Regardless of the title change, this is similar acquainted Velop mesh we’ve seen earlier than. The Atlas 6 Professional is quick, simple to make use of and trendy. Vary is appropriate, however there are techniques that cowl bigger areas higher. Nevertheless, it is rather reasonably priced and in the event you don’t have to unfold out the nodes too far, it’s a wonderful purchase, particularly the two-unit package deal, which may be very reasonably priced.
Linksys Velop routers have been a well-recognized sight ever since house mesh techniques grew to become widespread. They’ve just about seemed the identical for years. Simply recognisable slim, sq. towers in white, with dependable efficiency and infrequently good worth for cash. And never so much modifications with the producer’s newest Wi-Fi 6-based mesh package deal. Aside from the title. Linksys now differentiates its cheaper dual-band techniques as ‘Atlas’ reserving Velop for the pricier tri-band ones. So on the Atlas Professional 6 you’ll see they’re “powered by Velop”.
This package deal is named Atlas Professional 6, the place 6 stands for Wi-Fi 6, as that’s the Wi-Fi normal it’s primarily based on. Linksys has no less than one Wi-Fi 6E mesh system – the Velop Professional 6E, however that’s dearer.
The Atlas Professional 6 is bought in one-, two- and three-packs. We now have examined each the most important package deal and a two-pack. Externally, there may be nothing vital that distinguishes them from earlier Velop items.
Options & design
It’s the identical tall, slender design of sq. white towers with a flat prime that has holes for warmth dissipation and a standing LED. On the again are 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports, one in every of which is for web entry. The three gadgets within the package deal are an identical – the one you join first turns into the central router.
On the opposite two, the wan port isn’t used, so that you get 4 Ethernet ports to attach devices to. That is very beneficiant for a mesh system, particularly one which isn’t tremendous costly. If you wish to run Ethernet backhaul – which implies to attach an Ethernet cable between the nodes in order that they don’t have to speak to one another utilizing Wi_Fi – then you definitely join the cable to the WAN port on these nodes.
Being an Altas system means dual-band Wi-Fi – one 2.4GHz band and one 5GHz. Backhaul communication between the nodes shares the 5GHz band. On the two.4 GHz band, you get a theoretical most velocity of 574Mbps. Thankfully, there’s much more bandwidth accessible on 5GHz, with a capability of as much as 4.8Gbps. The truth that you will get such a strong two-unit system for this worth is exceptional. Most such low-cost Wi-Fi 6 techniques have 2.4- or 1.8Gbps capability at 5GHz.
What this implies is that the Atlas Professional 6 can simply deal with a number of mesh nodes and plenty of customers streaming excessive definition content material, shopping and downloading information on the similar time, so long as the sign is robust.
Set up and settings are greatest accomplished with the Linksys cellular app for Android or iOS. The truth is, we needed to look actually onerous to determine that the router additionally has an internet interface: it’s apparent that it’s meant to be managed through cellular. There aren’t any further capabilities within the net interface, however some detailed settings for Wi-Fi and particularly the firewall are right here, which you can not entry from the app.
One purpose for the lower cost is a really fundamental characteristic set. You possibly can arrange a easy visitor community, you get parental controls with a shopping schedule for linked gadgets, solely a handbook blacklist for URLs to dam, and a QoS characteristic so you’ll be able to prioritise giving further bandwidth to a handful of computer systems or cellular gadgets. That’s it. With out USB ports, you don’t get any file server or printer sharing performance, different kinds of capabilities, akin to a VPN server, you’ll additionally must do with out.
Setup is straightforward. With Bluetooth built-in into every node, every one is well detected by the app and most issues are accomplished mechanically. Linksys requires you register for an account to make use of the system, however utilizing this you then get entry to distant administration, which will be helpful once you’re not at house.
Not like some mesh techniques, you will want a little bit of endurance with the Atlas Professional 6. There are a few steps the place every node is “initialised” and “optimised” with a number of minutes of ready time. That is one thing that then turns into a standard theme with the administration on the whole. The app is neat and easy, however there will be lengthy ready instances for seeming merely issues like checking the standing of the nodes or altering router settings, which is annoying.
Thomas Newton / Foundry
SSIDs for the two.4- and 5GHz bands are merged by default, and the router itself chooses methods to join gadgets. The system appears to tend to relegate many gadgets to 2.4GHz that we’d quite have on 5GHz, together with laptops, desktops and cellular gadgets. It’s attainable to set them up individually, however for that it’s a must to enter the online interface, not the app. It’s additionally a reasonably hidden setting.
Nevertheless, the Atlas 6 Professional’s efficiency in the end makes up for many of its foibles. The highest velocity is superb. With assist for 160MHz channel width, it’s attainable to get near gigabit velocity when utilizing a tool with Wi-Fi 6 or 6E, as long as it has 2 x 2 MIMO assist. I noticed a peak velocity of 910Mbps in the identical room as the principle node, and nonetheless received above 700Mbps in an adjoining room. The efficiency loss when linked through one of many different nodes is marginal.
The vary per node isn’t the best, however remains to be acceptable. One of the best Wi-Fi 6 techniques we’ve examined help you place nodes at a distance of round 25 metres together with partitions in the best way to attain a minimal of 200Mbps. With the Atlas Professional 6, I used to be capable of place them as much as 20 metres aside in my take a look at house earlier than speeds dropped to that determine. This implies you could want to position the nodes nearer collectively for a similar minimal velocity, or accept a decrease prime velocity, besides close to the principle router.
It’s not an enormous drawback, and don’t overlook you should purchase extra modes as wanted. A two-pack of the Atlas Professional 6 remains to be greater than sufficient for Wi-Fi protection in a big condominium or small home. However in a big home, or one with thick inside partitions, it may be smart to go for the three pack and even two two-packs.
If Linksys may regulate issues barely in order that extra shoppers are assigned to the 5GHz band when in merged mode, I’d love the Atlas Professional 6 much more. In case you’re keen to separate the SSIDs to make sure your gadgets are linked to 5GHz, although, it’s an ideal finances Wi-Fi 6 mesh system.
Worth & availability
The Atlas 6 Professional begins at $299 / £249 for a two-pack. That’s good for 5400 sq. toes / 500m² and for 60+ gadgets. You possibly can buy them from Amazon US and Amazon UK.
You can even purchase single nodes for round $130 / £135 every, meant for including to the techniques above, quite than utilizing on their very own (though they could possibly be in the event you actually needed to).
A less expensive choice is the Atlas 6, an AX3000 system. It’s a lot the identical because the Atlas 6 Professional however with barely decrease speeds and protection, however for a lower cost.
For alternate options, see our roundup of the most effective mesh Wi-Fi techniques.
Product title: Atlas Professional 6 MX5502/MX5503 Wi-Fi sort: Wi-Fi 6, MU-MIMO 2×2 Frequency band: 2.4 + 5 GHz Wi-Fi capability: 574 + 4802 Mbps (theoretical) Safety: WPA2, WPA3, WPS Connections per node: 3 Gigabit WAN, 1st Gigabit LAN Admin interface: App, net Distant administration: Sure, through app Different options: Visitor community, parental management, QoS. Dimensions: 86 x 86 x 284 mm
This evaluation initially appeared in Swedish on PC for Alla.