Eero Home Wi-Fi System

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eero-featuredMany of us know the pain of poor Wi-Fi coverage and deadspots in our homes. Eero aims to fix those problems with their mesh Wi-Fi system.

We have a three level home, and, thanks to our internet coming in at the top level, we have really spotty Wi-Fi coverage and dead spots, especially in the lower levels of our home. We’ve tried upgrading to more powerful Wi-Fi routers and fixed part of the problem with a Wi-Fi Range extender, but managing yet another device and network is clunky and never fixed the worse deadspots. So when eero reached out to us to review their eero Home Wi-Fi System, I jumped at the chance.

eero-productThe first thing that caught my attention is the very un-router-like aesthetics of eero. The three units sit staring out of the black box all small and glossy white. While I’m not a huge fan of the Apple-ification of devices, the low profile, small footprint, and glossy white design make it easy to almost hide these devices. And since I needed to put one on all three levels of my house, I like that they are pretty out of sight/out of mind once setup. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

eero-setupThe first thing you’ll need to do is download the eero app for your phone (iOS in my case, although an Android version is also available). The app walks you through every step and makes configuring eero the easiest Wi-Fi setup I’ve ever done. The first step is to disconnect your old Wi-Fi router and power down your internet modem. Each eero device has two ethernet ports–one gets plugged directly into your modem. Then the eero and modem are powered on. You’ll need Bluetooth enabled on your phone so that it can talk to the devices for initial configuration (but once your Wi-Fi is set up, Bluetooth is no longer needed).

Once your modem and first eero are booted up, the app will walk you through setting up your wireless network (a name and password at bare minimum) and will do an internet connectivity and speed test. Within three minutes I had a new Wi-Fi network online and operational and ready to start connecting devices too.

eero-setupadditionalOnce the first eero is online, the app asks if you’d like to add additional eero units. I went downstairs to our middle level, plugged an eero in on the back kitchen counter and in less than a minute, the second unit had synched up with the first. I repeated the step on our lower-most level, and in under ten minutes total, I had all the units on-line, connected and a new network ready to go.

Since my main gripe with our existing system was the dead spots (in my son’s room downstairs and near our back door were the worst), I immediately went there and checked my Wi-Fi–full bars! I fired up one of my games that requires a Wi-Fi connection (it uses a lot of data and I have cell access disabled for it), and it worked perfectly in those spots that I had previously always received a connection lost error.

I then did an even more intense test–I fired up a video on YouTube and, while it was playing, walked around my whole house, including between levels. Normally, this would have quickly resulted in the video stuttering or stopping completely as I lost signal, or, at the very least, a drop in resolution. The video played perfectly and seamlessly throughout the entire house! Any doubts I may have had about the eero based on my previous Wi-Fi experience were eradicated.

eero-advancedWhile I didn’t get to play with them because I don’t have the need, the eero does also feature all of the typical advanced features you expect from a Wi-Fi router–Guest Network, DHCP, NAT, DNS, UPnP, Port Forwarding, etc. You can also buy add-on additional units in case your house is too big (or oddly shaped) to be covered by just three devices.

eero-profileOne of the cool bonus features of the eero Home Wi-Fi system is the ability to create profiles for certain devices. While I don’t yet have a need for this since my son and daughter are both under three, I can definitely see this coming in handy for parents of older kids and teens. Each profile can be put on a schedule, so you could configure a schedule for each kid or for groups of kids, or for types of devices (ie. kid’s phones, gaming consoles, kid’s computers), each with their own schedule. And you can even pause the internet for a profile with a single tap–perfect for enforcing punishment, even remotely, if need be, or just enforcing a break.

I will admit that I was skeptical about the whole mesh Wi-Fi system, but the eero put all of my doubts to rest. If I have any complaints at all about eero it is only that there is no way to wall-mount the devices. While my two upper-most units are on shelves, the unit in our bottom level is in the kids’ playroom and I’d love to be able to mount it out of their reach without adding a high shelf to the room. Other than that, I am extremely pleased with the eero Home Wi-Fi System and have already recommended it to a bunch of friends!

Finally, here are some tech specs for you hardware geeks.

In the box:WiFi system (3 eeros), power adapters (3), Ethernet cable, quick start guide

Processor, memory, and storage per device: 1.0GHz dual-core processor, 512MB RAM, 4GB flash storage

Security and networking services: WPA2 personal wireless encryption, DHCP, NAT, VPN passthrough, UPnP

Wireless connectivity: Dual-band WiFi radios, simultaneous 2.4GHz and 5GHz wireless, 2×2 MIMO, IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth Smart

Wired connectivity: Dual auto-sensing Gigabit ports for WAN (cable or DSL modem) and/or LAN (networked device) connectivity, USB 2.0 port

Electrical and environmental requirements: 100-240V AC, 50-60Hz

Note: I received a review unit, but all opinions and thoughts above are my own.

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