Amazon Eero Pro 6 Review

A high-performance wireless mesh system that doubles as a smart home hub

3.5
Updated November 19, 2020

The Bottom Line

Amazon's Eero Pro 6 is a tri-band mesh Wi-Fi system that provides relatively good wireless coverage and doubles as a home automation hub. It’s easy to set up and manage, but included features are scarce.

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Pros

  • Easy to install
  • Built-in Zigbee radio
  • Works with Alexa
  • Wide coverage range

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Anti-malware and parental control tools require a subscription
  • Lacks USB ports and QoS settings

The Amazon Eero Pro 6 ($229 for one or $599 for a pack of three) is the company’s first mesh Wi-Fi system to utilize the latest Wi-Fi 6 technology, and this time around it adds home automation hub capabilities via a Zigbee radio. The system we tested uses three stylish nodes to provide up to 6,000 square feet of wireless coverage, and is easy to install and manage. It also delivered decent throughput performance in testing, but it’s not as fast as our Editors’ Choice winner, the Asus Zen WiFi AX XT8, and it doesn’t offer as many features.

Eero Pro 6 Design and Features

The $599 Eero Pro 6 system we tested comes with three stylish low-profile nodes that each measure 2.1 by 5.3 by 5.3 inches (HWD), making them considerably bigger than previous Eero models. Each node provides 2,000 square feet of wireless coverage, with one node serving as the main router and the other two serving as mesh nodes. If the three-pack is overkill for your networking needs, you can purchase a single node for $229 or a two-pack for $399.

The nodes are equipped with two auto-sensing gigabit LAN ports and a power port, but they lack the USB connectivity and multi-gig capabilities that you get with the Asus ZenWiFi AX XT8. Under the hood are a 1.4GHz quad-core CPU, 1024MB of RAM, 4GB of flash memory, and a Bluetooth radio. As with the TP-Link Deco M9 Plus Mesh Wi-Fi System, the Eero Pro 6 contains a Zigbee radio that allows you to connect to and control numerous smart home devices such as cameras, lights, switches, and thermostats.

Amazon Eero Pro 6 three pack product shot

The Eero Pro 6 is a tri-band AX4200 system that can hit maximum data rates of up to 574Mbps on the 2.4GHz (2X2) band, up to 1,201Mbps on the 5GHz (2X2) band, and up to 2,402Mbps on the secondary 5GHz (4X4) band. It’s based on the Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) standard and supports WPA3 encryption, Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access (OFDMA) data transmissions, MU-MIMO simultaneous data streaming, and direct-to-client signal beamforming. However, it doesn't support 160MHz channel bandwidth.

As is the case with the Eero system that we reviewed last year, the Eero Pro 6 doesn't come with the free parental controls or anti-malware tools that you get with systems such as the TP-Link Deco X60 AX3000 Whole Home Mesh WiFi System and the Asus ZenWiFi AX XT8. Instead, you have to subscribe to an Eero Secure plan.

For $2.99 per month or $29.99 per year, the Eero Secure plan lets you create individual user profiles, apply content filters to block access to adult-oriented sites, and use the ad blocker to eliminate pop-up ads. It also scans visited sites and checks them against a database of known threats to prevent you from accessing a malicious page. For $9.99 per month or $99 per year, the Secure Plus plan gets you everything that comes with the Secure plan along with Malwarebytes malware protection, Encrypt.me VPN protection, and the 1Password password management utility. Missing are QoS settings that let you allocate bandwidth to client devices for things like video streaming, online gaming, and large file downloads.

Eero 6

The Pro 6 uses the same Android and iOS mobile app as the 2019 Eero system, and supports Alexa voice commands that let you do things such as turn guest networking on and off and pause network access for specific clients. It also supports Amazon Wi-Fi Simple Setup, which uses settings from Amazon Echo devices and Fire TV Sticks to help configure new devices quickly and easily.

The app’s home screen displays the network name, internet status, and the name of each Eero node. Tap the internet status tab to run a speed test that measures upload and download speeds, and tap a node tab to see how it's connected (wired or wireless), its location and IP address, and which clients are connected to it. Use the plus sign in the top right corner to add new devices, create a profile, and invite users to your guest network.

Below the node tabs are tabs for Profiles, Computers and Personal, and Recently Online. Profiles allows you to manage individual users, assign parental control filters, schedule access times, and assign devices to each user. You can view information about connected clients by tapping the client name in the Computers and Personal tab. Here you can view profile information and see what parental control filters are enabled for that client, view real-time bandwidth activity, and see which node the client is connected to. The Recently Online tab lets you see which clients were recently connected and when they were last active, and you can block access to the network or pause internet access for any client.

Eero app

Back at the home screen, at the bottom, are buttons for Home, Activity, Discover, and Settings. The Home button returns you back to the home screen, and the Activity button takes you to a screen where you can view speed test results and security information such as how many scans have occurred and how many threats and ads have been blocked. The data is presented in colorful charts that are easy to read.

Tap the Discover button to view your Eero Secure subscription status, enable ad blocking, and enable the SafeSearch feature that filters out inappropriate sites and images from Bing and Google search results. The Settings button takes you to a screen where you can edit the network name and password, enable guest networking and notifications, and update the firmware. Advanced settings include DHCP and NAT settings, IPv6 and UPnP settings, and port forwarding settings.

Installing the Eero Pro 6

Mesh Wi-Fi systems are designed for quick and easy installation, and the Eero Pro 6 is no different. I started by downloading the mobile app and creating an account. Next, I tapped Start Setup on the opening screen and followed the instructions to unplug my modem, connect an Eero Pro 6 node to the modem, and power up both the modem and the node. After 30 seconds or so, the LED began blinking blue and I was instructed to give the node a location and to give the network a name and password. Within seconds the router node was up and running, so I tapped Next and then tapped Add Another Eero Device. I placed the satellite node in my living room, waited a few seconds for the LED to turn blue, gave the node a location, and it was immediately added to my network. I repeated this process for the third node and the setup was complete.

Eero Pro 6 Performance

The Eero Pro 6 is a good performer, but not a class-leading one. The main router’s score of 701Mbps on the close proximity (same room) throughput test trailed the Linksys Velop AX4200 by 11Mbps and the TP-Link Deco X60 router by 57Mbps, and was 159Mbps slower than our leader, the Asus ZenWiFi AX XT8. On the 30-foot test, the Eero router’s score of 230Mbps lagged behind the Deco X60 (290Mbps) and Velop AX4200 (299Mbps), and was significantly slower than the ZenWiFi AX XT8 (347Mbps).

Eero 6 router throughout

Results were similar with the Eero satellite node. Its score of 455Mbps on the close proximity test was the slowest of the pack, while the ZenWiFi AX XT8 led with a score of 675Mbps. On the 30-foot test, the Eero satellite node garnered 353Mbps, trailing the Deco X60 (386Mbps) and the Velop AX4200 (413Mbps). The ZenWiFi AX XT8 blew them all away with a score of 619Mbps.

Eero 6 satellite throughput

To test wireless signal strength, we use an Ekahau Sidekick Wi-Fi diagnostic device and Ekahau’s Survey mobile app (Note: Ekahau is owned by j2 Global, the parent company of Ziff Media Group, the publisher of PCMag.com). The software generates a heat map that illustrates coverage throughout our test home. On the map, darker green areas indicate the strongest signal measurements, and lighter green and yellow areas show a weaker signal. The circles represent the location of the router and the satellite node.

Ekahau

As shown on the map, a pair of Eero Pro 6 nodes did a relatively good job of delivering a strong signal throughout most of the test home, but as we saw with the TP-Link AX6000, the signal became a bit weaker in the lower left bedroom, which has several walls between it and the router node.

The Best Mesh System?

Wide signal range, ease of use, and Wi-Fi 6 technology are all good reasons to consider using the Eero Pro 6 to ensure that every corner of your home or small business can wirelessly connect to your network. The router and satellite node both delivered decent throughput performance and showed good signal strength in our tests, and the mobile app makes it easy to create a new network and manage it using your phone. Although parental controls and anti-malware tools are available you’ll have to pay for them, and as is the case with previous Eero models, QoS settings are nonexistent. For around $150 less for a similar amount of coverage (5,500 square feet), the Asus Zen WiFi AX XT8 offers superior performance, comes with lifetime parental controls and network security software, and is equipped with a multi-gig LAN port and a USB port. It also supports 160MHz channel bandwidth. As such, it remains our Editors’ Choice winner for Wi-Fi 6 mesh systems. 

Amazon Eero Pro 6

3.5

Pros

  • Easy to install
  • Built-in Zigbee radio
  • Works with Alexa
  • Wide coverage range
View More

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Anti-malware and parental control tools require a subscription
  • Lacks USB ports and QoS settings

The Bottom Line

Amazon's Eero Pro 6 is a tri-band mesh Wi-Fi system that provides relatively good wireless coverage and doubles as a home automation hub. It’s easy to set up and manage, but included features are scarce.

Amazon Eero Pro 6 Specs

Wireless Specification 802.11ax
Number of Bands 3
AC Speed AX4200
Number of Wired LAN Ports (Excluding WAN Port) 1 on router, 2 on satellites
MU-MIMO Yes
Quality of Service (QoS) No
Security WPA2, WPA3
Parental Controls Yes
IPv6 Compatible Yes
Coverage Area for Hardware as Tested 6000 sq ft
Number of Nodes 3
Wired Backhaul Yes
Anti-Malware Tools Yes
Number of USB ports 0
Separate Bands No
DD-WRT / Tomato-Compatible No

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Further Reading

About John R. Delaney

John R. Delaney
As a Contributing Editor for PCMag, John Delaney has been testing and reviewing monitors, TVs, PCs, networking and smart home gear, and other assorted hardware and peripherals for almost 20 years. A 13-year veteran of PC Magazine's Labs (most recently as Director of Operations), John was responsible for the recruitment, training and management of the Labs technical staff, as well as evaluating and maintaining the integrity of the Labs testing machines and procedures. Prior to joining Ziff Davis, John spent six years in retail operations for Federated Stores, Inc. before accepting a purchasing position with Morris Decision Systems, one of New York's first value-added resellers of the original IBM PC. For the next five years, he was responsible for buying and configuring IBM PC, XT and AT desktops for many of New York's financial institutions. He then worked for the now defunct ComputerLand chain of PC dealers before joining PC Magazine in 1987.

Read the latest from John R. Delaney

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