Eero 6 Plus vs. Eero Pro 6E: Which of Amazon’s Mesh Routers Is Best?

 

Eero’s lineup of mesh routers has been a prime residence networking choice for a number of years — and now, the Amazon-owned firm has two new techniques in the marketplace: the Eero 6 Plus ($299 for a three-pack) and the Eero Pro 6E ($699 for a three-pack).

With a number of gadgets unfold all through your own home, every of the brand new Eero techniques guarantees to create a quicker, extra dependable connection from room to room. Both techniques characteristic full help for the latest Wi-Fi 6 speeds, in addition to built-in Zigbee radios that allow you to join lights, locks and different good residence devices to your community with out the necessity for an additional hub.

 

 


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Wi-Fi 6 vs. Wi-FI 6E: Here’s the distinction in three…

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Look underneath the hood, nevertheless, and you will find heaps separating these two fashions — significantly in relation to efficiency. Like the “Pro” half of the branding suggests, the Eero Pro 6E kicks issues up with an ultra-high-speed WAN port succesful of supporting incoming Ethernet speeds as excessive as 2.5Gbps. It additionally helps Wi-Fi 6E, which lets it join suitable gadgets over the just lately opened ultrawide 6GHz band.

If you are attempting to resolve which one could be a greater match on your residence, you’ve got come to the appropriate place. I spent a number of weeks testing the 2 techniques out, and have loads to share about their respective capabilities. Here’s a detailed have a look at how the 2 techniques stack up towards one another, examine to earlier Eero techniques and match as much as the competitors. I’ll additionally embody my ideas on which could be the higher purchase for many peoples’ residence networking wants. (Hint: One of them has already earned a spot on my checklist of one of the best mesh routers at the moment on sale.)

Ry Crist/CNET

Speed score: AX3000
Design: Dualband (2.4 and 5GHz)
Ports: Two 1Gbps Ethernet jacks, USB-C energy jack
Extras: Built-in Zigbee good residence radio, Matter help through Thread
Hardware: 1GHz dual-core processor, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of Flash storage
Range: 4,500 sq. ft. (three-pack)
Individual value: $139
Three-pack value: $299

In 2020, somewhat over a 12 months after being acquired by Amazon, Eero launched its first mesh router for the Wi-Fi 6 age, the Eero 6. At $279 for a three-piece system, the value was tempting — however the inconsistent efficiency in our pace exams left quite a bit to be desired.

Flash forward to 2022, and the introduction of the Eero 6 Plus. Priced barely greater this time round at $299 for a three-pack, the system appears to be like practically similar to the one which preceded it, but it surely guarantees upgraded efficiency by method of new help for 160MHz channels (up from 80MHz). A quicker AX3000 pace score (up from AX1800) signifies that it is higher geared up to take benefit of gigabit connections, too.

Sure sufficient, the Eero 6 Plus proved to be a major enchancment over its predecessor in our efficiency exams, making a lot better use of Wi-Fi 6 to ship quick speeds all through the whole thing of my residence throughout a number of days of exams. One of solely a handful of model title choices that will get you a three-piece Wi-Fi 6 mesh setup for lower than $300, it is an intriguing decide.

Read the CNET evaluation of the Eero 6 Plus.

Hobie Crase/CNET

Speed score: AX5400
Design: Triband (2.4, 5, and 6GHz)
Ports: Two Ethernet jacks (2.5Gbps and 1Gbps), USB-C energy jack
Extras: Built-in Zigbee good residence radio, Matter help through Thread
Hardware: 1GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 4GB of flash storage
Range: 6,000 sq. ft. (three-pack)
Individual value: $299
Three-pack value: $699

The Eero Pro 6E presents a step up from the Eero 6 Plus — and from each different Eero system that got here earlier than it — with the addition of Wi-Fi 6E help. That signifies that the tri-band AX5400 system comes geared up with a radio succesful of sending alerts within the 6GHz band, a large swath of airwaves with greater than twice as a lot bandwidth because the 5GHz band and no over-the-air interference from previous-gen gadgets.

That positions the Eero Pro 6E to maintain up with forward-looking use-cases like augmented actuality that can require networks succesful of shifting massive quantities of information . On prime of that, the Ethernet WAN port succesful of accepting incoming wired speeds as quick as 2.5Gbps (2,500Mbps) signifies that it is constructed to maintain up with the brand new multigig web plans which are rising in availability this 12 months, too.

Performance was robust after I examined the system out at residence. Only 5 of the 30 or so techniques that I’ve examined there registered quicker common obtain speeds than the Pro 6E; solely 4 of them surpassed its common add speeds. That makes it a worthy improve decide, however with wi-fi speeds that prime out round 1.3Gbps, it is not fairly the multigig mesh you might need hoped for.

Read the CNET evaluation of the Eero Pro 6E.

The Eero Pro 6E’s WAN port on the left helps incoming wired speeds as quick as 2.5Gbps — however you will not see speeds a lot quicker than 1.3Gbps while you’re connecting wirelessly over Wi-Fi. That’s nonetheless loads quick, but it surely places the router’s multigig potential to waste.

 


Hobie Crase/CNET

Design and specs

Neither of the brand new techniques deviate from Eero’s established fashion: Glossy, white plastic with light curves, ports within the again and an Eero emblem up prime. In truth, they’re practically indistinguishable from previous-gen Eero techniques, and possibly that is the purpose, as each the Eero 6 Plus and the Eero Pro 6E are backward suitable with earlier-gen Eero setups. That signifies that current Eero customers might decide up a single Eero 6 Plus or Pro 6E gadget and add it into their setup as both the primary router or as an extra vary extender.

As for the internals, the Eero Pro 6E is the extra highly effective of the 2 mesh routers, boasting quicker radios, superior vary and twice as a lot RAM because the Eero 6 Plus, plus the additional benefit of the two.5Gbps Ethernet jack within the again. Another key Pro benefit: The triband construct, which permits the system to dedicate both the 5 or 6GHz band to system transmissions between the router and its satellites. All of that’s nice — however the issue is that the Eero Pro 6E is not designed to hit wi-fi speeds a lot quicker than 1.3Gbps, so whereas it might deal with an incoming multigig connection, it will not supply those self same blazing quick speeds that you just’re presumably paying for while you’re linked over Wi-Fi.

That brings us again to the Eero 6 Plus, which presents considerably higher efficiency than earlier than, because of quicker radios of its personal, plus help for 160Mhz channels — wider lanes on your net visitors to go by way of. It is not as highly effective because the Pro 6E, but it surely makes higher use of the horsepower packed inside, particularly on condition that it prices $400 much less for a three-pack than the Eero Pro 6E. Dollar for greenback, the {hardware} simply makes somewhat extra sense, so I give it the slight edge right here.

Winner: Eero 6 Plus

With a triband construct and a devoted wi-fi backhaul, the Eero Pro 6E (crimson) did a greater job at delivering reliably quick speeds all through the whole home to my Wi-Fi 6 take a look at gadget (and speeds have been even higher with a Wi-Fi 6E gadget). The distinction between the 2 techniques could be extra noticeable on a quicker connection than my 300Mbps fiber plan.

 


Ry Crist/CNET

Performance and speeds

Design selections apart, the Eero Pro 6E is the quicker of these two techniques. In my residence, the place I’ve a fiber web reference to add and obtain speeds of as much as 300Mbps and the quickest gadgets I take a look at prime out at round 375Mbps at shut vary, the Eero Pro 6E’s obtain speeds to a Wi-Fi 6 gadget got here out to 342Mbps when averaged throughout the entire home. That rose to a really spectacular 365Mbps after I repeated my exams with a Wi-Fi 6E gadget.

Meanwhile, the Eero 6 Plus returned common Wi-Fi 6 obtain speeds of 304Mbps, and that quantity really went down barely after I reran my exams with a Wi-Fi 6E gadget. That is not stunning — with out Wi-Fi 6E help, the Eero 6 Plus will not deal with Wi-Fi 6E consumer gadgets any in another way than those who help Wi-Fi 6.

A obtain common of 304Mbps continues to be an excellent lead to that take a look at (and it is nonetheless top-10 amongst all of the mesh routers I’ve examined at residence over the previous few years) — however the Eero Pro 6E was even higher. What’s extra, you are prone to see a fair higher distinction between the 2 on a community that helps greater speeds than my 300Mbps fiber plan, as a result of the Pro 6E is healthier geared up to deal with quicker speeds like these. The system can even enhance with age as an increasing number of of the gadgets in our houses begin providing help for Wi-Fi 6E. That means the Eero Pro 6E will get the clear edge right here.

Winner: Eero Pro 6E

The Eero app does a fantastic job of serving to customers set the system up, and it presents a quantity of helpful options, together with entry to Malwarebytes antivirus safety, the Encrypt.me VPN and the 1Password password supervisor with a $10-per-month Eero Secure Plus subscription.

 


Screenshots by Ry Crist/CNET

Privacy, safety and options

Both the Eero 6 Plus and the Eero Pro 6E supply setup steering and system controls through the Eero app, accessible on Android and iOS. The app does an excellent job of strolling customers by way of the setup course of, which is itself fairly easy — simply join an Eero gadget to your modem with an Ethernet cable, plug it into an influence supply, give your community a reputation, pick a password and plug within the extenders when instructed. With each techniques, I had issues up and working in properly underneath 10 minutes.

In addition to the setup assist, the Eero app makes it simple to trace the gadgets linked to your community, run a fast pace take a look at, or group gadgets for advert blocking or parental management functions. With a $3 month-to-month subscription to Eero Secure, you possibly can add in extra safety and content material filtering options — make {that a} $10 month-to-month subscription to Eero Secure Plus so as to add in distant DDNS controls in addition to entry to Malwarebytes antiviral safety, the Encrypt.me VPN, and 1Password, which is one of CNET’s top-rated password managers. Security options apart, each Eero techniques characteristic built-in Zigbee radios for connecting issues like lights and locks to your private home community, in addition to help for the upcoming Matter good residence normal by method of Thread help. All of that — the setup assist, the app options, the non-obligatory Eero Secure extras, the good residence radios — are the identical throughout each the Eero 6 Plus and the Eero Pro 6E.

The two techniques share the identical privateness issues, as properly. On its data-collection support page, Eero says that it does not ever observe the web sites you go to or accumulate the contents of your net visitors, however the firm does accumulate information out of your community so as to optimize Wi-Fi efficiency. Eero says that it does not promote that buyer information, or promote advertisements based mostly on that information — but it surely does not supply an choice for customers to choose out of information assortment altogether, which units it other than another producers within the residence networking house. Again, it is the identical consideration for each techniques, so this one’s a push.

Winner: Tie

Value

If you are choosing between a three-piece mesh router that prices $299 and one other that prices $699, you may assume that the $299 system is the superior worth. You would not essentially be flawed — however with the Eero 6 Plus and the Eero Pro 6E, it is in all probability quite a bit nearer than you suppose.

Let’s begin with the 6 Plus. At $299, it is not breaking any new floor so far as pricing is worried. Other dual-band, three-piece mesh techniques with help for Wi-Fi 6 acquired there first, together with the Netgear Nighthawk MK63S, at the moment available for $227, the Asus ZenWifi AX Mini, which currently costs $230, and Amazon’s personal Eero 6. That previous-gen system launched in 2020 for $279 ($20 lower than the Eero 6 Plus), and Amazon simply marked it down to $199. Then once more, none of these techniques carried out practically in addition to the Eero 6 Plus did, which undoubtedly offers it a powerful declare to worth in that $300-or-less class. There simply aren’t quite a bit of three-piece techniques in that value vary with efficiency that is nearly as good as this.

That brings us to the Eero Pro 6E, which is way more of a pricing play than the 6 Plus. At $699, it is costly, but it surely’s a relative cut price in comparison with your different mesh choices with help for Wi-Fi 6E. There aren’t many of these, however they arrive with eye-popping value tags — $1,200 for a Linksys Velop Atlas Max 6E three-pack, or $1,500 for a Netgear Orbi AXE11000 three-pack. The Eero Pro 6E could be costly, but it surely’s a needle mover for Wi-Fi 6E’s price of entry, and that’ll in all probability tempt quite a bit of customers who’re itching to make the early soar to 6E help on their residence community.

It is early, although, and by the point Wi-Fi 6E help is absolutely beginning to matter in our houses, there’ll possible be different techniques in the marketplace that may match and even beat the Pro 6E’s worth proposition. If you are shopping for proper now, you possibly can count on a noticeable uptick in system speeds, in addition to barely quicker speeds to Wi-Fi 6E gadgets (assuming you’ve gotten any). Is that value an additional $400?

For some forward-looking households, I feel that it could be, significantly if you happen to’re trying to get probably the most out of a gigabit web plan (which is absolutely the Pro 6E’s candy spot). That Pro 6E worth will possible look higher and higher as Wi-Fi 6E continues to mature and make it into our telephones, laptops and different family gadgets. But exterior of that, I feel one of the best worth right now lies with the 6 Plus.

Winner: Eero 6 Plus (but it surely’s quite a bit nearer than you’d suppose)

img-1528

Ry Crist/CNET

The verdict

The Eero 6 Plus and the Eero Pro 6E are each robust choices within the mesh class, and I might simply see myself recommending both one of them to a good friend or member of the family. Both supply quick, constant speeds, robust ease of use, combine of options and first rate worth relative to the competitors. I additionally admire Eero’s restraint beneath its new guardian firm — the routers help Frustration-Free Setup and Alexa voice controls for pausing the Wi-Fi, however that is about so far as they go on the Amazon entrance. There aren’t any Alexa audio system or long-distance Amazon Sidewalk radios constructed into both of them, and neither one requires you to hyperlink your Amazon account to your private home community.

The Eero Pro 6E is the higher decide for energy customers trying to get probably the most out of a gigabit connection, however for many of us, I feel the Eero 6 Plus is the higher purchase. With full-width channels and quicker radios than earlier than, it makes a lot, a lot better use of Wi-Fi 6 than the last-gen Eero 6 did, and whereas it does not help Wi-Fi 6E or multigig speeds, I feel we’re nonetheless a number of years away from the time when these will likely be must-haves in most peoples’ houses. The Pro 6E is somewhat forward of its time, which is not a foul factor, however the Eero 6 Plus is the higher decide for the value if you happen to’re shopping for right now.


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