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Linksys' new Hydra Pro 6 Wi-Fi router brings you Wi-Fi 6 for just $299

Lifestyle shot of the Linksys Hydra Pro 6 Wi-Fi router atop a side table in a well-appointed living room.
(Image credit: Linksys/Belkin)

At CES 2022 today, Linksys launched the Hydra Pro 6 router, a Wi-Fi 6 router that aims for the sweet spot in the market with a list price of $299. That's a good deal less than the $499 Linksys Hydra Pro 6E, which launched just a couple of months ago. 

The Hydra Pro 6 doesn't have Wi-Fi 6e, and hence delivers less throughput than its pricier sibling. That may not matter yet, as few devices can handle the 6-GHz band that Wi-Fi 6e uses, but many more will become available in the next couple of years.

Its specs are solid but unspectacular. The Hydra Pro 6 delivers a throughput of up to 5.4 Gbps on its 2.4- and 5-Ghz bands, sports two fixed antennas, can connect to up to 30 devices at a time over an area of 2,700 square feet and offers a guest network. On the back, it's got four LAN Ethernet ports, one WAN port and a single USB port, but we don't yet have the specs for the Ethernet connections. 

On the software side, the Linksys Hydra Pro 6 supports the new WPA3 secure-connection standard, comes with parental controls and can update its firmware automatically. For a CPU, it uses the Qualcomm Immersive Home 216 (opens in new tab)  chipset, which delivers up to six simultaneous streams.

Linksys already offers at least two other Wi-Fi 6 routers besides the Hydra Pro models. The entry-level Linksys MR7350 is even smaller than the Hydra Pro 6 and can be had for about $80, but it has a smaller range (1,700 square feet) and uses a cheaper MediaTek CPU. 

Lifestyle product shot of the Linksys Hydra Pro 6 Wi-Fi router on a side table with a woman on a sofa in the background.

(Image credit: Linksys/Belkin)

However, the Hydra Pro 6's real rival is Linksys' own Max Stream MR9600, which has four antennas and a faster Broadcom CPU, but about the same range and throughput as the Hydra Pro 6. The Max Stream MR9600 has a list price of $399 but can be found for about $300, as it's now about a year old. 

You can order the Hydra Pro 6 today on the Linksys website, and the company says it will soon be in stock at major retailers. We're looking forward to reviewing the Hydra Pro 6 to see how it compares with Linksys' other Wi-Fi 6 offerings.

Paul Wagenseil is a senior editor at Tom's Guide focused on security and privacy. He has also been a dishwasher, fry cook, long-haul driver, code monkey and video editor. He's been rooting around in the information-security space for more than 15 years at FoxNews.com, SecurityNewsDaily, TechNewsDaily and Tom's Guide, has presented talks at the ShmooCon, DerbyCon and BSides Las Vegas hacker conferences, shown up in random TV news spots and even moderated a panel discussion at the CEDIA home-technology conference. You can follow his rants on Twitter at @snd_wagenseil.