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Linksys Velop Pro 7 Review: Elegant Design Meets Modest Wi-Fi 7 Performance

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Linksys’s first Wi-Fi 7 hardware, the Velop Pro 7 BE11000, sure is sexy.

It comes in a legit “designer” look. I’ll be generous and call it gorgeous. The new hardware has enough to easily pass that “wife acceptance” requirement, often out-of-reach for nerds and geeks. (You know who you are!)

And that’s great.

The issue is that you’re not here for sexiness. You’re looking for a Wi-Fi 7 solution you’ve been all hyped up about. And that’s where things get complicated.

Here’s the bottom line: Considering the modest Wi-Fi specs and the lack of a second Multi-Gig port, the Linksys Velop Pro 7’s current street price of $899.99 for a 3-pack—$100 less than a couple of months ago—is still relatively high, so is $699.99 for a 2-pack.

But if you can overlook that and live in a home with Gigabit-class bandwidth needs, this is still a sound mesh system to have.

With that, let’s dig in!

Dong’s note: I first published this post on September 30, 2023, based on pre-launch information from Linksys’ website and retail stores, and updated it on November 21 to an in-depth review after thorough hands-on, real-world experience using Wi-Fi 6E and older clients. On January 25, 2024, I updated it with the latest performance score using certified Wi-Fi 7 devices.

Linksys Velop Pro 7 MBE7003
The new Linksys Velop Pro 7 uses multiple identical mesh routers to form a Wi-Fi mesh system. This 3-pack is called MBE7003.

Linksys Velop Pro 7: A beautiful Wi-Fi 7 solution that’s lackluster in almost everything else

The Velop Pro 7 is the first major device Linksys has announced since the Atlas Max 6E came out more than two years ago. The two are firsts from Linksys that support Wi-Fi 6E and Wi-Fi 7, respectively.

Like most previous Velop sets, the new Linksys Velop Pro 7 consists of identical hardware units, each being a mesh router, model MBE7000.

You can start with one as a standalone router and then add more units to form a system. Or you can get a 2-pack (BE7002) or 3-pack (BE7003) right away.

In a mesh setup, only the primary unit works as the router. The rest will function as mesh points (or satellites). That said, the hardware capability of each hardware unit decides the capability of a Velop mesh system as a whole.

So, what is each Velop Pro 7 mesh router capable of? We’ll get there. But first, let’s acknowledge how good it looks.

Aesthetically pleasant compact design

The new router is part of Linsksys’ new Designer Series, which was introduced in August 2023. It has a slender yet curvy “droplet” shape—from a certain angle, it looks like a water drop.

The Velop Pro 7 is also compact, yet with a good heft that allows it to stay put on a surface without toppling easily.

This good look and compact physical design combo help it blend in with any home setting, hence passing the so-called “wife acceptance” requirement, I often hear Wi-Fi fans complain about.

There’s one thing to note about the router’s new design: Its top has a recessed opening around the edge to work as ventilation, which will collect dirt and be hard to clean. After less than a month of use, they have indeed proven to be dirt magnets.

The point is, don’t expect the hardware to remain impeccably nice-looking, as in the photo below. But a soft cloth will help.

Linksys Velop Pro 7: Detail photos

Linksys Velop Pro 7
The Linksys Velop Pro 7 is available as a single router, a 2-pack, or a 3-pack.

Linksys Velop Pro 7 Three Angles
The new hardware comes in a compact design with a pleasant look. Each router is a cute piece of hardware.

Linksys Velop Pro 7 Top VentilationLinksys Velop Pro 7 Bottom
The top and underside of a Velop Pro 7 mesh router. Note its “droplet” shape and the top—the area around the edges can be hard to clean when it becomes dusty.

Linksys Velop Pro 7 Retail Box
The 3-pack Linksys Velop Pro 7’s retail box.

Linksys Velop Pro 7: Modest hardware specifications

The Velop Pro 7 continues the new “Linksys Cognitive” Mesh technology, which debuted with the company’s Wi-Fi 6E Velop Pro 6e hardware. This is a new name for the “Intelligent Mesh” used initially in previous non-pro Wi-Fi 6E and older hardware.

The idea is that the mesh hardware units use whichever band is most suitable in real-time as the wireless backhaul. In the case of Velop Pro 7, Wi-Fi 7’s MLO link is also used for the backhauling.

Full NameLinksys Velop Pro 7 Tri-Band Mesh Wi-Fi 7 Router
ModelMBE7000
(single router)
Mesh Availability / Model Number1-pack: MBE7001
2-pack: MBE7002
3-pack: MBE7003
(a pack includes identical routers)
Dimensions3.74 x 3.74 x 8.74 in
 (95 x 95 x 221 mm)
Weight1 pound (454 gram)
ChipsetQualcomm Networking Pro 620 Platform
Wi-Fi GradeBE11000 
6GHz Wi-Fi Specs
(channel width)
2×2 BE: Up to 5760 Mbps
(20/40/160/320MHz)
5GHz-2 Wi-Fi Specs
(channel width)
2×2 BE: Up to 4320 Mbps
(20/40/160/240MHz)
2.4GHz Wi-Fi Specs
(channel width)
2×2 Wi-Fi 6: 574 Mbps
(20/40MHz)
Mesh Backhaul BandDynamic
(Linksys Cognitive)
Wired Backhaul SupportYes
Backward Compatibility 802.11ax/ac/n/g/a/b
Wi-Fi SecurityWPA2/WPA3
Mobile AppLinksys
Web User InterfaceYes
AP (Bridge) ModeYes 
USB PortNo
Gigabit Port4x Gigabit LAN ports 
Multi-Gig Port1 x 2.5Gbps WAN port
Link AggregationNo
Dual-WANNo
Processing power1.5 GHz Quad core CPU
Power Intake110-240V
Power Consumption
(per 24 hours)
≈ 235 Wh
(measured at the router unit)
US Retail Cost
(at launch)
$399.99 (single router
$749.99 (2-pack)
$999.99 (3-pack)
Linksys Velop Pro 7’s hardware specifications

Affordable pricing vs. the lack of multi-Gigabit wired connections support

As you might have noted from the table above, the second noteworthy thing about the Velop Pro 7 is its hardware vs. cost ratio. And on this front, it’s not so great.

Available, starting on October 26, 2023, as a single router (model MBE7001), 2-pack (MBE7002), or a 3-pack (MBE7003) that costs $400, $750, or $1000, respectively, the new Linksys Velop Pro 7 seems reasonable enough at first.

Compared to mesh alternatives—such as the TP-Link Deco BE85 or, especially, the Netgear Orbi 970 Series—the Velop Pro 7 is clearly more affordable. But its affordability comes with a price.

Each Velop Pro 7 mesh router has a single 2.5Gbps Multi-Gig WAN port. Other than that, the rest of its ports—four LANs—are all Gigabit. It’s the first Wi-Fi 7 hardware I’ve known that still doesn’t have multiple Multi-Gig ports.

This poor Multi-Gig support alone is a deal breaker for those wanting to truly enjoy Wi-Fi 7 or multi-Gigabit broadband for three reasons:

  1. The fastest connection on a wired client is limited to 1Gbps. That’s also the fastest wired backhaul link, which is the ceiling speed of your mesh system.
  2. The only time you’d experience a faster-than-Gigabit connection (up to 2.5Gbps of theoretical speed) is when you have a 2.5Gbps broadband connection, a Wi-Fi 7 client, and:
    • you use a single unit, or
    • you use a mesh system with wireless backhauling in optimal hardware arrangement.
  3. There’s no chance of getting more than 2.5Gbps, such as 5Gbps or 10Gbps.

In short, Gigabit will be the maximum you’d get out of the Velop Pro 7 in most cases, meaning it will not be much better than existing high-end Wi-Fi 6 or 6E hardware in performance and can be slower than many. That indeed turned out to be the case in my real-world trial, as described in the Performance section below.

Linksys Velop Pro 7 has only one 2.5Gbps Multi Gig port
Linksys Velop Pro 7’s WAN port is its only Multi-Gig port—the 2.5Gbps WAN port. The rest are all Gigabit ports. The hardware does not have a USB port for the network storage option, but the lack of a second Multi-Gig port is its biggest drawback.

Additionally, it has no USB port—there’s no chance you can use it as a mini NAS server like the case of the Atlas Max.

A familiar Velop

While the support for Wi-Fi 7 is a novelty, the new Velop Pro 7 proved to be just another Velop in my testing. It’s virtually the same as the Atlas Max 6E (or any Wi-Fi 6 and newer Velop sets) in feature settings and management.

I wrote about the Velop platform in detail in this primer post. But, generally, you can handle the Pro 7 entirely locally via its web user interface or the Velop mobile app. However, if you opt for an online account with Linksys, you can conveniently handle your home network when you’re out and about.

Linksys Web User Interface Non CALinksys Web User Interface CA
The Linksys Smart Wi-Fi web user interface in non-CA (left) and CA modes. The latter offers many more settings and functions. Note the CA link that you should click on to activate the CA mode.

By default, the system has relatively limited Wi-Fi and settings. Still, with a little “CA trick” via its web user interface, you’ll access more of its features, including the ability to add more satellites to the system with the mobile app.

Whether you get individual Velop Pro 7 routers separately or buy them as a 2-pack or 3-pack, the hardware units are not pre-synced. Consequently, after the primary router, you’ll need to manually add each additional unit as a satellite at a time.

The process is relatively straightforward but can be a bit tedious and time-consuming. Each unit requires a few to 10 minutes to add. In my experience, it took me about 30 minutes to get a 3-pack Velop Pro 7 system up and running.

Overall, Linksys’s Smart Wi-Fi firmware (and the accompanying Linksys mobile app) seems stagnant. Neither has changed much in the past half a decade. But they get the job one. Everything generally works as intended once you’ve gotten past the initial setup process.

Velop Pro 7: Reliable but modest performance

For this updated review, I used the Velop Pro 7 on and off for a couple of months and was ambivalent about its performance. It worked well and was reliable, but the performance wasn’t impressive, primarily because of its limited range and, most painfully, the lack of a second Mulit-Gig port.

Initially, before Wi-Fi 7 was certified on January 8, 2024, the mesh system worked just like a Wi-Fi 6E counterparts, topping at mid-Gig+ at best. However, with the latest firmware and software drivers on the clients, I was able to experience Wi-Fi 7 performance with it.

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 2×2 at 160MHz connection, which has the 2402Mbps theoretical ceiling speed—or Internet speed. It’s generally not used to describe wired network connections.

It’s worth noting that, as mentioned, due to the lack of a Multi-Gig LAN port, per my standard testing, the Velop Pro 7’s Wi-Fi throughput would be limited by its Gigabit. To overcome the situation, I put my test server, which hosts the test data, in a double NAT via a 10Gbps router. With that, I could test the Velop Pro 7 using its 2.5Gbps WAN port.

This setup helped make the Velop Pro 7’s real-world rates shine quite a bit at a close range as a single router. I managed to get high Gig+ experience consistently. However, over relatively short distances, the performance degraded quite quickly, as shown in the charts.

Linksys Velop Pro 7 Router Short Range Wi Fi PerformanceLinksys Velop Pro 7 Router Long Range Wi Fi Performance
The Velop Pro 7 performs well as a standalone router. Test data was transferred via its 2.5Gbps WAN port.

For the satellite unit, wired backhaul was ruled out during my testing because that’d also limit the rates to Gigatbit—there’s no way to have faster-than-Gigabit wired backhauling.

Via the default wireless configuration—with the 6GHz band or a 5GHz+6GHz MLO link as the backhaul—the performance proved familiar. The throughputs were great when the test clients were close to the satellite. Over short distances away, within the line of sight, the numbers went down significantly.

Overall, Velop Pro 7 offers Gig+ real-world Wi-Fi rates, which was within my expectations, considering its modest hardware specs and compact design.

Linksys Velop Pro 7 Satellite Short Range Wi Fi PerformanceLinksys Velop Pro 7 Satellite Long Range Wi Fi Performance
The Linksys Velop Pro 7’s performance when working as a wireless satellite.

Unsurprisingly, the coverage was also moderate. In my experience, it had slightly less coverage than Atlas Max 6E.

I estimate that a single unit can handle between 1500 ft2 (139 m2) and 1700 ft2  (158 m2), and each additional unit would add another 1300 ft2 to 1600 ft2 more. Wi-Fi coverage is always tricky and depends a great deal on the environment. Your mileage will vary.

Other than that, the Velop Pro 7 was silent during my testing. It seemed to have no internal fan, which is always a good thing. (I didn’t open it up to make sure.) It also remained relatively cool and passed my 3-day stress test without disconnection.

A bit of nuance in performance: I had an odd experience with the Velop Pro 7’s 5GHz band. Specifically, when I downloaded a single large file- around 2GB or larger- the download often got interrupted mid-way. This was likely a bug. Hopefully, the next firmware will fix it.

Overall, the Velop Pro 7 is a relatively modest Wi-Fi solution, a far cry from what Linksys claims for most of its mesh systems, including the fantastical “3000 ft2 coverage per unit” and “10Gbps bandwidth”. Still, users with modest bandwidth needs can depend on it.

Linksys Velop Pro 7's Rating

7.5 out of 10
Linksys Velop Pro 7 Mesh System
Performance
7.5 out of 10
Design Features
8 out of 10
Ease of Use
7.5 out of 10
Value
7 out of 10

Pros

Aesthetically pleasant design; Wi-Fi 7-ready

Reliable performance

Both the web user interface and mobile app can work without linking to Linksys; optional vendor-assisted management

Run cool and quiet; low power consumption

Cons

Expensive (at launch) for the modest hardware

Comparatively slow performance; limited range; mobile app coercion

Only one Multi-Gig port per hardware unit; no USB port; no multi-Gigabit wired backhauling, Dual-WAN, or Link Aggregation

No setting backup and restore

Conclusion

The Linksys Velop Pro 7 is not a bad Wi-Fi solution—far from it. But carrying the “Pro” notion in the name and a price tag far beyond its hardware specs, it’s doomed to be a disappointment. The sexiness could carry the hype only so far.

This is a simple mesh solution for a home with Gigabit-class or slower broadband and sub-Gigabit bandwidth needs. That’s the case for most homes.

That said, the biggest drawback of the Velop Pro 7 is the price. Cost aside, or if you can get it with a good deal, this is a safe entry-level Wi-Fi 7 mesh system to bring home.

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13 thoughts on “Linksys Velop Pro 7 Review: Elegant Design Meets Modest Wi-Fi 7 Performance”

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  1. I have the velop 6E system – would I get a better connection upstairs if I bought a single velop 7 to be used as the router? I take advantage of line of site now by placing one in the stairway but would like to not do that. Hence, would the velop 7 unit downstairs connect better to a couple velop 6 units upstairs but without line of site? I get about 400/400 mbps at my PC’s now but that is with one node in the stair well for line of site with the main unit.

    Reply
  2. Dong, I know a big concern here was the single 2.5Ghz port which limited wired backhaul capabilities and wired ethernet capabilities (as that single port would be used for connecting to the modem).
    That said, would this router be a fast Wifi 7 choice if (a) I’m using wireless backhaul only, and (b) have no wired devices (I pay for 1.2Ghz internet)? The single 2.5Ghz can be used to connect to the modem. Or are there other mesh Wifi7 routers you’d recommend even in that case?

    Reply
  3. Another great article and extremely well-written.

    Unfortunately, I’m still trying to find a suitable replacement for my Synology RT2600 with MR2200 access points, but I’m becoming a bit overwhelmed. WiFi 7 sounds awesome, but the WiFi 6e mesh systems seem like a much better or more affordable choice. At least for the next year or so.

    The front runners are the Asus XT12 and the Asus GT-AX6000. Both seem really solid, but I really don’t like the red gaming interface of the latter. To me, all of those gaming interfaces look a little cheesy.

    Reply
  4. Companies need to stop cheaping out.

    At this point with all ethernet ports (LAN and WAN) on all Wifi7 based hardware should be 10G- or at least have one WAN and LAN. The rest need to be 2.5G at a minimum.

    Even the used Verizon CR1000a (wifi6e) I just picked up for $85 on eBay has 2 10G ports (WAN/LAN) and 2 2.5G LAN ports. (Ironically the chipset supports 10G across all 4, why they limited 2 LAN to 2.5G is a mystery).

    Reply
    • I agree anything that doesn’t have 2 10G ports (1 LAN and 1 WAN) and 2 additional 2.5G ports is a non-starter for me. Especially when you consider the price of these new WIFI 7 units

      Reply

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