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Linksys Atlas 6 review: A fuss-free, affordable mesh networking system that works

By Kenny Yeo - 31 Dec 2023

Introduction

Note: This review was first published on 15 May 2023.

The Atlas 6 is Linksys' most affordable mesh networking system.

Gotta mesh it

Do you remember what a Wi-Fi repeater is? It’s a device that we used to use to help expand Wi-Fi coverage in the house. Looking back, it’s quite shocking how compromised it was. Not only was it not very good at expanding coverage, but it also greatly increased latency and reduced speeds. And in that context, the mesh networking system must be one of the greatest inventions of modern home networking. Without it, many of us would still be screaming about poor Wi-Fi in the bedroom. And if you happen to be looking for an affordable mesh networking system, you are in luck because there’s the Linksys Atlas 6 for your consideration.

The TL;DR version:

A solid entry-level mesh networking system for anyone who's looking to increase Wi-Fi coverage at home.

What is an Atlas 6?

It has one Gigabit Ethernet WAN port and three Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports that you can connect to devices like a computer or gaming console.

The Atlas 6 is Linksys’ most affordable mesh networking system with specs that are less headline-grabbing and more everyday-usable. To start, it’s a dual-band Wi-Fi 6 system that supports speeds of up to 574Mbps on its 2.4GHz network and up to 2,402Mbps on its 5GHz network. It’s by no means the fastest mesh networking system in the market but its rated speeds will be more than sufficient for everyday web browsing and video streaming.

In keeping with the design language that Linksys started with its Velop mesh networking units back in 2017, the Atlas 6 has a fairly plain aesthetic. It won’t be wrong to just call it a small white tower. Some will regard it as boring but the upside is that it won’t look visually obtrusive in most homes. 

Vents at the top help cool the router down. At a corner is a small LED status indicator.

Though it’s fairly compact – just over 18cm tall and 8.6cm wide at the base – Linksys has managed to cram four Gigabit Ethernet ports. One serves as a WAN port for connecting to your optical modem or LAN port for backhaul, and another three that you can use to connect to devices like a gaming console, Apple TV 4K, or a NAS device. These four ports widen the Atlas 6’s functionality around the home. 

Setup & features

The app is straightforward and easy to use.

Where the Atlas 6 really excels is in its ease of use. Like most mesh networking systems, setting up the Atlas 6 was a breeze. Simply connect the Atlas to your optical modem, download the Linksys app onto your device (iOS or Android), and follow the on-screen instructions to set up the main router and then additional nodes. If everything goes smoothly, you could easily get it up and running in around 10 to 15 minutes.
However, this does mean you need an iOS or Android device to get the Atlas 6 up and running, you cannot do it with a PC or Mac.

One noteworthy thing about the Atlas 6 is that all of the units are identical, this makes the setup process slightly easier since there’s no need to concern yourself between a main router and satellite nodes. Adding nodes to the network is a straightforward process. Again, you open the app and simply follow the on-screen instructions. I was able to add a second node to the network in just 5 minutes.

The app is clear, concise, and has the features that most users would need like parental controls, device prioritisation, guest networks, and port forwarding. The parental control feature, however, is a little restrictive in that you can only specify a single block of time to block access. In other words, you cannot block access in the afternoon, resume access in the evening, and then block access again at night. You must pick one block of time a day.

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8.0
  • Design 8
  • Features 8.5
  • Performance 7.5
  • Value 8
The Good
Good performance at closer ranges
Decent coverage
Four LAN ports
Super easy to setup
Easy to use app
Accessible price
The Bad
Underwhelming upload speeds
Parental controls not very flexible
No USB ports
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