Gadget Notes – Smart Wi-Fi Eero

Date:  Apr 11, 2016

Note:  If  you want to see the WiFi diagnostic result of the direct comparison of my new Eero Vs. the Apple Airport Extreme and Express network, skip all to the bottom.

Eero

Finally I got a chance to play with my new toys – Eero.

Eero is a set of smart Wi-Fi devices that aimed to solve the dead zone and slow Wi-Fi Internet problem.

It will form a Wi-Fi mesh network and deliver “enterprise grade” of Wi-Fi to everyone at home.

It is a new product from US.  I bought it from Amazon.  Please go to Amazon to check price and arrange your own delivery.  🙂

IMG_5196.jpg

Only the primary Eero needs a Ethernet cable to the modem/router from the ISP.  The rest of the two will make use of the proprietary algorithms to connect to the primary Eero for connectivity.

This is what Eero support.

IMG_5192.jpg

A typical application of Eero.

IMG_5193.jpg

No more buffering.  It is true.  After I set it all up, I run a 1080p movie, and start walking around the house, and even running.  The movie still run smoothly.  🙂

IMG_5194.jpg

The packaging is very nice.  The box is nice.  And it is very simple packaging.  Inspired by Apple, I guess.  Here are the 3x Eero I have.  And notice that the first one on the left which has a sticker “Start” on the Eero box is the primary Eero you need to setup first.

IMG_5198.jpg

Even the power plug looks so nice and high quality.  Notice that only the first Eero needs a high grade Ethernet cable to connect to the Gigabits switch.  (Don’t worry, if you don’t have it, it will drop down to 100baseT, aka 100Mbps).

IMG_5199.jpg

Wow, look at the packaging of the power plug, see how they coil the power cable, it looks and feels like Apple.

IMG_5201.jpg

Setting Up

Let’s not wait any longer.  Let’s get to work and see how easy to set up this box.

Eero app is the only thing you need.  Download it from either Apple iTunes store or the Android Play Store.

IMG_5202.jpg

This is the descriptions of the app.

IMG_5204.jpg

After you launched the app, they will guide you to setup the Wireless Network at home.

IMG_5205.jpg

It is user friendly and it will teach you everything so you have a clue on how to connect your network.

IMG_5206.jpg

Simple enough?

IMG_5207.jpg

That’s it.  The first Eero is setup.

IMG_5209.jpg

The Eero is starting up.

IMG_5212.jpg

And the App is searching for the Eero.  I am not sure how it finds the App.  Because as you see, my iPhone is still connect to the mobile 4G network.  So, how on earth it finds the Eero?  Bluetooth?

IMG_5213.jpg

Magically it found the first Eero.  ? ? ? ? ? ? ?  How did they find it?  See, I am still on 4G.

IMG_5215.jpg

So, I just set it up to the SSID I want, and then select the location of the Eero as in Study Room.

IMG_5216.jpg

Done!

IMG_5219.jpg

The Eero is up and running.

IMG_5224.jpg

This is where the magic comes in.

The intelligent of the device and the cloud service will keep monitoring the usage of the Internet, and once they run it for 24 hours or even 2-3 days, it will optimise it self to the best settings to provide highest performance of the Internet thru WiFi.

IMG_5228.jpg

So, what I did is, I move my routers, my NAS to the kitchen.  From there, it connects to the First Eero.  And then, I placed the 2nd Eero at the TV Console which have a line of sight to the first Eero.  And run the App to “add an Eero”.  And automatically, without doing much, the first one talk to the second one and tells it what to do.

Then, I placed the last one outside my study room, and master bed room, and just beside my fish aquarium tank, where it has a clear line of sight to the 2nd Eero.  So, I setup a Wifi Relay.

IMG_5230.jpg

And this is my wireless speed.  As it connects to my router, so, it obtained very high speed and pass it down.

IMG_5249.jpg

So, now, does it work better?

Let’s go and find out.

I used the Wireless Diagnostic tool available on MacOS to do all the findings.  So, before I changed the system, I used 3 Apple Airport (Extreme and Express), located in living room, study room and bedroom.  Here are the RSSI readings.  -78dBm, -78dBm & -64dBm for a non-5GHz network.

Apple Airport is not a tip top Wireless devices, so their WiFi of course is not good.  But to run a WiFi mesh with the same SSID, they deliver the best result so far.  That is why I have been using it for years.

Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 7.38.54 AM.png

OK. this is all you need to remember.  The smaller value, the better.  (because it is negative value)

images.jpeg

After I installed the first Eero, and this is what I got as for the readings from sitting at my dining table.

Wow!  It delivers an impressive -62dBm and -55dBm RSSI value.

Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 7.46.01 AM.png

And when the second Eero is up and running, it delivers this.

-63dBm, -56dBm, -51dBm & -48dBm (I am quite close to the TV console area).  I am impressed already!

Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 7.49.41 AM.png

Let’s move to my study room.  And then, let’s take a look.  Study room is further from the kitchen where I placed my first Eero.  That is why -79dBm and -75dBm.  But since it connects the 2nd Eero which is at the TV console, I am still seeing a -64dBm and -56dBm performance.  And of course, the third Eero is closest, I managed to connect to it at -48dBm and -46dBm.  This is excellent result.

Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 7.53.20 AM.png

Summary

  1. After changing to Eero, my home WiFi network becomes much more stable.  It can delivered much more bandwidth to all the mobile devices.
  2. The Eero is intelligent enough to fix problem itself, and deliver a non-buffer streams to your mobile devices.
  3. The Eero is TOO CLEVER.  All we do is to setup the first box, and the second and third just setup automatically on its own.  So, when there are some glitch on the first day, while it is correcting itself, I have no way to troubleshoot it.  But just give all the faith onto these 3x Eero boxes.
  4. As I am lazy, I used back the same SSID. So, some Windows does not like it.  Windows 7 on my wife laptop cannot connect.  My son’s Windows 10 PC also faced the same problem.  So, deleting the WiFi setting, i.e. Forget the SSID, will do the work.  That shows how crappy Windows OS  is.  All Mac no problem, all my media boxes which runs Android, no problem.  Even my Fitbit Weighing machine has no problem connecting to the same SSID with new WiFi devices (mac addresses).  I even have to create a different guest network with different SSId so that my Wife Laptop can connect.
  5. Of course, it is a Wireless network.  DO NOT expect it to perform flawlessly.  There will be drop packets if somethings does not goes right.  If you connect to your NAS using WiFi, there will be drop AFP or SMB link.  No matter which WiFi router you are using.
  6. I am very happy about it!  I have another similar product (Wifi Mesh: Luma) coming in as they are start to ship around June.  By then, we can see how it compared to Eero.  Amazon has Accel has invested into Luma, so, I think Luma can be strong contender to Eero too.

So, I am happy to say that “Welcome to the real WiFi mesh era”.  Apple did a good job, but they are not strong in WiFi technology.  I used it for almost 2 years.  Now, Eero has come to take over its place.  I am happy about it.  Let’s hope Luma can perform even more better.  And after that, you can see the strong player will try to buy over these two players.  People like, Dlink, people like Linksys, Cisco, etc etc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 comments

  1. Hi, I am interested in this device and have some questions. wondering if you can help?

    1. on singtel fibre, do we connect the primary eero to the ONT or to the router?
    2. does the eero support VPN client (ie. torguard, hidemyass) ?

    much appreciated. if you don’t mind, i can be reached thru wechat (matthewler)

    Matt

    • This is a WiFi mesh. So, you still need a router connecting to your ONT. From that router, you connect to Eero. The router will need to run DHCP. So your end devices will be connecting to the router DHCP and get IP. So, all these Eero are simply bridging the network.

      So, pick a router that has better processor, and better performance on WAN-to-LAN performance.

      Eero dont do VPN client. You can run the VPN on the router you have chosen.

      • thank you so much…
        hopefully my asus ac68u is up to mark. i like ac68u for its vpn client. it helps the xiaomi tv box to access letv, youku, etc with chinese vpn.

        one last question, does the eero devices need separate power adapters to be use in SG?

Leave a Reply