Ama­zon Eero Wi-Fi mesh

Ama­zon prom­ises fast and sim­ple mesh Wi-Fi from its Eero sub-brand. But does it de­liver?

APC Australia - - CONTENTS - NICK ROSS

Eero is a mesh Wi-Fi sys­tem that prom­ises to make up­grad­ing your wire­less net­work a sim­ple process. It’s avail­able for pur­chase as a sin­gle node ($199) which cov­ers 140m2 or in a $429 three pack which cov­ers $460m2. It prom­ises to act as a sin­gle, stand-alone router that can con­nect di­rectly to your mo­dem. Plus, that its net­work is eas­ily ex­pand­able, that it works with your ex­ist­ing in­ter­net ser­vice provider, that it takes min­utes to set up and that it gets bet­ter over time thanks to au­to­matic up­dates. The prob­lem is that ab­so­lutely none of this is new.

Eero does have some­thing go­ing for it, though – the com­pany was ac­quired by Ama­zon in 2012 and sub­se­quently should work well with the tech gi­ant’s other, Eero, smart-home de­vices. We’ve also found that there’s no all­con­quer­ing mesh Wi-Fi sys­tem in the cur­rent mar­ket. Could the Eero be the one to plump for?

Our three-node sys­tem came well pre­sented with the box con­tain­ing three, smart-look­ing, glossy, white nodes, rest­ing above a wel­come card which de­scribes a four-stage set-up. Each node has two Gi­ga­bit Eth­er­net ports and a USB-C port for power. The box also in­cludes three sep­a­rate USB-C charg­ers and a 1m Eth­er­net ca­ble. The card told us to down­load the Eero app and fol­low the in­struc­tions. Once that was done we were promised a 10-minute setup process. Oh, if that were true!

If you don’t tick the ‘agree to be spammed with pro­mo­tions’ tick­box, setup won’t progress. It took us mul­ti­ple re­sets, form-re­fill­ing in and a frus­trat­ing 45-min­utes to get past this foible. Then we fi­nally moved onto, what felt like, a 20-step process that re­peat­edly asked us to ac­ti­vate and de­ac­ti­vate things. Why have we dwelled so much on this? Be­cause there’s not much else to write about.

Once up and run­ning the app is sim­ple and in­tu­itive to use, not least be­cause there aren’t many fea­tures. One tab does al­low you to en­able Ama­zon Wi-Fi sim­ple setup to help make Echo de­vices like smart speak­ers and Fire TV sticks con­nect more eas­ily to the net­work, but it re­lies on you link­ing your Eero ac­count to your Ama­zon ac­count, which can’t be done through the app. An “Eero Labs” Beta pro­gram al­lows you to pre­view new fea­tures and net­work im­prove­ments but they’re all com­mon­place in com­peti­tors. There’s not much to get ex­cited about.

We ran our per­for­mance tests in a three-storey Syd­ney town­house, down­load­ing large video files from an Synol­ogy 1019+ NAS to a Dell XPS 15 OLED lap­top. Up close the Eero man­aged a de­cent trans­fer speed of 316Mbps but this dropped con­sid­er­ably to 112Mbps when one floor up and 88Mbps two floors up – speeds are in-line with many ri­vals.

At $199 for a sin­gle node and $429 for three, it’s very pricey, es­pe­cially when com­pared to the Of­fice­works-sup­plied ri­val from Tenda which costs just $196 for three nodes. In the face of all this, we can’t rec­om­mend the Eero, it will only suit buy­ers who are al­ready heav­ily in­vested in Ama­zon hard­ware.

Ex­pen­sive, medi­ocre per­for­mance, lim­ited fea­tures and a prom­ise of an easy setup that doesn’t hold true. Dis­ap­point­ing.

“Once that was done we were promised a 10-minute setup process. Oh, if that were true!”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.