The latest iteration of Eero’s easy-to-use Wi-Fi mesh system, the Eero 6 Plus ($139 for one node, $239 for two nodes, or $299 for a three pack) uses Wi-Fi 6 technology and 160MHz channel width to deliver speedy wireless networking throughout your home. We tested the three-piece system, which provides coverage for homes of up to 4,500 square feet. It was a snap to install and delivered excellent performance in our tests, and it pulls double-duty as a home automation hub. All of this earns it an Editors’ Choice award for Wi-Fi 6 mesh systems.
A Mesh Network With the Latest Wi-Fi 6 Tech
The Eero 6 Plus three-pack uses three identical, low-profile nodes to provide 4,500 square feet of coverage (1,500 square feet per node). At 2.6 by 3.9 by 3.8 inches (HWD), these nodes are noticeably smaller than the nodes that come with the Eero Pro 6 (2.1 by 5.3 by 5.3 inches), though about the same size as the Eero 6 nodes (2.4 by 3.9 by 3.8 inches). The nodes of all three Eero systems have the same basic curvy design and white finish.
This system doesn’t offer the USB and multi-gig connectivity that you get with the Asus ZenWiFi AX XT8 system. Instead, each node is equipped with two auto-sensing gigabit LAN ports and a power port, all of which are located on the back panel. A small LED indicator on the top of the node glows white when everything is connected and working properly, glows blue during setup, and glows red when the node has lost its internet connection.
The Eero 6 Plus is a dual-band AX3000 system, which means it can hit a combined (theoretical) maximum data rate of 3,000Mbps. It supports all of the latest Wi-Fi 6 technologies, including WPA3 encryption, Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access (OFDMA) data transmissions, MU-MIMO simultaneous data streaming, and direct-to-client signal beamforming. New to this system is support for 160MHz channel transmissions; the older Eero Pro 6 and Eero 6 lack it.
The Eero 6 Plus is not a Wi-Fi 6E mesh system. The first Eero to use the new Wi-Fi 6E standard (which adds 6GHz data transmissions) is the new and yet-to-be-reviewed Eero Pro 6E, an upgrade to the Eero Pro 6.
Each Eero 6 Plus node is powered by a 1GHz dual-core CPU, 512MB of RAM, and 4GB of flash memory. As with the Eero Pro 6, the Eero 6 Plus uses a Zigbee radio to connect to a variety of smart home devices such as cameras, lights, smart plugs, and thermostats, all of which can be controlled using the Eero mobile app. It also contains a Bluetooth radio and can control certain Thread-compatible devices, as well as supporting Amazon Alexa voice commands and routines.
The Eero 6 Plus doesn’t come with the free parental control and anti-malware software that you get with the Asus ZenWiFi XT8 and TP-Link Deco W7200 systems. Instead, you’ll have to subscribe to a monthly or yearly plan. The Eero Secure plan is reasonably priced at $2.99 per month or $29.99 per year, and offers parental controls that let you create user profiles and apply content filters to block access to adult-oriented sites. It also gives you an ad blocker and offers security scans that prevent you from accessing malicious sites.
For $9.99 per month or $99 per year, the Secure Plus plan offers everything in the Secure plan as well as Malwarebytes antivirus software, DDNS remote network access software, 1Password password management software, and Encrypt.me VPN software.
A Look Inside the Eero App
The Eero 6 Plus uses the same user-friendly mobile app for iOS and Android devices as previous Eero systems. The app’s home screen displays the name of the network and contains tabs for each node. Tap any node tab to see its IP address and which devices are currently connected to it. Below these tabs is a tab that shows existing user profiles and another tab that displays currently connected devices. Tap any profile to pause the internet for that user, add a device, enable ad blocking, block web sites and the use of specific apps, and apply content filters. Tapping any connected device lets you see how it is connected (radio band, wired) and to which node it is connected. Here you can also view the IP and Mac addresses and the device’s last active time and date.
Along the bottom of the screen are Home, Activity, Discover, and Settings buttons. The Home button returns you to the Home screen, while the Activity button displays historical statistics such as the fastest upload and download speeds, the amount of uploaded and downloaded data, the number of security scans performed, and the number of blocked security threats.
The Discover button opens a screen where you can configure Eero Secure network security and parental control settings, connect to an Amazon Alexa account, and preview new features. The Settings button takes you to a screen where you can edit network settings, configure guest networking, change passwords, and configure notifications. Advanced network settings include Reservations and Port Forwarding, DNS, DDNS, and NAT settings, and UPnP settings. Here you can also create a separate network to be used by Thread-compatible smart home devices.
Testing the Eero 6 Plus: Blazing-Fast Throughput
Installing the Eero 6 Plus system was straightforward. I already had the Eero app from previous reviews, but if this is your first Eero system, you’ll have to download the app and create an account. I opened the app, and tapped Start Setup. Following the onscreen instructions, I unplugged my modem, connected one of the Eero nodes to the modem using the included LAN cable, and powered up the router and the modem. If you’re setting up an Eero mesh network, any of the Eero nodes can serve as the main router connected to your modem.
I then allowed the app to access my Bluetooth radio, and the node was immediately found. I gave it a location, created a Wi-Fi name and password, and within 20 seconds the router was up and running. I tapped Next to add the second node, placed the node in my living room, plugged it in, and after 30 seconds it was found. I gave it a name and repeated the process for the third and final node. I let the app update the firmware to complete the installation.
The Eero 6 Plus performed wonderfully in testing. The router node’s score of 938Mbps on the close-proximity throughput test is the fastest we’ve seen from any Wi-Fi 6 mesh system, beating the ZenWiFi XT8 (860Mbps), the Motorola MH7603 (700Mbps), and the TP-Link Deco W7200 (771Mbps). Similarly, the Eero 6 Plus router’s score of 367Mbps on the 30-foot test beat all comers: The ZenWiFi XT8 scored 347Mbps, the Motorola MH7603 scored 245Mbps, and the TP-Link Deco W7200 scored 298Mbps.
The Eero 6 Plus satellite node delivered 538Mbps on the close-proximity test, besting the Motorola MH7603 (458Mbps) and the TP-Link Deco W7200 (528Mbps), but not the Asus ZenWiFi XT8 (675Mbps). Its score of 508Mbps on the 30-foot test once again beat the Motorola MH7603 (383Mbps) and the TP-Link Deco W7200 (475Mbps), but couldn’t top the Asus ZenWiFi XT8’s score of 619Mbps.
We test Wi-Fi signal strength using an Ekahau Sidekick Wi-Fi diagnostic device and Ekahau’s Survey mobile app. This combination generates a heat map that displays the router and satellite node’s signal strength throughout our test home. (Note: Ekahau is owned by Ziff Davis, PCMag’s parent company.) The circles on the maps represent the location of the router and the node, and the colors represent signal strength. Dark green indicates the strongest signal, yellow is weaker, and gray indicates no measurable signal reception.
As illustrated, the Eero 6 Plus router and node had no trouble providing a strong Wi-Fi signal to all corners of the home.
The Dawn of a New Eero
If you’re shopping for a Wi-Fi mesh system that will blanket your home in Wi-Fi 6 goodness, put the Eero 6 Plus on your short list. This versatile system installs in minutes and is easily configured and managed from your phone. You’ll have to pay a little extra for parental controls and advanced malware protection, but in return you get a secure network that delivers outstanding throughput performance and wide signal coverage.
All of these features make it our newest Editors’ Choice winner for Wi-Fi 6 mesh systems. Some people who require more connectivity options might instead prefer the Asus ZenWiFi XT8, also an Editors’ Choice winner, which offers multi-gig LAN and USB ports and comes with free lifetime parental control and network security software.
The Bottom Line
The Eero 6 Plus Wi-Fi mesh system makes it easy to bring speedy wireless networking to every room in your house, but you’ll pay extra for some security and management features.
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