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Review: ASUS ZenWiFi Pro XT12

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ASUS is one of the foremost brands when it comes to networking products such as routers. The company has created a fan following for itself by offering dependable and performance-based networking products for years. The company has jumped onto the Mesh Wi-Fi bandwagon by launching the very capable ZenWiFi Pro XT12.

This is ASUS’ whole-home mesh WiFi device that is powered by the Tri-Band WiFi 6 AX11000 wireless technology. Since the ZenWiFi Pro XT12 offers support for WiFi 6, you get up to 4X the capacity and 2X the speed of WiFi 5. This is all possible, thanks to advanced technologies such as BSS Color, uplink and downlink OFDMA, and 160 MHz MU-MIMO.

A mesh WiFi is essentially beneficial if your home network provides connectivity to a wide range of networked devices, such as PCs, laptops, smartphones, NAS, and smart home devices. The variant we reviewed was a 2-pack model of the ASUS ZenWiFi Pro XT12, retailing at AED 4200, but currently available for a special price of AED 3899.

It is the first networking product on the market, featuring the latest 2.0Ghz Quad-Core CPU from Broadcom. According to ASUS, the system can provide wireless connectivity for a space of up to 6000 sq. ft.

The ZenWiFi Pro XT12 is also a 12-stream device, with combined total data rates up to 11000 Mbps. The units offer Tri-Band connectivity, including 2.4Ghz, 5Ghz-1, and 5Ghz-2, and 2.5G multi-gig ports for high-speed direct connection from either node, optimal for NAS systems, gaming, or just about any workflow demanding the fastest connection possible. And when all the three are combined, you get 11000 Mbps, which includes 4804 Mbps each for 5Ghz and 1148 Mbps for 2Ghz.

The overall design and build quality is pretty good and will go well with most household aesthetics. And since the device is compatible with ASUS AiMesh, you can easily add extra nodes for improved coverage or new features. In terms of the I/O ports, the ZenWiFi Pro XT12 comes with two both 2.5G LAN ports and two 2.5G WAN ports. You also get a WPS button, a Reset button, a power button, and a power port.

ASUS seems to have optimised the ZenWiFi Pro XT12 really well. It offers extremely good mesh WiFi performance. Our household has three laptops, one PC, four smartphones, two tablets, one Smart TV, and a few IoT devices. Connectivity across the board was solid and we did not encounter a connection drop at any time.

The ZenWiFi Pro XT12 remained really consistent and reliable even in the most demanding situations, by ensuring a smooth and seamless WiFi connection to all connected devices. Like all routers sold by ASUS, the ZenWiFi Pro XT12 runs the signature ASUSWRT software. The web interface, though not pretty, offers boatloads of customisations and advanced settings.

You can also download the ASUS Router app to configure the mesh WiFi as your home network. The app is very easy to use and very user-friendly. I recommend just using the ASUS Router app to configure the system. Most of the key features of the mesh WiFi system can be accessed easily by just using the app.

For a price of AED 4200, the ASUS ZenWiFi Pro XT12 isn’t exactly cheap. However, for that price, you do get one of the best Mesh Wi-Fi systems money can buy. It offers a superb set of features and is filled to the brim with the latest technology including Wi-Fi 6, up to 11000Mbps combined total data rates and 12 streams, smart backhaul options, excellent VPN support, and the free AiProtection and Parental Controls.

So, if you are on the market for the best of the best in terms of Mesh WiFi system, you should definitely consider the ASUS Zen WiFi Pro XT12.

Price: AED 4200
Now available for: AED 3899

ASUS ZenWiFi Pro XT12 AED 4200
  • Final Rating
3.5

Summary

The ZenWiFi Pro XT12 is also a 12-stream device, with combined total data rates up to 11000 Mbps. The units offer Tri-Band connectivity, including 2.4Ghz, 5Ghz-1, and 5Ghz-2, and 2.5G multi-gig ports for high-speed direct connection from either node, optimal for NAS systems, gaming, or just about any workflow demanding the fastest connection possible. And when all the three are combined, you get 11000 Mbps, which includes 4804 Mbps each for 5Ghz and 1148 Mbps for 2Ghz.

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Gadgets

Review: Linksys Atlas Pro 6 Dual-Band Mesh WiFi 6 System (3-Pack)

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Linksys is a brand that has been known for top-notch networking products for years. The company was also the innovator of the mesh Wi-Fi system in early 2017. A few weeks ago, the company sent us the Linksys Atlas Pro 6 for a test drive, and we were so impressed by the overall performance, that we handed it the Gadget Voize Editors’ Choice award.

The Linksys Atlas Pro 6 is powered by the company’s own Velop Intelligent Mesh system. The variant we received was a 3-pack system – and each node is a dual-band WiFi 6 router that simultaneously delivers much-needed uninterrupted bandwidth for streaming, gaming, and even video calls to more than 30 devices with coverage up to 2,700 square feet per node.

That means, the 3-pack system we received can technically provide connectivity to over 90 devices and can offer coverage for an area of 4-5+ bedrooms – now, that’s huge!

The Linksys Atlas Pro 6 is designed to be an affordable alternative to the Velop AX4200 Mesh System, even though the top speed it can offer 5.4Gbps, compared with the 4.2Gbps of the Velop. There is a major difference between the two, though – while the Atlas Pro 6 uses a dual-band Wi-Fi 6 system, the Velop uses a tri-band Wi-Fi 6 system.

Each of the Atlas Pro nodes comes packed with a 2.4GHz radio rated at 600Mbits/sec and a 5GHz radio, which is capable of sending and transmitting data at up to 5.4Gbps. It also uses the 160MHz channel width, which allows the maximum amount of data to be transferred at once.

In terms of design, the nodes of the Linksys Atlas Pro 6 are a bit similar to the original Velop. The I/O ports are now at the rear of the nodes – these include three gigabit LAN ports and an “Internet” port, which can be used as a fourth LAN connector for the second and third nodes in the 3-pack variant.

There is also a single LED up top – now this glows purple when setup is required, blue when everything’s fine, and red when there’s a problem. On the bottom of each of the nodes, you get the WPS and reset buttons, and an on/off switch. All in all, the devices offer a minimalist design that will go well with any decor.

Inside the box, you get the three nodes, three power adaptors, a LAN cable, a documentation CD and the quick start guide. Setting up the devices is a walk in the park. Download the Linksys app from your favourite app store, and follow the onscreen instructions.

First, you will need to connect one of the nodes to a power outlet and then use the LAN cable to connect the node to your router. Next, switch on the device and follow the onscreen instructions to create a Wi-Fi network and complete the setup process.

Once everything is completed properly, the LED indicator on the top of the node should glow in blue. The app further allows you to connect additional nodes to the mesh network you just created. With the app, you will also be able to decide on the best place to place the node all over your house.

The Linksys smartphone app does a brilliant job of detecting and configuring the Atlas Pro 6 system. Inside the app, you also get Parental Control settings – this can be used to set access schedules for individual devices. In addition, you can also block specific devices from accessing specific websites.

Once you connect to the web interface of the admin panel of the nodes, you will also be able to configure your DHCP settings, set up port forwarding and MAC filtering, and nominate up to three devices for traffic prioritisation. It also offers a built-in channel chooser, which scans the airwaves to find the clearest radio frequencies for your network. In addition, you also get remote access capabilities to check on your network, when you are not home.

In order to test the performance of the Linksys Atlas Pro 6, I placed one node in the living room, one in the first bedroom, and one in the second bedroom, of our 2BHK apartment. We have a wide range of devices connected to our home network, including two NAS devices, both of which are placed in the second bedroom, which also doubles up as my home office. Usually, the connection in the second bedroom, with our existing setup is a bit erratic and we use extenders to extend the connectivity.

To test out the performance, I started copying a mix of files that included Word files, spreadsheets, videos, audios, zipped files, and so on. While the files were being copied to my laptop from the NAS, I started moving around the house to check whether there was a drop in the speed or in the connection. I am happy to report that the connectivity was very strong with no drops whatsoever. I was able to experience consistent connectivity and speeds, which is what users want today.

Our household has two NAS devices, a smart TV, four laptops, three tablets, four smartphones, a wireless doorbell and security system, a printer, a gaming console, a desktop PC, and a few IoT devices such as smart assistants, robotic vacuum cleaner, smart bulbs, a smart air fryer and so on. Considering such a setup, you would require a very stable home wireless network in order for it to endure connectivity and bandwidth requests.

The Linksys Atlas Pro 6 held its ground when it came to sheer performance. If your household has lots of devices competing with each other for connectivity and bandwidth, the Linksys Atlas Pro 6 is for you. The Linksys Atlas Pro 6 thus walks away with the Gadget Voize Editors’ Choice award!

Price: AED 1699 (3-pack variant)

Linksys Atlas Pro 6: Dual-Band Mesh WiFi 6 System (3-Pack) AED 1699
  • Final Rating
4

Summary

The Linksys Atlas Pro 6 is powered by the company’s own Velop Intelligent Mesh system. The variant we received was a 3-pack system – and each node is a dual-band WiFi 6 router that simultaneously delivers much-needed uninterrupted bandwidth for streaming, gaming, and even video calls to more than 30 devices with coverage up to 2,700 square feet per node.

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Networking

MediaTek Announces Complete Wi-Fi 7 Platforms for Access Points and Clients

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MediaTek has announced the Filogic 880 and Filogic 380 Wi-Fi 7 platform solutions for high-bandwidth applications in the operator, retail, enterprise, and consumer electronics markets. This pair of chips will be among the first Wi-Fi 7 solutions to hit the market, allowing device makers to deliver cutting-edge products with the latest connectivity technology.

Filogic 880 is a complete platform that combines a Wi-Fi 7 access point with a new advanced host processor solution to provide the industry’s best router and gateway solution for the operator, retail, and enterprise markets. It offers a scalable architecture that can support up to pentaband 4×4 with a maximum speed of 36Gbps. Filogic 380 is designed to bring Wi-Fi 7 connectivity to all client devices, including smartphones, tablets, TVs, notebooks, set-top boxes, and OTT streaming devices. The chip’s dual concurrent 2×2 capability will be optimized “out-of-the-box” for these devices as MediaTek also supplies the corresponding platform solutions. This helps to streamline the design process, maximize performance and accelerate time-to-market.

“Our wireless connectivity solutions are designed to deliver the fastest performance using the most advanced technologies, and represent MediaTek’s commitment to driving Wi-Fi 7 adoption in a large number of new markets,” said Alan Hsu, corporate vice president and general manager of the Intelligent Connectivity business at MediaTek. “With Filogic 880 and Filogic 380, our customers can deliver fast, reliable, and always-on connected experiences to meet the industry’s growing connectivity demands.”

MediaTek’s Filogic 880 is a Wi-Fi 7 access point with a powerful application processor and network processing unit (NPU) to support maximum Wi-Fi, Ethernet, and packet processing performance. The chip offers a wide range of interfaces and peripherals, making it easy to customize designs for various end products and applications.

The Filogic 880 platform includes a 6nm Wi-Fi 7 access point solution with:

  • Support for key Wi-Fi 7 technologies such as 4096-QAM, 320MHz, MRU and MLO
  • Flexibility to scale to pentaband 36Gbps speeds
  • Support up to 10Gbps in one channel
  • Support for OFDMA RU, MU-MIMO and MBSSID

In addition to its Wi-Fi 7 capabilities, the Filogic 880 platform also provides a powerful host processor, which includes a quad-core Arm Cortex-A73 application processor and an advanced NPU. Key features include:

  • An advanced hardware network full off-load engine on both Wi-Fi and Ethernet interface
  • A built-in networking crypto engine (EIP-197) for accelerating IPSec, SSL/TLS, DTLS (CAPWAP), SRTP and MACsec
  • Support for high-speed interfaces (5Gbps USB and 10Gbps PCI-Express), UART, SD, SPI, PWM, GPIO and OTP for rich platform customization opportunities

The Filogic 380 is a stand-alone, single-chip 6nm Wi-Fi 7 and Bluetooth 5.3 combo solution designed to deliver best-in-class connectivity. It is optimized for smartphones, TVs, notebooks, set-top boxes, OTT streaming devices, and many other consumer electronics devices that are powered by MediaTek SoCs.

Key features of the Filogic 380 include:

  • Support for key Wi-Fi 7 technologies such as 4096-QAM, 320MHz, MRU and MLO
  • Support for MLO offering up to 6.5Gbps speeds
  • Support up to 5Gbps in one channel
  • Support for 2.4GHz, 5GHz, and 6GHz bands
  • Support for dual 2×2 radios for dual-band simultaneous operation
  • Latest Bluetooth 5.3 with LE Audio

MediaTek has been involved in the development of the Wi-Fi 7 standard since its inception, and the company is one of the first adopters of Wi-Fi 7 technology. The rollout of Wi-Fi 7 will mark the first time that Wi-Fi can be a true wireline/Ethernet replacement for super high-bandwidth applications; Wi-Fi 7 technology will be the backbone of home, office, and industrial networks and provide seamless connectivity for everything from multi-player AR/VR applications to cloud gaming and 4K calls to 8K streaming and beyond.

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Gadgets

Linksys Launches New Series of Affordable WiFi 6 Mesh Solutions

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Linksys has announced two new WiFi 6 mesh systems designed to deliver peak wireless performance for all at-home needs including remote working, streaming content, multi-user gaming, and more. The Linksys Hydra 6 and Linksys Atlas 6 are Linksys’ newest entry-level dual-band products in the company’s family of WiFi 6 mesh systems and come at the most affordable prices to date for the brand.

“There is an increased need for wireless connectivity that can handle the influx of devices on home networks, and deliver reliable, secure, and private connections,” said Amanullah Khan, Managing Director for the Middle East, Turkey & Africa at Linksys. “Our mission is to connect everyone securely and through the launch of these systems, we provide our customers with two new options for fast speed, coverage, and connectivity at an affordable price point.”

Linksys Atlas 6
The Linksys Atlas 6 is the newest whole-home mesh system in Linksys’ portfolio of products. Speed and performance at an affordable price, the Linksys Atlas 6 is ideal for hybrid work, online gaming, 4K UHD streaming, and more. The dual-band router works best with internet service plans up to a gigabit. Each node has three 1GbE Ethernet ports for connecting wired devices to wireless networks and provides access to 160MHz channels for superfast wireless connections.

The Linksys Atlas 6 is available in three configurations. The 1-pack supports up to 25 devices and covers over ~2,000 square feet, the 2-pack supports up to 50 devices and covers ~4,000 square feet, and the 3-pack supports up to 75 devices ~6,000 square feet.

Linksys Hydra 6
The Linksys Hydra 6 delivers high-speed wireless data for up to 25 devices over 2,000 square feet. The Linksys Hydra 6 WiFi 6 dual-band mesh router delivers dramatically faster, robust, and reliable wireless connections. Ideal for super smooth 4K UHD streaming, video conferencing, online gaming, and more. The router works best with internet service plans up to a gigabit. It provides 160 MHz channels for superfast wireless connections and has four 1 GbE Ethernet ports to connect wired devices such as gaming devices, television, DVR, and more to the wireless network.

Features of Linksys Atlas 6 and Hydra 6, include:

  • Fast to set up. Easy to manage. – The Linksys App makes it simple to set up your WiFi network and you can control and monitor your WiFi from anywhere.
  • Linksys Intelligent Mesh Technology – Dynamically optimize speeds and maximize the use of all bands to reduce congestion, latency, and buffering.
  • Security and privacy you can trust – Protect your home with automatic software updates so your network is always secure and up to date. Parental controls and separate guest networks keep devices safe.
  • Peace of mind – Linksys products pass 25 quality tests, are backed by a 3-year warranty, and have 24/7 tech support.
  • Grow as needed – When your family, home, and needs grow, your WiFi should grow with you. Add more nodes to expand coverage for a stronger connection and to handle more devices as needed.
  • Robust. Stable. Reliable. – Built with the Qualcomm Immersive Home 214 Platform users can expect great connectivity throughout the home.

The Linksys Hydra 6 will be available beginning early summer in the US for $179.99 on Linksys.com and in select retailers; global availability to follow in the second half of 2022. The Linksys Atlas 6 will be available beginning early summer in the US for $149.99 (1-pack), $279.99 (2-pack), and $349.99 (3-pack) on Linksys.com; global availability to follow in the second half of 2022.

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