Reviewed in Canada on December 4, 2020
This is a strong router... when it's working. Unfortunately, that's very hit or miss. And no, it's not issues with my modem, my modem will be still pushing out internet when this goes down all on its own despite being plugged right into it. It's clearly the router struggling to push forward internet like it's supposed to.
- Yes, it will be fast when working. I've hit my fastest levels with this router, though admittedly it's also the most highest spec router I've used. But it's at least not misleading about that unlike others which may detail on paper higher specs but fail utterly in practice.
- Yes, it will handle all of your devices when working. I have about 12 devices on it, streaming 4k, HDR, downloading many gigs, whatever simultaneously. It can handle it, while still not throttling something to ensure the big ask stays steady.
- Yes, it does boost a fairly far and strong signal, even without a mesh setup (I have just one and can receive a signal all over the house). I honestly can't even imagine needing 3 of these, besides having that much extra cash to spend.
- Yes, my download and upload speeds generally overall increased.
- The Wifi 6 feature and WPA3 protection are nice bonuses, even if nearly no devices use wifi 6 yet, and Apple only just started telling people WPA2 isn't safe even if the length required to hack it is still very long and that's misleading to need that level.
BUT... the other cons:
- Very expensive for a single router. At $240 (Black Friday sale.) you could easily find other single routers that can beat it. At a non sale price of $300, it's just ridiculous. If you're fine with paying $300 there are plenty of "gamer" routers that are specifically designed with far greater speeds, throughput, signal, you name it that can beat this out at that price point, or slightly higher to just warrant going with that instead. $300 can get you a much stronger single router that also has more ethernet ports and a better app.
- The back of the router features two gigabit ports sandwiched around the power port. While obviously two ports is ridiculous for the price of this router considering one needs to serve as the WAN port, essentially necessitating purchasing a separate ethernet port if you want more ports rather than it coming with say 4+ like is standard for routers, they literally sandwich the power port. Like all three ports comprise about a 1 inch space in the back, making it very awkward to plug in or unplug any of them, especially the power cord. The router is like 4 inches wide, there is ZERO need to have this all so close together. Given the overall issue that the router has issues keeping the connection which necessitates often restarting it, this makes it very awkward to do so. It is just simply awkward as hell to pull it out or put it back, and no I don't have stubby fingers. No idea whose bright idea it was to engineer it this way instead of like every other router, or common sense, to have the power separate from the rest of the backspace tech or spread things out across the width of the device, but they should be fired for this design. It's utterly impractical, and utterly ridiculous.
- When the router goes down you cannot restart the router from the app. This is frankly ridiculous. I get the router is down from the internet so it can't connect via wifi to do so, but it also has a Bluetooth connection to your phone, and obviously your phone still has data at the end of the day. There's zero reason why the app shouldn't be able to connect to the router to restart it. Frankly, this isn't a "smart" router at all considering I need to get up any time there's an issue and manually unplug it. I'm honestly not too sure what the point of the app even is other than for usage monitoring and some other analytics. If the internet is at all down, you cannot interact with it period. You're literal hope is to simply unplug, plug it back in, and hope that solved things. The app is useless if the router itself is saying it has no internet, regardless of whether or not there actually is internet pumping out from the modem.
- The machine's red light, supposedly indicating if the internet is down, doesn't actually line up with whether or not the internet is working or not. There's a good 10-20 second pause where I'll find out the internet is down by the TV stream going down or something else freezing and buffering before the router itself visually represents its gone down. It just stops transmitting a signal long before it actually signals its done so. The reverse meanwhile is also true - things will start back up before the red light goes back to its normal white. Basically, this light is useless in telling you the state of the internet. Your devices do that far better.
- The router sells itself on constantly updating, yet looking over the update history there's been about 1 every couple of weeks/month. While it is updating, that's a lot less intuitive than the advertising led to believe. This isn't some adapting router that is routinely adjusted/learning. It just gets semi-regular updates. Which the app doesn't explain in great detail (i.e it will say "wifi performance improvements" rather than what modification was changed to its codings to advance it)
- The app asks permission to update. I mean sure, I'd be a tad annoyed if the router updated itself in the middle of something important like a big download or livestream, but I'm surprised it doesn't just auto-update in the middle of the night when it senses everything's using less data. Waking up to a notification saying there's a new update and then needing to spend 15 minutes without internet at the start of you needing internet while it updates is annoying considering you could instead wake up to a notification saying the router updated itself overnight like nearly every other modern device does.
If this were any other brand I'd return it and either buy something much cheaper with similar performance, or something with much better performance in the same price range. Ultimately, I'm trusting that the Amazon brand actually did produce something worth its high end price point that will warrant itself given future updates to its software. Apart from the utterly terrible design flaw in the back that they obviously can't fix remotely (but if they do redesign this unit recognizing it I sure hope they offer free upgrades to those stuck with this stupid design), I'd imagine, and I'm hoping, that this is all mainly just software flaws preventing its maximum running capabilities, which spec wise should be far higher than it performs at. I mean, simple things like the internet light not coordinating with when there's actual internet or not should be something that ultimately aligns to its intended purpose by update fixes, let alone getting it to actually use it's rather impressive processors, tri-bands, ram, etc. That routine remote update SHOULD ultimately pay off, but it's just not there yet. Most people would rather buy something already good to go, that will occasionally get updates now and then to maintain it. Certainly I would want something functional out the box rather than 60% exceptional.
So if I were a prospective buyer looking for an eero, I'd probably just wait until it stabilizes itself out with more updates. Seems clear to me that this was rushed to meet Amazon Prime/Black Friday, rather than the software actually being ready for this unit's impressive specs. Sorry, but calling a spade a spade - Amazon needs these honest reviews about where their product is failing to know to fix its clear issues. Unless I just got a slightly defective unit, the reviews out there by the "expert techs" just seem off and misleading. Like yeah, according to my app I've at some point this week gotten 200mb/s (exceptional for my network), but have I ever actually experienced it? No.
Fix the issues, and it might one day be worth it's $300 price tag.