Linksys Hydra Pro 6 Review: Fast Wi-Fi 6


The Linksys Hydra Pro 6 is the most recent entry-level Wi-Fi 6 router from Linksys, providing patrons with restricted budgets a tight Wi-Fi enjoy with out breaking the financial institution. 

It’s an AX5400 gadget, which means it should provide you with sooner 5GHz Wi-Fi speeds than different Wi-Fi 6 routers for the same value. Indeed, the Linksys Hydra Pro 6 is basically an improve of final 12 months’s Linksys MR7350 router, which is an AX1800 gadget. 

Like the MR7350, the Hydra Pro 6 is a router that may shape a part of a mesh Wi-Fi device. It can paintings as a standalone router, or you’ll be able to pair it with mesh Wi-Fi satellites from Linksys’s Velop vary.

This approach if you need whole-home protection one day, however your price range can’t lately prolong to hide a multi-device mesh Wi-Fi device such because the Linksys Atlas Pro 6 (which levels from £320-£430 / $349-$449 for 2-pack and 3-pack package deal respectively), then the Linksys Hydra Pro 6 could be the best stand-in in the interim. 

Alternatively, in case your protection wishes are somewhat extra modest, you’re dwelling in a flat (rental), or someplace with skinny partitions, and also you simply desire a first rate Wi-Fi 6 router for round £200 / $300, then the Hydra Pro 6 will have to cater in your wishes. 

Design and construct

The Linksys Hydra Pro 6 seems so much just like the router from final 12 months it’s successfully changing, the Linksys MR7350.

It options the similar fundamental blocky design, the similar staggered oblong mesh protecting at the height, and vents at the backside and aspects in the similar puts. The best instantly noticeable distinction is that the Linksys ‘L’ brand is stamped onto the exterior antenna. The antennas can also be turned around and tilted 180 and 90 levels respectively. 

Turning the Linksys Hydra Pro 6 round, you’ll see 5 gigabit Ethernet ports, one WAN (helpfully classified ‘Internet’) and 4 LAN (helpfully classified ‘Ethernet’) .

It’s most probably that you simply’ll be environment this gadget up to your front room, or someplace with reference to your modem (this router does not include one) and grasp socket, and it’s subsequently additionally most probably that you simply’ll have video games consoles, TV set-top packing containers, sensible TVs and possibly a soundbar, all of which might take pleasure in stressed out Ethernet connections, so 4 ports will have to turn out to be useful.

The best different bodily connection on here’s a Type-A USB 3.0 port, which you’ll be able to use to glue a difficult force which is able to then be accessed in the course of the Hydra Pro 6’s admin portal. 

Despite being fabricated from implausible plastic, the Linksys Hydra Pro 6 doesn’t really feel affordable: it feels fairly robust.

Setup & options

Linksys has achieved a just right activity of constructing the Hydra Pro 6 simple for learners to arrange from scratch. The Linksys cell apps (iOS, Android) do a just right activity of guiding you in the course of the procedure, protecting the fundamentals of router placement – ‘Place out within the open’, ‘Avoid hiding inside at the back of furnishings’ – to creating certain your modem’s became off ahead of you energy the router on and attach it to the modem. Once the relationship’s established and you’ve got web get admission to, the app will ask you whereabouts in the house it’s positioned (e.g. front room, kitchen), which mainly paves the way in which so that you can upload Linksys Velop mesh satellites one day. 

Setting up the Hydra Pro 6 took not up to ten mins, despite the fact that the longest phase used to be looking forward to web get admission to to be to be had – so your mileage might range right here, relying for your supplier and repair. 

Once the whole lot’s arrange, the Linksys cell apps additionally help you dive into the Hydra Pro 6’s settings and test at the units lately hooked up. 

You can make a choice to prioritise as much as 3 units for your community, which is beneficial in the event you’ve were given a lot of units all straining for bandwidth on the identical time. You too can rename units as they seem at the dashboard, and follow parental controls, which is able to limit positive units from gaining access to particular domain names, and follow homework hours. You can briefly and simply create Guest Wi-Fi networks for instances if in case you have folks over and also you don’t need to hand out your common password. 

The Linksys Hydra Pro 6 announces one SSID by means of default, however if you wish to separate the bands and feature the router broadcast two names, one for two.4GHz and one for 5GHz, you’ll be able to, however you want to open up the desktop keep an eye on panel for this, as you’ll be able to’t do it within the cell app. You too can enabled WPA3 encryption as a substitute of WPA2 (or a mix of the 2) if in case you have any units which fortify the more recent encryption same old. 

All of those options are slightly same old, they usually’re simple to get admission to and arrange. For instance, my Nintendo Switch merely gave the impression as ‘networkDevice’ at the dashboard till I renamed it, and renaming units is a straightforward case of heading to Devices after which clicking at the textual content – you’ll be able to then kind in no matter you need. 

Performance

Overall efficiency of the Linksys Hydra Pro 6 is just right. If you’re operating in the similar room because the router, you’ll be capable of experience some rapid wi-fi speeds, particularly in the event you’re the use of a contemporary phone or pc that helps Wi-Fi 6. If you’re dwelling and dealing in a big domestic, and wish protection in each and every room, it would be best to spend money on some Velop satellites, on the other hand.

The Hydra Pro 6 is a quite upgraded model of final 12 months’s Linksys MR7350. While the routers glance very an identical, the primary distinction is that Wi-Fi speeds within the upper 5GHz band will have to be sooner (due to the Hydra Pro 6 being an AX5400 gadget), despite the fact that the highest speeds at the 2.4GHz band will have to be the similar. 

Interestingly, in my velocity assessments the consequences I were given had been both on par with what I noticed with the MR3750, or in some circumstances, slower. 

One attention-grabbing remark used to be that the Hydra Pro 6 used to be higher used to be at connecting to my (previous) Huawei Mate 10 Pro, a Wi-Fi 5 gadget, in additional spaces round the house, suggesting higher protection than the MR3750.

For instance, within the upstairs administrative center (situated kind of 15 metres away and one flooring up from the router) and within the lawn (stood 20 metres away, with two partitions and two close doorways between the customer and the router), the Mate 10 Pro struggled to hook up with the Linksys MR3750. But there have been no such issues connecting to the Hydra Pro 6 at the identical gadget in the ones  places.

I additionally discovered that the Hydra Pro 6 routinely shunted the Mate 10 Pro to Channel 11 (a 2.4GHz channel) when acting velocity assessments upstairs or out within the lawn, while the opposite two telephones – Realme X50 and Pixel 6 –  had been stored on Channel 44 (a 5GHz channel). This is an instance of the Hydra Pro 6’s band steerage in motion, opting for the most efficient radio frequencies on a per-device foundation.

Rather than use separate SSIDs and pressure the Hydra Pro 6 to make use of 2.4GHz or 5GHz, we used the default settings, as maximum patrons will, and ran velocity assessments in 4 places and allowed the router and telephones to make a decision which frequency to make use of. Here are the consequences:

Wi-Fi 5 check (Huawei Mate 10 Pro) Virgin Media Super Hub 3 Linksys Hydra Pro 6
1m 693Mbps 836Mbps
5m with a wall 312Mbps 437Mbps
Upstairs, close to the rear of the home 21Mbps 40Mbps
Garden n/a 26Mbps
Wi-Fi 6 check (Realme X50) Virgin Media Super Hub 3 Linksys Hydra Pro 6
1m 634Mbps 870Mbps
5m with a wall 276Mbps 399Mbps
Upstairs, close to the rear of the home 18Mbps 38Mbps
Garden 1Mbps 12Mbps

Oddly, the speeds recorded at the Realme X50 (a Wi-Fi 6 phone) weren’t as just right (with the exception of at 1m), and whilst the Google Pixel 6 (see beneath) recorded sooner speeds, they had been slightly any other to what I recorded at the MR3750 final 12 months.

The best exception used to be when stood 1m from the router. On instance, it could transfer from channel 44 to 100 and use 160MHz to spice up velocity to 1161Mbps. The 920Mbps determine is the common from all assessments. Note that you can’t permit or pressure the Hydra Pro 6 to make use of 160MHz always. 

Wi-Fi 6 check (Pixel 6) Virgin Media Super Hub 3 Linksys Hydra Pro 6
1m 674Mbps 920Mbps (1161Mbps max)
5m with a wall 392Mbps 695Mbps
Upstairs, close to the rear of the home 28Mbps 25Mbps
Garden 6Mbps 44Mbps

Regardless of speeds in reality accomplished, the Hydra Pro 6’s vary is strangely just right making an allowance for it’s a solo gadget. It used to be in a position to ship 5GHz protection in spaces of my domestic the place I frequently combat to get a useable connection on both radio band. 

While it’s now not in point of fact in a position to handing over useable whole-home protection in my two-up, two-down terraces domestic in South London, it’s now not supposed to, so it’s now not in point of fact truthful to mark it down for that. And, naturally, in greater houses, it would be best to imagine mesh Wi-Fi to get a quick connection all over.

If you sought after to make use of the Hydra’s mesh functions, it is very important spend money on a separate Linksys Velop node, most likely one thing just like the Velop MX5300 or Velop MX4200. 

Of route, if you’re making an allowance for mesh Wi-Fi, do not overlook that you’ll be able to use them together with your present router. And as they attach on your router by means of Ethernet, so long as it has gigabit Ethernet ports, there is not any explanation why to improve it. The major benefit of the Hydra Pro 6 is that it turns into a node, which means chances are you’ll require a 2-pack Velop device relatively than a 3-pack. However, the total value is not a lot other than protecting your previous router and purchasing a Velop 3-pack.

It then turns into about whether or not you worth the power to regulate your house community via Linksys’ app which is almost definitely higher than your older ISP-supplied router.

The Velop, despite the fact that, is not the one mesh Wi-Fi device. Something just like the Amazon Eero 6, or the Netgear Nighthawk Mesh Wi-Fi 6 device could be higher suited on your wishes, despite the fact that those units don’t provide you with a lot in the way in which of Ethernet ports. 

There are less expensive choices in the event you don’t want such rapid speeds. And, arguably, if in case you have rather sluggish broadband (beneath 100Mbps, say) then a dear Wi-Fi 6 mesh device is almost definitely overkill. For suggestions, see our separate roundup of the most efficient mesh Wi-Fi techniques. 

(*6*)

Price & availability

The Linksys Hydra Pro 6 is that can be purchased now, for round £180 in the United Kingdom. Oddly, it is a lot more dear – $300 – within the United States. 

Linksys has a internet web page for the Hydra Pro 6 on its UK web site, however you’ll be able to’t however it from the corporate at once. 

Instead, you’ll be able to acquire Hydra Pro 6 from Broadband Buyer for £164.27, eBuyer for £173.93, Ballicom for £173.94, or Amazon UK for £186.24. These had been right kind on the time of assessment.

You can purchase a Hydra Pro 6 at once from Linksys in the United States, the place it’s generally priced at US$299.99, however used to be – once we reviewed the router in May 2022 – on sale for $249.99. 

Best Buy additionally sells the Hydra Pro 6 for $249.99, however Amazon, Target, and different outlets did not inventory the router.

As a long way as we all know, it’s not to be had in Australia.

Verdict 

The Linksys Hydra Pro 6 gives just right efficiency, has a large number of helpful options and represents just right worth for cash.

The method to extend your house community’s protection the use of Linksys Velop mesh Wi-Fi gadgets may attraction to a couple, particularly the ones that may’t find the money for the prematurely value of the sort of device at the moment.

However, there are many reasonably priced mesh techniques that may change your present router’s Wi-Fi for now not a lot more cash than the Hydra Pro 6, and they’re a better option in case your precedence is very large Wi-Fi protection however now not outright  velocity.

Specs

Linksys Hydra Pro 6: Specs

  • 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) 2×4 dual-band
  • MU-MIMO & OFDMA
  • 4 x gigabit Ethernet LAN ports
  • USB 3.0
  • Remote keep an eye on and control with the Linksys app (iOS, Android)
  • Guest Wi-Fi
  • Parental controls
  • Wi-Fi control
  • Traffic control
  • IPv6
  • WPA 2/3 hybrid
  • WPA3
  • Guest Wi-Fi
  • Parental Controls
  • IPv6
  • WPA2/WPA3
  • 215x155x56mm
  • 567g



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