Eero boasts of being the first company to actually popularize mesh networking for residential use. Over the years, it has garnered a reputation for producing mesh systems that are easy to set up, require minimal maintenance and broadcast wifi connections throughout your home way better than the traditional routers.
Even if the brand was acquired by Amazon a while back, they now have an advanced mesh router referred to as the eero Pro 6. The eero pro 6 entered the market with promises of delivering faster speeds than the regular eero 6 router.
The eero and the eero pro are products from the same company which is Amazon. However, they don’t seem to have the same capabilities in terms of performance. That’s why its important to compare them side by side to help clear any lurking confusion. Technically, the eero pro is actually the more capable mesh router thanks to its tri-band design. A triband design means the mesh system has an additional 5GHz band for a dedicated system transmission. This improves the mesh system.
But the eero pro comes at double the price of its counterpart and for most people; it’s not worth the trouble. Keep in mind, the eero pro is most suitable for people with internet speeds of 500Mbps and above. In reality, not many households have an internet connection that fast. Let’s take an in-depth look at these two mesh systems and at the end you can discern the most suitable one.
It’s vital to be aware of the price of each of the mesh units. Since the eero pro 6 is the more advanced version, it definitely doesn’t come cheap. A single eero pro 6 router costs $229 while a three pack consisting of the router and two extenders will cost you $599.
That said, it’s still not the most expensive mesh unit on the market. It offers more value than many of the other triband mesh routers that support the wifi 6. On the other hand, the eero 6 three-piece mesh unit will cost you $249, which is quite a good deal. If you need to extend your coverage a bit more, you can purchase addition units at $99 each.
Eero vs. Eero pro: Design
The eero mesh units are quite appealing on the eye and the design is pretty much similar for both. They are small and mainly unobtrusive with a rounded slightly-wedged shape. These devices are among the smallest networking designs you will ever find and this makes it easy to hide on a bookshelf or leave them out on an open coffee table. There is only one Led light safely tucked beneath the top cover and it glows in various colors to indicate the status of the unit. At the base of the unit, there is a USB-C port as well as a pair of gigabit Ethernet ports.
The eero pro misses out on the USB connectivity but adds on its list of features a 1.4GHz quad-core CPU, 1024MB of RAM and 4GB of flash memory. Furthermore, it’s a tri-band system that’s capable of hitting maximum data rates of up to 574Mbps on the 2.4GHz band, at least 1,201Mbps on the 5GHz band and lastly up to 2,402Mbps on the secondary 5GHz ban. It supports wifi 6, WPA3 encryption, MU-MIMO and beamforming.
The Eero system makes use a dual-band design, which is overkill from its counterpart that uses a triband. The system is only able to hit top speeds of 550Mbps which again is far below the eero pro that has a gigabit-speed rating. Unfortunately, the eero devices don’t actually include built-in Alexa speakers. Basic voice controls are really a feature that mesh routers should not miss out on at this point in time. We would like to see Amazon take note of that in the future.
The eero pro has only two Ethernet ports on the back with one already being occupied by the cable coming from the modem. Therefore, you’ll have to think of other ways if you’re planning to hardwire multiple devices into the router. You also can’t directly hook up a storage drive because the lone USB-C port is solely for the power adapter.
There is a single LED light on the front of the device. During the setup, it glows blue and then turns white when everything is fine and working well. If the internet connection goes out, it spontaneously glows red. At least, the LED lights keep you in the know of what’s going on with your internet and if everything is okay or not.
Eero vs. Eero pro: Setup
Mesh wifi systems are basically designed for an easy and quick installation and the eero devices are no exception. Typically, the process starts with you downloading the app on your android or iOS device for free. After that you will receive instructions and illustrations on setting up everything. There is really not much to mention because everything is pretty much laid out for you.
Keep in mind, the eero app is basically the only way you can manage the network. There is no web interface and before you can use the app, you must create an eero account. An active internet connection is also required on your smartphone before setting up the network. The eero app is good but also surprisingly limited. For instance, there are quite a few network management controls which is highly unexpected to a high-end mesh system. It lacks the things we like such as a dynamic DNS and doesn’t allow users to separate the 2.4GHz channel from the 5GHz channel. The limitations are easy to ignore but the eero pro would do better if it actually included pro features on its mesh router.
Eero vs. Eero pro: Performance
Eero doesn’t do very well in terms of performance. During our tests, the speeds kept dropping whenever the internet device was moved away. However, this might have happened because the eero mesh system does not feature a dedicated router as the others. Its design is for multi-point, mesh internet rather than single point connections. For better results, try to keep the satellites not more than 30 feet away from each other.
The eero pro is basically a good performer. In close proximity, the main eero pro router scored 700Mbps which is really impressive. At about 30 feet, the speeds dropped and the router scored 220Mbps. When we connected the satellite node, it also recorded pretty good speeds totalling at 450Mbps while in close proximity and 350Mbps at a distance of 30 feet. It would have been commendable if the eero pro supported wifi 6 but that’s not the case. Instead, it only supports wifi 5 which is quite disappointing.
The reason why wifi 6 is sought after is that it adds a list of advancements to wireless networking. This includes support for multiple connected devices on one single network and faster speeds.
At the moment, wifi 6 is the real deal because it enables the nodes of the mesh network to transmit data to the main router faster. This means that your laptops, gaming console and smartphone will receive faster speeds. The speeds get better when you use an Ethernet cable. The one thing about eero pro is that it might disappoint on the actual speeds but it proves to be quite reliable with its impeccable stability. It easily hops devices from one mesh node to the next as you move around the house.
The eero mesh will not split your internet into separate networks for both the 2.4GHz bands and the 5GHz bands. Rather, you’ll be connected to a single, unified network. As you move around the home, the eero will figure out how to route your signal back to the router via the nodes and then automatically move your device from one band to the next to ensure you receive the best possible signal strength. It has a simple hardware but once it’s up and running, you will have no issues to think about.
Both eero and eero pro have the capacity to provide decent speeds and great coverage. Though, there is something that sets back the eero mesh router and gives the eero pro an edge over it. Eero mesh unit is unable to maintain good enough speeds when the satellites are placed more than 30 feet away. It only does well at a close distance.
For the eero, you’re provided with adequate security using the WPA2 encryption. Unfortunately, it does not support the use of stronger WPA3 encryption or even TPM (Trusted Platform Module) for authenticating firmware updates. This creates a problem because software upgrades that are not properly encrypted might leave an opportunity for hackers to enter your network and cause harm. That being said, you have some more options for security to help tighten the shield around your network. But prepare your pockets because this will definitely cost you some money.
There is the Secure option which is provided at a subscription basis. It costs about $2.99 a month or $29.99 for the entire year. It will beef up your network security through ad block, reputation-based cloud analysis of all websites, blocks sites and questionable content and gives weekly security reports.
The second option is the Secure Plus which comes at a slightly higher price of $9.99 a month or $99 for the whole year. For that, you have access to 1Password credential manager, unlimited access for at least five users to encrypt, virtual private network and the best one is the license for Malwarebytes Premium antivirus software.
For some people, it’s frustrating that the eero mesh is an Amazon product but has failed to implement top-notch home-automation integration. It is possible to use Alexa over your network for simple tasks such as pause the internee but you won’t be able to do the more advanced actions.
Similar to the base eero, the eero pro also offers a few subscription-based services for network security. The services you get will include content filters, malware protection, ad blocking and easy access to the paid apps like Encrptme and 1Password.
Many people tend to be hesitant about paying for such subscription services because some competing mesh routers offer parental controls and content filtering free of charge. Furthermore, eero is sneaky about giving information on actually how the threat blocks and security features work. It will only send you a report of the blocks carried out on specific devices but withhold information on what they were or what caused it.
If your current router isn’t cutting it and you’re looking for a simple alternative that will spread a reliable internet connection across all corners of your home, you will most likely feel safe with the eero mesh router. Eero is a good pick especially since you’re getting a mesh unit with three devices at a very affordable price. However, if you’re not feeling the eero mesh because it lacks the fancy high-end features like MU-MIMO connections, WPA3 encryption and built-in Google assistant speakers, shop around and you might find something better.
The eero pro is a great mesh router and there is really nothing to complain about in terms of its capabilities, performance and ease of use. But then it’s a premium product and many people find it to be overkill. Many are focused on getting an easy to use mesh system that will offer good coverage for their large homes and the base eero would be just fine. There isn’t a huge difference between eero and eero pro because they will both distribute a wifi signal around your home. Though, the eero pro offers faster speeds.
Is eero the best mesh router?
Eero competes quite well with other mesh routers in the market and does a remarkable job at spreading strong and reliable wifi signals through large homes.
Does eero improve wifi?
Yes, if you have several areas in the home with dead spots, you can use eero to increase both coverage and wifi speeds. Simply use eero wifi extenders referred to as beacons to boost wifi speeds around your house.