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Amazon eero Max 7 Review (vs. TP-Link Deco BE85): An Overpriced Package of Multi-Gig Wired Performance, Mediocre Wi-Fi, and Terrible App

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Amazon's eero Max 7—its first foray into Wi-Fi 7—was first available on October 26, 2023, months before the latest Wi-Fi standard itself became certified at the beginning of this month.

Initially, I didn't intend to review the new hardware, finding it overpriced based on the specs alone. At $600 a piece (or $1700 before taxes for a 3-pack at the current street price), the Eero Max 7 could have been too big a bullet to bite, considering I just did the Netgear Orbi 970 Series and a few others.

This review is reader-sponsored—generous donations from viewers like you contributed to the hardware and labor costs.

As usual, Amazon has touted the new eero Max 7 as its "most advanced" mesh router, and that had some merit, considering the support for Wi-Fi 7 and Multi-Gig Ethernet. Alas! After over a week of real-world trial, the hardware proved to be an unpleasant experience—it was anything but "advanced"—primarily because of its insidious firmware.

Here's the bottom line: If you have high hopes for top-notch Wi-Fi speeds, the eero Max 7 will disappoint you—big time. While the new eero can pass for actual Multi-Gig hardware in a wired home, the deliberately stripped-down free app, the constant eero Plus upsell nags, and the severe privacy risks will probably make you second-guess your intelligence on the purchase.

That's especially true if you're aware of many other options that can offer much more for significantly less. Among those, The TP-Link Deco BE85, with its flaws, is an easy example.

Dong's note: I first published this piece as a preview on October 26, 2023, and updated it to an in-depth review on January 31, 2024, after thorough hands-on testing.

The Amazon eero Max 7 is available in a 3-pack, 2-pack, or a single router.
The Amazon eero Max 7 is available in a 3-pack, 2-pack, or a single router. A mesh consists of multiple identical units.

Amazon Max 7: A disappointing experience

In more ways than one, the eero Max 7 reminds me of the eero PoE Gateway.

It's Amazon's second piece of networking hardware that fully supports multi-Gigabit wired connectivity. It has two 10GBASE-T and two 2.5GBASE-T Multi-Gig ports, all of which are auto-sensing. Pick one to connect to your internet source; it'll work as the WAN port, and the rest will function as LANs.

With two 10Gbps ports per unit, the eero Max 7 will deliver a real 10Gbps network right out of the box in a wired backhauling setup—you can daisy-chain the hardware units. It's worth noting that the hardware's 10Gbps ports sustain at around 6Gbps. That's the general case with all existing Multi-Gig routers, which is still incredibly fast.

So, on the wired networking front, the new eero is excellent. It could be better if it had built-in PoE or support for SFP+, but considering the relatively compact design, that'd be too much to ask.

On the Wi-Fi front, the new hardware shares almost the same specs as the TP-Link Deco BE85. However, in real-world performance, the two can't be more different. And that's where the Eero disappoints—more on this in the performance section below.

The table below shows the similarities and differences between the two in hardware specifications.

The Amazon eero Max 7 has all Multi Gig ports includings two 10Gbps and two 2.5Gbps.TP-Link Deco BE85 Ports All Multi Gig
The Amazon eero Max 7 mesh router is the first Wi-Fi-enabled eero with all Multi-Gig ports, and it's pretty generous about it. Note the USB-C port as the power connector. Still, it's behind the TP-Link Deco BE85 on this front.

Amazon eero Max 7 vs. TP-Link Deco BE85: Hardware specifications

eero Max 7 thumbDeco BE85 BE22000 Whole Home Mesh WiFi 7 System
Full NameAmazon eero Max 7 Wi-Fi 7 Mesh RouterTP-Link Deco BE85 BE22000 Tri-Band Wi-Fi 7 Mesh Router
Modeleero Max 7Deco BE85
Mesh Availability2-pack or 3-pack
(identical routers)
Dimensions7.24 x 8.73 x 3.54 in (183.90 x 221.89 x 89.90mm)5.04 × 5.04 × 9.29 in
(128 × 128 × 236 mm)
ProcessorQuad-core A73 processor, 2GB RAM, 4GB flash storageUndisclosed
Wi-Fi TechnologyTri-band BE20800Tri-Band BE22000
2.4GHz Band specs
(channel width)
2x2 BE: Up to 688 Mbps
(20/40MHz)
4x4 BE: Up to 1376 Mbps
(20/40MHz)
5GHz Band Specs
(channel width)
4x4 BE: Up to 8640 Mbps
(20/40/160/240MHz)
6GHz Band Specs
(channel width)
4x4 BE: Up to 11520 Mbps
(20/40/160/320MHz)
Backward Compatibility802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax Wi-Fi
Wireless SecurityWPA2, WPA3
Mobile AppeeroTP-Link Deco
Web User InterfaceNoLimited
Bridge ModeNo
AP ModeYes
(called Bridge)
Yes
(as a mesh or a single unit)
USB Port1x USB-C
(power only)
1x USB 3.0
(for network storage)
Internal FanNoYes
Gigabit PortNone
Multi-Gig Port
(WAN/LAN auto-sensing)
2x 2.5Gbps
2x 10Gbps
2x 2.5Gbps
1x 10Gbps
1x 10Gbps / SFP+ Combo
Link AggregationNo
Firmware Version
(at review)
v6.16.3-781.0.7 Build 20230428 Rel. 62173
Power Input110-240V
Power Consumption
(per 24 hours)
≈ 450
(router unit)
≈ 485 Wh
(router unit)
Suggested Price
(for a mesh system)
$1,749.99 (3-pack)
$1,149.99 (2-pack)
$1499.99 (3-pack)
$999.99 (2-pack)
Amazon eero MAX 7 vs. TP-Link Deco BE85: Hardware specifications

As shown in the table, the eero Max Pro 7 and TP-Link Deco BE85 are similar in hardware, with the latter encompassing the former and then some.

Specifically, the TP-Link Deco has a faster 2.4GHz band on paper (though likely the same in real-world usage), support for SFP+, and an option for USB-based storage features. So, the biggest and most perplexing difference is the price, where eero Max 7 costs significantly more.

And that brings us to the eero's firmware. Get ready to be even more perplexed.

The top of an Amazon eero Max 7 mesh routerThe underside of an Amazon eero Max 7 mesh router
Each Amazon eero Max 7 mesh router is quite large -- the largest of all eero Wi-Fi hardware to date. Here are the top (left) and the underside of each.

3-Pack Amazon eero Max 7: Non-pre-synced hardware, the same app-operated approach

Despite the new Wi-Fi 7 and a generous number of Multi-Gig ports, the eero Max 7 seems stagnant. It uses the same app as the rest of the eero family. In fact, the app has many sections where the texts still refer to Wi-Fi 6.

Still, if you've had an eero before, the eero Max 7 will feel super familiar.

In particular, you need to use the eero app and log in with an eero (or Amazon) account before you can set it up. After that, the app is the only way to manage the system, locally or when you're out and about. It's important to note that using app-operated hardware with a login account incurs inherent privacy risks.

eero and your privacy

Since day one, the eero ecosystem has been known to collect user data. It was the first Wi-Fi solution that would not work independently without connecting to the vendor via the Internet.

Specifically, you need a live Internet connection (e.g. via a cellular connection) and log in with an eero (or Amazon) account before you can start the initial setup process. After that, everything that goes through your eero router can be monitored by its maker.

Additionally, all eero variants come with an auto-firmware update feature that cannot be turned off. This feature allows the company to change how the hardware functions to its liking. In other words, the users don't own the product outright.

Here's eero's privacy policy.

Having your router connected to a third party is never good, and data collection varies from vendor to vendor. However, whoever controls your router can know everything you do online and within your network.

Unlike the case of other high-end Wi-Fi 7 mesh systems I've tried, including the TP-Link Deco BE85 and the Netgear 970 series, the three identical hardware units of my 3-pack eero Max 7 are not presynced. As a result, once I set up the router unit, which took just less than 10 minutes, I needed to add the other two manually, one at a time. Still, the process was relatively painless. In all, I only needed less than 30 minutes to get the 3-pack Amazon eero Max 7 up and running.

Amazon eero Max 7 RouterAmazon eero Max 7 Router in action
The Amazon eero Max 7 mesh router is being tested. Note its Multi-Gig ports.

Minimal customization, lots of upselling nags

The main reason the eero was such an easy out-of-the-box experience was that it had little to offer. Most of the common settings available in other mesh systems or standard routers were simply not there.

Specifically for Wi-Fi settings, here is what you can do with the eero Max 7 (or any eero):

  • Pick a name and password for the primary SSID. It will be used for all of its bands (2.4GHz, 5GHz, and 6GHz.)
  • Turn on or off the Guest Wi-Fi network and pick an SSID and a password for it. Again, there's no option to change anything about this network.

And that's it. There's nothing else you can do. As a result, among other things, it's impossible to connect a client to a particular Wi-Fi band, and you can't tune the SSID to favor performance.

As for networking settings, here is what you can do with the eero Max 7:

  • Configure the WAN (Internet) settings between the default dynamic (DHCP), static IP, and PPPoE options. Apply VLAN Tagging (IP TV) when applicable. In most cases, you just leave this at default.
  • Turn support for IPv6 on or off (default).
  • Manage the DHCP server, change the default gateway IP (192.168.4.1), and manage the IP pool. In most cases, this setting should be used with the default value.
  • Switching the operation modes between router (default) and AP (called "Bridge").
  • IP reservation for local devices and port forwarding.

And that's it. For everything else, such as Dynamic DNS, QoS, Parental Control, VPN, etc., you'll need to use the eero Plus subscription that costs $99.99/year or 9.99/month after a 30-day trial.

And this eero Plus nuisance is where I found the app insidious.

The annoying eero Plus nags

Instead of hiding the settings and features available only to subscribers or clearly marking them as such, eero disingenuously presents them as innocuous options within the app. When you tap on the last step to use them, a nag screen pops up, asking you to subscribe.

Amazon eero Max 7 eero appAmazon eero Max 7 eero app subscription nag screen
Like all eeros, the Amazon eero Max 7 is very limited in user customization while heavy on upselling via the paywall nag screen.

Here's a quick list of things that will invoke this annoying paywall:

  • The Wi-Fi radio analytics feature that supposedly allows for a better understanding of each band's status and performance.
  • The Dynamic DNS feature.
  • The "eero Internet Backup" feature, which is likely a form of Dual-WAN.
  • Almost anything relative to a user's "Profile", such as Parental Controls or Ad Blocking.

Given that there's not much you can do with the hardware, virtually everything you'd want to do requires the eero Plus subscription. Throughout testing, I ran into this nag screen dozens of times, and it got old by the third. It was tiresome, if not a waste of time.

It's important to note that most of the eero Plus-required features mentioned above are freely available in other hardware brands, either fully or partially.

Amazon eero Max 7 BE connection statusAmazon eero Max 7 AXE connection status
My Wi-Fi 6E and Wi-Fi 7 clients could never connect to the eero Max 7 using the 6GHz band. Instead, the 5GHz band was used almost exclusively within a reasonable distance. Further out or after a couple of walls, the 2.4GHz band was commonplace.

Amazon eero Max 7’s real-world performance: The elusive 6GHz band and an overall disappointing experience

As mentioned, I've used a 3-pack of Eero Max 7 for over a week, and it's been quite a strange experience.

First, I couldn't make a client connect to a particular band. During the entire trial, none among my dozen Wi-Fi 6E and Wi-Fi 7 devices—including multiple laptops, desktops, and Android smartphones—could connect to the eero using the 6GHz band.

It wasn't for the lack of trying. I tested the hardware on different days of the week and various times of the day, restarted the hardware for the channels to change, etc. The 6GHz was simply never there for the devices.

Amazon eero Max 7 broadband speed
Here is a typical Internet speedtest result when a Wi-Fi client is connected to the eero Max 7 using the 5GHz band at a reasonable distance out of a 10Gbps Fiber-optic broadband plan.

Most of the time, within the 40 feet (12 m) range, these devices are connected using the 5GHz band and 80MHz with a negotiated speed of 1200Mbps. Farther out, they connected using the super slow 2.4GHz band.

Additionally, the eero showed no indication of Multi-Link Operation. This Wi-Fi 7 feature allows combining the 5GHz and 6GHz or all three bands into a bonded link for better bandwidth, and there was no way to figure that out within the shallow eero app.

Terrible Wi-Fi performance

With the 6GHz band out of reach, it was not surprising that the eero Max 7 didn't have the top wireless speeds—in fact, it felt somewhat like a fake Wi-Fi 7 product, in my opinion. But it was actually worse than that since its available bands, namely the 5GHz and 2.4GHz, were much slower than other broadcasters.

Amazon eero Max 7 router long range performanceAmazon eero Max 7 router short range performance
The Amazon eero Max 7 mesh router's Wi-Fi performance when hosting clients of different standards. You can expect a satellite unit to deliver similar performance via wired backhauling.

As a standalone router, the eero Max 7's 5GHz band was the sluggishest among the over a dozen Wi-Fi 7 broadcasters I've tested. And in a wireless mesh setup, the satellite unit didn't have anything to call Mom about, either. It was among the slowest, even slower than the entry-level Linksys Velop Pro 7, which costs only $899.99 for a 3-pack.

To put things in context, while other Wi-Fi 7 broadcasters generally deliver real-world performance between mid-Gig+ and multi-Gigabit, the eero Max 7 typically averages below Gigabit on a good day, as shown on the charts.

What is Gig+

Gig+, or Gig Plus, conveys a speed grade faster than 1Gbps but slower than 2Gbps. So, it's 1.5Gbps, give or take, and it's not speedy enough to qualify as Multi-Gig Ethernet or multi-Gigabit. Intel coined the term to call its Wi-Fi 6E client chips—the AX210 and AX211—to describe their real-world speeds.

Gig+ generally applies to the sustained speeds of Wi-Fi 6 or 6E—via a 2x2 at 160MHz connection, which has the 2402Mbps theoretical ceiling speed—or Internet speed. It's generally not used to describe wired network connections.

In terms of broadband speed, generally, I only got between 300Mbps and 900Mbps when connected to the eero using wireless clients out of my 10Gbps Fiber-optic plan. Multi-Gig wired clients, however, could get between 2200Mbps and 5000Mbps.

Interestingly, the Linksys Velop's coverage was also that of the Eero Max 7. I estimate that each router unit can handle about 1500 ft2 (139 m2), and each additional unit will add about 1300 ft2 more, but of course, your mileage will vary.

Amazon eero Max 7 satellite long range performanceAmazon eero Max 7 satellite short range performance
The Amazon eero Max 7's performance as a wireless satellite.

Fast Multi-Gig wired performance, sub-par wireless backhauling

I tested the eero Max 7's network ports the way I do a switch, and the router did well. Its 10Gbps port performance was actually faster than that of some other routers, albeit within a small margin.

Since the Amazon eero Max 7 is a Wi-Fi 7 mesh system, I also tested its wireless backhauling using two 10Gbps clients in my new test. In this case, the eero's wireless bandwidth between its router and the satellite was subdued. At 1.8Gbps, it was the slowest to date, noticeably lower than the entry-level Linksys Velop Pro 7, which only has 2.5Gbps ports.

Amazon eero Max 7 wired and wireless backhaul performance
Amazon eero Max 7 wired and wireless backhaul performance, measured via two wired 10Gbps clients connected to the router and the satellite unit, respectively.

Overall, the new Amazon eero Max 7 only did well as a wired device. As a Wi-Fi broadcaster, especially one that features the latest standard, its performance was disappointing. Nonetheless, it passed my 3-day stress test without disconnections.

Having no internal fan, the eero Max 7 was silent during my testing. And it remained relatively cool, too. It became a bit warm during heavy operations but far from anything that could cause concern.

Amazon eero Max 7's Rating

5.6 out of 10
Amazon eero Max 7 Wi Fi 7 3 pack mesh system
Performance
6.5 out of 10
Features
3 out of 10
Ease of Use
8 out of 10
Value
5 out of 10

Pros

Full Multi-Gig ports with fast wired performance; easy to set up and use

Aesthetically designed hardware

Relatively reliable performance; runs cool and quiet

Cons

No 6GHz band for clients in real-world usage; low real-world Wi-Fi throughputs and bandwidth

No local management; the eero mobile app's interface is poor and riddled with eero Plus subscription nags; severely lacking in Wi-Fi and networking customizations

Overpriced; high privacy risks

Conclusion

Wi-Fi 7 is still in its early stages, and new firmware and app updates will likely improve the Amazon eero Max 7. But I wouldn't call it "not ready for prime time." That would suggest it will eventually be. It won't.

I wouldn't say, "I'd not use the Amazon eero Max 7 if I got it for free", either, because, well, I did get it for free. But I will say this: I'd not use it even if you paid me to. In my world, there are just so many other much better real Wi-Fi 7 options.

Besides the high privacy risks, the eero Max 7, in particular, and the eero ecosystem as a whole, has a fundamental flaw: The firmware deliberately and increasingly over the years neuters the hardware by withholding essential, practical, and commonplace network settings/features in an attempt to trap users into a subscription rabbit hole.

Imagine paying handsomely for a nice car only to find out that you'd need to spend another $100/month to be able to use the AC, turn on the radio, or put it in reverse! In the case of the eero, you won't get to really use the product you have paid dearly for until you're willing to cough up another $10/month.

If, for some crazy reason, you're a fan of eero, you'd still get this mesh and then look for reasons to love it or to justify your purchase. And you'd find some on the surface. However, with common sense, there's no situation in which I can recommend the eero Max 7. The TP-Link Deco BE85, or even the entry-level Linksys Velop Pro 7, will give you a better Wi-Fi experience and, overall, a much bigger bang for your buck.

And rest assured, there will be many more Wi-Fi 7 options in the near future.

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26 thoughts on “Amazon eero Max 7 Review (vs. TP-Link Deco BE85): An Overpriced Package of Multi-Gig Wired Performance, Mediocre Wi-Fi, and Terrible App”

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  1. Hey Dong, thanks for the review! I’d ask if each unit of eero max 7 cost only $350 and Deco BE85 costs $450, which one would you buy?

    Reply
  2. Hi Dong,
    I would be very curious to see how your observations in this article stack up under the current firmware builds. As someone who has a decent amount experience with these devices since their launch, I can tell you the earlier firmware versions had some issues. Not going to disagree that eero leaves some things to be desired for the seasoned tech pro, but I personally do not find them terribly lacking compared to the TP-Link BE85 units. And yes I have hands on experience with those as well.

    Also, to your comments above about not being able to force a particular client device to a specific band during testing, I have found that using the “preferred band” setting available in the driver options on Windows devices is fairly effective here. Specifically I have experience with the intel AX210 and BE200 cards using this feature on both the eero Max 7 and Pro 6e.

    Reply
    • As mentioned, Steve, firmware will improve stuff. But no updates can make this thing better considering its approach. Also, you shouldn’t have to mess with clients to get connected the way you want, and you made an assumption that I didn’t already try that. Read the whole article.

      By the way, I don’t think you have really tried the BE85. The Deco line has much more to offer for free. The speed is just a small part of it. It seems you just want to look for stuff that validates your fantasy. You don’t need to defend the fact you like the eero, many people do.

      Reply
      • Well, I guess it depends if running a pair of BE85s for 3 weeks as the primary WiFi solution in my home counts as experience. While what I do for a living is a bit different than you, I do spend a fair amount of time evaluating various home networking equipment as part of my job.

        Not looking to be a troll at all here, I am actually quite a fan of your articles and reviews, enjoy reading them, and have on many occasions driven colleagues to your site for info on various topics and equipment as I find it very thorough and helpful.

        Am I an eero fan boy? nope, but I am not a hater either. I simply have significant exposure to their ecosystem due to my job. The paywall is indeed annoying and In all honestly, I don’t think I would buy Max 7s with my own money. But, I probably wouldn’t buy BE85s either, just way more router than I need, especially given the price tag in either case.

        As far as needing to tinker with settings on clients, I couldn’t agree more from a daily usability standpoint either. It was more an observation on how to manage testing on this particular device, which I have personally done also. I do believe some of the earliest firmware builds had issues that caused the stated inability to connect to 6 Ghz. I think your results would be different now in that specifically. No more, no less, take it at face value.

        Lastly, keep up the great work! I meant what I said above.

        Reply
  3. Ouch! Now I know why Eero had so much hate on you on Reddit! Seriously, tho, appreciate the no bullshit take on the hardware. Keep it up! Much respect!

    Reply
  4. Hi Dong, excuse me, here in Italy we have only BE85 19.000. Eero Max 7 is better in WiFi 5? What do you suggest?

    Thanks!

    Reply
  5. If you were to recommend a multi-gigabit mesh system to be purchased right now for a heavy wifi user using wireless backhaul. what system would you recommend?

    Reply
  6. Finally, Eero gives us multi-ports, which is one of my requirements to consider a router purchase, and it did it in a big way (10Gx2, 2.5Gx2) – but at an insulting price, unfortunately.

    Reply
    • Finally? Most other vendors have Multi-Gig years ago, at half the price or even lower and their hardware can do MORE. Eero is SH$T. It does NOT give you anything more than what it takes from you. The entire company is a bunch of scammers.

      Most, if not all, of 5-star reviews of this thing are fake (done by eero employees) or paid advertising. Don’t drink the cool aid!

      Reply
  7. First I want to thank your for many interesting reviews and conclusions.

    An observation I make is that you do not trust Amazon while you trust TP-Link and Ubiquiti. Two competing manufacturers which just as Amazon require accounts to setup and manage the products granting them equal opportunity (non-confirmed) to monitor everything happening on the network.

    A recommendation for you; If you don’t trust Amazon and 14 eyes then consider to what extent you trust the Chinese government.

    Replace those Ubiquiti devices with a secure open source router – and then again remember open source is often believed to be checked by everyone while done by a few or none.

    I use Ubiquiti – not because of their integrity or security but because I like to tinker.

    Reply
    • It’s not about me, it’s about who the users choose to trust. I didn’t say what/who I trusted or didn’t trust. I just lay stuff out there. About the eero Max 7, my point is it’s overpriced. The TP-Link Deco was just one of many examples and I picked it because it share similar hardware specs and design and is something I have published a review on. Good call on Ubiquiti. I use the UDM-SE myself.

      Reply
  8. I’m with you in that the eero kit is on the pricey side.
    {..}
    Would be interested in a real review vs a theoretical comparison {..}.

    Reply
    • Per the comment rules, I redacted most of your comment, the nonsensical part — that happens a lot with comments on my posts about eero somehow.

      Anyhow, if you gift me a 2-pack or 3-pack, I’m open to reviewing it as soon as I get a chance. Put your money where your mouth is, eh? Here’s the donation page.

      Reply
  9. I had a TP-Link Deco BE95 setup for about a week – I went back to my eero Pro 6E setup due to issues with reliability with the TP-Link. Say what you want about eero – their mesh systems may not be the fastest or the “best” but it’s hard to beat their reliability, especially when you have the “wife factor” for tech.

    Reply
      • You yourself state: “Indeed, other than the complicated 6GHz, the Deco BE95 is identical to the BE85 in everything else. In fact, it’s largely the same as any Deco set you’ve used. The whole product line shares the same firmware, settings, and features.” – so even though you did not mention it, it is “identical” to the BE85. I had issues with the BE95 which would lead me to believe, logically, that I would have issues with the BE85.

        Reply
        • You’re supposed to read that entire post, Eric. There’s nuance in the language and I wrote quite a bit more. In any case, you do what you do. There’s no need to defend your actions. It’s funny but it seems to me that eero users tend to be quite defensive somehow…

          But yes, since I wasn’t clear enough in the sentence you quoted, the BE85, itself not perfect, is much better than the BE95 and will likely be *far* better than this eero Max 7 in ALL counts, and you’ll save some money in case you want to buy your wife some flowers.

          Just for the record, if your wife doesn’t like the look of the BE95, which is the same as the BE85’s, I don’t see how she’ll like the look of this eero (or the eero 6E). They are not that different.

          Reply
          • 🙂

            Just sharing what works! I actually used the new TP-Link Deco BE95 system and the eero Pro 6E system for comparison.

          • My point of the first reply was that neither of what you mentioned was applicable in this case. It’s generally suspicious when you share what is not asked or needed. But I appreciate the enthusiasm.

  10. Way too expensive and I’m guessing Eero will continue to not support separate band and SSID’s which is why I’ve stuck with my Alien’s for over 3 years now. I don’t even believe TP Link supports this if I remember your Deco reviews correctly.

    Reply
    • No, Deco doesn’t support that, either, Chaz, but you can create multiple Guest networks to create extra SSIDs and then turn on “Allow Local Access” (via the Advanced setting) to get the same effect — but then you no longer have a Guest network.

      Reply

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