Amazon eero 6 Review: A Bare Minimum and then Some Mesh System

Amazon eero 6 9
The 2-pack eero 6 comes with two seemingly identical hardware units.

Though very different hardware-wise, the Amazon eero 6 dual-band AX1800 mesh router is, for the most part, just like the eero 6 Pro. It has the same mobile app, setup process, general settings, and feature set. So, it’s just like the original eero that came out some four years ago.

That said, to avoid repeating myself, this brief review focuses on the minor differences between the two. It only makes sense you have already read my take on the eero Pro 6. So do that now!

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Done?

OK. Here’s the deal: The eero 6, be it a single router, a 3-pack, or a 2-pack purpose-built mesh, is underwhelming by all counts. It’s slow, with limited range, and comes with zero Wi-Fi setting and a poor set of features.

That, plus the potential risk of privacy, means you should totally skip it. But at $199 for a pack of two, it’s one of the cheapest Wi-Fi 6 mesh systems you can find, though not cheaper than the similar-specced Netgear Nighthawk MK63. Still, that’s something.

Amazon eero 6 Dual-band Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Router

$199.00
6.5

Performance

6.5/10

Features

6.0/10

Ease of Use

8.5/10

Value

5.0/10

Pros

  • Compact, esthetically pleasing design
  • Easy to use
  • Relatively affordable

Cons

  • Slow speed, range could be better
  • Minimum ports, no Dual-WAN, Link Aggregation, or Multi-Gig
  • No wired backhaul option on the Extender
  • Online Protection and Parental Control require a monthly subscription
  • Home automation feature requires Amazon integration
  • No web interface, spartan Wi-Fi and network settings

Amazon eero 6: Nothing of note

The eero 6 router looks like a mini version of the eero Pro 6. It’s a palm-size device with also just two Gigabit auto-sensing ports. One is for the Internet and the other for a wired client.

You can get the eero 6 as a single router for a tiny home. Or you can buy a few units, like a 3-pack, for a mesh setup. In this case, you can use the ports to daisy-chain them together via a wired backhaul.

Most likely, though, you’ll get the 2-pack dual-band package instead. And that’s going to be a bad move. The kit includes a router and an extender that has no network port at all. So you’ll only be able to use them in a wireless setup. By the way, the extender itself is also available as an add-on for $89 apiece.

Using dual-band hardware in a wireless setup is always a bad call due to signal loss. In the case of eero 6, things get even worse due to the extremely modest hardware specs.

Amazon eero 6’s hardware specifications

The eero 6 (router or extender) has the lowest Wi-Fi 6 specs I’ve seen for a dual-band mesh. Without the support for the 160MHz channel width, at best, a Wi-Fi 6 client can connect to it at 1.2Gbps.

The real-world speed will be much lower than, and then you need to cut the rate in half, at least, on the extender’s end due to signal loss and interference.

Like the case of the eero Pro 6, the eero 6 has a ton of flash storage. For a device with nothing much to offer, the storage space is likely used for data collection.

Amazon eero 6 Dual-band Mesh Wi-Fi system’s details photos

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The Amazon eero 6 Dual-band Mesh Wi-Fi System’s retail box.

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Out of the box, the two hardware unit, the eero 6 Router and eero 6 Extender look identical from almost all angles.

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From the back, though, you’ll see the difference. The Extender has no network port at all.

Amazon eero 6 10
Nonetheless, both hardware units are super compact. They’ll fit right on a large palm.

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The underside of the eero 6 router.

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The underside of the eero 6 Extender.

Eero 6 vs Eero Pro6 3
The eero 6 next to the eero Pro 6.

Familiar settings and features (or lack there of)

The eero 6 shares the same mobile app, Wi-Fi/network settings and features as the eero Pro 6, and, for the most part, all other eero hardware.

Again, I assumed you have read my review of the eero Pro 6. So, here’s the recap:

  • You need a mobile phone to set up and use it. All is done via the eero app that generally works better on an iOS device than Android.
  • The router or mesh system stays connected to eero at all times, and you must go through the vendor to manage your network. It’s a huge privacy risk.
  • The eero 6 has almost zero Wi-Fi settings and very few network settings. It doesn’t have all the common settings you’d assume exist in most routers.
  • It has no feature of note, either, unless you opt to pay for a monthly subscription of eero Secure. In this case, you’ll get Parental Control and Online Protection, which many routers offer for free.
  • Also, if you’re willing to link your network to an Amazon account — a move that’d likely compromise your privacy even further — you’ll get Alexa and some home automation feature.

It’s worth noting that there’s an eero Labs section within the mobile app that opens access to some beta features. All are rather common, nothing earth-shattering.

eero Labs
The Labs section (beta) of the eero 6 (left) and eero Pro 6. Note the extra QoS-related feature of the latter.

Still, in this case, you’ll note the eero 6 has one option fewer than the eero Pro 6. By the way, none of the features there are done deal, and each might cost extra when it’s out of beta. Only time will tell.

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Amazon eero 6: Modest performance

I tested a 2-pack eero 6 that includes a router and an Extender. The results were rather subdued.

OK Wi-Fi speeds

As a single router, the eero 6 did fairly well, especially with high-end Wi-Fi 5 clients. My 4×4 device got the sustained speed at a close range of more than 620Mbps. At some 4 feet (12 m) away, my 3×3 one registered some 573Mbps.

Amazon eero Pro Mesh Router Performance

My 2×2 Wi-Fi 6 clients did OK, too, averaging between 504Mbps and 680Mbps in the range up to 40 feet away.

Note that the numbers above were of my standard test methodology. When I used two 2×2 Wi-Fi 6 clients to do a wireless-to-wireless test, the connection speed now sustained at no more than 330Mbps.

The performance changed rather dramatically at the eero 6 Extender’s end. Now, at best, I got no more than 330Mbps. Chances are you’ll get even much lower. Clearly, the eero 6 router + eero 6 Extender combo suffered terribly from signal loss.

Amazon eero Pro Mesh Satellite Performance

If you opt for multiple router units and use wired backhaul, however, chances are you’ll enjoy the performance similar to the router above throughout the mesh. But even then, this is no Wi-Fi-6-caliber mesh system.

Decent range, (likely) reliable signals

The eero 6’s Wi-Fi range has nothing to call home about. Sure, if you have a small home, like a studio, a single router will take care of it. But if you have a couple of walls, the signals diminished pretty fast. Of course, it’s all about how fast of real-world speeds you’d like to get out of the signals here.

It’s hard to quantify Wi-Fi coverage precisely, but if you live in a place of 1200 ft2 (111 m2), chances are a single eero 6 router will get the job done. Add another unit if your place is bigger.

But the point is, the 2-pack eero 6 might not deliver more coverage than certain a single unit of other Wi-Fi 6 routers. So it’s not impressive.

The eero 6 did pass my 3-day stress with no issue. Similar to the case of the eero Pro 6, to avoid too much exposure, I tested it as a separate network from my personal one, so we didn’t use it as much as we’d normally do in the case of all other Wi-Fi solutions I’ve reviewed here.

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Conclusion

The eero 6 looks great. Unfortunately, that’s about the only positive thing I can undoubtedly say about it.

Sure, it’s easy to use but not that much easier than many others. It seems eero has been stuck with the glory of some four years ago when it first came out.

For everything the eero 6 can do, you’ll find that and a lot more in almost any other mesh systems on the market. The extra things it uniquely has — i.e., home automation, app-related convenience, data collecting for future improvement, etc. — likely only benefit eero (or Amazon).

So the question is, why do you even consider paying for it? I wouldn’t use it for myself if it were free.

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2 thoughts on “Amazon eero 6 Review: A Bare Minimum and then Some Mesh System”

  1. What system would you recommend for someone whose internet connection is 80mbps? I am looking for reliability and coverage on a 2400 sqft house.

    Reply

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