Eero Pro 6E: You Should Get it for Free!

Eero Pro 6E: You Should Get it for Free!

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Today, eero, a networking vendor owned by Amazon, released its first Wi-Fi 6E solution, the Eero Pro 6E, available as a single router for some $300 or a 3-pack for $700. Those are crazy prices, but not for reasons you might think!

Many of you have asked me when I’ll publish my review on it. The quick answer is probably never.

Despite having reviewed the Eero Pro 6 and Eero 6, I’ll likely take a pass on this one. This post will explain briefly why and offer my quick and no-nonsense take on the new device.

Eero Pro 6E: The vendor’s most advanced ever, maybe, but it’s unclear who will get the most out of your Wi-Fi. Hint: It’s probably not you.

Eero Pro 6E: Another data mining Wi-Fi machine of low-end hardware

To tell the truth, I had a lot of hesitance testing the previous Eero variants and generally any similar networking devices designed to collect user data.

(And among those, the Eero is by far the worst in my opinion. Here’s eero’s privacy policy. Make sure you take some time and really read it! Among other things, it’ll give you more questions.)

My testing always includes using the product extensively in my own home for my family. Consequently, I don’t feel comfortable plugging something in that doesn’t give me control — at least to some extent — over what it does.

And the Eero gives users no control at all — you can’t even make any changes to it without first going through the vendor. The device won’t work without first having a live connection to eero.

Privacy is a matter of degree and while many networking vendors use a similar approach to router management, Amazon is a huge company that already has a lot of data on the users. And that makes the Eero scary.

There will be a lot of “reviews” on the Eero Pro 6E. Many will sing its praises — Amazon has lots of influence. There are more incentives for folks to hype it up than otherwise. In any case, I’m nobody to judge.

(I’m myself an Amazon associate, meaning if you buy the Eero Pro 6E over the link above, I might get a small commission.)

And to be fair, there are things to love about the Eero Pro 6E. The combination of the cute, compact design, the integration of home automation wireless standards, and especially the ease of use alone has its allure. So, if you’ve been waiting for an upgrade, you should be excited.

But if you think the new Eero Pro 6E is decidedly better than the previous Pro 6, you’re fooling yourself. After reviewing virtually all other Wi-Fi 6E broadcasters available on the US market, I can say that for sure by looking at the specs.

So let’s check them out.

Eero Pro 6E vs Eero Pro 6: Hardware specifications

Eero doesn’t unveil the details from the Eero Pro 6E’s specs. But from what I can glean from the company’s website, it’s quite clear that the Pro 6E is a “weaker” Wi-Fi machine compared to the previous model.

And both are entry-level hardware. By the way, the two share almost identical designs.

Full Name Amazon Eero Pro 6 
Tri-band 
Wi-Fi 6 Mesh Router
Amazon Eero Pro 6E 
Tri-band
Wi-Fi 6E Mesh Router
Model Eero Pro 6 Eero 6 Pro 6E
Wi-Fi Designation Dual-band AX4200 Tri-band AXE5400 (?)
Dimensions 5.3 x 5.3 x 2.1 in 
(134.49 x 134.63 x 52.6 mm)
(5.50 in x 5.50 in x 2.20 in
(139 mm x 139 mm x 55.23 mm)
Weight 1.49 lbs (676 g) 1.55 lbs (776 g)
1st Band 2.4GHz AX: Up to 600Mbps
(20/40MHz)
2.4GHz AX: Up to 600Mbps
(20/40MHz)
2st Band 5GHz 4×4 AX: Up to 2400Mbps 
(20/40/80MHz)
5GHz 2×2 AX: Up to 2400Mbps
(20/40/80/160MHz)
3rd Band 5GHz 2×2 AX: Up to 1201 Mbps
(20/40/80MHz)
6GHz 2×2 AXE: Up to 2400Mbps
(20/40/80/160MHz)
Mesh Backhaul Band 5Ghz Dynamic
Wired Backhaul Support Yes Yes
Backward Compatibility  802.11ac/n/g/a/b 802.11ac/n/g/a/b
Wi-Fi Security WPA2, WPA2/WPA3  WPA2, WPA2/WPA3 
Mobile App Eero Eero
Web User Interface None None
AP (Bridge) Mode Yes  Yes
USB Port None None
Gigabit Port 2x Auto-Sensing (LAN/WAN) 1x Auto-Sensing
Multi-Gig Port None 1x 2.5Gbps Auto-Sensing
Link Aggregation No No
Dual-WAN No No
Processing Power 1.4 GHz quad-core CPU, 
1GB RAM, 4GB flash
1 GHz dual-core CPU,
1 GB RAM, 4 GB flash storage
Amazon Mesh Systems’ hardware specs: Eero Pro 6 vs Eero Pro 6E

Eero Pro 6E vs Eero Pro 6: Another misleading case of the old tri-band vs new tri-band

Overall, the new Eero Pro 6E is entry-level hardware with mid-tier 2×2 Wi-Fi specs. As such, its ceiling Wi-Fi speed will likely cap at 1.2Gbps on the 5GHz band — you can’t expect it to work in the 160MHz band at all times.

So, the Eero Pro 6E is only better than the Eero Pro 6 when working as a single router, and in only one ara: it also supports Wi-Fi 6E devices that use the 6GHz band.

In a mesh setup, things will get complicated.

The Eero Pro 6 is a traditional Tri-band device — it can dedicate its 2nd band (the top-tier 5GHz) as the dedicated backhaul in a fully wireless setup. On the other hand, the Eero Pro 6E is a new Tri-band router — it has no dedicated backhaul band.

As a result, whichever band the new Pro 6E uses for backhauling will suffer from signal loss, and its reduced speed will be that of the entire mesh system.

Backhaul vs fronthaul

Generally, when you use multiple Wi-Fi hardware units, there are two types of connections: the fronthaul and the backhaul.

Fronthaul is the Wi-Fi signal a mesh hub broadcasts outward for clients or its network ports that you connect wired devices into.

Backhaul, a.k.a backbone, on the other hand, is the link between one broadcasting hub and another, be it the main router or another satellite hub.

Generally, it’s best to use network a for a hub’s backhaul, or wired backhaul, assuming you use Gigabit or Multi-Gig wiring.

That’s because the backhaul link determines the real-world speed of the fronthaul — it determines the top speed of all devices in the network except for those connected to the main router.

In networking, wiring is always much better than wireless in both speed and reliability.

What’s more, the 6GHz band has a very short range, and since the hardware automatically picks a band to work as a backhaul in real-time, it might choose the 2.4GHz band for this job, resulting in super-slow backhaul speed.

In short, in a fully wireless setup, the Eero Pro 6E will likely be slower than the Eero Pro 6.

While both the Pro 6 and Pro 6E can work via a wired backhaul — where you use a network cable to link the hardware — the latter needs wired backhaul to work well. That’s just the case with all Tri-band Wi-Fi 6E mesh systems, including the high-end ZenWiFi ET8 or Linksys AXE8400.

By the way, since there’s just one 2.5Gbps port per router, you can’t have Multi-Gig wired backhaul out of it, like the case of the ZenWiFi Pro ET12.

The takeaway

Again, this post is not to hate on the Eero Pro 6E, and to those who just opened the fancy box, I don’t mean to rain on your parade.

If you love the Eero Pro 6E, go ahead and love it. I’m happy for you. However, if you expect me to agree with the superlatives you’ve been fed about it, I can’t. And also, you’re just fooling yourself.

At the core, the new Eero Pro 6E is a low-end Wi-Fi device that supports the Wi-Fi 6E standard — it will likely be the slowest among its peers. So it’s outrageously over-priced.

And like all Eero variants, it’s designed to collect information from your network to further enrich Amazon. As such, it should be given to you for free. You don’t own it anyway — you can’t use it without eero.

And, considering the amount of better Wi-Fi 6E options — there’ll be more soon — I wouldn’t use it even you paid me to. Among other things, my Internet speed is too fast for it.


Below is my rating of the Eero Pro 6 for reference.

Amazon eero PRO 6 7

Pros

Easy to set up and use, especially for iPhone users

Cons

Wi-Fi range could be better

Internet and login account required for setup and ongoing management

Minimum ports, no Dual-WAN, Link Aggregation, or Multi-Gig

Online Protection and Parental Control require a monthly subscription

Home automation feature requires Amazon integration

No web interface, spartan Wi-Fi, and network settings

The eero app for Android is a bit buggy



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