So I’ve finally got hold of a couple of Velica B2200s, so here’s a quick “review”. It will be in stages as I start to play with it properly, and today’s post will just be primarily about the physical side. In reality the closest product in the range is the B1300 so it’ll be a comparison against this unit. That being said, the one thing to note here is that the OpenWRT is still based on 15.x because it’s still based on Qualcomms SDK and maximising Qualcomm functionality such as WiFi SON (refer to this thread for discussion around this)
The Velica is very different size and shape to the B1300. One thing to keep in mind with the different shape is it doesn’t appear that it will be easy to wall or ceiling mount the B2200. Note the multiswitch on the front of the B1300. This is the way you physically setup a mesh. It’s always been poorly documented and a bit “iffy” at times. The new B2200 makes use of a new app which I’ve played with and will cover later.
The other thing I’ve always like is the small, not too bright, subtle lights on the B1300. The B2200 replaces this with two larger LEDs on the front. Again not a deal breaker but I know it may be a concern for some people .
Bit of a difference in ports as well.
From left to right on the B2200 there’s a recessed reset button, a sync button, 1 x LAN and 1 X WAN port and a USB-C port (5V/3A). Compare this to the B1300 and we have a USB 3 port, 2 x Lan and 1 x WAN and a barrel connector (12V/1.5A)
It’s nice to have USB-C on the B2200 as it will be easier to find a more common replacement/testing AC adpter if you need it rather than finding an adapter with the right barrel connector and voltage.
For me, up to 2 LAN ports on the B2200 isn’t a problem as 99% of my devices are WiFi connected and I can always use a small switch if I need.
The lack of a USB port is more of a callout though. I use the USB port on my B1300 to run a USB media stick to share across my network, and if my wired ethernet goes down (very rarely), then I tether my smartphone temporarily. Something to keep in mind.
So in summary things to consider when looking at these two models from a physical and functional point of view are:
- Bandwidth AC2000 versus AC1300
- Physical size/mounting requirements
- Ethernet port requirements
- USB port requirements
More to follow