Linksys Hydra Professional 6E Tri-Band Mesh Wi-Fi Router (AXE6600) Overview

Now that the 6GHz radio band is open for industry, routers that beef up Wi-Fi 6E are slowly beginning to come to marketplace. The Linksys Hydra Professional 6E ($499.99) is handiest the second one such router to make its approach to our lab (the Netgear RAXE500 was once the primary), and it delivered forged 6GHz throughput efficiency in our assessments. It is going to future-proof your community with the newest Wi-Fi generation and provides multi-gig WAN connectivity and mesh expandability, nevertheless it doesn’t be offering the fast efficiency and further options that you simply get with the $599.99 Netgear RAXE500.

Mesh-Succesful Wi-Fi 6E

The Hydra Professional 6E appears very similar to the Linksys Max-Circulation Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Router MR7350 that we reviewed previous this 12 months. It has a black cupboard with a textured best, measures 2.3 via 11.0 via 6.6 inches (HWD), and has 4 adjustable, non-removable antennas. The shiny black entrance edge has a unmarried LED standing indicator that blinks blue when the usage of WPS to connect with a tool, is forged pink when able for setup, blinks pink throughout setup, is forged blue when the router is attached and dealing correctly, and is forged purple when the router has misplaced its web connection.

Linksys Hydra Pro 6E Tri-Band Mesh Wi-Fi Router (AXE6600)

There’s a WPS (Wi-Fi Secure Setup) button at the proper aspect of the router, and round again are 4 gigabit LAN ports, a 5Gb WAN port, a USB 3.0 port, a reset button, an influence jack, and an influence button. Below the hood is a 1.8GHz quad-core processor, 512MB of RAM, and 512MB of flash reminiscence.

The Hydra Professional 6E is a Wi-Fi 6E router that may hook up with the 6GHz radio band, in addition to the two.4GHz and 5GHz bands (your Jstomer gadgets should beef up 6E to spot and hook up with the 6GHz band). It helps 160MHz channel bandwidth at the 6GHz radio band however now not at the 5GHz band, and it lacks the beef up for hyperlink aggregation that you simply get with the Netgear RAXE500. On the other hand, it does use the entire newest 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) applied sciences together with OFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency-Department A couple of-Get right of entry to), 1024 QAM (quadrature amplitude modulation), WPA3 encryption, direct-to-client sign transmissions (beamforming), and MU-MIMO simultaneous knowledge streaming.

That is an AX6600 router that may succeed in most (theoretical) speeds of as much as 600Mbps at the 2.4GHz band, as much as 1,200Mbps at the 5GHz band, and as much as 4,800Mbps at the 6GHz band. It may be pressed into carrier as a mesh router or mesh node when paired with different Linksys Velop-compatible routers and nodes.

Linksys Hydra Pro 6E Tri-Band Mesh Wi-Fi Router (AXE6600)

The Hydra Professional 6E will also be controlled the usage of a internet console or the Linksys cellular app for Android and iOS gadgets. The cellular app opens to a Dashboard that displays the title of the community, what number of gadgets are hooked up to it, and what number of routers or nodes are hooked up to the community. Faucet the Gadgets panel to peer a listing of particular person shoppers and which band they are the usage of. Tapping any Jstomer takes you to a display the place you’ll permit Instrument Prioritization and Parental Controls for that exact Jstomer. Parental Controls let you block web pages, straight away pause web get right of entry to, and create get right of entry to schedules, however you don’t get the age-based filters that you simply get with the TP-Hyperlink Archer AX11000. Additionally lacking are anti-malware equipment that give protection to your community and its shoppers from phishing, virus, and spy ware assaults.

Slightly below the Instrument and Router panels is a button for checking out your web pace the usage of Ookla’s Pace Take a look at software, and underneath that could be a checklist of the ultimate 5 shoppers to connect with the community. In case you proceed to scroll down, you spot a panel that may take you to the Parental Controls settings display and some other that may take you to the Visitor Community settings display.

Linksys Hydra Pro 6E Tri-Band Mesh Wi-Fi Router (AXE6600)

You’ll additionally get right of entry to Parental Controls and Visitor Community settings via tapping the three-bar icon within the higher left nook of the display. Right here you’ll additionally to find Wi-Fi, Exterior Garage, Instrument Prioritization, Notifications, and Community Management settings. Complicated settings come with Port Forwarding, MAC Filtering, and Native Community settings.

Hydra Professional 6E Efficiency

Putting in the Hydra Professional 6E is simple. I downloaded the Linksys cellular app and tapped Set Up a New Wi-Fi Community. I decided on Mesh Wi-Fi Router (MR Collection) from the checklist, plugged within the Hydra Professional, and hooked up it to my modem. I waited round 30 seconds for the LED to head from blue to pink, showed that it was once blinking pink, and the router was once straight away came upon. I created a Linksys account when brought about, then gave the brand new community a reputation and a password. I used to be then brought about to provide the router a location (room) and the setup was once whole.

To check throughput efficiency, I used a Samsung Galaxy S21 Extremely telephone, which is provided with Wi-Fi 6E circuitry and is similar software I used to check the Netgear RXE500. The Hydra Professional 6E’s pace of 106Mbps at the 2.4GHz close-proximity (similar room) take a look at was once a bit of slower that what I noticed with the Netgear RAXE500 (127Mbps), whilst its pace of 33Mbps at the 30-foot take a look at was once considerably slower than the Netgear’s 71Mbps.

On 5GHz assessments, the Hydra Professional 6E was once significantly slower than the Netgear RAXE500. It controlled 750Mbps at the close-proximity take a look at and 303Mbps at the 30-foot take a look at, when compared with the RAXE500’s speeds of 936Mbps (shut proximity) and 530Mbps (30 ft).

The Hydra Professional’s 6GHz efficiency was once extra consistent with what we noticed with the RAXE500. It garnered 927Mbps at the close-proximity take a look at and 379Mbps at the 30-foot take a look at, whilst the RAXE500 delivered 951Mbps and 427Mbps, respectively.

In our file-transfer assessments, we transfer a 1.5GB folder containing pictures, video, song, and place of job file recordsdata backward and forward between an exterior USB 3.0 pressure and a desktop PC (each hooked up to the router) as a way to measure write and skim speeds. The Hydra Professional 6E scored a fast 83MBps at the write take a look at and an similarly fast learn rating of 82MBps. The Netgear RAXE500 was once only a hair sooner with speeds of 85MBps on each assessments.

We use an Ekahau Sidekick Wi-Fi diagnostic software and Ekahau’s Survey cellular app to check wi-fi sign power. This combo generates warmth maps that display the router’s 2.4GHz and 5GHz sign power all over our take a look at house (Ekahau does not but beef up 6GHz alerts). (Editors’ Observe: Ekahau is owned via Ziff Davis, PCMag’s guardian corporate.)

Linksys Hydra Pro 6E Tri-Band Mesh Wi-Fi Router (AXE6600)

Most sensible to backside: 2.4GHz sign power, 5GHz sign power

The circles at the maps above constitute the positioning of the router and the colours constitute sign power, with darkish inexperienced representing the most powerful sign. Yellow is weaker and grey signifies no measurable sign reception. As display at the maps, the Hydra Professional 6E did an excellent process of handing over 2.4GHz and 5GHz alerts all over our take a look at house, however each bands faltered a bit of within the eating room and in portions of the storage.

Long term-Evidence, However Now not Magnificence-Main

When you’ve got a PC or telephone that may hook up with the 6GHz radio band, you’ll desire a Wi-Fi 6E router just like the Linksys Hydra Professional 6E to make it occur. The Hydra Professional is really easy to arrange and set up, and it delivered forged 6GHz throughput and somewhat speedy file-transfer efficiency in checking out. Parental controls are restricted and it lacks anti-malware tool, however you do get a multi-gig WAN port and you’ll use the router to create a mesh community. That mentioned, the Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500 delivers higher total efficiency and provides a couple of additional options together with 160MHz channel bandwidth and hyperlink aggregation, making it the simpler purchase on this budding class.

Linksys Hydra Professional 6E Tri-Band Mesh Wi-Fi Router (AXE6600)


  • Middling 2.4GHz throughput

  • Restricted parental controls

  • Lacks malware coverage

  • Does not beef up hyperlink aggregation

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The Backside Line

The Linksys Hydro Professional 6E is a tri-band wi-fi router that may hook up with the newly liberated 6GHz radio band. It delivers excellent 6GHz throughput, however its 2.4GHz efficiency is simply good enough.

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