My wife and I recently moved into a larger house than my previous place. The move went smoothly, however, I soon had a problem I suspected I was going to have when I first saw the house - it was big for my little TPLink router to handle.
I tried moving it around to find a central place since it wasn't a bad router, it used to handle my gaming and work needs perfectly back when we were in a smaller 2 bedroom apartment, but sadly it couldn't keep up. With my wife's and my study in opposite corners of the house and our living room in the middle, we were stuck with patchy connection at best and no internet at worst.
Unhappy with the current state of things, I started researching for a suitable alternative. My list of priorities was simple:
- It needs to have mesh networking capabilties, as that's the basic benchmark for modern premium consumer grade networking equipment in my books
- It needs to be plug n play, I don't have time to muck around with this. I used to have Apple airport and they spoiled me.
- It needs to handle multiple devices and have a convenient control panel to monitor network
I did consider buying another cheap router and flashing both my current one and the new router with OpenWRT and setting them up in bridge mode, but at this point in my life, I don't have much patience to tinker with basic things that should work.
I went searching. After a small bout of google, I narrowed down to following three choices:
- Nest WiFi (Google)
- Eero (Amazon)
- Ubiquiti Amplify
I decided against Nest since I tend to avoid any google products as much as I can (even though my ISP, Aussie Broadband, was offering deals with Google Nest WiFi at the time). Ubiquiti was way more expensive for the set of features I wanted. I ended up settling for an Eero mesh system with one gateway and three other access points setup through the house and boy am I happy.
Right out of the box, Eero mesh connected to my main router which sits in the garage now and setup a profile. My sole input in the process was to watch the little animated dog in the Eero app sniff around. Once connected, the app guides you to find other right places for your access points and I placed them strategically throughout the house. Beginning to end, it took me < 10 mins to have the whole thing setup and ~20 mins for full software update. Then I sat around with my laptop in previous dead spots around the home and I was pleasantly surprised that there were zero spots where I wasn't getting close to full speed.
I have been using Eero for a few months now and here are all the features I like:
- Ability to get notified via mobile push notification when new device joins my network
- Ability to quickly setup and share a guest network when we have people over
- Detailed usage reports of our downloads and data heavy devices (I'm looking at you 230GB Call of Duty updates)
- Ability to setup profiles when littles ones come over, you can block certain websites and allow for pre set content filters such as pre-school, children, adult.
- Best of all, once the new Eero secure released in Australia, I instantly signed up to the basic plan without telling my wife and she even commented that she has not had a single ad on any of her devices. That, my friend, is the ultimate win in my books.
All in all, I'm pretty happy with the Eero system. I understand it's owned by Amazon and there might be better alternatives in the premium mesh market, but nothing comes close in value to the feature set Eero provides out of the box. Thanks Daddy Bezos!