Let’s start with the mesh option, Atlas Max. It’s the latest addition to the Linksys Velop line of mesh routers, and it looks like previous Velop routers, only marked with a Wi-Fi 6E label stamped on the front. Looks like a shame not to get a design update that comes with the new Atlas Max brand – and given that you have to spend $ 500 for a single device, $ 900 for a two-pack, or a whole lot of $ 1200 for a three-pack package, a more distinct, premium feel that does not feel like a last generation router, would have been well justified here.
Looking aside, the Atlas Max is a tri-band AXE8400 device – the “AX” part which means it supports Wi-Fi 6E, and the “8400” tells you that the theoretical top speeds of the three bands up to 8,400 Mbps, or 8.4 gigabits per second. Just remember that you can only connect to one band at a time, and that internet speeds will always depend on your internet schedule. Right now, itoffers download and upload speeds that peak at two concerts.
These three bands are the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands most Internet users are already familiar with, along with the newly opened 6 GHz band. The only devices that can connect to the 6 GHz band – or even see it listed on nearby networks – are other 6E devices that are equipped to operate on the 6 GHz band. There are hardly any of them on the market yet, exceptand stand-alone 6E cards that you can install on a computer or laptop if you feel comfortable.
When it comes towhich uses frequency interference to tell when someone is walking through a room, Linksys says it is only available with Wi-Fi 5 Velop devices.
“Currently it is not available on 6E routers,” a Linksys spokesman told CNET. “We plan to roll it out to new routers like Atlas Max, but we do not have a timeline for that right now.”
All of this means that it’s probably too early for anyone to spend $ 1200 here, but I’d be interested to see how the Atlas Max works as a masking system, with multiple devices spreading a faster connection throughout the home. These Atlas Max devices can all use the 6 GHz band as a dedicated, interference-free backhaul network to move data around your home as efficiently as possible. If it works as promised (and if the 6GHz band’s more limited range doesn’t complicate things), perhaps a mesh system like the Atlas Max where Wi-Fi 6E makes the most sense as a potential upgrade for the home.
Perhaps for that purpose, the other new hardware from Linksys is an AXE6600 router that can be used with other Linksys routers to form a separate network. Called the Linksys Hydra Pro 6E, it is available now at a price of $ 500.
Like the Atlas Max, the Hydra Pro supports 4×4 MU-MIMO connections and includes a 5 Gbps WAN port – a future friendly inclusion which means it will be able to accept incoming wired speeds that are twice as fast as the fastest available internet speeds. today without any problems. If you choose to use it as the centerpiece of a web setup, you will be able to connect it to any other product that supports Linksys Intelligent Mesh. Here is the full list:
- Wi-Fi 6E: AXE8400 (Atlas Max)
- Wi-Fi 6E: MR7500 (Hydra Pro)
- Wi-Fi 6: MX4200 / MX8400 / MX12600
- Wi-Fi 6: MX5300 / MX10600
- Wi-Fi 6: MR9600
- Wi-Fi 6: MR7350
- Wi-Fi 5: WHW0303 / WHW0302 / WHW0301
- Wi-Fi 5: WHW0103 / WHW0102 / WHW0101
- Wi-Fi 5: MR9000
- Wi-Fi 5: MR8300
- Wi-Fi 5: MR6350
Both the Atlas Max 6E and Hydra Pro 6E are now available on the Linksys website, and are expected to arrive at retail locations across the United States in the coming weeks. I’ll be testing them both soon, so expect to hear more about them here on CNET shortly.