Eero Mesh Wi-Fi review

Eero solves coverage problems at a decent price

Eero Mesh Wi-Fi
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UPDATE: New Eero Pro 6 Mesh Wi-Fi review

If you’re struggling for Wi-Fi strength around your home, Mesh is the word you need to remember. Leaving old Wi-Fi extenders in their dust, mesh systems offer stronger, more reliable connections for your home.

Unlike repeaters and extenders that just relay your router's Wi-Fi signal with (lots of) deterioration, a mesh system’s satellites create their own network, passing data around the chain without losing quality.

Mesh systems were pretty expensive, but they’ve now tumbled in price. Eero was bought by Amazon, and now you can pick up a three node system for $249.99, which makes jumping in somewhat of a no-brainer.

It's loads cheaper than top level Netgear Orbis Wi-Fi 6, but more than the Netgear Orbi Whole Home Mesh and Google Nest Wi-Fi, which has also introduced an entry level system to combat the likes of Eero.

But should you choose it? We’ve tried it out to find out.

Eero Mesh Wi-Fi: Set up, specs and features

Eero Mesh Wi-Fi review

The Eero Mesh system costs $249.99, and comes with three modes for placement throughout your home. You can buy a single node system for $99.99, although that essentially just replaces your home router – and that may not be the best option, as we’ll come on to.

Each box is a compact 10 x 10cm box, with a depth of 6cm. When you compare to the gargantuan Orbis Wi-Fi 6 it’s night and day. Each will need to be plugged into the mains around your home.

The main unit either replaces your existing router or connects via Ethernet. Once it’s hooked up you register it in the Eero app, and then go and add the satellite units around your home.

The app is supremely easy to use, and we had our Mesh system hooked up within 10 minutes.

Explainer: What is Wi-Fi 6?

The range of the Eero Mesh Wi-Fi is stated to be around 5000 sq. feet (460 metres), which means you’ll need a pretty big property to find its limits. Of course, this doesn’t take into account walls, plasterboard and all the other signal sappers in your home.

It’s a dual-band router, which means it will run 2.5GHz and 5GHz networks. That’s not a massive deal but inferior to newer tri-band devices, which run a third 5GHz network to communicate between the nodes, enabling faster speeds.

Eero Mesh Wi-Fi review

And there’s physical connections too – although not as many as the Orbis Wi-Fi 6. Each router or satellite has 2x gigabit LAN Ethernet ports, should they be required.

And being an Amazon product, there’s some limited Alexa functionality, and it also plays nicely with HomeKit as well.

Updated: New 2020 Eero 6 devices detailed

Alexa commands include controlling profiles, so you can cut off your kids at dinner time, and a find my phone feature, telling you which Eero node your phone is closest to.

It doesn’t work as a HomeKit smart home hub, that would have been nice, but you can add your HomeKit devices into the Discover section of the app, and an extra layer of security will be added, locking down your set-up.

You can then apply three levels of HomeKit security, Restrict To Home (only your Apple devices can control HomeKit), Automatic (the normal level of security) and No Restriction (let anything connect with any device).

We were also fans of the home profiles, that enable you to take control of the devices in your home. You can add specific devices, such as your kid’s iPad and PlayStation into a profile, and then control that profile. So at dinner time, or designated homework times, you can suspend a connection to that profile. Pretty neat.

Eero Mesh Wi-Fi: Performance

Eero Mesh Wi-Fi review

While the set up was a breeze, the performance of the Eero Mesh Wi-Fi wasn’t astounding – and it’s certainly better suited to killing dead spots than delivering an overall boost.

In testing we found that our connection speed was often the same or sometimes lower to the Eero Mesh system than our OEM router at a distance of around one meter. This did fluctuate massively, and is far from scientific, but we didn’t really get an outright performance boost.

However, as we moved away from the main node, things quickly swung in the Eero’s favour.

In the garden, through a couple of big, thick 200 year old walls, the OEM router's connection was running on fumes. Meanwhile, the Eero system was still offering up around a 10Mbps connection with our phones, and we were able to work as normal outside.

For our home, the garden was the biggest black spot, and we were able to bathe the whole yard with a wholesome connection by placing a node by the back door.

And that’s what Eero is about – while it may not offer huge boosts in performance, or manage a hectic home full of connection abusing devices – it fixes dead spots simply and easily.

It should be noted that Eero supports a maximum network speed of 350mbps. While we can only dream of that, it means that businesses and some very lucky home users may need a superior product.

Eero Wi-Fi Mesh
The Eero Mesh Wi-Fi isn’t the right choice for home network power users – but it really solves dead spots in your home. With three nodes to play with, people with three story houses, big gardens or all-out mansions can solve connection problems without spending a fortune. The Eero app offers an easy set up and some neat features, especially for HomeKit users.
  • Three nodes
  • Great price
  • Ethernet on each node
  • Low max speed
  • Average performance
  • No Wi-Fi 6

TAGGED    smart home

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