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Linksys Atlas Max 6E: High-end Mesh Network Router!

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Linksys Atlas Max 6E outperforms its competition by taking full advantage of the Wi-Fi 6E spec and therefore can easily fill a big house with data. Because it uses the 6GHz Wi-Fi band, it works best whenever the router & clients are close to each other, but it also beat the Netgear Orbi RBKE963 in older homes with a lot of walls.

An Atlas Max 6E mesh costs $1,000 for such a three-piece mesh set, which is $500 less than the Orbi RBKE963 but still out of reach for most. Although it lacks any additional security software to secure its networks, the Atlas Max 6E’s three-year guarantee and lifetime support outperform the rivals, making it a luxury you may be able to afford. It’s a splurge among the best mesh Wi-Fi routers.

Pricing and availability

Linksys Atlas Max 6E: Pricing and availability

The Linksys Atlas Max 6E, which has been available since January 2022, costs $1,000 again for the three-piece kit which is an amount of bargaining power to the $1,500 Orbi RBKE963 system. According to Linksys experts, the Wi-Fi 6E mesh three-pack can cover up to 9,000 sq ft, which is enough to cover a McMansion.

Linksys currently sells 2 Atlas Max 6E packs for $900, which should cover a smaller area of 6,000 square feet. Finally, if three Atlas Max 6E devices aren’t enough, you can acquire a single Atlas Max 6E device at $450 that really can offer 3,000 square feet of coverage.

It’s still a significant sum of money, and it is comparable to the typical monthly mortgage in the United States. Linksys also offers the Velop AX4200 mesh kit, which is based on Wi-Fi 6 and costs $480.

This Linksys Atlas Max 6E comes with a three-year guarantee, which is three times longer than Netgear’s Orbi RBKE963. More to the issue, Linksys provides lifetime support, but Netgear charges for help beyond 90 days.

Design

Design

Its rectangular Atlas Max 6E towers are instantly recognizable as Linksys mesh products while being completely redesigned. Unlike Netgear Orbi devices, which have expanded in size over time, Linksys designers stuck to a size of 9.6 x 4.5 x 4.5 inches, which is the same as the Velop AX4200 devices and nearly 30% smaller than the Orbi RBKE963 units. Even still, they’re massive in comparison to Amazon‘s Eero mesh devices.

The Atlas Max 6E is only available in white and may be placed on a bookshelf, desk, or even a kitchen counter. Linksys, unlike Netgear, does not sell wall mounting hardware, although there are a number of third-party brackets available online for around $15 each.

A single LED on top, similar to previous Linksys mesh designs, displays the network’s state. When it’s building up, it blinks purple, and when it’s online and distributing data, it blinks blue. If it flashes red, it’s time to pay attention to it.

The Atlas Max 6E devices are all the same & can be set as the host router or satellite after setup; the Orbi RBKE963 on the other hand has separate router and satellite devices. One 5Gbps WAN input port, 4 downstream gigabit LAN connections, and a USB 3.0 port for connecting a storage device are all available on Linksys models. The Atlas Max 6E, like the Orbi RBKE963, can’t use port aggregate to join two wired LAN ports for maximum speed.

The Atlas Max 6E contains a power button and a reset button on the bottom to restore the factory-installed software. A key to initiate the Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) operation for swiftly installing a device is also included.

Features and Capabilities

Linksys Atlas Max 6E: Features and Capabilities

The Atlas Max 6E, which is based on Qualcomm’s Networking Pro 1210 chipset, isn’t as powerful as the Orbi RBKE963, which utilizes the more powerful – and more expensive – Networking Pro 1610. It comes with 512MB of flash memory for firmware and settings, and also 1GB of RAM, and a 2.2GHz quad-core processor. There are 12 amplified antennas on every Atlas Max 6E tower.

The Atlas Max 6E’s tri-band design works with 2.4-, 5-, and 6GHz bands and can accommodate up to 195 clients. The Atlas Max 6E leverages Linksys Velop Intelligent Mesh innovation to automatically manage traffic from and to the host router using the least congested band, potentially speeding data flow. An Orbi RBKE963 adds an extra 5GHz network dedicated to transmitting data from the satellites to the router. As access points, the satellite can be linked to the host via Cat-6 cables.

Handling Capabilities

The Atlas Max 6E contains the newest Wi-Fi 6E technology, featuring 4X4 MU-MIMO broadcasts to handle large connectivity and wideband to tailor the data to the receiver, and can handle 12 independent streams of data. Its Airtime Fairness feature streamlines operations, while the Node while Client Steering feature routes data through the network’s least-used areas. While the 2.4GHz band can handle 1.2GHz of data as well as the 5GHz band can handle 2.4GHz, its high-performance 6GHz band could handle up to 4.8Gbps. It adds out to a maximum streaming speed of 8.4 Gbps, significantly behind the 16 separate data streams and a theoretical maximum of 10.8 Gbps offered by the Orbi RBKE963.

The Atlas Max 6E can utilize seven ultra-wide 160MHz digital signals in the high-performance 6GHz band for gamers and plain-old data hogs, ensuring that those who want high data flow get it without depriving others at home. On the negative, the 6GHz band does have a relatively short range, thus it’s best used in the same or nearby area.

Performance

Performance

When using the 6GHz band, there is another exception. On the network, You put Dell’s newest Latitude 9420 with Wi-Fi 6E. It was able to check the difference between its 5GHz & 6GHz connections by isolating the bands, and the 6GHz link took rates near to 400Mbs. Because that was the only gadget consuming that bandwidth.

If you used a Motorola DOCSIS 3.1 2.5Gb modem then Linksys Atlas Max 6E on an RCN 1Gb internet connection. The Ookla Speedtest software like a variety of devices, including four computers, an iPad, and an iPhone. The nodes can manage up to 8.4Gbps and also have over 195 devices connected to them.

Despite my provider’s promised 900Mbs download rates. The most you could obtain was approximately 420Mbs when linked straight into my modem. When you connect straight to the primary Linksys Atlas Max 6E hub, you will receive the same result. Surprisingly, the Linksys app’s speed check function showed us a download speed of 1280Mbps. However, this is based on what is coming through the wall, and any variations are attributed to your service provider.

Linksys Atlas Max 6E: If various devices are connected

If you put a considerable amount of traffic through the routers. Because you have a big number of devices connected to all three nodes. This includes streaming TV, Amazon Echo speakers, phones, tablets, and laptops. Even with all of this connection, the nodes functions admirably and consistently provided a dependable service across the home.

However, the Linksys Atlas Max 6E performs a good job of managing speeds while dealing with a large number of devices. Most devices were able to achieve roughly 220Mbs to 280Mbs from across the home. While nodes with fewer devices were able to get faster rates (For example, in the bedroom).

The only exceptions were devices having network priority. You may prioritize up to 3 devices on a network using the Linksys app to guarantee they get enough bandwidth.

With priority set to high, the MacBook Pro was able to get the full 420Mbs from the modem, independent of which nodes attach to or which room it was in. This is a very useful function, particularly if you work at home and have children who consume a lot of data. It also ensured that you could make clear video calls at all times.

Heat and power use

If you utilize the Atlas Max 6E on a regular basis for about two weeks, viewing videos, gaming, and even doing some schoolwork. The temperature on top of the router reached 103 degrees Fahrenheit which you stream 4K video to the iPad Pro while listening to the BBC World Service news feed on a Lenovo ThinkPad T470 and watching HD movies on an HP Dragonfly laptop. All of this happens as a RAID storage array and an HP desktop PC swapped data. There were no skips, drops, or freezes in the audio or video.

The Atlas 6e router needed 20.7 watts of electricity when in use, while its satellites used 11.4 watts apiece; neither featured a sleep mode. If you pay the national rate of 14 cents per kWh for energy, the complete network will cost approximately $53 per year to run, a savings of $10 per year on power bills so over Orbi RBKE963, albeit it’s a drop in the bucket to the $1,000 price of the gear.

Setup

Linksys Atlas Max 6E: Setup

The Atlas Max 6E may connect to the Internet as well as a variety of clients using either a linked browser or the Linksys app. There are Android, iPhone, and iPad versions available.

The setup procedure on the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 was quick and easy, with plenty of examples, however the app’s UI limited use to portrait orientation. Overall, it requires 17 minutes & 30 seconds to fill the home with data, which was a few minutes faster than Netgear’s Orbi RBKE963.

Configuration

Configuration

The Atlas Max 6E offered a wide range of setup and optimization possibilities. The linked browser technique provides additional options. However, the application or browser may take 10 to 15 seconds to properly connect with the network and fill up its data.

To begin, the Linksys app’s Dashboard displays only the information that is required whether the Internet is available and how many devices are linked, as well as parental controls & guest access. The condition of a 2.4, 5 or 6GHz network is easily visible, and passwords may be emailed, texted, or copied and pasted a level down.

The 3 horizontal line hamburger connection in the upper left gives you access to everything from Wi-Fi settings to changing passwords and names separating them into three distinct LANs, however, is not practicable.

The Channel Finder, which monitors for activity on the router’s available spectrum and optimizes the settings, is the highlight feature here. It took roughly five minutes for each node to complete its study and alter the 2.4GHz channels.

A linked browser, on the other hand, displays the same content on its dashboard. Online status, number of devices, Guest Access, and Parental Controls are among the characteristics. A list on the left takes it a step further.

Security page

Its Security page is just a terrific place to start for people worried about hacking – and who isn’t these days? It can assist with Internet filters & firewall control on the router. Extra security software, such as Netgear’s Armor or TP-Home Link’s Care, is not there with the Atlas Max 6E.

Linksys offers a variety of self-help resources on its website, including fresh firmware downloads, setup tutorials, and troubleshooting advice. Its technicians are ready 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help you get into a networking jam.

Conclusion

A Linksys Atlas Max 6E mesh kit is without a doubt the greatest mesh kit.  Sure, it works best up close, but the router excels at transmitting a strong data signal over walls, edging out Netgear’s Orbi RBKE963 mesh kit as the finest whole-house networking solution.

It’s simple to set up & configure, and while it lacks certain advanced optimization techniques. It should enough for the ordinary home networker. While you wish it comes with additional security software. As Netgear’s Armor, there is no extra cost, and the networking kit comes with a three-year guarantee & lifetime support β€” something you just have to pay a premium for with others.

A Linksys Atlas Max 6E is there for you if you want the newest mesh router on the market while still saving money.

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