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cskenney

eero impressions and usage

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cskenney

Full disclaimer - This is my experience with setting up and using eero in my home.  It is not a comparison to any other mesh WiFi solution.  You can feel free to ask questions about my system and I will do my best to answer your questions or run some tests if that will help others.

 

In early June after getting disappointed with my pre-order from another company, eero stepped up and offered me a heavily discounted deal to purchase their hardware.  I decided to accept their offer and I placed my order.  2 days later the box arrived.

 

Background:

My home is serviced by a fiber to the home company that provide both internet and IPTV service.  As a result I need to keep in place the ActionTec T2200H router provided by my ISP.  My service that I pay for is 100Mbps down / 40Mbps up.  The same fiber is capable of 1Gpbs service if I wanted to pay for it.

 

After some other discussions here in our forums I decided to create a DMZ Host using my ActionTec router.  I reserved an IP address for the eero router and then used that IP address to create the DMZ host.  My understanding is I should be able to get access to my eero network without having to do port fowarding or open ports on my firewall on the ActionTec.  I will test this out later.

 

So my system is:  Fiber <--> ONT <--> ActionTec <--> eero

 

The ONLY items connected to the ActionTec are now my 3 IPTV boxes and the primary eero.  I have wireless disabled on the ActionTec too.

 

The primary eero is located in my basement in a utility room where my service comes into the house.  I have an ethernet cable coming out of this unit going to a pair of cascaded unmanaged 24 port switches.  This allows everything in my house that is hardwired to get an IP address from the eero router.

 

The 2nd eero is located in my living room.  I have this one hardwired back to the the switches in the rack in the utility room.  I also have my Samsung plasma plugged into this eero since it will do IP passthru.

 

The 3rd eero is on my 2nd floor in the master bedroom.  This is basically directly above the eero in my living room.  My home is newer construction but there is a dead space between the 1st and 2nd floors that is used for running pipes and ductwork.  For all I know there are HVAC ducts passing thru the direct path from eero 2 to 3.

 

My 2nd floor was never wired with ethernet cables.  I may install MOCA adapters so I can utilize the COAX that is already running up there.  For now I am going to rely on the mesh WiFi since they only thing needing nework connections in the upstairs are phones and tablets (and possibly a FireTV stick).

 

So now you know my layout.  Each floor has a eero unit to provide WiFi.  I should also mention that doing a scan of the airwaves at any particular time will show there are possibly a dozen SSID's showing other networks.  Most of these are 2.4Ghz but there are a few that are 5GHz and some are the latest AC devices (I have IT people that live near me).

 

WiFi ACCESS Throughout the Home

So this is an interesting item to discuss.  I previously uses an Apple Airport Express as a WAP while the ActionTec router did the DHCP work.  I could access WIFI from everywhere in my house.  However, the speed of this connection was not always as fast as one would really hope for.  I did not have any deadspots though.

 

With the eero mesh network I continue to have solid WiFi coverage.  Now that I am looking for the best performance I am constantly testing my speeds.  By far the easiest test to run is SpeedTest.net.  I can tell eero to run it's own speed test and then I can run SpeedTest.net and I get a pretty good idea of how much my connection is degraded by distance from the AP, etc.  

 

One of the things I was really curious about was what frequency were my devices using.  Obviously the 5Ghz band would be faster at close distances and there is less interference.  I found I could run Wi-Fi Sweetspots on my iPhone 6.  It will show me theoretically the wifi speed connection and changes as you walk around.  One thing this tool is really useful for is I can see the BSSID of the device I am connected to.  The eero access points have unique BSSID for each device and then each device also has unique BSSID for each band.  I can tell immediately if I can connected to the basement, living room or master bedroom device just by looking at the last 4 characters of the BSSID.  I can also tell if it's a 5Ghz or 2.4GHz connection.  eero made it easy on me because they used E5 for the last two characters of the BSSID for the 5Ghz radios on all my devices.

 

For the most part my devices are working flawlessly.  I can move about and I check my phone and it has a really speedy connection to the internet.  I have noticed a few times that it has switched from 5Ghz to 2.4Ghz when I have a few walls between me and the radio.  My phone doesn't want to switch back to 5GHz unless I turn off wifi and then turn it back on.  I believe this is a device issue and not eero.

 

I have plans to do some additional testing.  I bought a Netgear AC 1200 USB wifi adapter for my laptop that will allow me more control of which frequency is used and trying to evaluate the network speeds.  I should also be able to run some laptop to server type tests within my own walls.

 

ISSUES

The only problem I have seen so far was this morning.  I moved EVERYTHING in my house over to eero.  This includes my Circle by Disney that I use for limiting time and filtering access for a couple of devices for my kids.  My son came up to me and asked for help and handed me the iPad.  It was trying to connect to my eero network but was not succeeding.  i verified with my phone that the network was working and it was connected to the internet.  I then thought that maybe Circle was causing an issue.  When I tried to access Circle I just got a circle spinning searching for devices (hmmm).  I tried a speed test on the eero phone app and that worked.  Suddenly my son's ipad connected and when I checked Circle it was also working correctly.  So at this point I don't know if it was the router, Circle or what it was that caused my son't ipad to not connect.  BTW, I have no restrictions in place on his iPad at this time but it is in the Circle app.

 

More to come as I try more things.  Let me know if you have any questions and of course comments are always welcome.


Firewall -

I forgot to mention.  I did some testing this morning to be sure that eero is running a firewall.  With eero removed from my ActionTec router I verified that all my ports are either closed or stealth.  I even have ping turned off on the ActionTec.  I added in the eero through DMZ host and re-ran the port test.  All of the ports are still closed (or stealth).  However the system was responding to pings even though the ports are closed.  This simply is telling someone that is scanning the ports that there is a device on that closed port where as a port that doesn't respond may or may not be a device.

 

Can't complain though as it appear that eero isn't leaving any ports open in the current configuration.

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whsbuss

Very well composed review. I have a similar configuration here w/Verizon FiOS. It would be interesting if you tried your testing in AP mode with eero.

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cskenney

Very well composed review. I have a similar configuration here w/Verizon FiOS. It would be interesting if you tried your testing in AP mode with eero.

I have not tried but I can if there is something you want me to investigate.  I believe as soon as I switch them to bridge mode (there isn't a function called AP or access point) then I will give up all functionality on the eero APP and my ActionTec router will do all the router work.  However, the brains behind the scene that creates the mesh and determines the best way to route data should still be functioning.

 

Let me know what you want to see tested and I can probably run that setup and see what happens.

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whsbuss

I have not tried but I can if there is something you want me to investigate.  I believe as soon as I switch them to bridge mode (there isn't a function called AP or access point) then I will give up all functionality on the eero APP and my ActionTec router will do all the router work.  However, the brains behind the scene that creates the mesh and determines the best way to route data should still be functioning.

 

Let me know what you want to see tested and I can probably run that setup and see what happens.

 

 

No that's fine. You have the setup for your network. AP mode would only turn over DHCP back to the actiontec and disable some of your mesh connections. Thanks for the offer.

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cskenney

No that's fine. You have the setup for your network. AP mode would only turn over DHCP back to the actiontec and disable some of your mesh connections. Thanks for the offer.

It can be done but I would want to know what it would demonstrate (other than it works).  I just created a forum sub-topic under WiFi for Open Mesh.  Since you are looking for access point with mesh coverage then it might be what you are looking for.  Ask a few questions in that topic and it might spark the conversation that would answer your questions.

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whsbuss

Open Mesh is a protected forum

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awraynor

Will  you be keeping Eero and/or still considering Luma or too early to tell?

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rgreenpc

I have to say my experience with EERO has been fairly good.

 

I did have an issue on day 1 when the units still had 1.0 firmware.

 

Since I have been updated I have had zero issues and have been able to walk through my home and get 80-90 Mbps download and a consistent 15Mbps (I pay for 100 Mbps and 90 is what I normally see)

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cskenney

Open Mesh is a protected forum

fixed.

Will  you be keeping Eero and/or still considering Luma or too early to tell?

I don't see any reason to stop using it.

 

I haven't decided yet on Luma.  I would really like to see some more people comment on their experience with it.  So far most of the feedback its Twitter users saying they got the devices and it works great.  Where are the actual reviews?  Is that going to be us (me) pitting them head to head?  It scares me to think that so many people are blindly trusting that all this stuff is working as promised when we know it is not.

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awraynor

But I trust  your opinion more than the generic Twitter user. The reviews on the forum haven't been as glowing.

 

The one thing that makes me wait for Luma is MU-MIMO. I hope that feature alone will help my network congestion.

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