Theage is underway, with plenty of well-developed routers and gadgets that support the speedy new standard already on the market. But then there's . It's not a new generation of Wi-Fi like Wi-Fi 6, but rather, a special designation for routers that are equipped to send signals in the ultrawide 6GHz band, which is something routers couldn't do prior to . Routers with that designation are new to the market this year -- and now, we've spotted a nice sale on one ahead of Black Friday.
It's the at a cool $500, Linksys currently has it at just $250. Retailers like Best Buy are matching that price, so you've got a couple of options if you're interested in swooping in., an AXE6600 tri-band router that can connect over each of the 2.4, 5 and 6GHz bands. Usually priced
Along with support for 6GHz, the Hydra Pro includes a WAN port that supports incoming wired speeds of up to 5Gbps, which is a great piece of future-proofing, especially at this price. On top of that, if you've already got a Linksys router that supports Linksys' Intelligent Mesh feature, you can upgrade to the Hydra Pro and use your old router as a mesh extender. Here's the full list of supported devices on that front:
- Wi-Fi 6E: AXE8400 (Atlas Max)
- Wi-Fi 6E: MR7500 (Hydra Pro)
- Wi-Fi 6: MX4200/MX8400/MX12600
- Wi-Fi 6: MX5300/MX10600
- Wi-Fi 6: MR9600
- Wi-Fi 6: MR7350
- Wi-Fi 5: WHW0303/WHW0302/WHW0301
- Wi-Fi 5: WHW0103/WHW0102/WHW0101
- Wi-Fi 5: MR9000
- Wi-Fi 5: MR8300
- Wi-Fi 5: MR6350
Just know that the only devices that will be able to connect to this router over that fancy 6GHz band are other Wi-Fi 6E devices, and there aren't a whole lot of those just yet. The number is expected to rise in 2022, but for now, the standard is limited to a handful of smartphones and client devices, including theand the . If you've got a device like that, this router probably makes sense -- but if you don't, then it might be more than you need, at least for the time being.
Another caveat: With less range than the 2.4 and 5GHz bands,, the 6GHz band is best used in the home for close-range, high-speed wireless connections, and it's probably overkill if you don't have a , or close to it.
Still, if you expect your speeds to rise in the coming years, or if you plan on investing in new Wi-Fi 6E gadgets next year, this router will set you ahead of the curve, and at its current cost, it's not unreasonably priced among tri-band routers. Among all of the, it's well worth consideration.