We purchased the Eero Pro Mesh Wi-Fi System (Check latest price on Amazon) so our expert reviewer could thoroughly test and assess it. Keep reading for our full product review.
The Eero Pro Mesh Wi-Fi system is a Wi-Fi networking solution that extends your wireless network throughout your home or office using a base station router and remote beacons. It’s a remarkably adaptable system that lets you use multiple Eero Pro routers, a single Eero Pro router with multiple beacons, or any other configuration that works best for you.
Because mesh router systems can be difficult to set up and use, we recently took an Eero Pro and a few beacons home to see how they perform in real-world scenarios. We looked at wired and wireless speeds, ease of setup and use, range, and other factors. Continue reading to learn the results of our thorough testing.
Design: Understated and easy to fit in with most decors
The Eero Pro is a mesh system that allows you to create a wireless network that works with your living room or office using a few modular components. The Eero Pro router is the main component, and it’s a sleek little unit that’s much smaller than most routers. With only one indicator light, no external ports or antennas, and only two Ethernet ports, it’s also a lot simpler.
You can mix and match Eero beacons with your system in addition to the Eero Pro router. The beacons have the same sleek white design aesthetic as the other beacons, but they’re even more basic. Each beacon is designed to be plugged into a wall outlet and has no Ethernet ports.
We set up a basic network with a single Eero Pro and then connected two beacons in the configuration we tested. You can use a single beacon, multiple beacons, or even multiple Eero Pro routers in bridge mode, depending on the layout of your home or office.
Setup Process: Possibly the easiest Wi-Fi mesh system you’ll ever use
You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the Eero Pro if you’ve been hesitant to set up your own wireless network or avoided mesh networks because they seem too complicated. The entire setup process is aided by a smartphone app that guides you through each step, and the overall experience is one of the most straightforward we’ve seen.
Your Eero Pro and beacons can be placed wherever you want, but the app is designed to assist you in finding the best locations. You can also tell the app how many floors you have and select a floor plan that looks similar to your house to get personalized recommendations.
When you place each Eero beacon, the app checks to see if it will work automatically. In each case, we got the green light on the first try, but it’s nice that the app can alert you if there are any placement issues.
The fact that you have to sign up for an account with Eero during the setup process may irritate some people. This includes providing your phone number to Eero in order for them to send you a confirmation code. It was a quick and painless procedure, but it was still an annoyance.
Connectivity: Tri-band base stations and dual-band beacons
The Eero Pro is a MU-MIMO tri-band router with one 2.4GHz and two 5GHz channels, and dual-band beacons with one 2.4GHz and one 5GHz channel each. Eero does not provide an AC rating for the Eero Pro, unlike most routers. However, they do provide some figures.
Eero’s maximum rated transmit speeds are 240 Mbps at 2.4GHz and 600 Mbps at 5GHz, according to the company. The tri-band Eero Pro would then be an AC1440 router, which is on the low end for a router in this price range.
The problem is that a router with a high AC rating won’t always achieve those numbers in practice, and the purpose of a device like the Eero Pro is to create a large mesh network rather than provide the fastest possible speed from a single access point.
In terms of connectivity, the Eero Pro’s biggest flaw is that it only has two ethernet ports.
The Eero Pro does support MU-MIMO, which is a technology that aims to provide the fastest possible connection speeds to devices that use a variety of wireless technologies. You can even broadcast a single Wi-Fi network ID for all of your devices to connect to, eliminating the need to choose between the 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks for distance and speed.
In terms of connectivity, the Eero Pro’s biggest flaw is that it only has two Ethernet ports. One connects your router to your modem, while the other can be used to provide a wired internet connection to a device such as a computer. A network switch is required if you want to connect other devices via Ethernet.
Network Performance: Wireless coverage is great but a little slow
On a Mediacom gigabit internet connection, we tested network throughput performance using both a wired Ethernet connection and an automatic system that switches between 2.4GHz and 5GHz based on speed and performance.
Over several tests, we averaged about 937Mbps when using a wired connection to the Eero Pro. In a Wi-Fi mesh system, the wired connection isn’t the main attraction, but it’s worth noting that this is one of the fastest wired speeds we’ve seen out of the various routers we’ve tested using the same connection and hardware.
With our test device about three feet from the router and using the wireless system without any beacons connected, we averaged 265Mbps down and 67Mbps up. This is slower than other 5GHz routers we’ve tested on this connection, but it’s still fast enough for streaming 4K video, gaming, and other similar tasks.
If you need to extend your Wi-Fi network over a large area or have a history of Wi-Fi dead zones, our hands-on testing shows that the Eero Pro will suffice.
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Our next test was done about 15 feet away from the router, with no beacons connected and a closed door between the router and our test device. At that distance, we saw the same download speed and a slightly slower upload speed of about 63Mbps.
The following test was conducted 30 feet away from the router, with no beacons connected and two walls between the router and the device. Our download speed dropped to around 210Mbps at that distance, while our upload speed remained unchanged.
We were able to maintain the baseline 265Mbps connection speed throughout our roughly 1,800 square foot space with beacons connected. When we had visitors while testing this system, we even installed a beacon in an RV parked about 50 feet from the router, successfully extending the same baseline connection speed out there.
We’re confident that the Eero Pro and enough beacons will suffice if you have a large house with multiple floors or strange Wi-Fi dead zones.
Software: Fantastic phone app, no web interface
You can download the Eero smartphone app to your iPhone or Android device. You’ll need the app to set up the network at first, and you’ll also need it to manage the network later. The app is simple to learn and use, but it’s important to remember that it’s the only way to manage your Eero Pro. Eero, unlike most routers, does not have a web interface.
The Eero Pro system is intended to be as simple and user-friendly as possible, and the app is no exception. It’s simple to use, with a home screen that shows your most frequently used devices, the status of each Eero Pro and beacon in your system, and the most recent internet speed tests. Even if you aren’t a networking expert, you will find this information to be very easy to understand.
The Eero Pro system is intended to be as simple and user-friendly as possible, and the app is no exception.
The section on internet connection speed is primarily for users who are unsure how fast their connection should be. The system performs tests on a regular basis, with the option to test manually, and displays a message describing the types of activities that can be performed at that speed. For example, Eero informed us that we could expect to stream 4K video, use video chat apps, and stream games on multiple devices with our gigabit connection. This is all very useful information for a layperson.
You can also customize your network with the app, though some features require a subscription. You can’t set a custom DNS without first subscribing to Eero Secure, for example.
When you first set up your network, you get a free trial of Eero Secure, which is a subscription service. At the DNS level, it automatically scans for problems, blocks threats, and blocks ads, and you can see details about what it has blocked through the app. It also has parental controls and content filters, which we’ll discuss in the next section.
Parental Controls: Advanced features require a subscription
Eero Pro has powerful parental controls built in that you can manage through the app. It works by creating profiles for each member of your family, assigning devices to those profiles, and then blocking content and scheduling internet pauses for your children if you don’t want them online during homework time or at night.
The built-in parental controls are fantastic, but you’ll have to pay extra for them. It costs $3.99 per month or $29.99 per year to get parental controls, as well as threat scanning and blocking, ad blocking, and advanced network security.
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Price: On the expensive side
This system costs $319 (Check latest price on Amazon) in the configuration we tested, which includes a single Eero Pro and two beacons. The MSRP for a single Eero Pro is $159, and the MSRP for beacons is $149. Eero Pro routers and beacons are also available in a variety of other configurations, such as three routers, a router and a single beacon, and so on.
The system we tested is a bit on the pricey side at $319. Superior routers, such as the Linksys EA9500, can usually be found for a little bit more. The catch is that while those routers may perform better in some areas, they lack the flexibility of a mesh system.
If you need to extend your Wi-Fi network over a large area or have a history of Wi-Fi dead zones, our hands-on testing shows that the Eero Pro will suffice. Although it isn’t the only mesh system on the market, this makes it well worth the money.
Eero Pro vs. Netgear Orbi
The Netgear Orbi is one of the most direct competitors to the Eero Pro, and both systems have a lot to offer. Because you have more options with the Orbi than with the Eero Pro, it’s a lot more complicated. Their RBK33 system, which has an MSRP of $300, comes the closest to the system we tested. The RBK33 comes with an Orbi router and two plug-in satellites, just like the Eero Pro system we tested.
The Orbi router is slightly less expensive than the Eero Pro, but it has some additional features that the Eero Pro does not. The Orbi router, for example, has four Ethernet ports versus two on the Eero Pro. The Orbi router also includes a sync button, which you won’t find on the Eero Pro.
The whole point of Eero is to make things as simple and straightforward as possible. When you plug in a router or beacon, the app recognizes it and allows you to add it to your network. When you compare this to the Orbi’s system of pushing sync buttons, routers, and satellites, you’ll see how the Eero outperforms the Orbi in terms of ease of use.
Both the Eero Pro and Orbi routers support MU-MIMO, and their base ranges are similar, with the Eero Pro router having a slight advantage in range. Based on our calculated AC rating for the Eero Pro, the Orbi is marketed as an AV2200 device, which theoretically gives it a slight speed advantage.
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The Final Word
The Eero Pro is a bit pricey, and the speeds we measured during testing were a little disappointing, but the bottom line is that this system provides adequate performance while demystifying the process of setting up a mesh Wi-Fi network. The Eero Plus is the system for you if you want a simple setup and a system that just works.