WiFi 6 mesh routers are a favorite of gamers, smart home devotees and basically anyone with a lot of connected devices — but they can be pricey. Linksys has unveiled two dual-band WiFi 6 routers — the Hydra 6 and the Atlas 6 — that could be an attractive option for those who want higher speeds on a budget. Both are dual-band, so they’ll support the 5GHz and 2.4GHz frequencies. For smaller households or those with fewer devices, either of these two will likely offer more than enough coverage. 

Linksys Hydra 6

The Hydra 6 (pictured above) is a traditional router that can also serve as a base point for mesh networking points. The Atlas 6 has a less obtrusive, vertically-oriented shape and is sold in sets of up to three, so they can be placed around the house. 

Both the Atlas 6 and Hydra 6 claim to cover around 2,000 square feet and up to 25 devices — although the former can be bought in packs of two or three, with each additional router adding another 2,000 square feet and supporting 25 more devices. That expandability is sort of the whole draw of a mesh system. The somewhat wonky technical improvements made available through WiFi 6 support might also deliver faster connectivity.

Both models are less costly than many premium WiFi 6 mesh systems, including the Linksys Atlas Max 6E, which retails at $999 and its recently-released WiFi 6E system, which costs $1200 for a pack of three. The Atlas 6 is $149.99 for a single router, $279.99 for a two-pack and $349.99 for a three-node system. The Hydra 6 will retail at $179.99. Both will be available in the US early this summer, with a global release planned for the second half of 2022.