Eero rolls out its second-generation mesh Wi-Fi systems


— 3:00 PM on June 13, 2017

Having a house that's too big for one Wi-Fi router is decidedly a first-world problem, but plenty of companies have put considerable resources towards solving it. Eero was among the first on the scene with mesh Wi-Fi kits for the home, and now the company is releasing its second-generation systems along with with a home networking security subscription service called Eero Plus.

The company says its latest mesh gear is potentially twice as fast as the old stuff and offers up to double the range. Eero is also touting the new kits' smart home credentials. All the gear boasts built-in support for Bluetooth Low Energy and the mostly-dormant Thread network protocol.

The 802.11ac-capable kits come with varying groupings of Eero base stations and Eero Beacons. The base station broadcasts on three bands: 2.4 GHz, 5.2 GHz, and 5.8 Ghz, a combination that the company says results in double the effective bandwidth of the old model. Each base station has two Gigabit Ethernet ports, allowing hardwired connections to a cable or DSL modem along with a second device or a network switch.

The more compact Beacon units only work on the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands and omit the Ethernet jacks. The small size of the Beacon allows for flexible placement, and a built-in programmable night light helps them blend into their surroundings. The new Eero units are backwards compatible with the company's older hardware, though we imagine that performance probably falls back to the level of the slowest equipment.

The simplest kit comes with just a single Eero base unit for $200. The company says this system is good for small apartments. Adding a single beacon raises the price to $300, and is said to be appropriate for a large apartment or small house. Owners of larger homes might consider a larger kit with a base station and two Beacons for $400. A Pro Wi-Fi System kit has three base stations and no Beacons for $500. Extra Beacons sell for $150 individually. Eero says all kits will be in stores next month.

Eero is also launching the Eero Plus service, which promises to secure your network from online threats like malware, ransomeware, and phishing attacks, and also provides parental and content filtering controls. The service includes special access to Eero's customer support services. Eero Plus costs $10 per month or $100 annually.

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