Eero 6 vs. Eero Pro 6: Test of WiFi 6 Models (6, 6+, Pro 6, Pro 6E)

eero pro 6 vs eero 6

Over the last five years, I’ve had more than 12 different Eero configurations in my house.

My conclusion?

Many people will be fine with the entry-level Eero (Eero 5) because it’ll improve WiFi range, speed, and stabilization compared to a traditional single router system.

However, I’ll focus on the four Eero WiFi 6 models for this post: Eero 6, Eero 6+, Eero Pro 6, and Eero Pro 6E.

TL;DR: Eero 6+ is the best value mesh system on the market. It’s ideal for those who have an ISP plan of 500Mbps (or slower) and a house under 4,000 sqft.

TL;DR? Skip to the conclusion

User-Friendliness

Eero Pro 6 A+
Eero 6 A+

Installation

Eero is the easiest mesh system to install. And you get the same experience on all four models.

It holds your hand with the simplest steps and leaves no room for confusion. You get placement tips along the way.

I’ve installed Eero over a dozen times and never had any issues. It usually takes me 5-10 minutes to get a whole system running. People with no technical skills can get a system set up easily.

Software

Eero’s app is dead simple to use.

When you open the app, you’re faced with all of your devices grouped by category (e.g., computers, entertainment, etc). Each device can be renamed, then grouped into a “Family Profile.” From there, you can create scheduled access for the group of devices, set downtime periods, or just pause your whole network with one tap.

Eero is perfect for parents who want to monitor how much and when their kids use the internet because of the combination of Family Profiles and the user-friendly setup.

Eero is compatible with Alexa. Pause someone’s profile or find which node your phone is closest to with one command.

Apple HomeKit support creates a firewall between your network and your smart devices. Unfortunately, HomeKit support is only for Eero 6 and Eero Pro 6, while the 2022 models don’t have this feature.

There’s an interface that displays your devices in order of real-time bandwidth usage, which can be helpful for troubling shooting. The amount of bandwidth each profile or device is consuming for the current week is displayed too.

You can create a guest network with a name that differs from your main network. In the settings, there are options to choose your DNS server, create static IP reservations or port forwards, and enable UPnP. These features are more than the average user needs, but there are networking nerds who will want more, but this system isn’t built for nerds.

Four downsides to Eero’s software.

  1. Basic features that are free with Google Wifi devices are behind the Eero Secure paywall ($3/month). To view cumulative bandwidth on a per day or per month basis, or use advanced parental controls like filtering, ad blocking, and site blocking, you’ll need Eero Secure.
  2. Eero automatically updates the firmware, which is great, but not ideal for people who are working deep into the morning. Some angry gamers had their game interrupted at 3 AM. Eero should let you toggle off auto-updates.
  3. Eero doesn’t have a web-based interface. Everything is managed on the phone.
  4. All Eero 6 models have a Zigbee hub inside, but unfortunately, the only way to add Zigbee devices is with the Alexa app, which means your devices won’t work with the Apple or Google ecosystems. The Zigbee hub will be irrelevant unless you’re using exclusively Alexa devices or just starting a smart home.

Performance

Eero Pro 6 A
Eero 6 B+

Stability

Eero uses a “true multi-channel mesh network,” which means all the bands on the system are used for node to node and client communication.

Eero makes lots of behind the scenes optimizations to keep your network running smoothly. With most mesh systems, when you walk around, your devices have a slight hiccup when your device switches its connection to a different node. This doesn’t happen with Eero.

Your devices are smoothly handed off from one node to the other without being apparent.

I’ve had some version of Eero in my house for years and never notice the internet, which is the best thing you can say about a WiFi system. Eero is consistently the stablest networks that I test.

Eero has a feature called “Band Steering” that helps push your 5 GHz capable devices on to the 5 GHz channel for faster speeds.

Eero’s Specs for All Models

ModelRatingMesh MbpsCoverage Per Node
EeroAC13003501,500 sqft
Eero BeaconAC13003501,500 sqft
Eero 6AX18005001,500 sqft
Eero 6+AX30001,0001,500 sqft
Eero ProAC22005501,750 sqft
Eero Pro 6AX42001,0001,750 sqft
Eero Pro 6EAX54001,3002,000 sqft

How They Work

Eero 6 and Eero 6+ are dual-band systems, which means a chunk of your total bandwidth is wasted on backhaul communication (Eero nodes communicating with each other).

Eero Pro 6 and Eero Pro 6E are tri-band systems, which means the backhaul communication can be spilt amongst three bands, rather than two, leaving more room for your clients (devices).

If you hardwire your Eero nodes together via Ethernet (not necessary), it’ll create a wired backhaul, which makes the third band from the Eero Pro models less important. Rather than waste bandwidth on node-to-node communication, that extra space is used just for your clients.

Eero Pro 6E has a 6GHz band and a 5GHz band rather than two 5GHz bands, like the Eero Pro 6. The 6GHz band is part of the new WiFi 6E standard that allows for wider channels and less congestion, which results in faster speeds when 6GHz compatible devices are connected to that band.

dual band eero models

Testing Methods in My House

I created an iPerf3 server on my MacBook Pro, which plugged into my Eero via an Ethernet cable. This tests the throughput speed rather than factoring in my internet speed, which is a more realistic representation of what can be expected compared to Eero’s spec sheet.

My house is just 1,200 sqft, but I wanted to cover the entire backyard and garage too. For each model tested, I used a three-node configuration and they were placed in the same optimal spot for my house.

I used the iPerf3 app on my iPhone 13 Pro Max (WiFi 6 compatible, but not WiFi 6E) to check the throughput speeds from 11 set locations in my house, garage, and backyard, then averaged my numbers together.

There are many variables at play when comparing my house to yours: which node your device connects to, number of nodes and devices, home layout, ISP speed, and the capabilities of your clients.

Remember, when a device is plugged into Eero 6+, Eero Pro 6, or Eero Pro 6E directly, you’ll get gigabit internet speeds, but I’m testing for wireless mesh speeds.

My Results

My Interpretation of the Results

Surprisingly, there wasn’t a huge difference between these four models when testing the throughput. I expected the tri-band models to outdo the dual-band models by a sizable margin, but in some cases, the dual-band systems performed just as well in pure speed. Although, the tri-band systems provided more range.

Unfortunately, my iPhone 13 Pro Max has a max speed capability of 867Mbps and can only utilize Eero’s 5GHz and 2GHz bands, which resulted in similar speeds between the Eero Pro 6E and Eero Pro 6 in my testing (~750Mbps in throughput).

WiFi 6E devices can reach up to 2000Mbps, which would’ve altered my results if I had one handy for testing. However, my tests are still fair representation of what you’ll see because there are only a few devices with WiFi 6E compatibility on the market. More devices will be released with WiFi 6E compatibility, but by the time that happens, Eero most likely will have a new WiFi system on the market.

Theoretically, Eero Pro 6E’s 6GHz band should be useful even without WiFi 6E devices on your network because it’s used for backhaul communication, but I didn’t see that play out in real life.

At my house, I pay for a 450Mbps plan from my ISP. With either of these four WiFi 6 systems installed, I average ~250Mbps across the 11 areas where I want coverage. I consider this a huge win! Keep in mind, it’s just my wife and me, and we have about 25 total devices connected.

The more devices you have connected simultaneously and the larger your house, the more the tri-band systems will make sense, but I’m fine with a dual-band system at my house (trying to cover 3,000 sqft). For most people (w/ under 30 devices and home size of 3,000 sqft or less), I recommend the Eero 6+ because it provides the best bang for your buck.

(If you’re still confused on which configuration would be best, check out Eero’s questionnaire. It asks questions about your house size and number of devices, then recommends which model/configuration would work best for you. It’s not definitive, but it’s a great place to start.)

Design

Eero Pro 6 A
Eero 6 B+

Design

eero 6 plus vs eero 6

Each Eero model has a glossy white finish and is more attractive than a traditional black router with antennas pointing out of it. You can put them anywhere in your house without being distracting.

Eero Pro 6 and Pro 6E are much larger than previous Eero generations, but they’re still nowhere near the size of Netgear Orbi.

Eero 6 and 6+ are shaped like big cupcakes and they’re the ideal size. The 6 and 6+ are close to an inch taller than the Pros, but they’re about half the total volume.

Eero 6+, Pro 6, and Pro 6E have two auto-sensing Ethernet ports on each node and because the nodes are interchangeable, any can be used as the gateway.

Unfortunately, Eero 6 doesn’t work like the others. The standard Eero 6 three set comes with one router and two extenders. The extender name is deceiving because it pumps out the same signal as the gateway, just like any Eero set. However, the Eero 6 “extenders” are missing Ethernet ports, which isn’t ideal if you have more than one accessory that needs Ethernet and you can’t create a wired backhaul (if you want one).

Which is best for you?

  • User-Friendliness (A-)
  • Performance (B+)
  • Design (A)

Eero 6

In my estimation, Eero 6 is best for people who pay for an ISP speed of 250Mbps or less. The three-set is perfect for those who have a modest amount of connected devices and a home under 4,000 sqft.

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  • User-Friendliness (A)
  • Performance (A-)
  • Design (A)

Eero 6+

Get Eero 6+ if you want the best value mesh system on the market. In my estimation, Eero 6+ is best for people who pay for an ISP speed of 500Mbps or less. The three-set is perfect for those who have a modest amount of connected devices and a home under 4,000 sqft.

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  • User-Friendliness (A)
  • Performance (A)
  • Design (B)

Eero Pro 6E

Get Eero Pro 6E if you want the best performing Eero ever created. Eero Pro 6E is best for people who pay for an ISP speed of 1Gbps or less. The third band is helpful for those who have larger homes and more than 50 devices connected simultaneously.

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  • User-Friendliness (A)
  • Performance (A)
  • Design (B)

Eero Pro 6

I don't recommend Eero Pro 6 unless you find it substantially discounted from the list price. For just an extra $100, the Pro 6E has the 6Ghz band that will improve performance substantially once more compatible devices are on the market.

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FAQ

Where do I place the nodes?

Each Eero node needs to be out in the open and placed on a hard surface. Ideally, the gateway node (the one plugged into your modem), should be in a central location. 

The secondary nodes should be placed within a couple of rooms of the gateway node because it needs a strong signal. If you have a poor signal in the bedroom and you want to improve it, adding a node to the bedroom won’t help. There’s no signal. You need to add a node between your gateway and the bedroom.

For optimal performance, each node should get its signal from the gateway router. If you’re constrained by the location of your modem, your network will still work if node #3 gets its signal from node #2, but your performance will suffer.

What about a wired backhaul?

A wired backhaul is when you connect the secondary nodes to the gateway node with an Ethernet cable, allowing your secondary nodes to achieve the same speed as the gateway.

A wired backhaul makes sense if you have a long or tall house where the gateway node can’t be centrally located.

For most people, the inconvenience of setting up a wired backhaul isn’t a worthy sacrifice to get a few download speed points. The beauty of Eero’s mesh setup is that Eero does a ton of work in the background to make everything run smooth without needing to think. But if you like to tinker, optimize the crap out of your system.

What’s wrong with the WiFi 5 Eero models?

Nothing!

Eero 5 and Eero Pro 5 are still great systems, but it seems likely that Eero will stop selling them soon-ish. That doesn’t mean WiFi 5 models will stop working, but they may stop getting firmware updates.

Eero’s WiFi 6 models have faster radios than their predecessors, but because most of the devices on your network are likely WiFi 5 still, you won’t see a ton of benefits until you have WiFi 6 more devices.

Once WiFi 6 is more prevalent, we’ll see speed improvements. OFDMA and Multi-User MIMO are two WiFi 6 features that work together, which lets data be sent to multiple devices in the same broadcast. With lots of WiFi 6 devices running simultaneously, the devices are more likely to maintain their top speed.

WiFi 6E is the next iteration of WiFi 6 that adds a 6GHz band for wider channels and less congestion, resulting in faster speeds for 6GHz compatible devices (only a few are on the market).

Unless you get an incredible deal on a WiFi 5 Eero model, stick with one of the WiFi 6 models.

Can I pair different Eero models together?

You can mix and match any Eero model on one network. But I recommend using the highest performance node as your gateway. If you have Eero 6 and Eero Pro 6, the Pro 6 should be the one plugged into your modem.

Can I use Eero with my ISP?

Yes. Eero should work with any ISP. If you have a combination router/modem, you’ll need to disable the router part, by putting it into bridge mode. Then, just plug in your gateway Eero to your modem.

2 thoughts on “Eero 6 vs. Eero Pro 6: Test of WiFi 6 Models (6, 6+, Pro 6, Pro 6E)”

  1. when i first setup my eero6 3pack, everything was great…my daughter commented at how fast streaming was from her room (deadzone).

    modem/router (basement)
    midfloor
    daughters room

    these are the locations of placement.

    there were a few times where my wifes and my phone and laptops kept cycling from connected to offline cintinually. would you know why this is and how i could correct it?

    btw, very informative blog and channel.

    Ryan

    1. It sounds like you’ve just moved your dead zone to a new place. I’d take some speed tests in the spots where your wife is having issues and try to tweak the placement of the two secondary nodes. Remember, a node doesn’t necessarily need to be in your daughter’s room for her to have good wifi. It may be more optimal for the network to move it elsewhere.

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I’ve been obsessed with gadgets since I was eight years old. I buy each device reviewed with MY money and don’t have insider access. I’m just like you, the everyman.