Amazon’s New Eero Mesh Routers welcome in the Wi-Fi 6E Era

Amazon is expanding its Eero mesh router selection with two additional models, one of which can send signals in the ultrawide 6GHz band.

Amazon's New Eero Mesh Routers welcome in the Wi-Fi 6E Era
The Eero 6 Plus mesh router three-pack, is available now for $299.
Ry Crist/CNET

Since Amazon bought Eero in 2019, the mesh networking company has had a busy couple of years. Following the swift release of new, lower-cost systems in 2019 and the release of Eero 6 and Eero Pro 6 mesh routers with Wi-Fi 6 capability in 2020, the firm announced another set of new mesh systems for the lineup on Wednesday: the Eero 6 Plus and Eero Pro 6E.

The Eero Pro 6E, as its name suggests, adds Wi-Fi 6E capabilities, allowing it to transfer data over the newly available, ultrawide 6GHz band. The Eero Pro 6E system has a triband build (a “Pro” upgrade point that adds an extra band to use as a dedicated wireless backhaul between the main router and its satellites) as well as an Ethernet WAN connector that supports incoming speeds of up to 2.5 gigabits per second (2,500Mbps). This positions the system well for multi-gig internet services from AT&T, Verizon, Frontier, Comcast Xfinity, Google Fiber, and others, which are becoming more widely available. It costs $699 for a three-pack or $299 for a single gadget on Amazon.

The Eero 6 Plus system, on the other hand, does not support Wi-Fi 6E and does not feature the multi-gig WAN interface, but it does enable full-width, 160MHz transmissions in the 5GHz band. It’s billed as Eero’s most cheap mesh system built for gigabit connections, and it’ll set you back $299 for a three-pack or $139 for a single device.

“The difference between the 6 Plus and the Pro 6E is basically gigabit-capable vs gigabit-plus-capable,” said Eero founder and CEO Nick Weaver. Weaver considers the inclusion of 160MHz channel support in the Eero 6 Plus — up from 80MHz in the ordinary Eero 6 — to be a particularly significant step forward, in addition to the Eero Pro 6E’s acceptance of Wi-Fi 6E and the 6GHz band.

“You’ve got much, much wider channels to carry data across,” Weaver explained. “It’s practically 2X the performance from the same radios.” “Even if you don’t have a 160MHz-capable client, you’ll see a speed boost on the 6 Plus simply by having quicker mesh connectivity.”

Weaver also mentioned that each of the new Eero systems is fully backward compatible with prior Eero versions, as well as new pricing for the Eero 6 system from the previous generation. Weaver tells that Eero is slashing the price of the three-pack from $279 to $199, or $89 for a single device.

A mesh router is more like a team of routers, with numerous devices wirelessly transmitting data through your home. It’s designed to assure robust, consistent speeds across bigger spaces than regular routers can cover. According to a study, switching to a mesh router is one of the best modifications most home networks can make to boost the Wi-Fi range, and the market is flooded with new alternatives worth considering.

As a result, the mesh category is becoming increasingly competitive. Mesh routers from Netgear Orbi, Google Nest, and TP-Link Deco are presently at the top of many well-known sites’ recommended systems list, while brands like Asus, D-Link, Arris, Linksys, and others are producing new systems on a regular basis. Even so, there are just a few name-brand three-piece systems that cost less than the Eero 6 Plus and offer Wi-Fi 6. Despite the higher price tag, the Eero Pro 6E is a better value bet than comparable three-piece Wi-Fi 6E systems from Linksys Velop and Netgear Orbi, which cost well over $1,000.

Eero Router
At $699, the Eero Pro 6E system is expensive, but still hundreds less than other three-piece mesh routers with support for Wi-Fi 6E.
Hobie Crase/CNET

The smart house is also mentioned by Eero as a potential differentiation. All of the current Eero routers feature Alexa voice commands for pausing Wi-Fi and other basic network management, as well as “frustration-free” device setup, which allows new gadgets to immediately sync with your Wi-Fi and with Alexa if your Eero account is linked to your Amazon account. The Eero 6 Plus and Eero Pro 6E, like the previous generation of devices, include built-in Zigbee radios that allow them to couple with lights, locks, and other compatible devices directly.

Matter, a Wi-Fi-based protocol that will launch later this fall as a universal language for smart home devices, is another option. Amazon is one of several big companies that have already backed the standard, while Eero has long supported Thread, a distinct Wi-Fi protocol that Matter will utilize to transport signals between devices.

“I believe we’ve arrived at a critical juncture,” Weaver added. “Apple, Google, and hundreds of other firms have all converged around the Matter standard. And, you know, we’ll absolutely back it.”

The Eero 6 Plus and Eero Pro 6E are both available on Amazon right now.

Also Read: How Much Does It Cost to Set Up an Amazon Smart Home? Explained

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