HomeBlogREVIEWLinksys Atlas Professional 6 assessment: Quick Wi-Fi 6 that may cowl your...

Linksys Atlas Professional 6 assessment: Quick Wi-Fi 6 that may cowl your complete house

Linksys was the innovator of the primary Wi-Fi mesh system we ever examined: the unique Velop, which debuted in early 2017. This new replace has a really comparable look however it introduces a brand new title, and now options the newest Wi-Fi 6 {hardware}.

It’s a dual-band system, which implies backhaul communications between the three stations go over the identical 5GHz community as person site visitors. That reduces the associated fee, in comparison with tri-band mesh techniques, however it usually has a conspicuous affect on efficiency. Nevertheless, Wi-Fi 6 is designed for environment friendly bandwidth sharing, and in our exams, the Atlas Professional held its personal towards the perfect tri-band techniques available on the market. So whereas this isn’t precisely an inexpensive wi-fi answer, it affords distinctive bang per buck.

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Linksys Atlas Professional 6 mesh router assessment: What you want to know

Every Atlas Professional station incorporates a 2.4GHz radio rated at 600Mbits/sec, plus a 5GHz radio able to sending and transmitting knowledge at as much as 4.8Gbits/sec, matching the highest pace of the costliest meshes. Naturally, it helps Wi-Fi 6 and it additionally makes use of the 160MHz channel width, which permits the utmost quantity of knowledge to be transferred directly. In case your shopper gadgets are appropriate then the Atlas Professional can function within the greater DFS frequency vary to assist keep away from interference.

To be clear, this mesh doesn’t use the 6GHz channels that had been launched within the new Wi-Fi 6E normal. Nor does it help multi-gig Ethernet for wired shoppers, as a substitute sticking to traditional gigabit sockets. If you would like a community that may be grown and upgraded, subsequently, this won’t be the perfect basis. For a daily home position, although, its specs are greater than ample.

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Linksys Atlas Professional 6 mesh router assessment: Value and competitors

A pack of three Atlas Professional 6 models prices £423 inc VAT. The dual-pack is barely higher worth at £256 inc VAT however having solely two nodes provides you much less functionality to direct protection the place you want it.

You may pay quite a bit much less for a Wi-Fi 6 mesh system, Amazon’s dual-band Eero 6 prices £279 for 3 nodes, whereas the triple-pack model of Netgear’s Orbi RBK352 equipment prices solely £225. For those who’re actually seeking to slash the funds, you should buy Xiaomi’s AX3000 mesh as a gray import for simply £100. As we’ll see under, nevertheless, all of those techniques fall in need of the Atlas Professional’s efficiency.

For those who’re prepared to spend extra you may think about a tri-band system. The Netgear Orbi RBK752 prices £370 for 2 models, whereas the RBK753 triple-pack involves £562. The Asus ZenWiFi AX is one other contender, costing £389 for 2 stations or £617 for 3.

Of all of the Wi-Fi 6 meshes we’ve examined, probably the most spectacular stays Netgear’s flagship Orbi RBK852, costing £650 for a twin-pack or £950 for the three-unit RBK853. The Orbi RBKE963 provides Wi-Fi 6E, unlocking distinctive speeds for gadgets that help 6GHz networking however it’s solely provided in a three-unit pack costing £1,500, placing it out of attain of most budgets.

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Linksys Atlas Professional 6 mesh router assessment: {Hardware} design

The Atlas Professional 6 has the identical primary design as the unique Velop. Every station stands 185mm tall, with a squared-off prime that bulges outwards on the base to a most width and depth of 86mm. The models’ weight is generally concentrated within the decrease portion, in order that they’re not straightforward to knock over and a rubber grip on the backside helps guarantee

they received’t be dragged about by dangling cables.

On that notice, the exterior connectors are located conveniently on the rear, fairly than recessed into the underside as on older fashions. Every Atlas Professional unit has three gigabit LAN ports plus an “Web” socket, which works as a fourth LAN connector for the second and third nodes.

As ordinary with mesh gear, the models present their state by way of a single LED, which glows crimson when there’s an issue, blue when all the pieces’s going high quality and purple when setup is required. On the underside of every one you’ll discover WPS and reset buttons, together with an on/off change. In all it’s a clear, easy design that’ll sit unobtrusively roughly wherever.

READ NEXT: Our round-up of the perfect mesh wi-fi routers

Linksys Atlas Professional 6 mesh router assessment: Software program options

Preliminary setup of the Atlas Professional 6 should be carried out by way of the Linksys cell app: should you attempt to join from an online browser you simply get a holding web page directing you to the app retailer. I don’t like filling up my telephone with companion apps however, in equity, the Android app did an impeccable job of detecting and configuring the Atlas system with virtually zero enter from me.

Subsequently, you’ll be able to drop into the principle web page of the app to investigate cross-check related shoppers and allow or disable the visitor community. Parental management settings are provided too, although these are about as primary because it will get: all you are able to do is about entry schedules for particular person gadgets, and block them from accessing particular URLs.

Dig into the menus and also you’ll additionally discover choices to configure your DHCP settings, arrange port forwarding and MAC filtering and nominate as much as three gadgets for site visitors prioritisation. There are not any fancy companies like a VPN or community safety however the fundamentals are lined. A helpful built-in channel chooser scans the airwaves to seek out the clearest radio frequencies in your community, and distant entry is enabled by default, so that you don’t should be at house to verify in in your community.

As soon as the mesh is up and operating, it’s also possible to administer it from a desktop browser, which could be a disorientating expertise, because the Linksys Sensible Wi-Fi interface has a completely completely different format to the app. It’s additionally previous, gradual and clunky, however it does supply a number of settings that aren’t uncovered within the app, together with the choice to disable band steering and broadcast separate SSIDs for the two.4GHz and 5GHz networks.

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Linksys Atlas Professional 6 mesh router assessment: Efficiency

I’ve talked about above that the Atlas Professional 6 has a quick 4.8Gbits/sec 5GHz radio, and helps fats 160MHz channels. Linksys additionally proudly advertises that it makes use of Qualcomm’s newest Wi-Fi chipset – all causes to be optimistic concerning the system’s efficiency potential.

I examined this in my ordinary approach. First, I arrange the principle Atlas Professional node in my examine at house, and positioned the extender models within the bed room and lounge, confirming with the app that every was receiving a powerful sign. I then related an Asustor AS3304T NAS equipment to one of many Ethernet sockets on the first Atlas Professional unit, carried a laptop computer to numerous places in my house and measured add and obtain speeds whereas copying a set of 100MB information to and from the NAS.

The outcomes are proven within the desk under. For comparability, I’ve additionally included figures from a number of of the opposite mesh techniques talked about above – though notice that the Asus and Netgear techniques had been examined in a two-node configuration.

These outcomes had been very pleasing certainly. The Linksys Atlas Professional 6 carried out strongly in all areas of my house, understanding barely sooner general than the tri-band Orbi RBK852. That’s a improbable achievement contemplating the dual-node Orbi configuration we examined prices £242 extra.

The Atlas Professional additionally impressed me with its consistency. With mesh techniques (particularly dual-band ones) it’s frequent to see speeds drop off when a tool is related to an extender node, fairly than on to the first unit. That’s completely illustrated by the obtain charges I noticed from the dual-band Eero 6. But the Atlas Professional 6 had no such drawback, delivering quick downloads to the very extremities of the constructing. Linksys advertises that the three-node pack can cowl “4-5+ bedrooms” (sic), and based mostly on these findings I don’t doubt that the system will fortunately serve a house a lot bigger than my three-bedroom maisonette.

To be clear, the Atlas Professional 6 doesn’t hit the identical prime speeds as the perfect Wi-Fi 6 routers. The Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX6000 and Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500 each gave me a lot greater Wi-Fi 6 obtain charges of round 125MB/sec at brief vary. Nevertheless, these standalone routers have rather more restricted vary than a mesh, and their efficiency plummeted as I moved in the direction of the opposite finish of the home.

In truth, such speeds are overkill for most individuals anyway. Disney Plus recommends that 4MB/sec is greater than sufficient to stream 4K HDR content material, and the Atlas Professional 6 delivered greater than ten occasions that bandwidth to each room in my house – so who actually wants extra?

READ NEXT: Take a look at our round-up of the perfect Wi-Fi extenders

Linksys Atlas Professional 6 mesh router assessment: Verdict

I haven’t had nice experiences with dual-band mesh techniques prior to now. They’re usually cheaper than comparable tri-band techniques however virtually all the time considerably slower. With the Atlas Professional 6, Linksys has landed on a components that’s really sooner than established tri-band rivals, whereas nonetheless retaining the worth down.

There are a number of features of the Atlas Professional 6 I don’t love. Its software program options are on the essential facet, and the net interface is clunky as hell. And whereas there are an honest variety of Ethernet ports, in 2022 it’s not unreasonable to hope {that a} community machine at this value may help 2.5GbE.

These are gripes fairly than deal-breakers, nevertheless. In case you have £423 to spend on a mesh system, the Atlas Professional 6 is certainly your greatest purchase. A lot as Linksys kickstarted the wi-fi mesh craze half a decade in the past, we received’t be shocked if it now ushers in a brand new wave of sooner, cheaper meshes. There’s no want to attend and see, although – the Atlas Professional 6 does a improbable job as we speak.

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