First announced at CES 2021, the Linksys Atlas Max 6E and Hydra Pro 6E were the first mesh Wi-Fi 6E products and as of today, you can finally buy them. The introduction of Wi-Fi 6E is a significant upgrade to wireless networks, as it introduces a brand new 6GHz band into use. Previous generations have used 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands (including Wi-Fi 6), but Wi-Fi 6E gives you a third option.
The 6GHz band provides faster connection speeds of over 1Gbps (theoretically as high as 9.6Gbps). The wider channel means extremely low latency and less signal interference. Wi-Fi 6E gives much greater capacity for the dozens of devices your home has trying to connect to your internet connection, which means less no more dropped video calls or buffering.
There’s no point in having a fast internet connection if you then have a low-quality router delivering the connection to your devices. It will just become a bottleneck. Equally, there’s no point in having a super-fast router if your internet and devices aren’t up to it. Even if you have the speed, your phone and laptop need to be capable of using that 6GHz band too, otherwise, you might as well just buy a Wi-Fi 6 router. Luckily, new smartphones and laptops, such as the latest Samsung Galaxy Books, announced earlier this week, are supporting Wi-Fi 6E.
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The Atlas Max 6E (8400AXE) is part of the Linksys Velop family of routers. This tri-band features a similar clean tower design as the Velop AX and comes in a set of three to cover your whole house. This is designed to cover an area of up to 9000 sq ft and over 195 devices, with speeds of up to 8.4Gbps. It also features a 5Gbps WAN port on the rear to plugged connections to smart TVs, consoles and other fixed devices.
The second option is the Linksys Hydra Pro 6E (AXE6600), a standalone Wi-Fi 6E router that can also be used as part of a mesh network. It has 4x the channels to handle busy internet traffic from over 55 devices at any one time with speeds of up to 6.6Gbps and coverage of 2700 sq ft. It can be easily paired with any of the Linksys Intelligent Mesh products to create a network, including the Atlas Max and the Velop Wi-Fi 6 models.
The new routers are on sale now from the Linksys US website (opens in new tab). The Linksys Hydra Pro 6E is priced $499.99, while the Linksys Atlas Max 6E is $1199.99 for a three-pack. UK and Australia prices are yet to be confirmed.