In a field crowded by the likes of, , and soon , Eero's new, second-generation Home Wi-Fi System stands out. Available for preorder now at Eero, Amazon and Best Buy, the $299 Eero 2.0 promises some exciting upgrades when it launches in the US in a few weeks.
Eero was one of the first companies to introduceback in 2015. Ease of setup and seamless connectivity across your whole home are the hallmarks of this newish product category. Typically, mesh networking kits are comprised of multiple hardware units you plug in around your home to spread Wi-Fi across the entire residence. Setup is designed to be simple, and usually driven from a mobile app.
According to Eero's official press release, the new Home Wi-Fi System, Generation 2, is the "first and only Wi-Fi access point of its size that can broadcast on three wireless bands simultaneously (tri-band Wi-Fi), doubling the speed of its predecessor."
The idea is that the new Eero broadcasts three different Wi-Fi networks, two at the 5GHz Wi-Fi frequency, and another at 2.4GHz, for older devices. With two 5GHz signals, the company says the new model can dynamically balance the load of the various phones, computers, tablets, game consoles, TVs and voice-activated speakers on your network to prevent networking slowdowns. The dual-band, first-generation Eero was limited to a single 5GHz signal.
In addition to the upgraded new model, Eero is also introducing Beacons. Unlike the base unit, which is about the size of a sandwich and requires a separate power cable, the Beacon devices plug directly into a power outlet. That design, the company says, makes it easier to plug them into transition spaces like hallways and stairwells that don't typically accommodate a device with a power cord.
Beacon units are designed to expand your Wi-Fi range, as well as to help power smart home devices such as locks, doorbells and more. Since they're supposed to be placed throughout your home like a smart plug, they're also outfitted with adjustable LEDs. Use the related Eero app for Android or iOS to schedule the LEDs to turn on and off at set times -- or simply rely on the built-in sensors to detect activity and autoadjust on your behalf.
The Beacon units, which are backwards compatible with the first-generation Eero, will be sold by themselves for $149, and in a bundle with the new Eero for $299 and $399, depending on whether you need one or two Beacons.
Along with the hardware, Eero also introduced its Eero Plus subscription service today. Available on an optional basis for $10 per month (or $99 per year), the Plus service is supposed to provide advanced protection against viruses, ransomware and other attacks. The basic Eero Home Wi-Fi System includes one Eero and one Beacon for $299. Prices go up to $499, depending on the number of Beacons you need.
We're tracking down more details on Eero 2.0 now, such as whether it will work with, like the original Eero. Check back soon for updates. In the meantime, check out our review video of the first-gen Eero below.