Eero 6 Overview

At last, my atrociously slow home internet finally gets some kind of boost, but not in speed. It got a quality of life update, if you will, with a new mesh wifi router. On sale, the little white module is already a huge smile-inducing device because it makes managing my household’s numerous devices far easier than before.

Between 7 family members, there’s a bunch of bandwidth-hogging gadgets in our home, all vying for what little speed there is overall. FTC defined “broadband?” — HA! — not out here in the rural country, at least not yet…someday. No, we have DSL, which is a good upgrade when you’re coming from dial-up internet in the late 90’s. But that was over 20 years ago…I might be bitter about it.

This is the eero 6 I got.

I work from home these days, which is tough with slow internet. To pull it off, my wife and kids typically tether their devices to their phones’ mobile hotspots. And if my work laptop slows to a crawl, I must hunt down someone’s device and turn off its wifi.

But with the eero 6 router, no more!

Behold the almighty Pause button.

Now I simply open an app on my phone where I can easily pause any devices — one at a time — or I can pause several devices at once through a profile (group), which for us is a person and any devices associated to them. So I can easily put the brakes on any devices I think might be sucking bandwidth – you can even set pausing to a schedule. It gets easier too; in the Activty tab, I can view all data usage of all connected devices in one handy list to see how much data each one is using in real-time (updated every 5 seconds), and the list is sorted by percentage; the device using the most bandwidth jumps to the top of the list, letting me quickly and easily know what gadget should be paused (or even blocked altogether).

Live data activity view.

The app sports other handy features too, to which more can be added via a subscription service, but I am more than happy with what’s included with the initial purchase.

The eero 6 wifi router I bought has the newest wifi 6 spec, which apparently makes my brand new gaming laptop very happy, as it now surfs the web more easily. The eero can handle 75 devices — great for a big family like mine. And it’s future proof for speed, so once we finally — someday — get fiber installed at our house, we will see all the speed we might pay for.

If you’ve been thinking about upgrading to a mesh network, I would recommend it, though because our house is so small, we only needed one router, so I can’t comment on how well the eero hands off devices between routers. From my research, though, if you need more than one eero, then you don’t want to buy the dual-band version like I did, you will want the tri-band version.

Wifi network management
at your fingertips.

With dual-band, the router automatically routes your devices to the best network frequency (2.4GHz or 5GHz). While some may need the ability to dedicate certain devices to a certain spectrum, I like that I don’t have to worry about anything and just let the eero do its smart stuff. But with tri-band, the eeros gain an additional frequency that, to my understanding, is dedicated for device hand-off between routers. Without this extra band, routing might get congested or confused. And of course, your milage may very.

I hope this brief overview of the eero 6 wifi router is helpful to you. Thanks for reading.

The Race For Broadband

Race On

In the countryside where I live, we don’t have hi-speed broadband internet: no cable, no fiber. We have one single provider to choose from (not counting the satellite internet ones). And the only choice we have in our area is DSL – over the phone-line internet. But in the future, this is supposed to change. Three new options are racing, and the one that reaches our area first wins the cash prize.

The Slow

The internet to beat is our DSL. It won’t be hard. Our max download speed is about 16Mbps, which is fine enough for streaming an HD movie. But being a modern family of seven people in one house, we have a lot of wi-fi devices using the web, so 16Mbps is not enough bandwidth for them all. I had to remove our Chromecast, for example.

Our max upload speed is not even measured in Mbps, it’s in Kbps! We get about 800Kbps upload! It’s abysmal! I’m thankful that the connection is reliable, but it’s not feasible to backup large buckets of data to the cloud. It. Takes. Forever.

The Three

In the last year or so, three new developments have given us promise for future broadband. The local electrical company is rolling out Fiber to rural areas over the next few years. Our telephone company is doing the same thing. And each company is, of course, installing fiber in the areas with the highest demand – with the most people – first. That means my area is closer to the bottom of the list and we must wait a long time.

The third potential speed racer is the roll-out of cellular 5G data. This one, though, will probably take the longest of the three, and who knows how much the cell phone companies are going to charge for the privilege? It will likely cost too much. Time will tell.

Future Fiber

Being eager to have fiber with upload speeds equal to download speeds, plus all the bandwidth we need, I plan to sign up with whichever provider reaches my area first! Whoever wins the race gets my money.

The earliest I anticipate fiber reaching our neck of the woods is late 2020. Until then, we’ll focus gratitude on the fact we have the bare minimum useable home internet plus 4G LTE cell data to compensate.

And we have electricity and water. So there’s that.

Do you have internet speed struggles? Or do you enjoy crazy fast uploads? Comment below, or write to me here! Thanks for reading!