Hands-on With Amazon's Newest Eero Router: Strong Speeds in Early Tests
Announced alongside new Alexa and Fire TV gadgets, the new Eero Max 7 promises to be Amazon's fastest router yet.
Ry CristSenior Editor / Reviews - Labs
Originally hailing from Troy, Ohio, Ry Crist is a writer, a text-based adventure connoisseur, a lover of terrible movies and an enthusiastic yet mediocre cook. A CNET editor since 2013, Ry's beats include smart home tech, lighting, appliances, broadband and home networking.
ExpertiseSmart home technology and wireless connectivityCredentials
10 years product testing experience with the CNET Home team
Amazon's yearly September hardware and services event featured the debut of a new mesh router for the Eero lineup, the Eero Max 7. As the name suggests, it's meant to be a future-facing Wi-Fi powerhouse with early support for Wi-Fi 7, the next-gen Wi-Fi standard that promises to build upon Wi-Fi 6E's expansion into the 6GHz band, with an expected wide-scale launch in 2024.
It isn't the first router to grab an early seat on the Wi-Fi 7 bandwagon: TP-Link, Asus, Netgear and others are making big bets on Wi-Fi 7 here in 2023, too. Like those other options, the future-forward approach translates to certified splurge pricing, with a single Eero Max 7 device priced at $600. Two-packs and three-packs will be available for $1,150 and for $1,700, respectively, with devices expected to ship in time for the holidays.
As for the specs, the new Eero promises wireless speeds across the 2.4, 5 and 6GHz bands of up to 4.3Gbps. With the growing availability of multigig internet plans, as well as the growing density of overlapping Wi-Fi networks in crowded areas, there's definitely plenty of appeal in a speedy mesh network that knows its way around the 6GHz band. Older-gen devices (Wi-Fi 6 and earlier) won't be able to connect in that 6GHz band, but that also means if you have a new phone or laptop with support for Wi-Fi 6E (or eventually, Wi-Fi 7), then it'll be able to use that 6GHz band like a members-only, VIP section within your home network.
Locating local internet providers
For even faster speeds, the Eero Max 7 also features upgraded Ethernet ports in the back. Specifically, each Eero device features two Ethernet jacks that support speeds up to 10Gbps, along with another two jacks that can go as high as 2.5Gbps.
Like the last round of Eero devices, the Eero 6 Plus and Eero Pro 6E, the Eero Max 7 also doubles as a smart home hub for Zigbee and Matter devices, as well as a border router that can help manage and extend the network of Wi-Fi devices that follow the Thread protocol. Amazon is also touting the new upright design, which allows for pass-through cooling without need for a fan, as well as a new array of antennas at the top of each device, where the extra inches of elevation might help to boost the signal.
Locating local internet providers
The fastest Eero system yet
Our Eero Max 7 tests are just getting started at the CNET Labs product testing facility in Louisville, Kentucky, where we've speed-tested dozens of mesh router setups, including multiple systems from Eero's existing lineup. We'll have more to share once we've had time to run more tests, including wireless speed tests to a Wi-Fi 7 client device. That said, Wi-Fi 7 routers like this one are backward compatible with earlier versions of Wi-Fi, so we make sure to take a close look at how they perform with previous-gen client devices, too. After all, it's extremely likely that devices like those make up the majority of Wi-Fi gadgets in your home.
Specifically, we started by seeing how fast the router can send and receive data to a Wi-Fi 6 Lenovo ThinkPad laptop, our main test device for wireless routers. That's the exact same test we've run with previous generations of Eero mesh hardware, including the Eero 6 Plus, which uses Wi-Fi 6, and the Eero Pro 6E, which adds in access to the 6GHz band via support for Wi-Fi 6E. The Eero Max 7 notched faster download speeds to that Lenovo laptop than either of them, with an overall average across the entire 1,300 square-foot test space of 701.6 megabits per second. Both the Eero 6 Plus and the Eero Pro 6E finished that test with an average download speed below 600 Mbps, so the Eero Max 7 definitely looks like the fastest Eero system yet. Upload speeds were consistently strong with the Max 7, as well, though not quite as strong as we saw with the Eero Pro 6E.
We'll know more once we've run some more tests, including tests to Wi-Fi 6E and Wi-Fi 7 client devices, so stay tuned for updates on both fronts. For now, the Eero Max 7 is available for purchase on Amazon, and Amazon says that it'll be available online and at retailers like Best Buy later this year, as well as through internet service provider partners like Frontier.
Watch this: Watch Everything Amazon Just Announced at its Devices Event