The Eero mesh kit excels, with tiny devices that are economical and that provide a straightforward, phone-based setup. It, however, falls short on range and performance, while its Secure Plus plan can protect your family’s digital assets – at a cost.
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Small, easy-to-hide devices
Doesn’t include speaker or microphone
Expensive security options
Going against the grain, the most recent Eero mesh kit is made around small, economical devices, nonetheless it lacks the speaker and microphone you will discover on the Orbi Voice and Nest Wifi routers.
As this router may be the follow-up to one of the better mesh Wi-Fi systems available, we have been eagerly waiting to see what the brand new Amazon-owned Eero would deliver, and the email address details are mixed. It doesn’t measure on range and performance, and its own Secure+ protection plan costs a supplementary $100 a year. Still, at $249 for a three-pack, it is the best bargain in mesh networking today.
Eero Mesh design
Since being purchased by Amazon this past year, Eero has been very busy. It hasn’t only engineered a smaller mesh networking kit that needs to be plenty of to fill most homes, however the company in addition has dropped its prices; at $249 for a three-pack, it costs $150 significantly less than the similar trio of devices for the 2017 Eero.
(Image credit: Eero)
Small, white and with rounded corners, the Eero device is among the smallest networking designs around. At 3.9 inches square and 2.4 inches tall, it’s smaller than Google’s Nest Wifi devices and positively miniscule in comparison to Netgear’s Orbi devices. Put simply, it’s simple to hide (like on a bookshelf) but is unobtrusive enough to be overlooked on view on a coffee table.
More: A router VPN is the greatest way to secure your Wi-Fi in the home
Eero Mesh product specs
Wi-Fi specs: 802.11ac/dual-band mesh kit
Number of antennas/removable: 4/no
Ports: Two 1Gbps Ethernet
Processor: Quad-core 700 MHz
Wi-Fi chip: Qualcomm IQP4019
Size: 3.9 x 3.9 x 2.4 inches
Peak throughput: 342.1 Mbps (at 5 feet)
Range: 65 feet
Price: $250 for three units
Eero comes in any color as long as it’s white, making for a fairly plain contrast with the Nest Wifi’s pastel color choices. The Eero device also misses the possibility to double as a good speaker or house-wide audio system, since it lacks the speaker, microphone and audio tracks amplifier that Nest Wifi and Orbi Voice have. It isn’t an Alexa endpoint, but when you have an Echo speaker, it could react to commands like “Alexa, switch off Eero’s LED.”
Each Eero can become a router or extension, according to how it’s configured. As the three-pack of devices costs $249, individual extensions are $99 each. That’s practically 40% off the price tag on the prior iteration and a bargain when compared to $349 Nest Wifi three-pack. The business also sells the Eero Beacon ($119), a plug-in, wireless-only extension, along with the tri-band, high-performance Eero Pro ($159).
The Eero devices I viewed had a set of gigabit RJ45 Ethernet ports, that is a step forward when compared to Nest Wifi extensions, which are wireless only. The Eero units can hook up either wirelessly or with an Ethernet cable and so are simply perfect for plugging in a printer or network storage device. A reset button on underneath of these devices enables you to wipe it clean of settings.
(Image credit: Eero)
Despite being new and fresh, the existing gear could work with older Eero units. Based on the company, there is no limit to the amount of Eero devices on a network, although the returns will probably diminish at five or six extensions. Each device can cover 1,500 square feet, as the three-pack is wonderful for a 5,000-square-foot home. That’s much bigger compared to the typical home, making the Eero three-pack an economical way to fill a residence or apartment with Wi-Fi.
Small and unobtrusive, the Eero devices are filled with powerful wireless technology. Each unit has three built-in antennas and Bluetooth 5.0 for use during setup so when communicating with household devices. Eero uses beamforming to tailor the transmitted data and Mu-MIMO to increase bandwidth, but this router lacks the most recent, Wi-Fi 6 technology.
The Eero system runs on the dual-band design, that is a step down from the Orbi and Eero Pro systems, designed to use a tri-band design. The host base station, which Eero calls a gateway, acts as the network’s router to create a daisy-chain or hub-and-spoke topology using its extensions. This technique tops out at a maximum throughput of 550 Mbps, far below the Nest WiFi’s 2.2-Gbps rating.
Eero Mesh performance
Predicated on Qualcomm’s ubiquitous IPQ4019 Wi-Fi chipset, the Eero devices use a 700-MHz quad-core processor that’s half the speed of the Nest Wifi’s CPU. The Eero has 512MB of RAM and 4GB of flash space for storage because of its firmware and settings.
To observe how well the Eero devices work, we set the machine up at the Tom’s Guide open office. The router hit its peak at 5 feet from your client, with 342.2 Mbps available. This performance puts the Eero well behind the Google Nest Wifi’ and its own 653.2 Mbps, the initial Eero and its own 573.7Mbps, and the Orbi RBK50 and it 552.1Mbps. The brand new Eero’s performance dropped off to 319.8 Mbps, 285.7Mbps and 213.9Mbps at 15-, 50- and 100-foot measurements, scores which were at least 100 Mbps significantly less than what the Orbi RBK50 and Nest Wifi were with the capacity of.
(Image credit: Eero)
Inside our single-hop mesh test, where in fact the extension was setup 50 feet from the host, the Eero proved significantly less than stellar, delivering 169.1 Mbps of bandwidth, about one-third of the throughput of the Nest Wifi’s 480.1 Mbps. We then added the next extension at the right angle 50 feet away. As of this location, the router provided only 50.6 Mbps, versus 211.4Mbps for the Nest Wifi system.
We set the router and client up with three walls and 40 feet between them to check how well the router handled common obstructions (like walls); it again disappointed, with only 84.0 Mbps of bandwidth available. That’s significantly less than 25 % of the 400.7 Mbps available from the Nest Wifi system beneath the same conditions.
These results were mirrored when I create the Eero system within my 3,500-square-foot home. I installed the router in the center of the key level and located the extensions on floors above and below. The devices had a variety of 65 feet, which is second best behind the Nest Wifi’s 80-foot range. My dwelling’s older construction often foils even the strongest Wi-Fi router, and the Eero three-pack left several portions of the house unconnected.