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eero Pro 6 Review: A Basic Tri-band Mesh Router with Lasting Hidden Costs

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 4
The new Amazon eero Pro 6 tri-band Wi-Fi 6 mesh router.

Amazon eero Pro 6's Rating

6.9 out of 10
Amazon eero PRO 6 7
Performance
7/10
Features
6/10
Ease of Use
8.5/10
Value
6/10

Pros

Easy to set up and use, especially for iPhone users

Good Wi-Fi speeds

Compact design

Comparatively affordable

Cons

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 it 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.

See also  eero Pro 6 vs eero 6: How to Get the Most out of Your Amazon Wi-Fi

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.

Eero 6 vs Eero Pro6 2
An Amazon eero 6 dual-band mesh (foreground) and two eero Pro 6 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 can use the wired backhaul setup. That’s similar to the case of the TP-Link Deco X60 and is always recommended.

Eero 6 vs Eero Pro6 1
A single Amazon eero Pro 6 (front) and a set of eero 6 mesh. They will work together in a single system, though not ideal.

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, mixing hardware of different Wi-Fi standards is never a good idea in a wireless setup. 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.

Eero Setup Card
The quick setup instruction card. Note how you need to run the eero app on your phone first.

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 from users to improve its product over time.

Here’s the company’s lengthy privacy policy in case you have time. Among other things, the gist is eero wants you to believe that it won’t collect user activities. And I’m not here to suggest one way or another.

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 checking 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 do 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, looking like a rounded square box that’s 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.

eero Pro 6 vs Asus RT AX92U 2
Here’s the eero Pro 6 next to the Asus RT-AX92U. Note the number of network ports on each.

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: 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.

Full NameAmazon eero Pro 6 Tri-band AX4200 Wi-Fi 6 Mesh Router
Modeleero Pro 6
Wi-Fi DesignationAX4200
Mesh Availability3-pack (three identical hardware units)
Dimensions5.3 x 5.3 x 2.1 inch (134.49 x 134.63 x 52.6 mm)
Weight1.49 lbs (676 g)
5GHz-1 Wi-Fi Specs4×4 Wi-Fi 6: up to 2404 Mbps 
5GHz-2 Wi-Fi Specs2×2 Wi-Fi 6: 1201 Mbps
2.4GHz Wi-Fi Specs2×2 Wi-Fi 6: 574 Mbs
Mesh Backhaul BandDynamic
Wired Backhaul SupportYes
Channel Width Supported20Mhz, 40MHz, 80MHz
Backward Compatibility 802.11ac/n/g/a/b
Wi-Fi SecurityWPA2, WPA2/WPA3 Mixed Mode
Mobile AppEero
Web User InterfaceNone
AP (Bridge) ModeYes 
USB PortNone
Network Ports2x Auto-Sensing Gigabit ports
Link AggregationNo
Multi-Gig PortNone
Dual-WANNo
Processing power1.4 GHz quad-core processor, 1024MB RAM, 4GB flash storage
Suggest Retail Price$229 (1-pack), $599.99 (3-pack)
Amazon eero Pro 6’s hardware specs

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 if you have a mobile phone with a cellular connection.

eero app
The eero Pro 6 can work as a standalone router or host a large system of multiple eero units. In either case, it’s limited in settings.

That’s because you’ll need first to download the eero mobile app and log in 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

Amazon eero PRO 6 2
The Amazon eero Pro 6’s retail box.

Amazon eero PRO 6 7
The eero Pro 6 is a relatively compact router despite being probably the largest eero router to date.

Amazon eero PRO 6 5
The router comes with just two auto-sensing Gigabit ports, just enough to qualify it as a router. Note the USB-C power port.

Amazon eero PRO 6 1
The underside of the eero Pro 6.

Amazon eero PRO 6 8
You can get multiple units of the eero Pro 6 to form a mesh system.

Amazon eero PRO 6 12
When using multiple Wi-Fi 6 eero router units, you have the option of linking them together using network cables (wired backhaul).

Spartan Wi-Fi and network settings

Like all other eero options, the eero Pro 6 doesn’t have much to offer regarding 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.

eero Labs
The eero Labs beta section of the eero 6 (left) and eero Pro 6.

Indeed, the eero Labs section within the app gives users a preview of a few possible future features still in beta. Nothing earth-shattering here, 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.

eero subscription
Extra features of the eero require a monthly subscription.

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.

See also  Wi-Fi, Online Media, Vaccine, Misinformation and How to Stay Safe: It's on You!

So, I opted not to try any of these extras for this review — 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 solution. 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, this router did well for what it is, compared 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).

Amazon eero Pro 6 Mesh Routers Performance
(W-W): Test with two 2×2 Wi-Fi 6 clients transferring data from one to another.

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 ensure each client had a band of its own during the test.

Amazon eero Pro 6 Mesh Satellite Performance

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 reliability. The eero Pro 6 passed my 3-day stress test with no issue. One thing to note, though, I didn’t use it as my main network due to privacy concerns, nor did I use it as much as any other solutions I’ve reviewed.

Conclusion

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 over time via firmware updates. Before pulling the trigger, though, maybe check out one of these top Wi-Fi 6 routers first.

See also  Amazon eero Pro 6 vs Linksys Velop MX4200: An Easy Choice

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18 thoughts on “eero Pro 6 Review: A Basic Tri-band Mesh Router with Lasting Hidden Costs”

  1. I have 3 Eero 6 pros and I love them. Less can be more. Easy set up, amazingly fast speeds, and it always just works. That’s what I want in a network. Just like the old interest interrupt requests from back in the day, just because you don’t have access to them anymore doesn’t mean that’s a bad thing. It’s more important that something works, not whether you can hack settings in the background on your own. If I want more ports then I’ll just buy a switch.

    Reply
  2. Fantastic review, as always.

    Unfortunately, one thing that I don’t see mentioned often enough when it comes to Eero’s mesh systems is the complete lack of PPPoE support. While I understand that there aren’t too many ISPs in the U.S. that still use PPPoE, it’s quite common internationally, and that makes the Eero a non-starter for a large number of users.

    Sadly I’ve run into more than a few who have purchased it assuming that it was supported — after all, one would think this shouldn’t be a problem on any modern router — only to be left stuck either returning it or scrambling for workarounds.

    I played with the original Eero Pro (Wi-Fi 5 version) for a while and managed to hack around with double NAT, which surprisingly isn’t as nasty to deal with as it was about 10 years ago, but I also wasn’t too thrilled with having to pull my ISPs router back out of cold storage to put in front of it just to get online — especially since I’d taken the trouble of getting an fibre-capable switch in order to bypass that.

    I’ve since moved on from the Eero system for a whole lot of reasons (some of which you’ve covered in your reviews), but it’s also become clear that the company has no intent on ever adding PPPoE support — there’s a long thread in their community forums that goes back about four years complaining about it, with the only weak responses from the company being that they can’t make it work with acceptable performance, which would strike as odd if it weren’t for the fact that the Eero Pro is already one of the poorest-performing routers I’ve ever used even on a wired connection — I’ve never been able to get it to hit anywhere near gigabit speeds.

    Anyway, thanks again for your great reviews.

    Reply
    • All the more reason you should stay away from this one, Jesse. But PPoE is just a matter of software and can be enabled via firmware updates.

      Reply
      • True, and firmware updates are what many have been hoping for, but there’s a four-year-old feature request thread for it on Eero’s forums, and the best answer from the Eero developers on a Reddit thread a few years back is that they’ve never been able to add it without creating “severe performance issues.”

        Many hoped it was coming to the Eero Pro 6, but I think it’s safe to say that since it didn’t arrive even with the new hardware, Eero basically has no plans to implement it at all.

        While there’s a certain “buyer beware” aspect to purchasing any router, even I picked up the Eero Pro system last year having no idea that there it lacked PPPoE support, which kind of shocked me as I can’t think of another mainstream brand of router off the top of my head that can’t handle PPPoE connections, and I’ve used almost all of them — I’ve currently gone with the GT-AX11000 with a pair of ZenWiFi XT8’s, and while that’s a configuration with its own set of fun quirks, it’s definitely far more feature-rich. Meanwhile, Linksys’ Velop AX4200 not only offered PPPoE support, but it could also handle native VLAN tagging, as could Netgear’s RAX80.

        Reply
  3. Let me just say I am absolutely loving your reviews and you are my new mesh router Guru. After years of wrestling with an Orbi RBR50 system (it had a lovely habit of dropping satellites when it felt like it) I finally bit the bullet on a Linksys MX12600 with two more satellites on the way. My house is around 5500 square feet, but with many construction add-ons over the past 100 years there are parts that are just a nightmare to cover wirelessly. At first I sensed that the speeds of the Velop were lower than my Orbi and toyed with trying the Eero Pro 6 Tri-Band, but after reading this review, I sense I’d be wasting my time! Curious if anyone feels there’s a better choice than my Velop when interference is the main issue and I’d love to get by with less than 4 satellite units!

    Reply
    • The eero will definitely be much worse than the Velop or the Orbi, Marc. With a home like yours, it’s best to run network cables. If that’s not possible, try placing the hardware strategically and also don’t have too high expectations on speeds. More here. Hope it works out.

      Reply
  4. I would think that using an encrypted DNS, like NextDNS, would take away most of the information of value that eero might get. Yes, they will know what your devices are, but I don’t really care about that. The real value for advertisers, as I see it, is the list of web sites that I go to, and the products that I buy online. And with encrypted, third-party DNS and https on all those connections, I don’t see how they get that. I’m most likely naive about this, but all my personal information has already been aggregated on the internet, googling yourself can be quite revealing.

    Also, I guess that I’m not as paranoid about others knowing what I’m doing, especially since that’s already happening. My ISP knows everywhere that I go online, even with encrypted DNS. So it’s just another place with that data, only less. If they really want to see what I buy on Amazon, well, good luck, that’s encrypted as well :-).

    Maybe I’m just not paranoid enough :-).

    Reply
    • I hear you, Roger. I mean if you, for some reason, enjoyed being watched that’d be fine. I just wanted to make everyone, especially those with a spouse and kids, be aware of that possible reality and the alternative.

      Reply
  5. Hmm, I’m on an Eero 6 pro and I don’t see the qos option there. The devs on reddit said it hasn’t been released yet for the 6 pro. I’m also on android.

    Reply
  6. I have been a huge fan of Eero’s simplicity. I have really found that hard wiring them has been my best bet with them for the performance. Though when on mesh they are rock solid. I wanted to try the high end netgear ultra performance three pack at 1000 dollars to see if I could get equivalent 600 plus Mb/s from each node but still have PTSD of the last Orbi products I have tried and everything disconnecting several times a day. Right now when I am on a mesh Eero 6 pro I get 350Mb/s. Which is more than adequate. Take it from someone who designs and plays with enterprise networks something like a Eero is for the every day person. Plus the look keeps the wives happy instead of looking at a Ubiquiti rack or Asus spider.

    Reply
  7. You mention that it doesn’t have QoS. It actually has a much better implementation of QoS that most if not all other consumer routers lack. It uses Smart Queue Management (SQM) which can be found in the Labs section of the Discover tab. SQM is significantly better than QoS, allowing all devices fair use of bandwidth. While traditional QoS prioritizes certain devices which leads to other devices having buffering, loading issues, etc.

    Reply
    • Good point, Chris. I didn’t test that part since it’s in “beta”. But I’ll check that out with the review of the eero 6.

      Reply
    • Also came to point out SQM. Just learned about that. I think the best way to test this is with bufferfloat at DSLR reports?

      Fastest single device download speeds? Is there a difference between 200mbps and 180mbps on a single wireless device? I can’t imagine there being a noticeable difference (go wired at that point). Have 4 devices streaming and zooming at the same time, and don’t have fiber level upload speeds? That’s what I want to see.

      Reply

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