The Amazon eero Pro 6 tri-band AX4200 mesh Wi-Fi 6 router is an exaggeration. There’s nothing “Pro” about it. It has the least to offer among all (tri-band) Wi-Fi 6 routers I’ve reviewed. So, at best, it’s a router for the uninitiated.
And in that regard, this one does have a trick up its sleeve: It’s straightforward to set up and use — more so on an iPhone than an Android. After that, there are some extras if you’re willing to pony up some $120/year and chance a higher level of privacy risks.
As is, at $229 for a single unit (or at a discounted rate of $599 for a 3-pack), the eero Pro 6 is a decent deal if you only care for easy Wi-Fi coverage and nothing else.
For those wanting more, even slightly, the similarly-specced Linksys Velop MX4200 is a much better buy despite the fact it’s not exactly feature-rich itself, nor is it great for privacy.
(By the way, you can also get two eero Pro 6 units — there’s no discount in this case — if you live in a medium home, which is what I did for this review.)
Amazon eero Pro 6 Tri-band Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Router$229.00
- Easy to set up and use, especially for iPhone users
- Good Wi-Fi speeds
- Compact design
- Comparatively affordable
- Wi-Fi range could be better
- Internet and login account required for setup and ongoing management
- Minimum ports, no Dual-WAN, Link Aggregation, or Multi-Gig
- Online Protection and Parental Control require a monthly subscription
- Home automation feature requires Amazon integration
- No web interface, spartan Wi-Fi and network settings
- The eero app for Android is a bit buggy
A brief introduction to the Amazon eero
I remember reviewing the first 3-pack eero in 2016 (with an improved version released in 2018) in my past life. It was quite a novelty at the time, and the one that broke loose what I’d call the “home mesh revolution.”
Since its inception, there have been so many Wi-Fi systems coming from every networking vendor — most notably the Netgear Orbi and Linksys Velop — and even those with nothing to do with networking. Case in point: Amazon bought eero in early 2019 to enter the hot mesh that is home Wi-Fi.
(As to why Amazon bought eero and not any other networking company, my take is that had little to do with Wi-Fi. More below.)
But being first doesn’t necessarily mean you can maintain the pioneer status. While this eero Pro 6 is easily the most advanced eero to date, it’s very modest compared to (almost) all other Wi-Fi 6 (mesh) routers. For the most part, it’s just like the original eero.
That being said, the non-Pro dual-band version is even less noteworthy.
eero 6 vs. eero Pro 6: A tale of two Amazon Wi-Fi 6 solutions
Amazon eero entered the Wi-Fi 6 with two options, the eero Pro 6 (tri-band) and the eero 6 (dual-band). Both are compact routers.
The eero Pro 6 is, first and foremost, a tri-band router. It has two auto-sensing Gigabit ports. You can get one if you live in a small home or multiple units and mesh them together into a system if your home is large.
The eero 6, on the other hand, is a dual-band device available in two flavors. There’s a single router that is like the mini version of the eero Pro 6. It, too, has two auto-sensing network ports. And then there’s the eero 6 extender that has no network port at all.
Purchasing options for Amazon Wi-Fi 6 eero
Note: This is only for reference and might change due to availability and the will of eero.
- A single eero Pro 6 tri-band router ($229).
- A 3-pack eero Pro 6 mesh system that includes three identical units ($599).
- A single eero 6 dual-band router ($129).
- A 3-pack eero 6 dual-band mesh system that includes three identical units ($279).
- A dual-band eero 6 mesh system that includes one router and one extender ($199).
- A mix of one router and other units that sings your heart’s desire.
Usage options for Amazon Wi-Fi 6 eeros
All eero (Pro or non-Pro) 6 routers can work either as a router or a satellite. The eero 6 extender can only work as a satellite and never as a router.
When using a router unit as a satellite, you have the option of using wired backhaul. That’s similar to the case of the TP-Link Deco X60 and is always recommended.
No matter what combo you use, you get the same setup process and settings. They are basically the same except for the performance where the tri-band hardware is, as expected, better than the dual-band option.
It’s unclear if the new Wi-Fi 6 eero works with its Wi-Fi 5 cousin in a single mesh. However, as a rule, in a wireless setup, mixing hardware of different Wi-Fi standards is never a good idea. I wouldn’t recommend using the two together.
The privacy issue
From day one, the eero mesh system has always been about collecting data from users. It was the first Wi-Fi solution that wouldn’t work independently without a connection to the Internet.
Specifically, it must connect to the vendor’s server, and the user then manages it via a mobile app that also works via the same server. You can’t even set your eero up without first logging in via your eero account. And, among other things, when there’s no Internet, you can’t make changes to your home network.
In other words, everything that goes through your home eero potentially goes through its maker. The company prides itself on using (technical) information gleaned from users to improve its product over time.
But privacy is not what a third-party says they will do but what they can do, or, in this case, what you let them do.
Would you allow a plumber access to your bathroom at all times just because they promise that they’ll look only at the pipes? Oh, how about having to check with them each time you want to use or make changes to the bathroom? It’s your bathroom. Think about it! Maybe consider another plumber?
And that probably has something to with why Amazon bought eero. But who knows!
With that out of the way, let continue with the eero Pro 6. (I reviewed the eero 6 separately here).
Amazon eero Pro 6: The most advanced yet painfully modest eero to date
The eero Pro 6 is quite compact, coming in a square with rounded corners that slightly larger than 5-inch (13cm) wide and a tad taller than 2-inch (5 cm) in height. Size-wise, it’s somewhat like the Asus RT-AX92U without the external antennas.
Minimum amount of ports
The new router comes with two auto-sensing Gigabit network ports — just enough to qualify itself as a router. Plug one into an Internet source, such as a modem, and it’ll work as a WAN port. Now the other will function as a LAN port. In the middle, there’s a USB-C power port.
And that’s it. So, you know you can’t expect any extras from this router. And that means no link aggregation, no multi-gig, no Dual-WAN, and no NAS functionality. For comparison, the Asus RT-AX92U has all of those, except for the multi-gig.
Amazon eero Pro 6’s hardware specs
The Amazon eero Pro 6 shares the same hardware specs as the Linksys Velop MX4200. It’s a tri-band router with two different 5GHz bands with the same AX4200 designation. The only notable difference is the fact it has more memory and a lot more flash storage.
I wonder why the eero Pro 6 needs so much storage space — some 8 times compared to most routers — especially considering its limited features. That might have something to do with the paid add-ons or data collection. But more storage and memory are always better than less.
Convenient, non-standard setup process
Setting up the eero Pro 6 is super easy as long as you have a mobile phone with a cellular connection.
That’s because you’ll need to first download the eero mobile app and login with an account with eero. You can use a mobile phone or an email for this account, but logging in is a must, which requires an Internet connection.
After that, follow the onscreen instruction. In my trial, things were smooth when I used an iPhone. On my Pixel 3 XL, though, the process got stuck at the part where the screen said it was waiting for the hardware to connect to the Internet.
This happened both with the first router and when I added another to form a mesh. It was likely a bug since, in the latter case, the unit had successfully become part of the system when I restarted the app.
Amazon eero Pro 6’s detail photos
Spartan Wi-Fi and network settings
Like all other eero options, the eero Pro 6 doesn’t have much to offer in terms of Wi-Fi and network settings.
In fact, all you can do are:
- Change the name and password of the main single Wi-Fi network. (You can’t separate the bands into different networks.)
- Turn the guest Wi-Fi network on/off, change its name and password.
- Set up port forwarding and IP reservations.
- Set up customize DNS settings for the Internet connection.
- View connected clients and choose to block them from the Internet.
- Change a few simple DHCP and NAT settings.
- Turn the eero between the router and Bridge (AP) mode.
And that’s about it. Clearly missing is the support for Dynamic DNS, without which the port-forwarding is mostly useless. There’s also no built-in VPN server, game-related features, or even QoS. Well, unless you want to check out some beta features.
Indeed, the eero Labs section within the app gives users a preview of a few possible future features still in beta. Nothing earth-shattering there, but of those, the eero Pro 6 has a QoS-related one that helps improve the user experience with real-time communication.
So you might get more out of the eero 6 Pro in the future via firmware updates. In fact, you can do that now, too, if you’re willing to pay more.
Extra features require additional costs
The eero comes with two extra sets of online protection and Parental Control, called eero Secure and eero Secure+. Unfortunately, they require a monthly fee of $2.99 and $9.99.
On top of that, you can also use it as a Zigbee hub for home automation. However, you will have to link the router to an Amazon account, which likely will increase your privacy risk.
Extra note on privacy
While you can create a random email address for the eero login mentioned above, linking your eero with an Amazon account is totally another ball game.
That’s because chances are you’ve used this account for shopping, streaming, and what’s not, so it has your real name, address, credit card, and other personal information. Not to mention those of your loved ones.
Put two and two together, and Amazon could get a lot out of this integration. And remember: Your router is the gateway to your entire online life. The data collection is now potentially no longer fragmented.
In other words, the invisible plumber mentioned above now has access to your entire home, not just the bathroom, and, despite what they might tell you, the truth is only they know what they’ll do or not do with that.
So, for this review, I opted not to try any of these extras — I’m an Amazon Prime member. (I’m also an Amazon associate, meaning if you buy this eero using links from this page, I’ll get a small commission.) Still, personally, I’d use a separate Zigbee hub to reduce network exposure.
And the point here is if you want to enjoy your eero to the fullest, you’ll have to pay another $120/year and give away even more personal information, making it the most costly Wi-Fi solutions. And not exactly an amazing one to begin with.
Amazon eero Pro 6’s performance: No surprises here
Considering the eero Pro 6’s hardware specs and its lack of a multi-gig port, there’s no way the router can wow anybody in Wi-Fi throughputs. And that was the case in my testing.
Good Wi-Fi speeds
Still, for what it is, this router did well, comparing to other Wi-Fi 6 mesh routers.
Specifically, my 2×2 Wi-Fi 6 clients managed to connect at 1.2Gbps and had sustained speeds ranging between 730Mbps to 815Mbps in the range between 10 feet (3 m) and 40 feet (12 m).
Similarly, at a close range, my 4×4 Wi-Fi 5 client averaged some 770Mbps, and at a distance away, my 3×3 clients registered some 625Mbps. All of these numbers were quite impressive.
However, in a full wireless test, where I used two 2×2 Wi-Fi 6 clients and copied data from one to another, the eero didn’t do as well as the Linksys Velop MX4200, averaging just some 315Mbps and 340Mbps, respectively.
That was likely because the router put both clients on a single 5GHz band. Since there’s no way to separate these bands, I couldn’t make sure each client had a band of its own during the test.
In a mesh setup, the eero Pro 6 also did well as a satellite. My 2×2 Wi-Fi 6 client’s sustained speeds ranged between 502Mbps and 670Mbps, while a 3×3 Wi-Fi 5 client had 423Mbps and 640Mbps, for the short and long ranges, respectively.
OK coverage, decent reliability
In my testing, a single eero Pro 6 unit can handle some 1500 ft2 (139 m2), and I could double that with my 2-pack. That was not bad considering the router’s physical size but in no way impressive.
Note that Wi-Fi coverage is tricky, depending on your home’s layout and materials, so your mileage will vary. But definitely don’t count on the advertised 2000 ft2 per hardware unit.
What you might be able to count on, though, is the reliability. The eero Pro 6 passed my 3-day stress test with no issue. One thing to note, though, due to the privacy concerns, I didn’t use it as my main network, so it wasn’t used as much as any other solutions I’ve reviewed.
Right off the bat, let me say that I will never use the eero Pro 6 (or any eero for that matter) for myself.
The new Wi-Fi solution has all the dreadful things for (advanced) home networking: The lack of essential settings, the non-existence web interface, the limited feature set, and especially the vendor-connected-requirement shenanigans.
Any of these alone is a deal-breaker for me personally. There are many less-restrictive alternatives and clearly better options out there.
But if you’re looking for a simple Wi-Fi solution that does everything for you — not necessarily out of the goodness of the heart — this Pro 6 is the “best” eero yet. And it’s likely will improve overtime via firmware updates. Before pulling the trigger, though, maybe check out one of these top Wi-Fi 6 routers first.