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.
- See our CES 2022 live blog for all the big news
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 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.
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.