Mesh routers have been rising in popularity over the last few years, and for good reason. They provide high-speed coverage throughout the entire house. Eero is one of those mesh routers, and they claim that their TrueMesh system will improve Wi-Fi compared to other options. Is that the case?
Eero will improve your Wi-Fi speeds when replacing older Wi-Fi technology and non-mesh networks. Eero will provide similar Wi-Fi speeds as other mesh routers that use the same Wi-Fi technology.
I’ve scoured the internet for users of various mesh routers including Eero and it’s competitors, such as Orbi. I don’t own multiple mesh routers, so I couldn’t test speeds out myself, but I think collecting data from a wide group of users provides more valuable feedback. Here is what my research found.
Does Eero improve WiFi?
First, I want to make the distinction between improving Wi-Fi versus faster Wi-Fi. Faster Wi-Fi means that your Wi-Fi network is capable of transferring more data in a given time period. As far as home Wi-Fi networks are concerned, I take improved Wi-Fi to mean that it is more reliable with more consistent coverage throughout the house.
In other words, having improved Wi-Fi means that you can go more places in your house and can count on having strong, steady Wi-Fi. So, does Eero improve Wi-Fi?
Eero will improve your Wi-Fi over stand-alone routers without mesh routing, and over routers that use an older Wi-Fi standard (802.11n and previous generations). Eero uses internal software to determine how to best route traffic between your connected devices as efficiently as possible.
Depending how big your house is, and the building materials, will determine how many Eeros you need. They are sold individually or in 3-packs. The Pro version will cover up to 2,000 square feet, and the non-pro will cover up to 1,500 square feet. The Eero three pack versions claim coverage of 6,000 and 5,000 square feet, respectively. If you have brick walls, or walls made out of anything but drywall, you can expect less coverage.
Additional Eero units can be added if additional coverage is needed. The Eero app will guide you through the process to determine optimal placement and how many Eero units you need.
The Eero main competitor, Netgear Orbi, covers about the same square footage, but with one less unit. They have the main router and a satellite unit that can cover up to 6,000 square feet. Each additional satellite adds 2,500 square feet. I obtained this information from negear’s website here.
The Netgear Orbi may sound like the better deal because less hardware is needed, but the end result is the same. You will get reliable coverage throughout the house using Netgear Orbi or using Eero. Eero is a lot cheaper. Also, Orbi units are a lot larger in size.
For the price paid, Eero is an excellent choice to get a mesh network up and running in your house. It will improve your Wi-Fi if you don’t already have a mesh network setup. If you already have reliable internet with a strong Wi-Fi signal throughout your house, you may not notice a difference with Eero.
You can view more information about Eero’s current products here.
Does Eero make your WiFi faster?
This isn’t exactly an easy question to answer, as there are many factors involved, but I”ll try my best.
Eero will make your Wi-Fi faster in most cases, especially when replacing a router that uses an older version of Wi-Fi. Eero uses the latest Wi-Fi technology to deliver speeds upto 900 mbps.
There are three main factors that need to be accounted for in order to answer this question more accurately.
- Faster than what? What are you comparing Eero with?
Eero uses the latest WI-Fi technology, but so do other companies like Netgear and Linksys. So if you are comparing Eero to their top of the line, mesh Wi-Fi systems, you will likely see slightly lower speeds.
However, most people who buy an Eero are replacing an older router. It probably is not a mesh network, and is probably not using Wi-Fi 5 or Wi-Fi 6. Wi-Fi 5 was released in 2013, so if you are using that generation of Wi-Fi, I’ll talk about Eero’s speeds for various configuration in #3 below.
For now, the short answer is Eero will be faster if your current speed is less than 250 mbps.
- What version of Eero do you have?
There are now a couple generations of Eero on the market. Eero (no number suffix) uses WI-Fi 5 technology. Eero 6 uses the latest standard, Wi-Fi 6.
Eero’s that use Wi-Fi 5 have a maximum speed of 350 mbps.
Eero’s that use Wi-Fi 6 have a maximum speed of 900 mbps.
Some users report speeds slightly faster than that. I’ve seen some users get 950 mbps
- How are the Eeros configured?
The last big thing to consider is how the Eeros are configured. Mainly, do you have more than one?
If you have more than one Eero, say you brought the three-pack, that means you are using a mesh network. If you are connected to one of the satellite units (as opposed to the base unit which is directly connected to the modem), you will see what is known as the “first-hop penalty”
Basically, the satellite Eero introduces a slight delay because it has to relay the data to the base unit. This in turn reduces your throughput and our speed.
The Eero Pro 6 models don’t have as much of a first-hop delay because they are tri-band. That means each Eero has three frequencies it can transmit on.
You are probably familiar with 2.4 GHz and 5 Ghz. The new frequency, 5.8 GHz is used to exclusively transmit data between the Eero devices. Your Wi-Fi devices will not use this network. This helps increase throughput and reduce lag, which increases your speed.
Users with the Eero Pro 6 have reported speeds of over 900 mbps when directly connected to the base station, and speeds of upto 650-750 when connected to satellite units on a mesh network.
Can Eero handle 400 Mbps?
Now let’s take a look at a real world example.
The Eero 6 generation can support 400 mbps in any configuration. The Eero Pro 6 can support 900 mbps in any configuration. Older Eeros that use Wi-Fi 5 can only support speeds higher than 350 mbps when directly connected via a wired connection, and only support about 250 mbps over Wi-Fi.
One important thing to keep in mind is that you also need a modem that is capable of such high speeds. If you have an outdated modem, you won’t get high speed regardless of how fancy of a router you are using. I see this happen a lot when people are renting their modem from their internet service provider, and they just haven’t updated their modem in a long time.
Speaking of internet service providers, or ISPs, your internet speed will be limited based on which plan you are paying for. The faster plans cost more money, so most people usually don’t pay for them unless they have the need and the equipment.
It’s usually pretty easy to check the various plans on your ISPs website, and you can give them a call too if you prefer. I just don’t like to do that because they’re always trying to sell you something.