As its name would suggest, the Linksys Atlas 6 is a more affordable, cut-down version of the Atlas 6 Pro. In Singapore, the Atlas 6 was, until recently, exclusive to subscribers of local telco StarHub (under the Smart WiFi MX2 name). But it's now available in retail stores, and online. My 2-pack review sample is priced at S$389. That's about S$100 cheaper than a 2-pack for the Pro model.
- Dual-band Wi-Fi 6 (AX3000)
- 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports (3 LAN and 1 WAN)
- 3-year warranty
- Up to 4,000 sq feet (371 sq m) with 2 units and up to 6,000 sq feet (557 sq m) with 3 units
While both Atlas models are dual-band Wi-Fi 6 mesh routers, the standard Atlas 6 has fewer antennas. This results in lower aggregate speeds than the Pro model (3,000Mbps vs 5,400Mbps). It also means a smaller coverage area (4,000 sq feet vs 5,400 sq feet). In other words, the Atlas 6 isn't ideal for larger homes with many client devices. Linksys' website says the Atlas 6 supports up to 50+ connected devices. But it has the same number of Gigabit Ethernet ports (3 LAN and 1 WAN) as the Pro version. The Atlas 6 also supports 160MHz Wi-Fi channels, which can result in significantly faster wireless speeds for devices that can use this feature.
Linksys offers one of the most polished router setup processes in the industry. It's really user-friendly, though you'll need your smartphone and the Linksys app (for iOS and Android). While I don't have any complaints about the ease of use, the app often feels sluggish to me. For example, it can take over seconds from opening the app to seeing my list of connected devices. There were also several occasions when the app timed out, and failed to login to the Atlas 6. I had encountered similar issues with the Atlas 6 Pro, too. In terms of features, the Atlas 6 offers the standard ones, like guest networks, device prioritisation, and parental controls. They work well enough, and should suffice for the average user. But I found the parental controls to be basic and limited compared to some other routers.
In my usual Wi-Fi tests, the Atlas 6 managed an average download speed of 777Mbps, and peaked in the 900Mbps range. This is pretty decent, though the Atlas 6 Pro generally produced better speeds (average of 905Mbps). The download speed in my bedroom dipped to 200Mbps, with my test laptop connected to the second Atlas 6 unit. Again, this result was not as fast as the Pro model, which recorded around 400Mbps. Note that my tests were conducted after using a Wi-Fi channel optimisation feature in the app. Dynamic Frequency Selection was also enabled to increase the number of available Wi-Fi channels.
While it's not quite as fast as the Pro version, the Linksys Atlas 6 has similar features, from the 160MHz channel support to four Gigabit Ethernet (two more than most mesh routers). The app is user-friendly enough, but it could perform better. Overall, the Atlas 6 is a solid entry-level Wi-Fi mesh router that should be good enough for those with smaller homes, or shopping on a budget. It's available on Lazada and Shopee.
Note: Review unit provided by Linksys.
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