Linksys Atlas 6 Dual-Band Mesh Router Review
Atlas 6 is the latest from Linksys and together with Atlas Pro 6 fills any gaps in the product portfolio. For Linksys, the Atlas 6 is its entry-level mesh solution built on the new Qualcomm Immersive Home platform. This new platform includes a dual-core SoC operating at 1 GHz along with 512 MB of memory and 256 MB of flash.
Additional hardware includes a dual band radio system that supports 600 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band and 2400 Mbps on 5 GHz. 160MHz channels are supported for 5GHz along with OFDMA and WPA3.
Atlas 6 is divided into three retail packages, including one, two and three packages. The three-pack flagship has an MSRP of $ 349.99, while the single-unit set comes in at $ 149.99. All sets have a three-year warranty.
Packaging and hardware
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Packaging for Atlas has a lighter hue than we saw with Max 6e, even though we have a picture of the nodes.
The back shows the functions of the Atlas with a port diagram below.
Included in the box are Ethernet cables and power adapters for each node.
Like the Atlas Max, the 6 shares the same aesthetics, including transmission from the Velop series. The top shares the simple LED that indicates the status of the set.
I / O includes four LAN / WAN with power below.
The base of the Atlas 6 includes WPS, reset and power switch along with password and recovery for the router.
Linksys app and setup
The app above has been used in recent years to set up and manage Linksys platforms.
The setup starts with choosing the type of device you set up, and this is categorized by family, with the Atlas 6 using Velop setup as Max 6e did before.
The dashboard will give you a quick overview of the status of the router and its nodes, including the device list and the ISP speed in the middle.
Controls include device setup along with parental controls, Wi-Fi settings and basic guest networking. You can go further into the configuration with device priority and advanced settings.
Device prioritization is a feature Atlas 6 takes advantage of, so you can select devices on the network that should be above all others.
Speed testing also allows you to monitor the speed of your ISP. Spring can be seen above.
Channel Finder will search around the airspace for other devices and then select the best available channel for each node on the network.
Test system and results
Testing used our Lenovo X1 laptop. At 10-15 feet, we saw performance fluctuate around 140 Mbps when we used the 2.4 GHz band. There were some irregularities where the performance tested at 300+, but could never be repeated.
At 5GHz, performance was higher, as expected. 717 Mbps was our peak in testing, although we saw a few cases where it crept closer to 800 Mbps.
When I go from Atlas Max 6e in my home network to Atlas 6, flagship to entry level, I noticed some differences in feeling when using devices. The most important thing was more waiting time in my home network. Mainly when multiple devices were streaming, it took longer to buffer streams. Apart from that, daily use, Atlas 6 works well, we have two nodes set up at the moment, and it seems to cover a typical two-story Midwest home quite well.
In terms of testing, the Atlas 6 was on par with the XE75 from TP-Link which we have just tested for an upcoming review with slightly better performance compared to older Wi-Fi 5 devices. At the top, I think we got around 140 Mbps in the real world from Atlas 6 in 2.4 GHz mode. 5GHz gave us a solid boost of up to 717 Mbps, which is just below the wired features of this solution.
Since it is at the start level, the performance is acceptable and perfectly fine for a home with less than 100 units. When you start noticing accessories like security cameras or smart home devices, you will want to switch to an advanced solution like Atlas Max. The setup and administration application is fantastic, and although it does not offer all the high-level administration features, you can use the Web GUI if necessary.
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