Linksys introduces Linksys Hydra Pro 6e router (MR7500), another model of wifi 6e product to the market in addition of the previous Linksys Atlas Max 6e. How this product will compete with Netgear Raxe500?
What this product does
The Linksys Hydra Pro 6e (MR7500) is a three band wifi router like other three band wifi router in general, however the three radio bands are distinct, 2.5Ghz, 5Ghz and 6GHz. This additional 6GHz radio band is the enhanced of wifi6 technology, so it is commonly called wifi 6e technology.
Today you can find Netgear and Asus have already released wifi 6e-based products. See also Asus gt-axe11000 vs Netgear raxe500, the first wifi 6e routers in the market, and also Orbi rbk963 the first quad radio band mesh wifi 6e product in the market. See also Orbi Rbk963 vs Linksys Atlas max 6e.
Linksys Intelligent mesh
Linksys has released the Linksys atlas max which is the first mesh wifi 6e product launched to the market ahead of the Orbi rbk963 and also Asus et8, although Linksys has not released a wifi 6e router product previously. And today you can try Linksys hydra which is designed unlike asus and netgear which works at ax11000 network segment but ax6600.
The good thing with this product is that it features Linksys Intelligent mesh technology that allows you to join with other intelligent mesh devices to create mesh wifi 6e system. So you can connect this unit to join with Linksys Atlas max 6e to form mesh wifi 6e network.
The physical appearance of this product is at first glance similar as the previous Linksys mr9600 series model, a rectangular box with four external antennas located at each end of this rectangle body.
- Simultaneous tri-band axe6600 with 8-streams with Linksys Intelligent mesh technology
- Signal rates 600Mbps @2.4GHz (2×2) + 1,200Mbps @5GHz (2×2) + 4,800Mbps @6GHz (4×4)
- 1x 5Gbps WAN port and 4x Gigabit LAN ports; 1x USB 3.0 port for USB storage device
- 1.8GHz Quad core Processor with 512MB flash and 512MB RAM memory; and powered by Qualcomm networking pro 810 platform for wifi 6e
- Supports latest WPA3 wireless encryption
- USB port can be used to connect to USB printer
- USB storage cannot be used for FTP server or media server
Linksys Hydra vs MR9600
Should you purchase Linksys Hydra or Linksys mr9600? What is the difference between these two series? Please refer to the following spec comparison table 1 for Linksys hydra vs mr9600.
The most noticeable difference between the two is the addition of a 6GHz radio band on Hydra so that it becomes a tri-band wifi router which is the nature of wifi 6e device, while on the mr9600 it is dual band.
Besides that, the WAN port on the mr9600 is only up to 1x 1.0 Gbps, while the Hydra is equipped with a 5.0 Gbps wan port, ready for multi-gig internet plan. However, the hydra’s USB port is only one compared to mr9600 which has dual USB ports.
Other than that there’s hardly any significant difference, and if you don’t plan on using a 6GHz band-based device, Linksys mr9600 is more profitable if the price difference is too much. Unless, hydra is more advantageous considering that in the future there will be more wifi 6e-based devices who knows.
Table 1 Linksys Hydra vs mr9600
|Linksys model||Linksys Hydra||Linksys MR9600|
|Wifi technology||Simultaneous tri-band axe6600 |
|Simultaneous dual band AX6000 with 4×4 MU-MIMO|
|Signal rates||600Mbps @2.4GHz;2×2 |
4,800Mbps @6GHz 4×4
|1147Mbps @2.4GHz 4×4; |
4804Mbps @5GHz 4×4
|Ethernet Ports||1x 5.0Gbps WAN port; |
4x 1.0Gbps LAN ports;
|4x Gigabit LAN ports 1x Gigabit WAN port|
|USB ports||1x USB 3.0 port to share USB disk storage||2x USB 3.0|
|Processor||1.8GHz Quad core Processor |
with Flash: 512MB; RAM: 512MB
Qualcomm networking pro 810 platform for wifi 6e
|1.8GHz quad core processor|
|Coverage||2,700 sq ft up to 55 devices||Up to 3,000 sq ft connect up to 40+ devices|
|WPA3 support||WPA3 ready||WPA3 personal support|
Today the price difference between the two series still too much, probably the next few months the price Hydra may be dropped significantly if the customer’s responses are not too good.
With the price tagged around $500 this Linksys Hydra is costly, especially compared to competing products such as the Netgear raxe500 which is only a difference of around $100, so folks will be more likely to choose netgear raxe500. How Linksys Hydra is compared with Netgear raxe500?
Linksys Hydra Pro vs Netgear Raxe500
The price difference between Linksys Hydra and the Netgear raxe500 was around $100 when the two products were released. Even though in line with the time the price of the two products fluctuated, even Linksys sometimes gave off prices of up to tens of percent. How do these two products compare? Table 1 below provides a reference for the comparison of the two products.
In terms of aggregated bandwidth, there is quite a big difference between the two products, and the raxe500 provides a total bandwidth of about 4400mbps higher than Hydra, very much different.
Linksys Hydra supports Linksys mesh intelligent technology; it’s like Asus Aimesh that allows you to build mesh wifi system with other compliant connected devices. Linksys Atlas Max 6e is another series of Linksys mesh wifi 6e that supports Linksys intelligent mesh technology you can connect it to Hydra.
Netgear raxe500 doesn’t feature such kind of Intelligent mesh technology. So, in terms of wifi, Netgear raxe500 supports much higher bandwidth than Hydra.
In general, wifi routers provide at least two Ethernet ports, one wan port and one lan port. However, wifi router with two ports are not common (except few models of mesh wifi router like Orbi and Asus), the common ones are one wan port and four lan ports. Linksys hydra provides 5 ports, while raxe500 provides 6 ports with the details as shown in the Ethernet port row in table 1.
Linksys Hydra provides one 5.0 Gbps wan port, allowing you to connect to cable modems with 2.5gbps or higher speed multi-gig ports such as those offered by Arris with its Surfboard s33 and Surfboard sb8200 DOCSIS 3.1 cable modems.
On the other hand netgear raxe500 only provides one 1.0 Gbps WAN port and provides an aggregated wan port option by taking one of the router’s lan ports. This configuration gives the advantage of having one more lan port if you don’t use this lan port for wan aggregated links.
It should be noted that if you enable raxe500 with wan aggregated link with one lan port, then you need to make sure your cable modem also has two Ethernet ports and support LACP-IEEE 802.3ad protocol. For cable modems with two Ethernet ports ensure they support aggregated wan link (LACP-IEEE 802.3ad) as offered by Arris with its Surfboard s33 and Surfboard sb8200. The Surfboard S33 provides 1x 2.5 Gbps and 1x 1.0gbps ports while Surfboard sb8200 provides two 1.0gbps ports.
For raxe500 you can use s33 or sb8200 (by activating aggregated wan) if you subscribe to multi-gig cable internet service, eg up to 2.0 Gbps, you need to enable WAN aggregated link. On the cable modem you must enable LACP-IEEE 802.3ad, usually if you have provided two Ethernet ports the cable modem is enable by default.
While on the netgear raxe500 you also need to activate wan port aggregation by entering the menu as admin to activate multi-gig internet. See also how to netgear wan port aggregation.
Take a look at the following spec comparison between these two products, Linksys Hydra Pro 6e vs Netgear raxe500.
Table 1 Linksys vs Netgear
|Wifi 6e router||Linksys Hydra Pro||Netgear Raxe500|
|Wifi technology||Simultaneous tri-band axe6600 with 8-streams||Simultaneous tri-band ax11000 wifi 6e with 12-streams|
|Signal rates||600Mbps @2.4GHz;2×2 1,200Mbps @5GHz;2×2 4,800Mbps @6GHz 4×4||1.2Gbps @2.4GHz 4×4; 4.8Gbps @5GHz 4×4; 4.8Gbps @6GHz 4×4|
|Antennas||4x external antennas||8x Internal antennas|
|Ethernet Ports||1x 5.0Gbps WAN port; 4x 1.0Gbps LAN ports;||1x 2.5Gbps LAN Port; 1x 1.0Gbps WAN port; (can use link aggregation) 4x 1.0Gbps LAN ports (two LAN ports aggregation)|
|USB Port||1x USB 3.0 port to share USB disk storage||2x USB 3.0 with ReadyShare to share your USB disk storage|
|Processor||1.8GHz Quad core Processor with Flash: 512MB; RAM: 512MB Qualcomm networking pro 810 platform for wifi 6e||1.8GHz Quad core processor|
|Security||WPA2/WPA3 Mixed Personal (2.4 GHz & 5 GHz bands only) WPA2 Personal (2.4 GHz & 5 GHz bands only) WPA3 Personal (all bands)||WAP3 ready; Netgear Armor; Guest network; Auto firmware update|
|Coverage||2,700 sq ft up to 55 devices||2,500 sq ft up to 60 devices|
|Mesh support||Yes, Intelligent Mesh||N/A|
If the price of Linksys hydra and raxe500 remains high, then it’s a good idea to choose raxe500 considering some features and specs of netgear raxe500 are better than Linksys hydra. However, if Linksys lowers the price by half, it’s better to choose Hydra. Please click the product link below and also shop on Amazon (#ads).
Another Linksys series you may like to consider is Linksys Atlas Pro, see here comparison between Linksys Atlas Pro vs Orbi Rbk752 mesh wifi 6.
For all-in-one wifi 6 router with built-in DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem, see comparison between Netgear cax30 vs Motorola Mg8702.