Are you struggling with sluggish Wi-Fi speeds or – worse still – no signal at all? As millions of us continue to work and study from home, a strong Wi-Fi connection is essential in every room of the home. If you’re having to dash between rooms to make sure you have enough bars of signal to join a video call …Amazon might have the answer. The online retail firm has launched a new version of its popular eero mesh Wi-Fi system.
First up, if you’re unsure what a mesh Wi-Fi network is – it’s basically the solution found in offices, airports, and stations across the world. Rather than a single Wi-Fi router in your hallway, like you’ll get through the post from most broadband companies when you sign-up, there are lots of smaller nodes dotted around the place. Rather than having to stretch to reach Wi-Fi signal from a single box, your smartphone, laptop, streaming set-top boxes and more will find the connection closest to them, almost guaranteeing full-bars of signal.
And if you’re walking around your home (just like an airport or open-place office) your device will bounce between these nodes so that it always has full signal. Of course, you won’t even be aware this is happening. Your device will always show that it’s connected to your home Wi-Fi network, but the clever mesh system will be intelligently shifting your gadget to the best available signal (either the closest, or the one with the least number of devices already connected to it) to boost your internet speeds. It’s exactly like how you join one Wi-Fi network in a sprawling train station, but your iPhone keeps a strong signal as you move between platforms, walk around the shops, and more.
And you don’t need to be living in a Beverly Hills-esque mansion to take advantage of a mesh network. It can also be handy if you’ve got a lot of devices – from smart thermostats, Sonos speakers and Wi-Fi enabled lightbulbs – or live in an older property with thick brick-built internal walls that scupper most wireless signals.
The latest iteration of Amazon’s eero supports Wi-Fi 6 – a first for the range that brings faster speeds, more reliable performance, and better coverage across the home. According to Amazon, you’ll still be able to enjoy these performance boosts even when you’ve got dozens of smart lightbulbs, connected speakers in every room, tablets, laptops, and streaming dongles dotted around the house. That’s because the latest version of the eero mesh kit, dubbed eero 6, can bring next-generation Wi-Fi 6 speeds to 75 devices simultaneously.
If you already have eero in your home, eero 6 is completely backwards-compatible, so you can add one or two new modes to your existing set-up to expand the reach of your Wi-Fi signal. If you’ve only got a few Wi-Fi 6-enabled gadgets in your home, this could be a good way of getting the best possible performance from those devices …without ripping up and replacing your entire Wi-Fi network in one fell swoop.
And if you haven’t added any smart lightbulbs to your home yet, eero 6 will be a handy addition whenever you do. The latest mesh system from Amazon comes with a Zigbee smart home hub built-in. This means you won’t need to connect a separate box to your router to rig your Philips Hue bulbs, IKEA and Bosch-branded smart kit, and HIVE connected thermostats amongst others. Amazon already fits some of its Echo smart speakers with the same Zigbee hub technology, so there’s really no need to have a spaghetti of wires running from your router for the different branded smart home kit in your house.
Each eero 6 hub comes fitted with two Ethernet ports. So, if you have one of these in your living room to boos signal, you’ll also be able to wire a connection to your Smart TV or games console.
“Customers need reliable home wifi now more than ever. Many of us are working from home, helping kids with online learning, keeping in touch with friends and family, and streaming 4K content and gaming —often at the same time,” said Eric Saarnio, Vice President, Amazon Devices EU. “eero 6 gives customers the speed and reliability of Wi-Fi 6 at an affordable price.”
For the latest kit, you’ll need to pay £139 for a single eero 6 node – perfect if you’ve already got a few eero from a previous generation and want to bring Wi-Fi 6 performance to your home. For those starting from scratch, the three-pack of eero 6 will cost you £279. Naturally, both of these options are available from Amazon as well as a few other high street stores.
According to Amazon, a single eero 6 is able to cover a space around 140 m². Meanwhile, an eero 6 three-pack, which provides up to 460 m² of coverage.
Like most mesh Wi-Fi kit, eero is constantly working in the background to keep your network safe and secure. While your run-of-the-mill router from your broadband company will need you to proactively search for, download, and install security updates. eero software updates provide the latest security patches, bug fixes, and feature upgrades.
There’s also the optional eero Secure subscription service, which provides an added layer of security to home Wi-Fi with tough parental controls for safe search to block inappropriate search results, and content filters for social media, gaming, streaming, and adult, violent, illegal or criminal content. Advanced security features help prevent access to sites flagged as malicious, including malware, spyware, botnets and phishing sites. Ad blocking speeds up your browsing experience and prevents a variety of trackers across the web.
Anyone with an eero can use the companion smartphone and tablet app to keep tabs on their internet speeds over time – handy if your provider offers a speed guarantee – and usage on each device. You can also place limits on devices from some family members, like younger children, or cut-off their internet entirely overnight to avoid any midnight Fortnite games from their room.
Eero 6 is available right now. Express.co.uk tested the previous generation of this mesh Wi-Fi system, stay tuned for our verdict on whether an upgrade to the latest kit is worth some of your hard-earned cash.
Published at Thu, 22 Apr 2021 12:39:15 +0000