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Review of the eero Mesh WiFi 3-Pack System

This is a review of the eero mesh WiFi system – router replacement for whole-home coverage (3-pack). This 3-pack WiFi system provides coverage up to 5,000 sq. ft. Like WiFi extenders, mesh systems are designed to expand WiFi signals to parts of a home, inside and out, that may be getting spotty connections. According to the manufacturer, this system:

"...intelligently routes traffic to avoid congestion, buffering, and dropoffs."

Modern homes are filled with laptops, tablets, mobile phones, smart televisions, smart assistants, smart appliances, and other kinds of smart technology. All these devices are competing for the bandwidth coming into your home. Interference can cause some devices to behave erratically.

When you set up a mesh system, it doesn't replace your existing network. Both will be available in the list of WiFi networks to which you have access. You can switch back and forth between your network and the eero on each device, or put some devices on the eero and leave others on your existing network.

This system normally sells for $249, but since it's an Amazon product keep an eye out for possible savings during Prime Day and Black Friday, when the retail giant often heavily discounts its own products.

Speed Versus Coverage

It's important to understand the difference between expanding coverage and increasing speed. Many people think that extenders or mesh systems increase Internet speed. But they're actually designed to bring WiFi coverage to dead spots or areas with spotty coverage. In the process, they should increase speed to areas that were previously getting poor coverage, but an extender can't increase speed beyond the limitations of your ISP or router. Just like garbage-in-garbage-out, if you are getting poor service from your ISP or your router is older, a mesh system or extender won't make things any better.

The eero is dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz designed for speeds up to 350 Mbps. The eero pro is tri-band 2.4GHz, 5.2 GHz, and 5.8 GHz for speeds up to 550 Mbps.

Mesh systems like the eero can expand the coverage of your WiFi

Mesh systems like the eero can expand the coverage of your WiFi

My Speed Test Results

Internet speeds can vary. Run multiple tests to get an idea of how effective a mesh system or extender is versus your regular network in different parts of the house.

I performed speed tests downstairs and on the opposite side of the house from my router. It's an area that doesn't get the best signal. My download speed on the first test according to the Google Internet speed test was 187.3 Mbps (megabits per second) for download while the second was 227.3 Mbps. When I switched to my regular home network, I got 37.5 Mbps, then a few minutes later, I got 26.2 Mbps. When I switched back to the eero, I got 197.6 Mbps. So, the eero is providing a significant improvement in this area of the house.

I also ran a test on my Samsung tablet using the FAST speed test provided by Netflix. My speed was 17 Mbps on the first test and 21 Mbps on the second for my regular network. Switching to the eero, I got 77 Mbps on the first test and 78 Mbps for the second. Running speed tests on different devices in different parts of the house may give you an idea of how effective the eero system is for you.

I was also having some connection issues on my Tivo Stream 4K streaming device prior to getting my eero mesh system. The connection sometimes dropped and I got a connection error, or it loaded but I was met with a blank screen. Since I've put it on the mesh, I haven't been having issues. The Tivo is in an area far from my router, so its prior connection was spotty. Now it's just a few feet away from an eero beacon.

And that's a great thing about this 3-pack mesh system. You can put the beacons in three separate parts of the house for better coverage than a single WiFi extender could provide.

Privacy

This system may improve your WiFi, but possibly at the cost of your privacy. eero, owned by Amazon, collects:

"...family profile names, device hostnames, firmware data, Application clickstream, WiFi channel usage information, types of connected devices, the association of devices with a specific family profile, and WiFi signals from other WiFi systems in the area...your mobile device’s unique device ID number and manufacturer, MAC address, hostname, IP addresses, and how you use the Application(s)"

According to TechCrunch, this isn't as bad as it sounds.

"Eero doesn’t monitor your internet activity. We scoured the privacy policy, and the most the router collects is some basic information from each device connecting to the router that it already broadcasts, such as device name and its unique networking address...And there’s nothing in there that says even vaguely that Eero can or will spy on your internet traffic. Among the many reasons, it (mostly) couldn’t even if it wanted to...[There is] an encrypted connection between your computer and the app or website. Not even your router can see your internet traffic. It’s only rare cases like Facebook’s creepy “research” app that forces you to give it “root” access to your device’s network traffic when companies can snoop on everything you do."

-- https://techcrunch.com/2019/02/12/amazon-eero-privacy/

If you're still concerned and you (understandably) don't trust tech giants like Amazon, try looking elsewhere for a mesh device.

eero.com/shop has a quiz to help determine which eero mesh system is right for your home

eero.com/shop has a quiz to help determine which eero mesh system is right for your home

Potential Issues

I've only had one problem with this eero mesh system since I've owned it. I subscribe to CBS All Access, which works fine when I run it on my laptop and Tivo Stream 4K, both of which are connected to the eero. However, when my Samsung Android tablet and Samsung smartphone are connected to the eero, I get this error when I try to play a show:

"We're having trouble playing this video. Please check your connection and try again."

The error code is 6320. I haven't been able to find any information from CBS relating to what's causing this. When I switch back to my regular network, I no longer get the error.

I use several streaming apps including Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, and Amazon Prime and they all work well when devices are connected to the eero. So far, CBS All Access has been the exception. But this does indicate that some apps may not work when connected to the eero. This isn't a big issue for me because I can switch back to my regular network when using CBS All Access. But this is something to be aware of before investing in a mesh system. The mesh systems themselves may be a source of errors. If you have an app that used to work and is now giving you connection errors, switch back to your regular network and see if that resolves the problem.

Eero mesh Wi-Fi reviewed - how easy are they really to set up?

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

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