Wednesday, May 12th, 2021

Linksys AXE8400 Atlas Max 6E: First Wi-Fi 6E Mesh System is Here

If you have $1200 laying around, here’s something to consider. Linksys today announced the availability of its (and the world’s) very first Wi-Fi 6E mesh system, the Linksys AXE8400 Wi-Fi 6E System.

Or you can also call it with a fancier name Linksys Atlas Max 6E.

Linksys AXE8400 Atlas Max 6E comes with standard power adapters
The Linksys AXE8400 Atlas Max 6E mesh Wi-Fi system.

First Wi-Fi 6E-Certifed mesh

This won’t be the only mesh of its type since other vendors, such as TP-Link, have their own planed.

According to Linksys, though, the Atlas Max 6E is the first certified by the Wi-Fi Alliance — it’ll be fully compatible with all devices, including Wi-Fi 6E clients. And that’s important since Wi-Fi 6E is still in its infancy.

I wrote about Wi-Fi 6E in great detail in this post. But the gist of it is that the new 6GHz band delivers stellar Wi-Fi speeds at the cost of range — it has a much shorter range than the 5GHz or 2.4GHz band, that is.

This notion of the range is important because here’s what Linksys says about the Atlas Max:

“[…] The system supports bandwidth-heavy homes and leverages the 6GHz band for backhaul between nodes so that all devices – 6E or not – benefit from the system.

So it seems like it will use the shortest range of the three to work as backhaul. How that pans out, we’ll have to wait and see. Likely it’s no good unless you have an open house with no walls.

But I’d hope that, like all Linksys Velop, the Atlas Max 6E also uses dynamic backhaul — any of its bands will work as such depending on the situation.

Nonetheless, Linksys says the new mesh system can cover “up to” 9000ft2 (836m2). Like the case of all marketing hypes, the only thing you can take seriously is the “up to” notion.

Familiar design and features

Powered by Qualcomm’s Networking Pro 1210 Platform, the Atlas Max 6E, like all other Linksys Velop, sets consists of multiple identical routers.

In its case, each router is a tri-band broadcaster standing upright. You can use a single unit as a standalone router or a setup of two or three as a system.

At the core of it, the AXE8500 is a dual-band 4×4 Wi-Fi 6 router that doesn’t support the 160MHz channel width on its 5GHz band, plus a 6GHz band. Below are its detailed hardware specifications.


Linksys AXE8400 Atlas Max 6E: Hardware specifications

Full NameLinksys MX8500
Atlas Max 6E
Wi-Fi 6E Mesh Router
ModelMX8500
AvailabilitySingle router, 2-pack, 3-pack
Dimensions 
4.45 x 4.45″ x 9.57 in
(13.3 x 13.3 x 23.3 cm)
Weight3.25 lbs (1.47 kg)
Wi-Fi SpecsTri-Band AXE8400
1st Band4×4 AX
Up to 1147Mbps
(20/40MHZ)
2nd Band4×4 AX
Up to 2402Mbps
(20/40/80MHz)
3rd Band4×4 AXE
Up to 4804 Mbps
(20/40/80/160MHz)
Backward Compatibility 802.11ac/n/g/a/b
Wi-Fi SecurityWPA2 and WPA3
Mobile AppLinksys
Web User InterfaceYes 
AP (Bridge) ModeYes (as a router or a mesh)
USB Port1x USB 3.0
Gigabit Port4x LAN
Link AggregationNo
Multi-Gig Port1x 5Gbps WAN
Dual-WANNo
Processing power2.2 GHz Quad-Core CPU,
1GB RAM, 512MB Flash
Release DateApril 29, 2021
Price (at Launch)$1199.99 (3-pack)
Hardware specifications: Linksys AXE8400 Atlas Max 6E router.

You can expect familiar features and settings, too.

READ  Linksys MX5300 Review: Velop Mesh Gone Wi-Fi 6 for a Price

For example, the Atlas Max 6E comes with a web interface, but you’ll need to use the Linksys mobile app to set it up. It’ll have the same set of network settings as previous Velop routers, as well as the MR7500. And chances are you won’t be able to customize its Wi-Fi settings to a great extent.

Linksys AXE8400 Atlas Max 6E network ports
The Linksys AXE8400 Atlas Max 6E’s network ports

Availability

The Linksys AXE8400 Atlas Max 6E is available today with the suggested price of some $1200 for a 3-pack. Need time to save up? Check back by mid-May for its full review — chances are you won’t necessarily have a meaningful use for this new mesh before then anyway.

19 thoughts on “Linksys AXE8400 Atlas Max 6E: First Wi-Fi 6E Mesh System is Here”

  1. Hi Dong, I was wondering if you have these units in hand? I just brought this 3 pack and am using it with 1 gigabit FiOS. On hardwired testing downloads are at the expected 9xx Mbps but uploads are a paltry 0-40 Mbps. Using a direct connection to the ont shows the correct 9xx upload as well as if I try an Asus RT-68U or a Linksys MX5800.

    I tried all 3 nodes as main in the 3 pack and have spent hours with Linksys tech support. I suspect it’s a hardware or software problem.

    Just wanted to see it you had the unit and if you had any similar problem.

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Patrick,
      Glad (not glad) that someone else is experiencing the same issue. I have 1gig FIOS. My AXE8400 gets 880 Mbps down and only 25 Mbps up (my Netgear AX120 was 990 down / 990 up).
      Also swapped each node into the parent position (re-setting up entire wifi, too), and still same issue.
      Also tried every different ethernet cable (Cat6, Cat6e, Cat7, Cat8, etc).

      I’m torn. This setup WOULD be great for my copious wireless and wired clients… but I need to wait for a fw update to get it functional? I dunno how long I’m willing to be patient.
      -Dan

      Reply
  2. When will they be offering a one pack or two pack? Color me intrigued. I just ordered the mx10 and thought it was a good choice, but of course, FOMO has set in. I have a decent sized 1 bedroom that my old ass  Time Capsule isn’t cutting any longer- won’t reach my bedroom suddenly. I like the idea of future proofing (look at me with my janky, yet good up till now, Time Capsile) and having a USB port to connect an external drive for Time Machine backups.

    Reply
      • Thanks for your reply! First off, I’m so glad I found your page! You have so much valuable information~
        Secondly, would you recommend creating new WiFi access names (or however it’s called) or attempting to re-create the ones I have on my Time Capsule? Currently, I have one named for my 2.4ghz band and one named for my 5ghz band. I’ve got a bunch of things connected both with Ethernet & WiFi. I am also very much into  HomeKit. I know the MX10 isn’t a HomeKit router (though from what I’ve heard, Linksys is working on it).
        And thanks again, I will hold off on the WiFi 6e router for now and let time tell if newer ones (maybe quad band so that mesh can be efficient wirelessly) and CHEAPER!!
        Also, of course now that the MX10 is shipping tomorrow, I’ve been reading more and more reviews stating it is only mediocre at best compared to Orbi and the Alien one (though, that company is having major security issues).
        Any thoughts on any of my rambling?
        Thanks again!!

        Reply
          • My question about the SSIDs was more about continuing to use the ones I used from my time capsule or should I create new SSIDs for the new setup. As for continuing to use my Tome Capsule, I’m not planning to use it as another node, but rather if anything as just the external drive for my Time Machine backups. It is officially supported by Linksys, as I have found a support article that shows me how:

            https://www.linksys.com/us/support-article?articleNum=278433

            Anyhow, thanks again for getting back to me. If you have thoughts about starting fresh with SSIDs or keeping the same o es (and will that even work?) would be super helpful!!
            Keep up the good work~

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