Linksys announced the Velop Plug-in, a smaller version of its Velop mesh nodes. The idea is to make it less expensive to extend your mesh Wi-Fi network than using all tower nodes, which is how Velop was launched. The Plug-ins can be plugged straight into a wall outlet, and do not have an ethernet port in them. They work in conjunction with at least one tower node. Large homes (or homes full of plaster like mine) can mix and match as needed. A kit with one tower and two Plug-ins is available now at $399 ($399 on Amazon)—the original three tower node kit is still available at $499 (currently $439.95 on Amazon). Later this year, Linksys said it will sell individual Plug-ins for $129 each.
Sorting through the mesh wireless systems available today can be tricky. Read on, and we’ll teach you how to decide which one is best for you. [Update: Added new Plume SuperPods and Deco M9 Plus hardware to the list, and started tracking Plume overall (and I’m impressed!). Updated a note in the buying advice section comparing the robustness of eero, Plume, Velop, and Orbi. – Dave]
An Apple spokesperson said that the mesh routers are a good choice for people with larger homes.
In addition to dual-band Velop nodes, Linksys announced Intelligent Mesh, parental controls, security features, and other software improvements.