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Millions of people transitioning to working from home this year has led to more than a few problems. Products like webcams and laptops have been in short supply, and home Wi-Fi networks are pushed to their breaking point with dozens of connected devices, Zoom calls, Netflix sessions, and email threads. In most cases, a mesh router is the best way to build a home network that deals with these new demands.
Amazon just released its latest mesh Wi-Fi routers: the dual-band Eero 6, and the tri-band Eero Pro 6. Both systems support Wi-Fi 6, WPA-3, and other recent innovations in networking, complete with a simple management application. I received the Pro 6 for review, and it’s an incredible system if you can afford it.
Design, hardware, what’s in the box
The Eero Pro 6 (and the regular Eero 6) is primarily designed to function as a mesh network, boosting the total coverage of your home Wi-Fi with each station. I received the 3-pack for review, which costs a whopping $599 and is rated for homes up to 6,000 sq. ft. If you don’t need quite that much range, there’s also a 2-pack for $399 that covers 3,500 sq. ft, and a 1-pack for $299 that covers 2,000 sq. ft.
Each Eero node is a white square with an angled top, presumably so you don’t put anything on top of it — Nintendo used the same design trick with the NES-101 to prevent people from placing food and drinks on the console. The stations have two Ethernet jacks, but you lose one of them on whichever node is connected to your modem (since one port connects the modem to the Eero).
It’s standard for mesh systems to only have 1-2 LAN ports on each node, but I would have preferred to see at least one more connector. I have a few devices in my home’s media cabinet that I prefer to use with wired connections (like my Nintendo Switch and home server), and with only one usable port on the base station, I had to use a network switch to plug in additional devices. There are also no standard USB ports for adding network-attached storage and printers, which are present on many cheaper Wi-Fi systems, like the $70 Asus RT-ACRH13.
It’s still rare for non-portable electronics to use USB Type-C, so I was surprised to see the Eero Pro 6 use Type-C for power input. That might seem like it doesn’t matter, but if something happens to the original power cable/adapter, you might already have a spare lying around. I was even able to power an Eero node using one of my portable USB batteries.
In the box, you get 1-3 Eero nodes, a wall plug for each node, an Ethernet cable for connecting your modem, and various instruction manuals.
Software and setup
The setup process for the Eero Pro 6 is similar to any other mesh Wi-Fi system. I unplugged my existing Wi-Fi router, plugged in one of the Eero nodes (you can use any of them in a pack as the base station, they all work the same), and connected it to my Comcast modem using the included Ethernet cable. If you’re not already using a separate router with your modem, you’ll need to put your modem in bridge mode first. The exact process for this varies depending on your modem and ISP.
With everything plugged in and powered on, I installed the Eero app and followed the prompts for creating an online account, which is used for checking on your network when you’re away from home. Once the base station is working, you’ll be prompted to place any remaining Eero nodes around your home and connect them to the base station. The entire setup process only took me 10 minutes.
The Eero app is a breath of fresh air compared to my experiences with the applications for Xfinity and Linksys. It’s quick to open, works well, and is organized into easy-to-understand sections. First is the Home tab, which lists your network status, Eero nodes, and any connected devices. Each device is listed with a name and icon, so it’s usually easy to find what you’re looking for, though there doesn’t seem to be an option to change icons (only names). You can tap on a device to check its network activity, which node it’s connected to, the IP address, and other information.
The next tab is Activity, which shows detailed analytics about your network’s data usage. You can see charts for data usage, ranging from month-over-month stats to hour-over-hour. This is also where the ability to assign devices to profiles comes in handy, as it can give you a look at which people in your household are using the most data.
There is one catch here: the detailed analytics are only available as part of an Eero Secure subscription, which costs $2.99/mo or $29.99/yr. I’m not a fan of Eero charging an additional subscription on top of the already-pricey hardware, but the subscription also enables content filtering, network-level ad blocking, and a weekly activity report.
There are a handful of other features lurking in other sections of the app, like guest network support, notifications for new devices, static IPs, and port forwarding. You can also connect your Eero to an Amazon account to use the stations as Zigbee smart home hubs, but I didn’t have any compatible devices to try that out with. The app even has dark mode support!
It’s worth noting that the Eero 6 has no web-based control panel for changing settings, so everything has to be done through the mobile app. That’s not a critical issue for me personally, and it’s hardly out of the ordinary for mesh systems (Google Wi-Fi also doesn’t have a web panel), but that might annoy some people.
The Eero Pro 6 has just about every modern Wi-Fi feature you can think of, including Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax), tri-band mesh, WPA3-Personal, simultaneous 2.4 and 5GHz networks, and beamforming. All of that means your home network can handle plenty of devices, at the highest-possible speeds and newest-supported security standards.
Out of all the supported features, two are the most important for network performance: Wi-Fi 6 and tri-band mesh. Wi-Fi 6 improves battery life and network speeds, and even reduces congestion by splitting wireless channels into many sub-channels. The catch is that your devices need to support Wi-Fi 6 to see some of those advantages, but products built for Wi-Fi 6 mostly only started showing up this year (older devices will connect over Wi-Fi 4 or 5 just fine). The tri-band mesh design means each Eero station has a dedicated lane to the base station, so speeds should stay relatively consistent across your whole network — cheaper dual-band systems cut maximum speeds by half on secondary nodes.
With the Eero Pro 6, my home network is extremely fast, no matter where I am in the house. My internet speed from Comcast is around 250 Mbps, and even on devices without Wi-Fi 6 support (like my desktop PC), I can usually reach around 200 Mbps when connected to any of my Eero stations. It’s amazing to have Wi-Fi that offers similar speeds and latency compared to plugging an Ethernet cable directly into my modem, and thanks to the tri-band design, there’s no speed loss when connected to the secondary nodes.
Speed tests over Wi-Fi 6 on a Galaxy S20. Left screenshot is standing next to the base station, right screenshot is standing next to a secondary station about 200 feet away.
I did occasionally notice hiccups in connectivity, where one of the stations would drop network packets, but they rarely lasted more than 10-40 seconds. Amazon has also pushed several updates to my Eero system since I set it up, so the occasional drops could be something that is fixed in the future.
Should you buy it?
Yes. Assuming you can justify the high price, the Eero Pro 6 is an incredible mesh Wi-Fi system that I have almost no reservations about recommending. The setup process is incredibly simple, the mobile app works well, and the tri-band connectivity means every corner of my home is covered in super-fast internet. Wi-Fi 6 support is also great to have, but unless you upgrade your devices regularly, you likely won’t get much use out of it for another few years.
If you don’t care about losing speeds on secondary stations, the non-Pro Eero 6 is also a compelling option. The rest of the hardware and software is identical, but the 3-pack only costs $279, compared to $599 for the Pro. You still get the excellent management app, Wi-Fi 6 support, and the Zigbee smart hub features.
One month later
I’ve continued using the Eero Pro 6 on my home network for the past month, and I’m still impressed with it. Performance has stayed consistent, and the network hasn’t needed periodic resets like some other mesh router systems I’ve tried. I did have an issue on Christmas Day when some of my devices were unable to load anything, which I fixed with a network reboot via the Eero app, but I’m not sure if Eero or my ISP were to blame.
Some readers pointed out in the comments that the Eero Pro 6’s maximum network speeds far exceed my home internet, so matching my wired LAN connection over Wi-Fi isn’t too much of a feat for the Eero. It’s definitely true that the Eero can handle faster internet speeds than Comcast gives me, but my review here was mainly focused on features and reliability. Even with a constant barrage of downloads, media streaming, and sustained uploads, the Eero Pro 6 has continued to work nearly-flawlessly. I broadcasted part of the 24-hour Techathon charity stream on my PC connected over Wi-Fi at 1080p/30FPS, and after eight hours, OBS reported I had fewer than 0.1% of my frames dropped. I’ve also streamed games occasionally at 1080p/60FPS from the same Wi-Fi PC, again with no issues. More importantly, everyone else in my home was able to keep using the internet as normal during those periods.
In short, the Eero Pro 6 has continued to serve me well over the past month, and I have no problems recommending it to anyone who can afford to spend $600 (or $230 for the 1-pack) on a router system. Amazon has already dropped the 3-pack to as low as $479, so definitely keep your eyes out for another sale.
Buy it if:
- You’ve run into problems with other mesh Wi-Fi systems.
- You can blow $600 (or $230 for the 1-pack) on a router, or you find it on sale.
Don’t buy it if:
- You don’t like using a mobile app to manage your network.
- You’re already happy with your home Wi-Fi.
Where to buy: