Test Amazon eero 6: a mesh Wi-Fi with a high-performance ZigBee hub communicating with Alexa

Our test and opinion on the Mesh system Amazon Eero 6

Amazon eero 6 - 6 Mesh Wi-Fi Router

New | Amazon eero 6 Dual Band Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Router with Integrated Zigbee Connected Hub | 3 pieces

Price on: July 5, 2022 18 h 31 min

Any fan of home automation arrives, at one time or another, to rail against his network which is paddling. Indeed, the Wi-Fi of your ISP box can quickly be saturated and / or provide you with heterogeneous performance. There are several ways to get rid of it, such as using home automation protocols ZigBee, Z-Wave or EnOcean, but you can also boost your Wi-Fi network. And for that, nothing better than a Mesh Wi-Fi, or Mesh, who go amplify and distribute the signal homogeneously while boosting it as much as possible.

We had proposed the New MW6 tent, TP-link Deco P9... but Amazon is also present in this sector with its brand eero. We have tested the Eero 6, a router Wi-Fi 6 integrating a ZigBee Hub, announcing a flow up to 500 Mbps and… communicating with Alexa ! So it has everything to please?

Amazon eero 6: a Wi-Fi + ZigBee mesh router

What is the mesh?

The mesh, or Mesh, will allow you to extend your Wi-Fi network in your home and thus have uniform coverage. Indeed, the intensity of the Wi-Fi will decrease with the distance but also according to the obstacles in your home (thick wall, scrap metal, etc.). If, in addition, you have devices that shoot, those at the end of the network will have difficulty communicating. This is where the mesh network comes in.

In practice, instead of a single Wi-Fi router (that of your box in general), you will interconnect several modules (or nodes) at various strategic points of your home. So it goes maximize overall coverage. The modules are generally connected to each other by Wi-Fi via a dedicated frequency band (or a channel). The other bands emitted by the modules are used to connect your devices. Thus, each node must receive, send and relay data. This avoids having hot spots which, if they fail, isolate part of the network. If a host is down, the data takes an alternate route, a kind of'alternative route.

Results: one wide area network, more powerful and homogeneous. Cool right? We refer you to our file if you want to know more.

TO READ :
Wi-Fi Mesh folder: all in cahoots?

Unboxing

Eero 6 routers are available in several variations. Either with a single router, or in packs comprising a router and one or two modules. We have tested the router + 2 modules version for you.

They are delivered in a relatively long cardboard box (41 x 13,5 x 13,5 cm), in dark blue and turquoise glossy print. On the main face, in addition to the visuals of the modules, the most notable specifications are highlighted: Wi-Fi 6, 460 m² of coverage, speed of 500 Mbps… The notion of Hub also appears just like the " Works with Alexa ". The back explains the benefits of this system such as the ZigBee hub, the simple configuration, the important coverage ...

The packaging opens like a lid and reveals the three elements placed on molded plastic wedges. The connectors are in a small box on the side. Pretty cool.

Below each device you will find a cable and a plug to connect your module to the mains (without earth connection) via a USB-C port. You also have a RJ45 cable to connect the router to your ISP box. You obviously also have a Quick Start Guide not used for much and the eternal document of guarantees and security.

The router and the modules are very similar in design. They are a kind of rounded and inclined paving stones. They are quite compact compared to their competitors with a size of 9,9cm x 9,7cm and 6,1cm high (at the highest). Plastic ABS type, the finishes are perfect. Very sober, they only feature the silver colored eero logo and an LED just below.

The router will be the only one with two Ethernet ports in addition to the USB-C plug for connection. One of the ports will be used to connect it to your Internet Box and the second to connect what you want like a Philips Hue gateway for example, but also a PC or other ...

The first grip is excellent : compact, versatile, sober and fun design, excellent finishes. The eero 6 will not denote whatever your interior.

Technical Sheet

  • Brand Name : Amazon eero
  • Model : eero 6
  • Origin : American company
  • Dimensions in mm : 99 x 97 x 61
  • Embedded protocol : ZigBee via an integrated Hub and dual-band Wi-Fi 6 (2,4 and 5 GHz) (802.11ax), compatible with previous Wi-Fi standards. Also works with Alexa.
  • Processor : Quad-core processor, 1,2 GHz,
  • RAM memory : 512 MB of RAM
  • Warehousing : 4 GB of flash storage
  • Connectivity : 2 Ethernet ports for the router
  • Network security and services :
    • WPA3 and WPA2 for the protection of your wireless network,
    • Profiles,
  • Cloud connectivity :
    • TLS v1.2 + (encryption protocol for your data),
    • AES (same, but a different protocol),
    • SHA-256 (encryption system implemented by the NSA),
    • RSA (asymmetric cryptography).
      - But also :
    • DHCP (ensures automatic configuration of IP parameters by assigning them an address),
    • IPv6 (improvement of IPv4 with more address possible and better communication),
    • NAT (management by the router for the correspondence of external and internal addresses),
    • VPN Passthrough (allows your VPN network to work on your entire network),
    • UPnP is what allows your network to accept plug and play installations by opening and closing ports automatically.
    • Port forwarding and static IP
    • DDNS, to transfer an IP address from one of your devices to a fixed domain name such as https: ...
    •  ...

So we have a really interesting hardware configuration. The multi-protocol allows a flawless security of your future network via various encryption technologies or services such as DDNS, VPN passthrought… Above all, the creation of a network Dual-band Wi-Fi 6 is an excellent point, as is a ZigBee Hub. Please note, Wi-Fi 6 does not mean that you will have 6 GHz Wi-Fi! It is the new version of the Wi-Fi protocol (802.11 ax of its little name) which offers a 40% faster speed and better performance than Wi-Fi 5 (802.11 ac). It exists in 2,4 and 5 GHz. For 6 GHz, we will have to wait for a Wi-Fi 6E version ...

But what isAlexa going to be able to bring to this mesh network?

Amazon eero 6: installation and use

An extremely simple installation

The brand announces a easy installation. And that's true ! First, download the eero app. No need to create an account, just log in with your credentials Amazon. Then, unplug everything that is connected to your modem or ISP box (internet service provider) and connect the router with the supplied RJ45 cable. Power it on and return to the app. Then follow the instructions.

“It's really simple. "

Activate your Bluetooth. It is a necessary step because as such, your eero is not connected to any network… It must be found and it will be by Bluetooth. Please note, this does not mean that the eero works in Bluetooth. It's just for installation. Let the app search for the router. It takes one to two minutes. Once the router is found, you will come to indicate the room where he is et create your network by giving it a name and a password for access. Then you have to let it do all the configuration and voila, it's ready! You have a new dual-band Wi-Fi 6 network. The whole takes 5 minutes maximum.

As such, it's a bit tight for a mesh network. It is therefore necessary to add the modules. It is even simpler than for the router. To do this, plug in your repeater in the desired room and follow the instructions of the application. Of course, the location of the implantation of this module is important. It must both be "visible" to the router and broadcast as well as possible in the desired area. When the repeater is detected, select the room it is in and you're done. 3 to 4 minutes max. Do this for each of the modules.

Once everything is installed, plug in the devices you had on your box and you're done. It is really very simple. The network installed, you can come hack in the settings to go further. But be aware that if you only hinder it, you can leave everything as is, it works fine.

Home

Here you will have a view of the devices connected to your network. By clicking on the upper part, you will be able to see the data by module. With "internet", you have a visual on your internet speed from the access point. By going to the router, idem, you will know the allocated speed. On the other hand, this is not as clear for the Wi-Fi modules. You will only have the number of connected devices, the IPs…

Activity

Here you can get an idea of your flow and also of your data consumption (the rest does not concern us). View by week, day and year. But be careful, to have this information for the day and the month, it requires a eero Secure + subscription. We will come back to that.

Discover

This page will allow you to manage the subscription to eero Secure, to manage your connected home via Amazon and possibly participate in the beta program eero Labs.

System eero Secure allows access to a sadvanced security, the firewall management, the history of data uses, VIP assistance, the possibility of using the DDNS-VPN … But it costs € 3,99 / month or € 39,99 / year. It's quite expensive, especially since basic functions such as data tracking are subject to it.

The connected home part is in connection with Alexa. The voice assistant is activated by default… But it does not work in France. Indeed, to pilot your eero 6 with Alexa, you must activate the Skill eero. Thanks to this, you will be able to activate the guest network, search for your phone if connected to Wi-Fi, activate or deactivate the connection of a device to the network (useful if your kids do not cut their online games on time) ... But the skill does not initialize. The .fr identifiers of your eero account are not recognized. Amazon is aware of this issue and is working on it.

On the other hand, the part Connected hub works well. Thanks to the integrated ZigBee gateway, you can install ZigBee devices directly on your modules.

To do this, either you go to the Hub part and click on "Discover ZigBee devices", or you go directly to your application Alexa, Devices and the "+" at the top right. It is the same because you come to the same place.

From there, select the type of device to use (if you don't know, press “Other” and let it search). You will see your device go up under Alexa (of course, you must have put it in pairing mode before).

The module therefore behaves like a Amazon Echo with integrated ZigBee gateway and easily replaces them if you don't have one.

Parameters

You will be able to come and see your configuration up close, such as changing the name of your network, changing the password, activating guest access (and setting it up), receiving notifications, making updates, adding a new network, etc.

Where you can get your hands dirty is with the “Network Settings” section.

  • WAN IP Address : choose a DHCP management (default) or a static IP address.
  • IPv6 : activate or not this management. If not, you stay in IPv4.
  • DHCP and NAT : configure how eero assigns IP addresses (automatic, manual or bridge).
  • Port reservation and transfer : management of IP reservations, port forwarding, firewall
  • DNS : choose the default ones or customize them
  • DDNS : come connect an IP of your network to a secure internet address for remote access.
  • UPnP : activate or not the Plug and Play.
  • band-steering : allows connection to the 5 GHz band of compatible devices.
  • Thread : It is a low power mesh network technology based on IPv6. It is also very good for safety and for the robustness of the whole because it can be repaired on its own.
You don't have to change any settings, of course, but if you know your way around network administration, you can have fun.

We have tested these eero 6 for over 2 months and in use this mesh network is a real pleasure. He's very fast and homogeneous, even at the end of the network. Indeed, the router has been upgraded to the FAI box, one of the repeaters in an isolated office and the last at the other end of the house, which is in total about 140 m². It also manages to hang connected objects outside, such as a ring bell (located 20 m from the nearest module).

No problem to play online on a 4K game console via Wi-Fi (little ping, no lag…) while watching 4K TV streaming and surfing. With download values ​​at 949 Mbps, an upload at 612 Mbps… The announced 500 Mbps are therefore largely achieved. But of course, these values ​​will depend on your initial speed and it is especially suitable for people with fiber. But even without it, you should feel a more than interesting boost in performance.

The eero 6 router is also stable. Much more than the other systems we have tested so far. No drop in performance, no need to relaunch it ... It can be forgotten, despite more than sixty devices connected to it. They do not end up offline, do not give up ...

To note, the installation of connected objects in 2.4 GHz is done without problem, the dual-band distribution is not a problem, even with the most capricious devices. Using the ZigBee Hub is also a big plus.

We can blame it for the lack of Ethernet port on repeaters. It would be very handy to plug in game consoles or televisions at the other end of the house, but the eero Pro 6 will perhaps overcome this ...

We invite you to see the installation of the eero 6 system via our video (like, subscribe, it's nice):

In conclusion of this test, eero 6 solutionAmazon is a very good product. This Mesh Wi-Fi system covers 460 m² with an advertised speed of up to 500 Mbps, values ​​that we confirm, with measured download speeds of 950 Mbps and 612 Mbps upload. After several months of testing, the network has been shown to be stable and homogeneous, allowing you to play online anywhere in the house, but also to do 4K streaming simultaneously. Wi-Fi 6 proves its efficiency.

Le Integrated ZigBee hub is appreciable and allows, in connection with the application Alexa, install devices compatible with the voice assistant and use them by voice as you would with a Amazon Echo 4. The installation is extremely simple, it is almost plug and play. You can of course play with the different possible settings to increase the security of your network and adapt it to your needs, but for that you will surely have to go through the box annual subscription at € 39, which is quite a shame because the restrictions are often quite badly done.

Among the faults, we regret theno Ethernet port on the modules and the fact that the Skill Alexa does not work, which has something to leave us speechless. But it remains one of the best Mesh Wi-Fi we've tested and its price, although quite high, is in line with the quality of the service. Especially in promotion.

The Wi-Fi router 6 eero 6 is offered at 299 € excluding promo in the three-module configuration we tested, but you can get it starting at $ 149 on its own.

Did i choose Alexa or did she choose me? Let's say that as a beta tester, it's a bit of both! And I do not regret having met our favorite assistant nor this adventure undertaken with Alexien Modo. Technophile, self-taught and loving popularization, I try to make our common passion easy to access!