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Friday, October 30, 2020

Eero: Performance, Price, Design and Installation

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Eero first popularized the approach in 2016, and earlier this year, Amazon bought the company. A few months later, it released a new version of its three-part wifi system for $249, half the old Eero Pro system’s price.

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The Eero also performed well in our battery of tests. It doesn’t support next-gen wifi 6 speeds (and it doesn’t offer the fastest top rates by today’s wifi 5 standards), but it’s certainly fast enough to get the most out of it.

More importantly, Eero’s algorithm for directing users from satellite to satellite as they move around the house has been one of the most stable we have tested.

The Eero works the same as any other wireless network system but uses a 3-band network that transmits the beacons’ router’s signal. This allows the device to use the full 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bandwidth, thus improving connected devices’ performance.

Price and Availability

The Eero Home wifi device remains one of the more expensive wireless networking options priced at $399 (approx. 300 GBP, 534 AUD) for the Eero router and two beacons in one package. This configuration will cover up to 3000 square meters of space in the house.

The Eero system seems to fit very well between these two options, offering a three-band network with the same number of units as Google wifi, a broader bandwidth of 2.4 GHz, and 5 GHz a lesser extent. 1,500 square meters. Netgear Orbi, on the other hand, has fewer connection points at the base price but would cover more areas with a similar network with three bands.

Design and Installation

If you’re familiar with wifi networking systems, the Eero design won’t be new to you. The router base unit looks like a shiny white plastic disc with two Ethernet ports on the back. The two satellite units, or “Beacons,” plug directly into their outlets, like giant Glade accessories.

These white stickers have nightlight options that can be used in the Eero app settings, which is a welcome touch from some competitors where applicable.

This design reduces the system’s versatility because only one unit can be a router, and no beacon can share wired internet with nearby devices like Google wifi. However, the trade-off is the hardware that disappears more easily around the house than anything we’ve tried.

Setup is as easy as any other wifi network system, using the free Eero app for Android and ios phones. Just install the device, update its firmware, give it a name and password, and you’re good to go. Adding a beacon is very easy, and you can add more than the frame includes, in case you need to expand the network later.

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The app offers exact control over the network and the devices connected to it, including a built-in speed test and guest user commands. You can also create Family Profiles to install parental controls and subscribe to the Eero Plus Extended Security Service for $9.99 (approx. 7.54 GBP, 13.38 AUD) per month.

This service provides enterprise-level network security using artificial intelligence that detects threats based on current browsing habits and traffic sources. Subscriptions to Encrypt.me VPN, 1Password, and Malwarebytes are also included in the service.

Part of the Eero Labs app allows users to activate features that are still being tested, such as the control band, which attracts devices that can enter the 5 GHz band more often, depending on their history.

Overall, the Eero is the most flexible and adaptable wifi system we’ve seen so far. If you are the type who wants to have complete control over your network without any issues, Eero comes highly recommended.

Performance

Eero

The Eero system performed very well in our testing, showing very little signal strength attenuated by standard plastered walls. From these numbers, it’s also clear that the system is slightly more powerful than the Google wifi socket, which can’t support walls.

Like the Netgear Orbi, the Eero device further alleviates these failures with two Beacon units connected through a third band that transmits data at 5.8 GHz.

This is done separately from the usual 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands that other devices are connected to, freeing up bandwidth for various devices or various data-related tasks.

Any network-compatible wifi system is easy to set up, and Eero is no different. You downloaded the mobile app, opened an account, and clicked start. From the list, you select the appropriate Eero model, clicked start, followed the app’s instructions to disconnect the modem, connect the Eero node to the included LAN cable, and turn on the modem and node.

At a distance of 9 meters, the Eero speed of 199 Mbps could not keep up with Nokia or TP-Link systems. This time, Google’s router took top honors with 291 Mbps.

As for the Eero satellite node, the last proximity test came with a result of 210 Mbps. The Google Nest node processed 251 Mbps, and the Nokia Beacon node processed 1240 Mbps. The TP-Link Deco M9 Plus node surprised everyone with a result of 410 Mbps.

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The products were similar in the 30-foot test: the Eero node recorded a speed of 167 Mbps, behind the Google node 23 Mbps, and the Nokia node 28 Mbps. The TP-Link node was twice as fast as 330 Mbps.

Conclusion

Eero wifi device is the most expensive of its kind on the market. Its developers went out of their way to make this starting price enjoyable, and it shows in the product. In light of this, it isn’t easy to see that we are getting much more than others that cost much less with this network system.

For example, Eero can’t do much more than the Google wifi network, other than powerful user features that can end up costing more. New and experimental features like belt management may surprise a particular user, but we’re not sure it’s worth the inflated price.

Ultimately, Eero is evolving into a state-of-the-art wifi networking system for tech experts who want to be in control of their network, both in terms of performance and security.

Just make sure you need or want this level of power and authority before hitting the ‘buy’ button, knowing that slightly more basic models offer more (or more) for less.

Fadehan Emmanuel
Moore is an Associate—Editor of TheXplorion. Got a NEWS TIP related to this story — or to anything else in the world of big tech? Please e-mail him: mooreplug[at]gmail.com. You can also connect with him via the connections below the box.
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