WiFi 6 mesh routers are a favorite of gamers, smart home enthusiasts, and basically anyone with a lot of connected devices — but they can be pricey. Linksys has unveiled two dual-band WiFi 6 routers — the Hydra 6 and the Atlas 6 — that could be an attractive option for those wanting faster speeds on a budget. Both are dual-band, so they support the 5GHz and 2.4GHz frequencies. For smaller households or those with fewer devices, either one of these will likely provide more than adequate coverage.
The Hydra 6 (pictured above) is a traditional router that can also serve as a base point for mesh network points. The Atlas 6 has a less obtrusive, vertically oriented shape and is sold in sets of up to three, so they can be placed anywhere in the house.
Both the Atlas 6 and Hydra 6 claim to cover approximately 2,000 square feet and up to 25 devices — although the former can be purchased in packs of two or three, with each additional router adding another 2,000 square feet and supporting 25 additional devices. That extensibility is kind of the whole appeal of a mesh system. The somewhat shaky technical improvements made available through WiFi 6 support may also allow for faster connectivity.
Both models are less expensive than many premium WiFi 6 mesh systems, including the Linksys Atlas Max 6E, which retails for $999 and the recently released WiFi 6E system, which costs $1,200 for a pack of three. The Atlas 6 costs $149.99 for a single router, $279.99 for a two-pack, and $349.99 for a three-node system. The Hydra 6 costs $179.99. Both will be available in the US early this summer, with a worldwide release slated for the second half of 2022.
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