Eero Wireless Router Reviewed
After the 15 minutes it took to unbox eero, plug it in, download the app, and get the network named and password protected, there wasn’t much to do — other than wait.
That’s the blessing, or curse, with home wi-fi. From my experience of years of setting up routers and home networks professionally, it either works great (from the start), or it doesn’t. If it doesn’t work or reach your entire house from the set up, however, there’s very little the average person can do.
The promise eero is hoping will resonate with potential customers, those scared of a home wireless set up or those frustrated from past experiences, is one that just works — despite any individual’s own living arrangement.
The slick-looking router has most features which make it feel current and modern. It uses an app for management and connects initially over Bluetooth, meaning finding a spot to plug it in is the hardest part to get started. It has a speed test indicator built into the app. But eero’s headlining feature is its seamless mesh networking to easily expand range and coverage in large or problematic homes.
That 15 minute setup I mentioned initially, that actually included setting up TWO eero devices. One was upstairs and was one downstairs to provide complete coverage of a 1,700 sq. ft. 2-story home.
The more knowledge someone has about networking devices can definitely can alleviate a lot of the hassles setting up home wi-fi, but it’s not a guarantee there won’t be any problems. Because you’re dealing with this invisible transfer of data affected by physical objects (like concrete) and other invisible circumstances like weather and radio waves, wireless networking can be maddening.
So how has my eero system worked after the first week of use? I haven’t thought about it once, which is the best result I could have hoped for.
This eero is actually the third wireless router (system) I’ve had in the last six months because of random circumstances which means I’ve been able to compare it to other wi-fi systems currently on the market.
After two solid years with an AirPort Extreme, it became faulty. I gave Google’s OnHub router a try and it performed wonderfully. I got used to its features like remote access to its settings, speed testing built into the app, and real-time data usage. It felt like a breath of fresh air compared to Apple’s offering.
In comparison, eero feels up-to-par with OnHub. (It had a guest network option by out-of-the-gate, whereas OnHub didn’t.) Again, the killer feature that eero is hoping edge others out is that if you have a spot in your home where Internet drops out, all you have to do is purchase another eero device and within *minutes* you’ll be good to go. No fiddling with IP addresses or complicated modes.
The eero app is its main hub, it’s how you interact with the wi-fi system. I used a beta version of the app which had no issues. The worst thing you can say about the app is that it’s simple and boring — probably the goal the company had in mind.
Apple’s AirPort app, comparatively, is very confusing with a layout too clever for its own good. Google’s OnHub app is easy to use, but hides a lot of settings behind buttons that you might not assume are actually buttons.
On the far end of the spectrum away from Apple is eero’s app which is straightforward, simple, and visually uninteresting. I particularly appreciate the copy written in-app describing some of the settings, including those advanced ones. It’s clear without being demeaning to novice users.
I know boring is typically reserved for a negative connotation, but in this case, it’s a check in the ‘positive’ column. A bit more color wouldn’t hurt the app, but overall it’s a great start.
Wi-fi routers have kept getting more expensive and eero is no exception. These devices have become home appliances, often in the hundreds of dollars.
Is eero worth its $499 price? That’s a lot of money and can be a tough sticking point to get over, but if you’ve ever had wireless distance issue, you might be willing to pay anything for a solution that ’just works.’
The other consideration is that this isn’t just a $500 router, it’s more of a router system akin to buying multiple routers.
Price aside, eero was really easy to set up, looks attractive, and has performed as promised. It seems it really was worth the wait for this product.