Eero revamps its mesh networking kit with a faster router, tiny 'Beacons' and a new network security service
Big improvements in the same small form factorBy Jose Vilches
Mesh networking is becoming a popular option for people that need to cover a large area and don't want to deal with the nuances of setting up routers, extenders and access points blanket their homes with Wi-Fi. These kits come in bundles and offer a more limited routing feature set compared to the top routers on the market, but are designed to work together reliably while being dead simple to setup and maintain.
Eero is considered a pioneer in this space and today they're announcing a new router that runs twice as fast as the original, a new Eero Beacon designed to be plugged into a wall socket, and a new service called "Eero Plus," which will protect every device connected to your Eero-powered home Wi-Fi network.
The second-generation Eero router features the same form factor as the original, but it can operate on three frequency bands simultaneously instead of two, as well as over an Ethernet connection. The result is faster connectivity while everything is still managed automatically on the background to make sure your devices get as much bandwidth as possible without ever having to deal with device settings.
The new Eero router also introduces "thread" technology, which is a low-power form of wireless designed to more efficiently connect battery-powered smart home devices, like smart light bulbs, smart locks, smart thermostats and so on. The idea is you won't have to use a secondary hub like SmartThings to connect your smart home devices, and the Thread protocol is said to offer robust security and encryption features.
The new Eero Beacon is roughly half the size of the original Eero and ditches wires completely by plugging directly into an AC outlet. While it's only dual band, Eero claims it provides 20 to 30 percent better performance than the first-generation Eero router. As an added convenience, it also has a built-in nightlight, which can auto-adjust based on the time of day or be set with the Eero app.
Lastly, in addition to the new hardware, Eero is offering a new subscription service called Eero Plus. Priced at $9.99 per month or $99 per year, Eero Plus offers enhanced parental controls, priority access to Eero's customer support, and advanced security protection that Eero says will protect your network and devices from malware, ransomware, and phishing attacks.
Eero is taking pre-orders on three different bundles right now: A $299 Home WiFi System that comes with one Eero router and one Eero Beacon, a $399 Home WiFi System that includes one router and two Beacons, and a $499 Pro WiFi System consisting of three Eero routers.