With the release of its first Wi-Fi 6E-enabled mesh Wi-Fi system today, Amazon-owned Eero entered the Wi-Fi 6E race. The Eero Pro 6E router adds access to the new 6GHz Wi-Fi band, offers wifi rates of up to 1.3 Gbps, and claims to cover over 100 devices at once. The 6GHz spectrum is being marketed as a large new Wi-Fi “traffic lane” that should allow for quicker speeds and less congestion on your home network.
The Eero Pro 6E ranges in price from $299 for a single router to $699 for a three-unit mesh system. The new model comes with a price decrease to the entry-level Wi-Fi 6 Eero 6 (beginning at $89) for speeds up to 500Mbps, as well as a new dual-band Eero 6 Plus system that enables gigabit speeds at a cheaper price (starting at $139).
The Eero Pro 6E enables multi-gigabit internet service, with one 2.5GbE and one 1.0GbE ethernet connector on each Eero device. So, if you’re one of the lucky few who has internet connections faster than a gigabit, you can use them right now. “We’ve been able to deploy in excess of 2.3 gigabits per second of data all at once in our tests,” Eero’s CEO and co-founder Nick Weaver told The Verge. “It ensures that the WAN coming in does not become a bottleneck.” The Eero Pro 6E costs $299 for a one-pack covering up to 2,000 square feet, $499 for a two-pack covering 4,000 square feet, and $699 for a three-pack spanning 6,000 square feet. The existing Eero Pro 6 mesh systems, which enable Wi-Fi 6, but not 6E, cost $100 more. The Pro 6, which is similarly tri-band but only has one 2.4 GHz and two 5GHz bands, is still available.
The Eero 6 Plus is a dual-band gigabit system that can connect up to 75 devices at once. It costs $139 for one router that covers up to 1,500 square feet, $239 for two routers that cover 3,000 square feet, and $299 for three routers that cover 4,500 square feet. In addition, the existing Eero 6 is now $89 for a single router, $139 (previously $199) for a two-pack, and $199 (previously $279) for a three-pack, down from $129 for a single router, $139 (previously $199) for a three-pack. With the exception of the Eero Pro 6E and Eero 6 Plus one packs, which can be preordered for delivery in May, everything is available to order right now.
Despite the price increase over the Pro 6, the Pro 6E is still one of the most affordable 6E mesh systems on the market, with Asus’ ZenWifi Pro ET8 starting at $530 for two units and rising up to a whopping $1,500 for Netgear’s top-end model. However, it’s evident that these new routers are subject to a 6E tax, with Eero charging nearly 15% more than the previous model for the pleasure of a Wi-Fi superhighway.
Eero’s current focus, according to Weaver, is on this lineup. While the previous Eero Pro 6 and entry-level Eero are still available, the company’s future lies with this new 6 series. “Nearly six years ago, we started shipping the first-generation Eero mesh system,” he explains. “A connection of 20 to 40 Mbps was considered incredibly fast back then.” In today’s world, gigabit is considered standard.” “Home connectivity is now a must-have, not a nice-to-have,” he argues, citing the changes brought on by the pandemic.
The Wi-Fi 6E designation denotes that the mesh system is capable of using the new 6GHz Wi-Fi frequency. On top of the conventional 2.5 GHz and 5GHz bands, this adds a third frequency to your home network. With one of each, the Pro 6E is a tri-band router. 6E‘s selling pitch is more about space than speed: it can deliver more bandwidth to more devices, reducing network congestion and reducing interference from other networks.
Wi-Fi 6E uses the 160MHz channel, which is the broadest available. While 5GHz clients can also access 160MHz, only 6E compatible clients can use it on the 6GHz band, thereby turning it into a wide, private highway for your fastest devices.
To get the most out of it, you’ll need a Wi-Fi 6E compatible gadget, which are few and far between right now. 6E is currently only supported by high-end Windows computers and Android phones, as well as routers. It’s supported by the Google Pixel 6 and Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, as well as a slew of new high-end gaming laptops, including Razer’s Blade 17.
According to Weaver, this is expected to alter substantially this year, and anyone considering purchasing a new router today should do so with a 6E capability. He says, “You’re future-proofing.” “You’re getting a very clear spectrum with enough of bandwidth for your network’s high-performance devices that handle 6GHz.”
Eero has updated the radio in the Pro 6E and the 6 Plus to accommodate the 160MHz channel on the 5GHz band, which “will deliver an instant speed gain to any client that supports 160 today,” according to Weaver.
The main disadvantage of the 6GHz band is that, like its 5GHz counterpart, it has a limited range, possibly even less than 5. As a result, it’s not a good fit for the wireless backhaul used by many mesh networks to communicate between nodes. However, Eero’s proprietary True Mesh solution does not rely on a traditional wireless backhaul. According to Weaver, the system can pick which frequency to use on a packet-by-packet basis, including now the 6GHz and 160MHz channels, allowing for quicker wireless mesh connections between Eero devices while preserving stability over long distances.
All of the new Eeros are backward compatible with previous-generation Eeros, and they come with a built-in Zigbee smart home hub for connecting compatible smart home devices to your network via Amazon’s Alexa. When the next smart home interoperability standard, Matter, emerges later this year, all Eero 6 devices can also operate as a Thread border router to enable Matter-certified devices.
While Thread devices may currently connect to an Eero Thread network, Weaver claims that until Matter arrives, Eeros won’t be able to merge with other Thread border routers, such as Apple’s HomePod Mini speakers or Nanoleaf’s Shapes lighting panels, to form a unified Thread mesh network.
Compare eero products
|eero Pro 6E mesh wifi system||eero Pro 6 mesh wifi system||eero 6+ mesh wifi system|
|Wi-Fi connectivity||Tri-band, Wi-Fi 6E||Tri-band, Wi-Fi 6||Dual-band, Wi-Fi 6|
|Wifi antennas||2.4 GHz: 2×2 5 GHz: 2×2 6 GHz: 2×2||2.4 GHz: 2×2 5 GHz: 2×2 5 GHz: 4×4||2.4 GHz: 2×2 5 GHz: 2×2|
|Wifi coverage||Covers up to 6,000 sq. ft.||Covers up to 6,000 sq. ft.||Covers up to 4,500 sq. ft.|
|Network Speeds||Up to 2.3 Gbps: (Up to a gigabit wired; Up to 1.3 Gbps wireless)||Up to a gigabit||Up to a gigabit|
|Number of devices supported on network||100+||75+||75+|
|Channel width||20, 40, 80, 160 MHz||20, 40, 80 MHz||20, 40, 80, 160 MHz|
|Wired connectivity||6; 2 per eero Pro 6E (1 x 2.5Gb 1 x 1Gb Ethernet ports)||6; 2 per eero Pro 6 (2 x 1Gb Ethernet ports)||6; 2 per eero 6+ (2 x 1Gb Ethernet ports)|
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