But, please bear in mind you only get you a single Eero node, which functions as a standalone router. If you want to make use of the Eero’s mesh capabilities you’ll need to buy multiple units, or perhaps buy a three-pack for £249. Aside from it being an Amazon owned product is it any good compared to the competition?
The Eero Mesh Wifi is a dual-band 802.11ac mesh extender system. Like most such systems, it’s designed to replace your existing router but if that’s not an option you can use it in bridge mode to extend your wireless network. It’s configured through a smartphone app which includes guest network and parental control options.
The Eero Mesh Hardware
The Eero is small, neat and unobtrusive, with a rounded, slightly wedge-shaped design. It has one LED, beneath the top cover, shines and pulses softly in various colours to show the status of the unit; and that's it apart from a reset button set into the base. At the rear there’s a USB Type-C socket for power and and two Gigabit Ethernet connectors.
The compactness and simplicity of Eero units has its appeal, but more Ethernet ports would be preferred, especially since one of the sockets on the primary unit will be taken up by the connection to your modem. You may find you that you will need a standalone switch too, which rather defeats the neatness appeal of the Eero.
Setup and features
Eero comes with an app for both Android and iOS, which handles setup and all administration tasks.
The Android app which I used for this review detected my Eero units easily, gave me some general advice about positioning them, checked the strength of the connection and automatically installed the latest firmware. The main app screen, shows an overview of your nodes and connected devices, along with the results of your most recent internet speed test. There’s no WPS support, but you can generate a QR code that compatible clients can scan to instantly connect to the network. (WPS is not really advised to choose by default as it is not the most secure option).
You can tap to see more details of any device and optionally assign a “family profile” to apply parental controls. This feature is not exactly comprehensive, but you can set a weekly schedule to suspend internet access for devices in a particular group. The limitations of the device mean that you cannot limit usage or block access to undesirable websites.
Guest network settings are also quite basic. You can turn the guest network on and off, give it its own name and password and generate a quick-connect QR code, but you can’t set up multiple networks, or grant access from the guest network to specific resources.
A very handy features of the Eero is the ability to activate a pop-up notification whenever a new device joins your network – a simple but smart way to spot hackers and freeloaders that you will in the Network Settings page.
Strangely, there are no wireless options. The app gives you no visibility into, nor control over, which channels your Eero system is using. It also doesn't offer separate 2.4GHz and 5GHz SSIDs; you can enable band steering, which tries to move 5GHz-compatible clients on the 5GHz band, but this option is filed under a tab called “Labs” and labelled with the word “BETA”, which doesn't inspire confidence about its reliability. I would imagine an upgrade option will be offered when it is out of beta.
Naturally, Alexa comes with this Amazon owned product, but again it is limited; all you can do is suspend internet access for family groups, turn the device LEDs on and off, and find out which node a particular device is connected to.
I tested the Eero Mesh Wifi system with the primary node next to the fibre modem in my living room, the second unit in the kitchen and in a rear bedroom. I then took my HP laptop to various parts of the house and tested file copy speeds to and from a NAS appliance connected to the primary node by Ethernet.
I then went to various locations in the house to see how it performed. I found that at close range there were no issues and it ran flawlessly, with plenty of speed to boot. When moving out onto the garden the Eero’s performance fell slightly, but it must be said that the Eero still did better than its dual-band rivals.
There is plenty of competition in the market. One that stands out is the BT Whole Home Wi-Fi kit, which offers great performance for a dual-band extender system, and is offered at a very competitive price of £150 for a triple-pack.
But if you are on a budget, the Tenda Nova MW3 mesh system doesn't perform quite as well, but delivers great value and decent coverage from three nodes at only £69.
Eero also has a higher performance option called the 'Eero Pro' which is a tri-band mesh system, which maximises your bandwidth by using a separate 5GHz radio channel for backhaul traffic. There are two tri-band mesh systems available priced at is set at £179 and £429 respectively.
The Eero Mesh is small, neat and stylish. The Wifi system does a good job of extending wireless coverage, and short-range performance is excellent.
But the features are limited, other mesh platforms have better parental controls, not to mention proper wireless settings. The Eero’s minimal Ethernet options is common in many mesh systems, but it would have been better to have more connections.
It doesn't stand out as exceptional, the Eero Mesh rivals are more attractive with equal if not better performance.
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