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Hardware Review Eero 2nd Generation Review: Now Twice As Powerful! On Top Of The Connectivity Revolution (1 Viewer)

DaveF

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For that money [actually much less] you could easily pay a professional to extend wired Ethernet anywhere in your home and then install cheap Ethernet switches and AP's where needed. The thing to remember here is that no piece of hardware can overcome the limits inherent in the protocols that it relies upon. Even at its very best, wifi is a compromise to wired Ethernet. The various protocols [wifi 5, wifi 6, MIMO] attempt to mitigate the compromise through various means and with very inconsistent results depending on a myriad of factors typical of real-world environments. Meanwhile manufacturers either create perfect laboratory environments for their testing or just fudge their numbers entirely. That's why the claims and numbers they post are more or less meaningless.

Ron. I love and share your passion for all things tech. I took a look at some of Ubiquiti's products myself before redesigning my own network but, as @DaveF pointed out, the reviews are a mixed bag at best and I ultimately decided their solutions would be more trouble than they were worth for my needs.

I hope you don't mind me speaking frankly and it is certainly not my intent to be condescending in any way but a good design should always start with a needs assessment. "What are you trying to achieve." The solution that addresses your actual needs with the lowest number of tradeoffs and at the best price is your ideal solution. Products like the Alien router arouse my suspicion because they promise outstanding results for everyone, regardless of their actual physical environment or needs. Even if the Alien router did provide perfect performance in your situation, it would not be an ideal solution unless it did so at the lowest available price point.

For the best possible results, connect any device that has an Ethernet port via an Ethernet cable and switch connected back to your main router. For devices without Ethernet ports, place an access point [wired back to the main router] as close to the device as possible and preferably with clear line of sight. Obviously, this will not always be possible and good wifi is a godsend in such cases.
Agreed that the actual best, highest-tech solution is wired ethernet with wifi mesh/AP/extenders connected there.

I quibble with the recommendation to "then install cheap Ethernet switches and AP's where needed." from the non-expert side of:
  • When I shopping for mesh in 2019, a new "cheap AP" system using Ubiquiti was more expensive than buying an Eero kit (with ethernet backhaul)
  • Going the self-configurated approach seemed to require "home wifi LAN management" become a new hobby rather than "plug in auto configurating consumer electronics and forget about it". And I don't want a new hobby of network management
I haven't compared mesh kit versus DIY this year, especially for wifi 6. So relative pricing might have changed. And maybe I was making it harder than it needed to be by looking at Ubiquiti for new router and AP's. This is where my non-expertise can steer me towards the Eero-type systems.
 

John Dirk

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What I find discouraging when doing research is that for every great review on a product, there are equally less stellar reviews. The Orbi AX6000 has gotten great reviews across the board, but there are some reviews on Amazon that make you think twice about buying it.

I wouldn't put too much stock in Amazon reviews on tech items unless the person reviewing has actual expertise in the field, which is rare. Many complain about things simply because they don't understand products limitations or they have it configured improperly. I guess the way I look at it is, the only review that really matters is my own, once I have it in my environment. In other words, make sure you purchase from a seller with an iron clad return policy.

Of course, by that time, there will be another advance on the WiFi spec around the corner.

Exactly. As long as we are alive there will always be the next best thing. The question is, does it provide any practical value in your specific current or planned future setting. I tend to buy the highest level of tech I can reasonably justify at the particular time I'm in the market and then wait for that "killer feature" to appear before I consider an upgrade.
 

John Dirk

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When I shopping for mesh in 2019, a new "cheap AP" system using Ubiquiti was more expensive than buying an Eero kit (with ethernet backhaul)

Correct. Ubiquiti products and inexpensive are mutually exclusive terms. That's yet another reason why I avoid these products. Their nodes are proprietary and ridiculously expensive. In the case of the Alien router, it is not even compatible with it's own cousin, the Amplifi HD. Protocols are protocols and are hardware agnostic. This is all the AP most really need today in a properly configured network. Wifi 6 isn't included with this one but there are reasonably cheap generic brands that do offer it.



Going the self-configurated approach seemed to require "home wifi LAN management" become a new hobby rather than "plug in auto configurating consumer electronics and forget about it". And I don't want a new hobby of network management

I agree. It can be a real pain. If the set & forget solutions actually worked as advertised I would be fine with them but the few I've tried [Netgear, Orbi] were simply horrible, even though the latter cost nearly $500.00.
 
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Ronald Epstein

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At this point, I am at a complete loss of what to do. I want to stick with mesh, but there doesn't seem to be a clear winner among brands.

This is an interesting graph I just took off of CNET where they put a bunch of routers through the paces. I know CNET is not the best source for hardware reviews. In its graph, the Orbi has the fastest download speeds. However, John's negative opinion on Orbi isn't different than other opinions I have read.

The Asus ZenWifi AX gets exceptional reviews though it's limited to two units in the home.

As always, my thanks to both of you for your continued input and patience.

mesh-wi-fi-routers-1.png
 
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Clinton McClure

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This is with the 2019 model Eero Pro, Ron.

* I forgot to include that I was streaming HD on Netflix upstairs and my wife was also streaming HD downstairs when I ran the speed test.

CBB9E7CF-4EF2-4CE9-9929-69EFE392F0AE.jpeg
 
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DaveF

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At this point, I am at a complete loss of what to do. I want to stick with mesh, but there doesn't seem to be a clear winner among brands.
You’re an early adopter, these products are all new, and full comparative testing with mature firmware remains to be done. You can get new tech early, based on initial info, or wait a while to get more robust reviews.

This is made explicit in the unfortunately buried paragraph deep into CNET’s initial Eero 6 Pro review. Their current reviews aren’t in their test lab, and don’t use WiFi 6 test devices. So these don’t necessarily tell you how they perform with an iPhone 12 or iPad Air.

One last note: I run these tests on a Dell XPS laptop that doesn't support Wi-Fi 6 in order to get a good, real-world sense of speeds, and also to serve as a contrast to our lab-based top speed tests, where we use Wi-Fi 6 devices to get a complete look at each router's capabilities in an ideal setting (again, stay tuned for those results in the coming days). If you're using Wi-Fi 6 devices like those in your home, then your speeds will likely be a bit faster than mine.


About four years ago, Google was the best WiFi mesh. Then Orbi, because Google had slacked off on updates and was falling behind. Then Eero because Netgear was rolling out buggy aofteare updates and was slow to fix their problems.

What’s the best today? What will be the best in three or four years? Make your best assessment, buy it, and enjoy. :)
 

Sam Posten

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Ronald Epstein

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I've ordered the Pro 6 for $479 which Amazon says will be in stock by December 28. Will see how long it takes. Thanks @DaveF


Sam,

Seriously, I would possibly rethink this purchase.

I have been having lots of issues with my Eero Pro v2 units for some time now. There are random disconnects of 5 minutes every other day.

I know it's not Verizon at fault, as I have seen my WiFi network go down while I was still actively connected to a direct ethernet input from the router.

I have been communicating with Eero support and while they have been absolutely great in responding and attempting to alleviate the issue, there is just a lot of jumping through hoops they want me to do in disconnecting and re-connecting major peripherals that I can't afford to be disconnected for any amount of time.

I then go to Eero's support forum and I see similar complaints from others.

Then, just for the heck of it, I go to Amazon to read reviews and I see something that really makes me feel I am not alone in all this. I will include the review below.

You may end up having no issues, Sam. I am just letting you know what is out there. Also, I only have one device in my home that uses WiFi 6 and that is my phone. I don't need WiFi 6 speed for my iPhone. By the time I have enough devices in my home that support WiFi 6, there will be WiFi 6E mesh units introduced. That is what I am waiting for at this point.




Jash

2.0 out of 5 stars Much Improved over Eero Pro, with Some Flaws
Reviewed in the United States on November 6, 2020
Configuration: eero Pro 6 3-PackVerified Purchase
As an early adopter of this new Tri-band Eero6, I think it’s important to share my experience with you all because it’s a lot of money, and many of you are a tech and electronics junkie like me.

I bought the Eero Pro in 2018. Because of its speed limit and lack of Ethernet ports in the beacons, plus many issues with the connectivity, decided to invest another big amount of money to give this brand another chance. Right before this, I tested a TPLink’s Decco mesh unit, but I didn’t see it any better than my Eero Pro.

By the way, it is nice to get the Fire Cube for free. I love it and didn’t buy the Apple TV.

The set up of the Eero6 was very easy via the app. I do have a good phone signal while setting it up. I think this may be required? Check others’ comments on this. Only problem is I had to remove the existing network and then I had to spend lots of time to rename all the devices. I didn’t know where the “upgrade” option was.

The speed is faster now. With Eero Pro, I got 400Mbps on my iPhone 11 next to the hub, now I got 700Mbs. MacBook Pro at 525Mbps because it’s not Wifi6. I also see the 2nd and third Eero6 units performing much better than Eero Pro’s beacons. The same location with a beacon, the speed was 50-200Mbps and was extremely unstable, now with the Eero6 Ethernet port, I got 500Mbps. 250Mbps on phone. BTW, my test is based on my 1G internet.

All sounds good? Not really.

This is still the problem: Some devices are still not connected the nearby unit, thus the speed isn’t at its best. I have to unplug the satellite Eero6 unit and let the device connect to the main Eero6 unit. One would argue, it’s not Eero, but the device decides which one to connect to, however, I think technically Eero can definitely manage that. I saw this complaint from people who bought Eero a couple of years ago, but I still don’t see it’s happening. FireTV Cube reports 250Mbps with the main Eero, but only 130Mbps with the satellite unit.

FireTV Cube is also an Amazon device, it reports my connection as “very good” but the channel as “poor”. Here is the thing, you cannot manage the WiFi channel, and the Eero app is made for dummies, it doesn’t tell you anything about it. I know Eero is supposed to manage the channels, but there should have some options for us to make some minimal changes or at least, be transparent. People who buy this expensive device are far more technologically enthusiastic than those who don’t know how to change the WiFi network password.

One thing you need to know is that your devices may not support the Wifi6. My iPhone 11 is the only device can use Wifi6.

With many people staying home these days, the WiFi space is becoming crowded, a good router is essential. I give it a 3 star because, while it’s a device with better signal strength, higher speed, and fast Ethernet ports, it’s still too early to have a conclusion, especially it has the same issues from the last generation. I will update my review accordingly. Be safe.

Update on 11/7: Less than 24 hours, my internet connection suddenly hangs, while everything shows green in the app, the unit has the solid white light. I had to hard reboot the main unit (unplug and replug). This is exactly the same problem the Eero Pro had: random internet disconnection. The main unit was very warm, but as expected.

Update on 11/9: I downgraded my rating from 3 to 2, and I don’t recommend you buy this product at this moment. Tonight, all devices’ connection dropped. The app is showing green but not responding to speed test. I checked my ISP and the connection had no issue. I rebooted, and the connection resumed. Within 2 days, I have had 2 connectivity incidents. Since my return window is not closed, I will give it a few more days before I return it. If you are reading this, hold your credit card, don’t buy it yet.

Update 11/15
Firmware update to 6.0.2. This is the third version since the product release not too long ago. In the past few days, it’s been stable. One is sure: my computer connected to the main hub via Ethernet now shows “offline” on eero appl, but the computer is alive. I have a feeling, this thing was not ready pushed out of the door.

Update 11/24
Firmware update 6.0.3 dropped a few days ago. While it fixed the disappearing wired device issue, and it seems more stable, it introduced something ugly, it's like extremely slow DNS. Once a site is connected, it's fast, but it juts takes an extraordinary long time to get to certain sites, even Ookla's speed test hangs to reach a testing server. Once it's connected, it's fast. I have restarted the device, change the dns, nothing helped. My return windows is still open. I would not recommend this product.
 
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smithbrad

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I was in the need of a new router to replace my 10 year old Asus. Based on the reviews I thought I'd try the eero. I kept going back and forth between the eero Pro 3-Pack for $399 and the eero Pro 6 3-pack for $479. With very few wifi 6 devices in the house, I decided to play it safe and go with the more proven eero Pro over the eero Pro 6 based on some of the reviews by people that upgraded. Likely, they will work out the bugs and the Pro 6 will be the better of the two, but I just don't need the headache until they do and I'm still only at Comcast's limited 200 mbs down and 5 mbps up.
 

Clinton McClure

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I have to say that I’ve never had trouble out of my 2nd gen Eero Pros. Usually the only time they get rebooted is when they receive a software update. Since I’m using my ISP’s cable modem as a gateway only, I turned off its WiFi antennas and have the gateway Eero connected to it via cat 5e cable. The Eero is double NAT-ed and running a different ip range than the gateway modem. The gateway is 192.168.x.x range and the Eero WiFi network is 10.10.x.x and everything works fine.
 

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