Eero 6 is the first mesh network from the brand that supports the zippier Wi-Fi 6 standard
When it comes to treating yourself to a shiny new gadget, there are probably quite a few items lying around the house you’d look to upgrade before the humble Wi-Fi router. A new smartphone with a fancy new camera, perhaps? Maybe one of the latest game consoles? Or what about a new addition to your growing smart home?
While we wouldn’t begrudge anyone for picking any of these options, the truth is, your money is probably better spent taking a look at the nondescript plastic box in your cupboard.
If you’re paying each month for a half-decent internet connection, you don’t want to be let down by the Wi-Fi router that was sent by your broadband supplier when you started your contract two-and-a-bit years ago. With more and more internet-connected devices in your home and new threats from bad actors emerging every day, it pays to have a good router.
And that’s where the Eero 6 comes in.
While it started life as an independent company, Amazon bought Eero back in February 2019. However, from the outside, you wouldn’t know it. Unlike Google, which added a hands-free smart speaker into every Wi-Fi boosting node in its rival mesh system with its latest hardware refresh, Eero isn’t trying to sneak Echo Dot speakers into your home. Eero isn’t even controlled from the Alexa app. Instead, it has its own software on Android and iOS.
For those who are deeply invested in Amazon Echo-compatible smart home gadgets — don’t worry, there are some integrations between Eero and Alexa available if you dig deep enough. But for those who aren’t as keen to have Amazon services in their home, without reading the small print on the box, you wouldn’t know Eero was owned by Bezos and co.
So, what is Eero? In a nutshell, rather than having a single Wi-Fi router squirrelled away in the back of a cupboard managing the internet connection of every device in your home, Eero is a mesh network. That means you’ll have multiple smaller nodes dotted around the house.
Although it’ll still look like a single Wi-Fi network in the settings app on your phone, behind the scenes, these nodes will be shuffling devices around as you move about your house so that you’re always connected to the node closest to you for the strongest Wi-Fi signal. It also means devices will be distributed evenly across the network, so you can have more devices connected to the Wi-Fi without sacrificing reliability or speed. Each Eero 6 node can support 128 separate devices, so with a three-pack at home you’ll have no issues connecting a jaw-dropping 384 gadgets to your home Wi-Fi network.
Unlike the router from your broadband supplier, Eero uses multiple nodes around your home
Unlike the single Wi-Fi router laying on its side behind your telly or crammed into your cupboard under the stairs, the Eero 6 system should eliminate all connectivity blackholes around your home …yes, even in the spare bedroom or at the bottom of the garden.
As the name suggests, Eero 6 is compatible with Wi-Fi 6, which is the latest industry standard for wireless internet. It’s designed to bring faster speeds over Wi-Fi, higher performance, and better support across simultaneous devices. To take advantage of this new technology, you’ll need Wi-Fi 6 compatible devices.
Fortunately, manufacturers have been slowly adding the technology to their gadgets in recent years. Since the iPhone 11 series, launched in late 2019, Apple has supported Wi-Fi 6 on its smartphones, while Samsung was an early-adopter to the standard — supporting Wi-Fi 6 in its handsets since the launch of the Galaxy S10 back in March 2019.
In other words, if you’ve purchased a new smartphone or tablet within the last couple of years, chances are, it’s compatible with Wi-Fi 6. If that’s the case, the only thing stopping you from taking advantage of this newer Wi-Fi standard is the router in your cupboard.
If you haven’t upgraded your phone in a while, Eero 6 will still be able to boost the signal around your home and better juggle dozens of devices, but the improvements afforded by Wi-Fi 6 will be dormant until you start upgrading your technology.
The Eero 6 boxes are pretty neutral and will fit in with any decor
Setting up and managing the Eero 6 is handled using the companion app, which is available on both iOS and Android devices. The app has handy step-by-step instructions to add each node and place it around the house. The Eero app asks how many floors you have at home to help guide you when placing the network extenders for maximum coverage.
Compared with signing up for a new broadband contract, where a router arrives almost without explanation in the post… you’ll feel in good hands with the Eero app.
Eero says a bundle of three extenders will comfortably blanket a 5,000 square feet home with Wi-Fi, with smaller homes needing fewer units than that. A single Eero 6 will blanket 1,500 square feet with Wi-Fi, so apartment owners might be able to make do with one.
Although, if that’s the case, you won’t be taking advantage of the mesh part of this mesh system — you might still want to shell out on an Eero 6 to benefit from some of the smart features that you won’t get with your bog-standard router from your ISP.
And if you move to a new place in a few years time, you’ll have the flexibility to buy an extra node or two to begin expanding your Wi-Fi coverage.
The Eero app is a supremely simple way to juggle dozens of devices, testing your speed, limiting internet time for kids, preventing against malware, and more
Juggling your gadgets within the Eero app is a complete joy. The Eero app allows you to assign any of the gadgets connected to your Wi-Fi network to a profile – for a particular family member, for example. Then, Eero lets you schedule any downtime when they won’t be able to connect to the internet, so you can make sure dinner is always phone-free, or stop your children from being able to login to Instagram in the wee small hours without you knowing.
Renaming devices, adding them to new profiles, and connecting new Eero 6 nodes is a cinch. But if you can’t be bothered, don’t worry — the Eero app will automatically sort new devices into categories – so any connected doorbells, lightbulbs will be separate from your iPad and Pixel 4. A small icon will illustrate each connected gadget too. So, even if you haven’t spent an evening sorting devices between family members’ profiles, you should easily be able to find what you’re looking for in a few seconds.
A separate Activity tab within the app lets you track your network speeds over time. That’s particularly useful if you’ve been having trouble with your service and you need to send a screenshot to your Internet Service Provider to prove how patchy your speeds have been over the last few months. In our time with Eero we didn’t run into any hiccups with the app, which was reassuring given that making any changes to your network relies on the software.
Eero will also send a weekly report, with the latest statistics about your network speed, including fastest download and upload speeds recorded in the last seven days, the total amount of data downloaded over your network, and more. If you’re not on an unlimited plan — this could save you from a nasty surprise bill at the end of the month.
The optional Eero Secure subscription will protect all of the devices on your network from malware, phishing attacks, and more. Since it works on a network level, it will stop the threat before it reaches your smartphone, tablet or laptop.
There are also options to block advertisements, filter searches — handy if you have younger family members at home, and the ability to block individual sites for certain users or devices. Content filtering is divvied into three categories: Illegal or Criminal, Violence, or Adult Content.
Eero says a single Eero 6 unit will comfortably blanket a 5,000 square feet property in speedy Wi-Fi
Amazon Eero 6 review: Final Verdict
- Pros: Unlocks the potential of any Wi-Fi 6 gadgets already in your home, simple app makes managing dozens of devices easy, no more Wi-Fi dead zones
- Cons: Protecting everything on your network against malware requires a separate subscription
- ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
If you’re looking for an easy-to-use Wi-Fi 6 upgrade for your home network, you’ll struggle to find a better option than Amazon’s Eero 6. If you have Wi-Fi 6 enabled gadgets, you’ll feel the benefits from day one, but if not, Eero remains a pretty affordable way to future-proof your home for the latest wireless standard.
The Eero app is an idiot-proof way to manage devices, limit internet access to certain household members, create a separate network for guests (or neighbours), and block malware threats and adult content. Daily speed monitoring is also a great way to keep your internet provider honest about the speeds you’re actually getting down the line.