Hardware Review Eero 2nd Generation Review: Now Twice As Powerful! On Top Of The Connectivity Revolution

DaveF

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At a guess, if you want 6E, you're wating another 12-36 months before wifi hardware are out and devices support it. (It's not out yet. Nothing supports it.)

The basics look like 6E will be faster than 6, with lower latency. But will have shorter range and may fall off even faster through walls and furniture. It's a 6 GHz frequency band vs 5Ghz or 2.4 GHz for current wifi. It is likely somewhat similar to 5G and 5G ultra wideband.


I can't find any real hard numbers on it. Presumably because it doesn't exist yet in products so any performance claims are spec-based idealistic rather than real-world.
 

John Dirk

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Clinton,


That's pretty impressive, though, in reality, I would love to reach above 600Mbps in wireless if that is possible.
Why??? If not out of sheer austerity (which I can understand :D ), there is no practical application for speeds in this range at the consumer level. It's important to remember, the real-world speed of any actual Internet connection will never exceed the slowest link in the chain, which is potentially different for every unique connection and completely beyond your control. Also keep in mind, wifi 6 is of no use to you unless it is supported by both your router and the connected devices.
 
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Ronald Epstein

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Why??? If not out of sheer austerity (which I can understand :D ), there is no practical application for speeds in this range at the consumer level. It's important to remember, the real-world speed of any actual Internet connection will never exceed the slowest link in the chain, which is potentially different for every unique connection and completely beyond your control. Also keep in mind, wifi 6 is of no use to you unless it is supported by both your router and the connected devices.

I understand there is no hardware YET. However, the new iPhone should be Wifi 6. The next Macbook Pros should also be.

I just don't want to buy a new $600 mesh system if Wifi 6E is only a year behind it and hardware in 2022-23 will support it.

As far as speed is concerned...

Anyone would want over 600Mbps of wireless speed. For the same reason I buried cable in the ground from my router to the other side of the house so I could enjoy a direct ethernet connection of nearly 1GB.

So, let's assume all the computer and phone hardware I own supports WiFi6/6E, and the cameras and Alexa devices don't. Are you saying those devices being the weakest link in the chain will slow down the overall speed being delivered throughout the house to the WiFi 6 capable hardware? I just want to make sure I understand this correctly.
 

DaveF

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Why??? If not out of sheer austerity (which I can understand :D ), there is no practical application for speeds in this range at the consumer level. It's important to remember, the real-world speed of any actual Internet connection will never exceed the slowest link in the chain, which is potentially different for every unique connection and completely beyond your control. Also keep in mind, wifi 6 is of no use to you unless it is supported by both your router and the connected devices.
It sure is nice getting macOS upgrades in minutes instead of hours. :)

But yeah, most of daily life can't take advantage of gigabit speeds. 4K streaming needs like 25 Mbps? So 100Mbps is probably great for daily life for a small household. (Well, two of us did fine with 50 Mbps for several years. I upgraded to 1Gbps because it was cheaper than staying at 50 to 100 Mbps.) Email, web surfing, shopping Amazon, reading HTF...no benefit from gigabit yet.

If you're torrenting "files", or doing a lot of YouTube uploads for a video hobby / profession, faster would certainly be better.

I get 100 Mbps pretty easily on wifi with my setup. If I went to mesh, I might be able to get that higher, more consistently. But it's not pressing on me by any means.
 
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John Dirk

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So, let's assume all the computer and phone hardware I own supports WiFi6/6E, and the cameras and Alexa devices don't. Are you saying those devices being the weakest link in the chain will slow down the overall speed being delivered throughout the house to the WiFi 6 capable hardware? I just want to make sure I understand this correctly.

Not at all, Ron. Sorry. That was a poor explanation on my part. Here is what I should have said.


The 600 Mbps speed you are speaking of is between your wifi router and your wifi devices but this traffic [in most cases] must then traverse the general Internet to provide any useful function to you and that is usually where the bottleneck occurs.

Every time you use the Internet a virtual connection [route] must be established between your home computer and the destination [server, web site, etc] you are exchanging data with. Since the connection is virtual, the actual route can and will vary based on the overall state of the Internet at any given moment, which no one entity has absolute control over.

The speed you pay for is the connection between you and your ISP and even that is not guaranteed. Think of it like this. If you wanted to mail a letter you could either place it out for the Postal worker to retrieve from your mailbox [slower] or drive it to the Post Office yourself. The latter choice would cut the first leg of the journey [analogous to data traveling from your home to your ISP] down considerably but in both cases, the final delivery time to the recipient would depend on the performance of several other Postal workers who you have no ability to influence.
 

John Dirk

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It sure is nice getting macOS upgrades in minutes instead of hours. :)
This is true up to a point of course but I doubt there is a discernable difference in most cases between, say, 500 Mbps and 1Gbps for Internet traffic as there are simply too many potential factors out there that can impede overall performance. If you pay an ISP for 1Gbps speed they are essentially promising that THEY won't impede your overall performance but they cannot promise others won't. For proof of this, consider the current Net Neutrality dilemma.
 

DaveF

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This is true up to a point of course but I doubt there is a discernable difference in most cases between, say, 500 Mbps and 1Gbps for Internet traffic as there are simply too many potential factors out there that can impede overall performance. If you pay an ISP for 1Gbps speed they are essentially promising that THEY won't impede your overall performance but they cannot promise others won't. For proof of this, consider the current Net Neutrality dilemma.
There's a noticeable difference from 50Mbps to 1Gbps. And I have seen multiple times speeds >500Mbps for those big macOS and ios updates. More practically, gig is bascially the same price as 100M, so even if 100M is all a person needs in 2020, might as well get gig (where I'm at).

But I agree that for the most part these speeds don't have a lot of daily benefit. Mail, web, social media. Posting 160 characters doesn't take very much bandwidth. :) And for the two of us, we could plausibly have two 4K streams going at once, plus doodling on facetweet, so 100Mb is plenty.

But having 500+Mb means that we can do all that, and if I start some big download or my wife starts uploading photos to instabook, 4k streaming won't be affected.
 
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Ronald Epstein

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John,

I very much appreciate all the valuable information you have provided here as well as your patience in answering questions.

Bottom line: For those of us that have the current eero Pro units, are we going to see a substantial uptick going with the WiFi 6 Pro models with upcoming computer and phone models that will support it?

On the issue of WiFi 6e, it doesn't sound like at the moment that it's going to be better than WiFi 6. Correct?
 
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Clinton McClure

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According to this article at The Verge , the biggest difference between the two is 6E uses the 6GHz band which will provide more bandwidth because less devices will be using it. In most cases, more bandwidth equals better network performance. If I look at WiFi networks in my neighborhood, I can sometimes see my closest neighbor’s network, but for the most part, our houses are too far apart for our networks to interfere with each other. Will WiFi 6 offer me better in-home network speeds over WiFi 5? Yes. Will I see an improvement using 6E over 6? Maybe, maybe not. I guess the long and the short of it is this: if you absolutely have to have new network equipment today because your router is failing, buy a WiFi 6 router. If your network is ok, wait until next year when WiFi 6E devices will start to penetrate the market. Perhaps by then, eero will have a 6E version you can upgrade to.
 

John Dirk

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ottom line: For those of us that have the current eero Pro units, are we going to see a substantial uptick going with the WiFi 6 Pro models with upcoming computer and phone models that will support it?
I agree with @Clinton McClure in that you should buy the latest technology available at the moment you happen to be in the market as opposed to upgrading solely because new technologies have emerged. With wifi there are too many factors in play to state conclusively whether or not a particular use case would see significant improvement when the next best thing comes to market. Wifi 6 in particular will be most beneficial to those with lots of supported devices competing for available bandwidth. I personally expect it to be most useful at the Enterprise level. I haven't really looked into 6E but if it's going to use an even higher frequency band than 5Ghz then expect range to decrease proportionately. For this very reason, in may cases, 2.4 Ghz is still preferred even for devices that support 5Ghz.

********

In my home I currently have about 40 devices and of those, maybe 15 depend on wifi. To ensure the wifi devices receive the strongest possible signal, the single best tactic I've employed is to place an access point within close proximity. This involved cabling work which can be expensive if you're not prepared to do it yourself but it is absolutely futureproof and will always yield better results than trying to optimize wifi. At this point, the devices in my home that use wifi do so only because they lack actual Ethernet ports. If that were not the case I would have them all hardwired as I've run the necessary cabling.

I tried mesh systems and found them to be very disappointing overall. I am now using 3 of these, strategically placed, in AP mode and with hardwired gigabit connections back to my main router. Counting the main router, I now have 4 AP's, which provides excellent coverage throughout my home. If an AP fails I can replace it for less than $50.00 instead of being tied to the manufacturer of a mesh system and forced to purchase expensive, proprietary nodes.

I do realize this is more than what you asked for so please feel free to ignore everything below the ****
 
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John Dirk

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There's a noticeable difference from 50Mbps to 1Gbps.
Of course. I was speculating the difference between 500Mbps and 1000Mbps should be minimal in most cases.

And I have seen multiple times speeds >500Mbps for those big macOS and ios updates.
That statement surprises me but then again I wouldn't know because I only pay for 100Mbps at the moment. ;) I may go up a little soon.

gig is bascially the same price as 100M, so even if 100M is all a person needs in 2020, might as well get gig (where I'm at).
I envy you. Gig service is nearly double the price of 100Mbps where I live and requires a 2 year contract for that price, so as to ensure I can't get rid of them when I experience their well-documented horrendous customer service/outages again.
 

DaveF

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Here, just checking, it’s $40/mo for 200 and $80 for 1000. New customer tv and gig for two years can be around $90/mo.
 

Clinton McClure

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Here 100Mbps is $85 and 1Gbps is $95. My old house had crappy 6Mbps service with frequent interruptions and outages that was $70/mo so I’m ok with paying $25 more for top tier internet service. We had HD cable with whole-home DVRs and stuff that was close to $140/mo but I finally convinced my wife to let us cancel it and stick strictly with streaming. It’s been great so far.
 
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John Dirk

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Here, just checking, it’s $40/mo for 200 and $80 for 1000. New customer tv and gig for two years can be around $90/mo.
I pay slightly over $40.00 for 100. Gig would be about $90.00 but, again, that's with a 2-year contract. Without a contract it's something like $120.00. For my needs, 100 has actually been fine. If I go up it will be my inner geek acting out, nothing more.
 
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DaveF

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Last year, I called Verizon and upgraded from 50 to 1000 and cut my monthly cost by 30%. I’d been ratcheting up every two years and new customer pricing for gig was way lower than what I was paying for 5% of that speed. I got a great, senior customer service rep on the phone and she got me a bundle that met my needs for the right price, and I didn’t have to do the new-customer cancel/resubscribe game.
 
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Ronald Epstein

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Maybe I am the last person to realize this but iPhone 11s are already WiFi 6 compatible.

I would suspect the new Macbooks that will be announced in another week will also be.
 

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