Sometimes the latest is not synonymous with the greatest. Case in point: the Hydra Pro 6 router Linksys unveiled today. Despite the “Pro” notion, the new router is a bit subdued, to put it mildly.
Linksys Hydra Pro 6: Just another Wi-Fi 6 router
Indeed, this is a dual-band Wi-Fi 6 router powered by a Qualcomm dual-core 1.0GHz CPU and has four Gigabit LAN ports, 1 Gigabit WAN port, and a USB 3.0 port.
You can use this USB port to host an external storage device and share that with the rest of the network — effectively turning the router into a mini NAS server.
Linksys says the Hydra Pro can handle up to 30 clients at a time and up to 2700 ft2 (250 m2) of Wi-Fi coverage — a likely exaggerated number. It also supports the company’s Intelligent Mesh, meaning it can work with another supported router to form a Velop-like mesh system.
In my experience, though, Intelligent Mesh only works well when you buy Linksys’s purpose-built system, like the MX10 or MX4200. If you want to use standalone routers like the Hydra Pro 6 to form the mesh, getting your home wired is a must.
Design-wise, the Hydra Pro 6 looks like a variant of the Linksys MR7350 that came out a year and a half ago — the two look and weigh the same. Both come with two non-detachable antennas that you can swivel half asphere around.
On the inside, it looks like the new router shares the same web user interface, settings, and mobile app as the previous model.
Linksys has been known to be coercing users into using its mobile app or getting a login account, and that’s also the case with the Hydra Pro 6.
(To be fair, this is a trend in other networking vendors, too. Netgear, for example, has recently been neutering its home routers’ web interface in favor of mobile apps.)
Hardware specifications: Linksys Hydra Pro 6 vs Linksys MR7350
It’s impossible to look at the Hydra Pro 6 without thinking of the MR7350. The two share the same design. In fact, without close scrutinizing, you can’t tell the two apart.
|Full Name||Linksys Hydra Pro 6||Linksys MAX-STREAM |
Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Router
|Model||Hydra Pro 6||MR7350|
|Mesh Ready|| Yes |
(Linksys Intelligent Mesh)
(Linksys Intelligent Mesh)
|Dimensions (collapsed antennas)||8.42 x 6.1 x 2.2 inches (215 x 155 x 56 mm)||8.42 x 6.1 x 2.2 inches (215 x 155 x 56 mm)|
|Weight||1.25 lbs. (567 g)||1.25 lbs. (567 g)|
|Wi-Fi Specs||Dual-band AX5400||Dual-band AX1800|
|5GHz Speed||4×3 Wi-Fi 6: Up to 4804MBps|
|2 x 2 Wi-Fi 6: Up to 1201Mbps|
|2.4GHz Speed|| 2×2 Wi-Fi 6: Up to 574 Mbps |
|2×2 Wi-Fi 6: Up to 574 Mbps |
|Mesh Backhaul Band||None||None|
|Wired Backhaul Support||Yes||Yes|
|Wi-Fi Security||WPA2 and WPA3||WPA2 and WPA3|
|Web User Interface||Yes||Yes|
|AP (Bridge) Mode||Yes||Yes|
|USB Port||1x USB 3.0||1x USB 3.0|
|Gigabit Ports||4x LAN|
| 4x LAN|
|Processing power||1.0GHz Dual-Core CPU||1.2 GHz Quad-core CPU|
|Release Date||January 2022||July 2020|
|Suggested Price |
On the inside, though, the Hydra Pro 6 has better 5GHz specs than the older version, but it’s far behind in processing power. In all, I’m surprised that Linksys prices it twice that of the older model.
Availability and pricing
Frill-free and without any novelty, the Hydra Pro 6 seems like a modest router for typical home Wi-Fi needs, albeit it has to be a small home.
If you’re on the market for such a device, Linksys says the router is available now at the suggested retail cost of $299 — a totally unreal price. But you can expect to street price to be much lower.