The Eero Pro 6E will be an excellent mesh WiFi system for most homes, at its core it delivers impressive speeds across a wide area but premium paywalled features stop this from being a market leader.
the good bits
Impressive speeds, even at range
Good overall coverage
Subtle design won’t stick out
the not so good bits
App features are paywalled
Some reliability issues
Eero Pro 6E Mesh WiFi System
If you’ve always put up with whatever bare bones router your internet provider sent you, chances are there’s some WiFi frustrations around your house. Maybe the speeds aren’t quite there, maybe it drops out from one room to the next, either way – there’s better options out there if you ditch the basic box.
Amazon’s solution is the Eero Pro 6E, a top-end WiFi router combining the coverage of a mesh system with the power of the latest 6E standard. Starting at £249.99 for a single unit and rising quickly to £549.99 for the three pod set I’m testing here, it’s a premium option for those looking to get most from their home network.
Before we start, it’s worth noting this isn’t a bench test review, I’m not looking to min-max what the Eero Pro 6E is capable of and like many in the UK I wouldn’t have the raw network speed available even if I wanted to. This is a real world look at how it performs day to day for near enough ‘normal’ home use.
Routers usually want to be pinged, not seen – so you’d forgive a brand for not dwelling too long on the design of the unit itself. Most of us stick it in the corner, try and keep it out of the way and forget it’s there. Some, like the rather flamboyant MSI Radix AXE6600 buck this trend with outlandish styling and RGB lights, the Eero Pro 6E does the opposite and is quite happy to quietly slide into the background.
Each of the three Eero Pro 6E mesh pods in my kit are identical, there’s no alpha main unit here, everyone gets equal footing. There’s an understated softness to the rounded edges of the Eero’s glossy white plastic shell, the skewed box shape ends up looking like a half-used candle, but in a pleasing way I suppose. It looks fine out in the open though and at just 14cm it’s small enough to not cause a fuss, this isn’t something you’ll need to be rushing into a cabinet.
Amazon sell Eero Pro 6E pods in packs of one, two or three units but the system is ready to grow as your needs do too. Not only can you add additional Pro 6E pods in future, there’s backwards compatibility across the Eero range which is great to see.
Each Eero Pro 6E pod offers two ethernet ports on the back, which feels a little mean from Amazon. If you’re investing in a system like this, chances are your network is powering a fair bit and you’ve likely got a range of additional devices that need ethernet access. You could stick a small switch into the system of course, but having paid top dollar already it’d be nice to see this pushed to three ports on the back so it’s never a consideration for 90% of users. One of those two onboard ports is 2.5GbE though, so there’s plenty of juice to be shared around if you do split things up.
The accompanying Eero app is simultaneously fine and incredibly frustrating to use and it all depends on what you’re hoping to do. For initial setup and basic monitoring of your Eero network devices it’s great. I found installing and adding each Eero Pro 6E pod to the ecosystem a simple job and it only took a few minutes to have everything setup. The same is true of keeping an eye on which devices are online and where they’re connected, it works well for the basics.
The frustrations arrive when you try to dive deeper, too many features are paywalled behind an expensive Eero Plus subscription. There is no excuse for needing to pay £9.99 a month for basic software functionality like parental controls, VPN connections or ad-blocking. The app is cleverly designed in this regard, it loves to suggest a feature to you only to then slam a payment screen in your face – not a nice experience. Paywalling features is rarely welcome but in this case it feels particularly bad. Not only is most if not all of this functionality included out of the box by competitors, it’s the kind of tactic you’d expect to see from a cheaper initial purchase, not a pro level device.
There’s a couple of reasons you’d look to upgrade from your ISP-supplied router and they’re generally based on maximising speed across more devices or if you’re looking into a mesh system, coverage. In theory, the Eero Pro 6E should handle both in its stride and for the most part – it does.
I max out at around 550mbps down and 50mbps up from my ISP so well within the Eero Pro 6E’s theoretical maximum and throughout a few weeks of testing it was clear the Pro never broke a sweat. Within sight of the main pod I saw consistent speeds pumping out <95% of that in all tests across a couple of wirelessly connected devices. Results weren’t quite so strong when connected to satellite units but across the board if I could see a pod, I knew speeds would be there.
Adding in barriers and interference the Eero Pro 6E mesh system still continued to perform well and at all distances provided greater speeds than were capable from a single router system like the MSI Radix AXE6600. This is where a mesh system should always outperform a single point of course but either way it’s great to see a clear improvement via the Eero Pro 6E. I found I was able to move an extra 10m or so into my garden and still maintain a solid connection, albeit taking a sizeable hit on speed in the process. It was still more than enough to complete any task though, plenty for general web browsing and emails while working outside.
Moving devices around the house while the connection never dropped, I found the Eero Pro wasn’t as quick to jump between pods as a Deco system I’ve tested previously. The Eero seemed too keen to hold on to its existing connection rather than hopping to what should be a closer, stronger signal. The result was a reduced experience for as much as 10 minutes when taking a laptop from downstairs to an upstairs bedroom for example. Seemingly absent from the Eero app is the ability to assign a specific access point to a device or prevent it from hopping. While niche I often found this helpful for devices on the cusp between two points and the app often makes a peculiar choice of which pod to connect to.
In an ideal world you’d setup your system once and then never think of it again and for the most part I found that to be true with the Amazon Eero Pro 6E. For a majority of my devices day to day connections were stable and performance was strong. I did find some smart home devices had a trickier time however, despite built in Zigbee and Thread support. My thermostat in particular was noticeably flakey where it hadn’t been with previous routers and mesh systems, the same was true of my Ring doorbell which often complained about network connections despite both devices remaining static throughout and in the same position as they thrived with other routers.
On the whole, the Eero Pro 6E system does its job with a quiet confidence. For homes just wanting to boost speeds across a wider area, the multi-pod mesh system does a great job at delivering strong connections over a wider range than you’ll achieve with even the better of single routers.
There’s a few nitpicks in this review, but these are more isolated experiences or features specific to my home setup. Most are also addressable on a software side though because the underlying hardware on the Eero Pro 6E is strong (let’s take down that paywall though shall we, Amazon?). A premium subscription aside, if you’re in the market for a move to mesh, the Eero Pro 6E system is a great option for most homes.