Eero Pro 6E Mesh Router Review: A Great Pick for Gigabit Internet

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Hobie Crase/CNET

The Eero Pro 6E mesh router marks a new chapter for the Amazon-owned home networking brand. With full support for Wi-Fi 6E and the resulting ability to send signals in the recently opened, ultrawide 6GHz band, plus a WAN port capable of accepting incoming wired speeds as high as 2.5 gigabits per second, it’s Eero’s most forward-leaning mesh router to date. Not surprisingly, it’s the most expensive Eero system currently in the lineup, too, ringing in at $699 for a three-pack, $499 for a two-pack or $299 for a single device.

It’s also the fastest Eero router I’ve tested yet. In my home, where I have a 300 megabit-per-second fiber internet plan and the speediest devices I test max out at around 375Mbps, the Pro 6E returned average download speeds of 342Mbps to a Wi-Fi 6 laptop, higher than the previous-gen Eero Pro 6 (315Mbps), and higher than its current-gen smaller sibling, the Eero 6 Plus (304Mbps). If your home’s internet speeds are faster than mine, the Pro 6E is built to take advantage of it. Though Amazon says you shouldn’t expect to see multi-gig wireless speeds, the AX5400 radios are still more than enough to make good use of gigabit and even multi-gig connections.

To that end, there’s also the 6E part of the pitch. With a tri-band build including the usual 2.4 and 5GHz bands, plus the new 6GHz band, the Eero Pro 6E is capable of connecting other Wi-Fi 6E devices at faster 6GHz speeds. There aren’t a whole lot of 6E devices like that just yet, but if you don’t have any, the system can still use the 6GHz band to your benefit as the wireless backhaul dedicated to passing traffic back and forth between the Eero devices themselves.

Like

  • Excellent performance and speeds to all generations of Wi-Fi devices
  • 2.5Gbps WAN port won’t bottleneck a multi-gig connection
  • Built-in Zigbee and Thread/Matter support
  • Simple setup and network control via Eero app

Don’t Like

  • Wi-Fi 6E won’t make a huge difference without a gigabit-or-better connection
  • Amazon doesn’t promise wireless speeds any faster than 1.3Gbps
  • No option for limiting Eero’s network data collection

Once you do start adding Wi-Fi 6E devices into the mix, you can expect an uptick in speeds and greater capacity for moving large amounts of data through your network. That’s what I saw when I reran my speed tests on the Wi-Fi 6E-enabled Samsung Galaxy S21 — my average download speeds rose from 342 to 365Mbps, and my average uploads rose from 280 to 330Mbps. That’s right on par with the other Wi-Fi 6E mesh router I’ve tested here, the Netgear Orbi AXE11000, which returned average downloads speeds of 352Mbps and average uploads of 342Mbps in the same set of Wi-Fi 6E tests. That system costs a whopping $1,500 for a three-pack; the Eero Pro 6E edged out its Wi-Fi 6E download speeds despite costing less than half as much.

I’d be curious to see how the performance between those two systems stacked up on a faster network — particularly since Amazon’s Eero Pro 6E listing doesn’t promise wireless speeds any better than 1.3Gbps — but still, it’s hard not to be impressed here. If you’re living with gigabit or better internet speeds or you’re planning to upgrade accordingly in the near future, the Eero Pro 6E has some legitimate appeal as an upgrade pick — especially if you’re interested in Wi-Fi 6E, but less interested in spending more than $1,000 on a new mesh router (and I’ll note that Netgear’s system isn’t the only 6E alternative to cost that much).

For the rest of us, I think there’s some wisdom in waiting on Wi-Fi 6E until the benefits and use cases at home are a little more clear. Less expensive, top-tested options that stick to Wi-Fi 6, like the TP-Link Deco W7200, the Asus ZenWifi XD6 and Amazon’s own Eero 6 Plus are all well worth considering before spending up.

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The Eero Pro 6E (right) is a bit larger than the Eero 6 Plus next to it here, but they stick to the same aesthetic.


Ry Crist/CNET

Design, specs and app controls

At 5 inches wide and just under 2 inches tall, each Eero Pro 6E looks a little like a version of the Eero 6 Plus that’s been squished in a hamburger press. With glossy white plastic and gentle curves, they each stick to the same design playbook, and it’s a playbook that Eero hasn’t tinkered with since, well, ever. Part of that is likely because the new Eeros are both backwards-compatible with previous systems (which is great), but still, but I’d have appreciated a more distinguished design here, at least for this year’s Pro model.

Turn the device around and you’ll find the ports in the back: a USB-C power port and two Ethernet jacks, one of which supports incoming wired speeds of up to 2.5Gbps (2,500Mbps). That multi-gig jack is a really nice upgrade here, because it means that you can use the system with a correspondingly fast home internet plan without bottlenecking your speeds from the modem to the router. Good timing, too — multi-gig internet plans are on the rise, with new options available this year from AT&T, Verizon, Frontier, Ziply Fiber and others.

Each Eero Pro 6E features two Ethernet jacks — the one on the left can handle incoming wired speeds as high as 2.5 gigabits per second.


Hobie Crase/CNET

As for the internals, the Eero Pro 6 features a 1GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 4GB of flash storage and a stated coverage range of up to 6,000 square feet. Eero clocks the system with an AX5400 speed rating, which breaks out to top theoretical speeds of 2.3Gbps on the 5GHz and 6GHz bands and 800Mbps on the 2.4GHz band. Speed ratings like those are based on lab-based tests that don’t account for the interference and physical obstructions you’ll normally find in people’s homes, so they’re not the best indicator of a router’s true wireless speeds.

To that end, Amazon’s listing for the system makes a point of saying that the Eero Pro 6E “supports network speeds up to 2.3 Gbps, when using both wired (up to a gigabit) and wireless (up to 1.3 Gbps) client devices.” That’s a refreshing bit of honesty, perhaps, but it also means that you shouldn’t expect the Eero Pro 6E to max out your wireless speeds on a 2.5Gbps internet plan. Stronger, multi-gig-ready radios would have driven the price up, but it’s still a shame not having them, since those are the kinds of internet speeds the Eero Pro 6E was seemingly built to take advantage of with Wi-Fi 6E and the multi-gig WAN port.

Speed talk aside (there’s more coming in the performance section, don’t you worry), the Eero Pro 6E features a built-in Zigbee radio for connecting things like lights and locks with your network, and it’s built to embrace the upcoming Matter smart home standard by way of Thread support, which will let the system relay signals from Matter-compatible devices. Both are great inclusions for smart home enthusiasts.


Screenshots by Ry Crist/CNET

Like other Eero routers, the Pro 6E leans on the well-designed Eero app for Android and iOS devices to guide you through setup and to offer quick control over the system’s settings and features. You’ll be able to keep an eye on all of the gadgets connected to your network, group the devices that require parental controls together, update your Eero firmware, monitor your network’s data usage, or tweak the network name or password with just a few quick taps. WPA3 is an option in the Eero Labs section of the app — you’ll want to turn that on for the latest in network security. Additional security features are available for a $3 monthly fee via Eero Secure Plus, which also includes access to the Encrypt.me VPN and the 1Password password manager.

Like most apps in consumer tech, the Eero app collects data as you use it, and the Eero privacy policy makes clear that there’s no option for opting out or limiting that data collection. Eero’s support page explains that it doesn’t track the websites you visit or the contents of your network traffic, though the company does collect network data to help maintain and improve system performance. Along with information about your network speeds, some of that data includes personal information like your email and device IP addresses, as well as rough, IP-based geolocation data.

“We don’t sell our customer data, and we don’t sell ads based on this data,” the support page reads. “We collect data about your Eero network to help us optimize your Wi-Fi performance.”

Those assurances help, but with no option for limiting that data collection or turning it off entirely, Eero is a tougher brand to recommend for privacy-focused consumers looking to hold their smart home to as small of a data footprint as possible.

In my home, where Wi-Fi speeds max out at around 375Mbps, the Eero Pro 6E returned average download speeds throughout the whole place of 305Mbps to Wi-Fi 5 devices, 342Mbps to Wi-Fi 6 devices and 365Mbps to Wi-Fi 6E devices. All three numbers compare well with the competition.


Ry Crist/CNET

Performance and speed

I tested the Eero Pro 6E at my home in Louisville, Kentucky, where my fiber plan nets me upload and download speeds of 300Mbps. (Most of the routers I test here are able to push that even higher at close range, with the fastest models topping out at about 375Mbps.) I plan on testing the system out at the much larger CNET Smart Home, too. I’ll update this section with additional data once I’ve had the chance.

A 300Mbps connection like mine is slower than the Eero Pro 6E is designed to handle, but my at-home tests still offer a good, comparative look at how the system performs in an environment that’s much closer in speed to the average home network in the US. The key takeaway after looking at the data? The Eero Pro 6E is pretty darned good, as mesh routers go.

In terms of average download speeds to a Wi-Fi 6 device in my at-home tests, the Eero Pro 6E was sixth highest among all of the mesh routers I’ve ever tested here, and finished in a near tie with the Netgear Orbi AXE11000, a Wi-Fi 6E mesh router that costs more than twice as much (systems with a star by the name were tested before Wi-Fi 6, with a Wi-Fi 5 client).


Ry Crist/CNET

Measured across five spots in the house, the system delivered overall average download speeds of 305Mbps to my Wi-Fi 5 test device (an Apple iPad Air 2), 342Mbps to my Wi-Fi 6 device (a Lenovo Thinkpad laptop), and 365Mbps to my Wi-Fi 6E test device (a Samsung Galaxy S21). Wi-Fi 6E aside, it’s only the third system I’ve tested here that managed to return whole-home download averages above 300Mbps to both my Wi-Fi 5 and Wi-Fi 6 test devices (the other two being the TP-Link Deco W7200 and Deco X90 mesh routers). I like that result, because it means that the system won’t leave your older gadgets behind too much as it uses Wi-Fi 6-exclusive capabilities to speed things up for the newer ones.

The Eero Pro 6E delivered strong upload speeds, too — top five among all of the mesh routers I’ve tested with a Wi-Fi 6 device. Interestingly, one of the four systems that beat its upload average is the previous-gen Eero Pro 6, which I lauded in part back in 2020 for strong upload performance. Looks like Eero dialed a little bit of that horsepower toward the downloads this time.

My only real performance criticism — apart from the wireless speeds topping out at 1.3Gbps — is that the system didn’t perform comparatively well when I ran speed tests using a single device. In that single router test, with no satellites in play, the Eero Pro 6E plummeted from the sixth best Wi-Fi 6 download average to the 20th best, with numbers that looked more like what I’d expect to see from the 2019, Wi-Fi 5 version of the system. Just imagine that little yellow arrow in the graph above sliding awfully far to the right, and you’ll get the idea.

For the most part, I chalk that up to the fact that this is a company that leans heavily on mesh software developed over the course of a decade rather than the latest and greatest hardware to deliver the best performance. Take the mesh away and leave the hardware to stand on its own, and you expose the system’s weak spot. It’s not a concern if you’re using multiple Pro 6E devices on your network and taking full advantage of the mesh, but I wouldn’t recommend running your network on just a single Pro 6E router with no mesh at all.

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Hobie Crase/CNET

The verdict

It’s an interesting time for routers, with multiple levels of upgrades available to consumers in need of a new one. Stepping up to Wi-Fi 6 is close to a no-brainer at this point, upgrading to mesh can make a huge difference in medium-to-large-sized homes, and Wi-Fi 6E offers lots of future-focused temptation for the gigabit-plus connections of tomorrow. The Eero Pro 6E gets you all of that and then some, so the $699 price tag for a three-pack actually seems pretty reasonable to me, especially when you put it up against similar systems from Netgear and Linksys that cost well over $1,000 for the same basic pitch.

Still, I don’t see Wi-Fi 6E as a must-have for home networks yet. Yes, there are immediate benefits to having a faster, more capable connection between the Eero devices themselves, and yes, there’s a reasonably strong chance that the next new phone you buy will be a 6E device — but in my eye, the clearest benefits to the 6GHz band seem to be on crowded, public Wi-Fi networks at places like airports, stadiums and convention centers, where it can act sort of like a VIP section for the newest-gen devices. I’m not sure it’s worth the extra cost at home, where having a 6E router will typically just mean slightly faster speeds to select devices. Devices like those are already very well served by regular old Wi-Fi 6.

But look, this isn’t a review of Wi-Fi 6E — this is a review of the Eero Pro 6E. Like the less expensive Eero 6 Plus, it’s a highly capable mesh router at a fair asking price, and definitely one that I’d recommend if you’re already paying up for gigabit internet speeds (or if you’re planning to at some point soon). However, if you’re eyeing the growing availability of multi-gig internet plans, I’d recommend waiting for other options to emerge, because even with Wi-Fi 6E and a multi-gig WAN port, the Pro 6E won’t ever deliver wireless speeds like those.

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