Let’s face it home wifi is a nightmare – even something as simple as walls can affect the speed and signal from the router. Several companies over the years have attempted to make the process of setting up and managing a network much easier and faster, admittedly Apple has seriously led the industry for a while now with their easy to use AirPort line, the Extreme was the first router on the market to adopt 802.11ac and the AirPort Express makes it easy to extend that network. But there is always that occasional restart needed or a bit of a “look at.” This may about to change. For good. One new company is aiming to fix this problem that plagues most households and small businesses, enter in Eero a new startup ready to shake up the industry.
Another issue is getting the signal to cover the whole house, inevitably every house has black-spots or weak-spots and getting the signal to cover the entire house is a complicated and tiresome process, even the AirPort Express suffers from the common “WiFi extender problem” which means if you extend the network too far you’ll experience a dropped speed and probably issues with iPlayer or Netflix, even if you have the fastest intent connection around.
The small San Francisco based startup is bringing Eero to the market. Eero is a tiny, gloss white device which is a router, a range extender and a repeater in one device which actually looks like Apple designed it and that’s a big compliment. Eero makes it extremely easy to set up a mesh network, something which only enterprises tend to use, simply connect two or more Eeros together and you have a instant and working mesh network, without the speed loss downsides of a extending network.
The concept seems too good to be true, but until you hear who is actually behind the project it seems to make sense. Amongst the advisors is former Apple Executive and Palm CEO Jon Rubinstein. Also there is Fred Bould who actually designed both of Nest’s products, the Smart Thermostat and the Smoke Alarm, he also designed the GoPro Hero3 and the latest versions of the Roku media boxes. Amongst the rest are former Google and Silver Spring employees as well as Nick Weaver, Amos Shallich and Nate Hardison who all graduated from Stanford and have good backgrounds in networking. So don’t take them lightly, this company knows whats going on.
In terms of the actual box, which is a puck shaped device with a slight bulge on the top, it certainly looks good, manufactured out of high gloss white plastic. With the internals, it has a 1GHz dual-core processor, 512MB of RAM, 1GB flash storage, dual WiFI radios operating at 802.11a/b/g/n/ac with 2.4GHz and 5GHz.
The ports are actually quite sparse, with two Gigabit ethernet connections which allow you to connect you cable to ADSL modem whilst allowing support for one network device.
How it works
Right now to how it actually operates – if you so wish the configuration works with just one Eero device as you main router, but the whole experience and added functionally comes to life when you have two or more, heck – the company is even offering a package with three Eeros to emphasise the added “magic” it offers.
The first Eero you buy will replace your existing router and serve as the main device, it will connect to the cable or ADSL modem connection, then you open the mobile app (which works on iOS or Android) then simply name the network and choose a password, no complicated fiddling. These settings will then automatically sync across all the Eeros in the house, you can even ave up to ten if you want.
The Eero devices will guide you through on to the positioning of the devices in your home based on the areas with weak signal. Fred Bould is actually recommending that this isn’t a device you want to hide like a traditional, bulky and honestly ugly looking router – it’ll sit nice anywhere.
Where the Eero system blows all the other routers out of the water is the maintenance part, the company is looking to make this as “hands-off” as possible, so the Eeros are clever, they automatically detect any issues with the network by speed testing it and comparing it and then to rectify it it will restart all the systems, if further help is needed it’ll then notify you.