satellites back to the system, like in any previous Velop sets.

While having to reset and re-set up the system was just a minor nuisance, the fact that the default admin password didn't work was clearly an annoying and serious bug. I informed Linksys of the matter, and hopefully, it'll be fixed with future firmware.

Linksys Velop Micro 6 Mesh System being testedLinksys Velop Micro 6 Mesh System uses two different power adapter for its router and satellite units
The Linksys Velop Router 6 is being tested—the satellites are there only for the photo. Note the router's traditional power adapter (top) and the USB-C one of the satellites.

However, the experience highlighted the one shortcoming of all Linksys Smart Wi-Fi hardware: There's no way to backup the settings to a file and restore them. So, if you reset the system, you'll always have to set it up from scratch, which can be a big hassle.

Other than that, the Linksys Velop Micro 6 proved reliable in my trial and passed the three-day stress test with no disconnection.

Linksys Velop Micro 6 Mesh's Rating

8 out of 10
Linksys Velop Micro 6 Mesh System includes three hardware units
Performance
8 out of 10
Design Features
9 out of 10
Ease of Use
8 out of 10
Value
7 out of 10

Pros

Aesthetically pleasant design; 2.5Gbps WAN port

Reliable and fast-to-specs performance with a decent set of networking and features

Pain-free, plug-n-play approach; web user interface and mobile app can work without linking to Linksys's optional vendor-assisted management

Run cool and quiet; low power consumption

Cons

Dated Wi-Fi standard; modest specs; only one Multi-Gig port on the router

No network port on the satellite, no USB port; different power adapters for the router and satellite; no WPA support for legacy clients

No setting backup and restore; the firmware is a bit buggy (at launch)

Conclusion

The Linksys Velop Micro 6 is not a must-have mesh system—it has Wi-Fi 6, which is somewhat dated considering the world is slowly moving to Wi-Fi 7. However, it's definitely not a stale system. In fact, thanks to Linksys's new plug-and-play, pain-free, consumer-friendly approach, it's the most fresh canned mesh built for the home I've tested in a long time.

Tired of the constrictive management option, being nickeled-and-dimed via premium add-ons, or potentially having your privacy taken advantage of by the usual suspects—Amazon's eero, Netgear's Orbi, TP-Link's Deco, or similar app-operated home mesh brands? Give the new Velop Micro 6 mesh a try today—you can opt for just the router unit if you live in a small home. Who knows, you might believe in human goodness again.

Or you can wait for similar but more up-to-date Smart Wi-Fi hardware from Linksys hopefully soon in the near future.

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2 thoughts on “Linksys Velop Micro 6 Mesh System Review: Reliable (Dated) Wi-Fi and Ease of Use Meet True Ownership”

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  1. As usual, excellent review, Dong! Looks like Linksys is doing the right thing finally. Hope they have better hardware soon!

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