Linksys Hydra Pro 6: Two-Minute Review
It’s taken a while for the prices of Wi-Fi 6 routers to come down to more affordable levels, but the new Hydra Pro 6 from Linksys is a good option for anyone that wants to improve their home wi-fi without taking out a second mortgage. It is admittedly still a little pricey for a dual-band router, but it works hard to earn its keep.
Its top speed of 5.4Gbps is still far faster than most routers that use the older Wi-Fi 5 standard (aka 802.11ac), whilst also providing additional benefits of Wi-Fi 6, such as improved efficiency when transmitting data to lots of different devices on your network all at once.
(Image credit: Future)
Linksys Hydra Pro 6: Price and Availability
$299.99 in the US£169.99 from Amazon in the UKCurrently unavailable in Australia
Here is the Linksys Hydro Pro 6 configuration sent to TechRadar for review:
Wi-Fi: dual-band Wi-Fi 6 (2.4GHz/5.0GHz)
Connectivity: 1x Gigabit Ethernet (WAN), 4x Gigabit Ethernet (LAN), 1x USB 3.0
Processor: 1GHz dual-core
Dimensions (with antennae): 215 x 155 x 158mm
The pricing of the Linksys Hydra Pro 6 varies quite a lot from region to region, with Linksys listing it at $299.99 on its US website and other online retailers. At current exchange rates that price should convert to around £250.00 in British pounds – not including 20% of British sales tax – but the Hydra Pro 6 is actually a lot cheaper in the United Kingdom.
Linksys primarily sells via Amazon in the UK, which currently lists it at £169.99 (and it even recently went down to £129.99 for Prime Day). Linksys’ Australian division mostly seems to focus on the company’s Velop range of mesh routers, with few standalone routers currently available.
Price and availability: 3.5/5
(Image credit: Future)
Linksys Hydra Pro 6: Design and Features
Guest network and ‘pause’ schedulingFour Gigabit Ethernet portsUSB port for shared network drives
The Hydra Pro 6 isn’t much to look at, consisting of an unassuming black plastic box with a couple of antennae sticking up at the back. It’s compact and solidly built, though, and will fit neatly onto any convenient table or shelf when you connect it to your existing broadband modem or router. Linksys hasn’t cut too many corners either, as the Hydra Pro 6 provides impressive wi-fi speeds of up to 5.4Gbps, along with four Gigabit Ethernet ports that can be used to provide a lag-free wired connection for devices such as a games console or smart-TV. It even has a USB 3.0 port that can be used to connect a hard drive, so that you can share the drive with other people on your home network.
The Linksys app is a little basic, though. It takes a few minutes to set the router up, as you first have to download the Linksys app, create an account, and then enter a password in order to connect your iOS or Android mobile device to the router’s default ‘setup’ network. Then you have to rename that network and create a new password, and then re-connect all over again – which seems a little long-winded when many routers now just let you scan a QR code in order to set everything up automatically. But, once that’s done, the app is pretty easy to use – it automatically creates a single network that combines the 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz bands, and then provides an overview of all the devices that are connected to the network. You can pause Internet access for any device, or create a schedule to limit your child’s Internet use to specific times. There’s a built-in speed test to monitor network performance, and you can prioritize three devices to provide maximum performance for demanding tasks such as gaming or streaming video. The parental controls are fairly limited, though, as the app just leaves it up to you to manually enter the addresses of any websites that you want to block – but at least it doesn’t constantly pester you with ads for additional subscription services, as some of Linksys’ rivals do.
Design and Features: 4/5
(Image credit: Future)
Linksys Hydra Pro 6: Performance
Creates a single network using 2.4/5.0GHz bandsGood performance and rangeAbility to prioritise three devices
Here’s how the Linksys Hydra Pro 6 performed in our suite of benchmark tests:
Ookla Speed Test (download/upload)
Within 5ft, no obstructions: 100Mbps/11Mbps
Within 30ft, three partition walls: 100Mbps/11Mbps
20GB Steam Download
Within 5ft, no obstructions: 12.5MB/s
Within 30ft, three partition walls: 12.5MB/s
The wi-fi router provided by our broadband supplier works perfectly well for computers and other devices that are nearby, allowing us to achieve the maximum 100Mbps available from our broadband service, and 12.5MB/s downloads from Steam. And, as we expected, the Linksys Hydra Pro 6 simply reproduced that performance when connecting to nearby devices.
However, we also have an office towards the back of the building where our wi-fi signal is so erratic that we normally have to rely on PowerLine adaptors to provide a more reliable wired network connection. Happily, the Hydra Pro 6 didn’t bat an eyelid as I picked up my laptop and walked down the hall to the back office, maintaining those speeds with no problem at all. There may be faster tri-band Wi-Fi 6 routers now available, but the Hydra Pro 6 hits a good sweet spot, providing a fast and reliable Wi-Fi 6 upgrade that won’t break the bank.
Buy it if…
Don’t buy it if…
Linksys Hydra Pro 6: Scorecard
Price and AvailabilityIt’s not the cheapest Wi-Fi 6 router, but the Hydra Pro 6 is fast and easy to use.3.5 / 5Design and FeaturesStrong wi-fi performance and good wired connectivity make the Hydra Pro 6 a versatile Wi-Fi 6 upgrade.4 / 5PerformanceIt may only be dual-band, but a top speed of 5.4Gbps is more than fast enough for most home users.4 / 5
First reviewed July 2022
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