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    • Today we've got something a bit different on our desk—that would be Linksys' Velop WHW03 mesh Wi-Fi router. This particular router has an interesting tower-shaped design paired with some modern specs. Let's see what this big white box has to offer.

    • Custom 4-core 716 MHz processor

    • 512 MB of RAM

    • 4 GB of flash storage

    • A single 2.4 GHz band with speeds up to 400 Mbps

    • Two 5 GHz bands, one used exclusively for inter-router communication, both with speeds up to 867 Mbps

    • Compliance with the Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) standard

    • Six total antennas

    • Well, I guess it's time we get crackin'.

    • We start by removing the rubber base to see if Linksys pulled the old 'hide-the-screws-under-the-rubber-feet' trick.

    • Once peeled off, we can see that the base is held onto the body by five rubber clips and some adhesive tape. Due to this design choice, it's very unlikely for the base to fall off accidentally. Good job, Linksys!

    • A-ha! There are the screws, hidden underneath where the clips for the rubber base were.

    • We remove the three small Phillips-head screws before venturing further into the Velop.

    • With the screws out, we attempt to slide the base assembly out of the bottom of the unit.

    • Wait a minute—nothing's moving! We begin to look through the router's surplus of ventilation holes for any possible plastic clips, but we don't find any.

    • We also try to see if the screws have instead released the router's side panels, but they don't budge either.

    • Hope was almost lost, but the writer of this teardown had the wise idea to check the Federal Communications Commission's database for potential clues.

    • Well, would you look at that! The FCC's internal photos of this product show that Linksys has hidden some screws under a plastic label.

    • Now knowing this information, we start right back with the teardown.

    • The label blends in well with the surrounding plastic, which must be why we didn't notice it the first time.

    • We quickly notice that our finger won't work to remove the label, as it's spread completely edge-to-edge. This means there isn't enough room for our finger to get at it.

    • We pull out our Jimmy and try to slice under the label's adhesive, using the large Ethernet port cutout to our advantage.

    • The label is more fragile than it seems. We were too excited to crack into this router and accidentally tore it. Be sure to always cut as much adhesive as possible.

Jack Hinkle

Member since: 07/08/2020

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