As radical as the invention of the Internet was, the move from wired to wireless connections was an equally impressive feat. For years, Internet access was tied to a stationary experience, our wired connections keeping us tied in place. WiFi routers changed that, inherently shifting the way we accessed the world wide web and allowing us to work or surf the Internet from our couches without the mess and tangle of wires. For as great as routers are, however, there were some limitations. In recent years, mesh routers have aimed to fix those problems, addressing troublesome areas where coverage lacks. And now, Linksys is looking further to improve that experience with their newest mesh system.
The Specs: Linksys AX4200 Mesh Router
The Linksys AX4200 Tri-Band Mesh WiFi 6 System is designed to address the fickle issue that comes with a mesh system. Sure, you can place a mesh throughout your home, but even with dedicated nodes, there still might be some areas that will lack a strong connection. That’s certainly not the case with the review unit the brand sent to SPY to test, as we were impressed with the results of our time with the system.
The AX4200 comes in two different packages; a three-node pack for $499.99 or a single node for $249.99. The three-pack sports a coverage radius of about 8,100 square feet, while a single will get you 2,700 square feet. My rental house is 1,564 square feet, so the full three-node pack was a bit of an overkill for my space, but if nothing else, it was reassuring to know there was no excuse not to have full coverage. As for the nodes themselves, they’re a little on the larger side with a height of 9.6 inches with a depth and width of about 4.5 inches. Sadly, those looking for subtly in their mesh systems won’t find it here, as the nodes themselves look a bit like the monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Despite their looming size, Linksys makes the most of it, loading each node with four Gigabit Ethernet ports, a USB 3.0 port, a tri-band system that includes one 2.4GHz band, two 5GHz bands. The result helps to effectively and smartly channel traffic across the three bands.
Setting Up Your Linksys AX4200 Mesh Router
Setting up the AX4200 network is a breeze. The Linksys mobile app walks you through the entire process with speed. The setup process for all three nodes took about 30 minutes to complete, as I followed the simple on-screen instructions. Each Velop node includes a LED on the top of the unit that flashes various colors to let you know your status along the process. Once complete, you can name the unit based on location, and you’re set. The app also allows for quick management of each node, as well as your overall network. From here, you can easily do a speed test, adjust parental controls, set up a dedicated guest network, and prioritize which device should get a faster connection.
Verdict: Linksys AX4200 Mesh Router
As far as the actual use of the AX4200 goes, I was able to get high-speed performance from my gigabit connection. Granted, I think a large portion of this is due to the system’s coverage in my space. With two nodes on the ground floor and one node in the office, there’s reliable coverage in pretty much every single space where I spend extended periods of time. There didn’t seem to be a drop in performance as I streamed Netflix in 4K and downloaded a videogame at the same time. Additionally, speeds for online gaming didn’t seem to stutter when I was playing Fortnite and streaming Spotify. I realize this might be unique to my individual experience, but at least in my tests, the AX4200 performed flawlessly.
However, $499.99 might be quite an investment for some households. That’s understandable, but I do feel the performance provided by the AX4200 is worth your money. Larger households that have a variety of different devices from a variety of different people will need to have their network efficiently optimized. Fortunately, the AX4200 makes all of that a breeze. Plus, the actual implementation of the nodes themselves is so easy to understand and execute that it’s worth paying for a hassle-free setup experience.
If you haven’t made the move to a mesh system yet, the Linksys AX4200 Mesh WiFi system makes the entire process as simple as can be, while offering a rewarding experience that works to ensure you’re getting the most from your connection. WiFi offered a future of an Internet truly free of cables, allowing you to surf when you wanted, where you wanted. And with the AX4200, that experience is fully realized.