Updated Jun 18, 2020

Eero vs. Google WiFi: Comparing Software, Performance & Design

Cam Secore

After a month of testing, I determined Eero (non-Pro, Third Generation) is the better mesh system because of its flawless setup and versatility. However, Google WiFi performs similarly with a bandwidth interface not found on Eero. You can’t go wrong with either system.

I’ll compare and contrast two mesh routers (Eero vs. Google WiFi) by evaluating four categories: setup, software, performance, and design.

Best For You

amazon eero mesh

Eero (non-Pro)

9

Get Eero (non-Pro) if you want the easiest-to-use mesh system. Eero provides a user-friendly app and the best setup. Eero is more versatile because you can add any Eero model (Pro or Beacon) at any time. The three-piece set for $249 should cover at least 4,000 feet.

Get Eero Pro if you want better performance due to the third band (read more).

google wifi

Google WiFi

8

Get Google WiFi if you want more data per device and real-time bandwidth usage numbers. Google has a great app and nearly identical performance as Eero, but the setup isn't as user-friendly. The three-piece set for $259 should cover at least 4,000 square feet.

Get Google Nest Wifi if you want stronger range and radios with worst overall performance (read more).

Quick Review

Eero (non-Pro)

  • Setup
    I’ve installed Eero six times. It’s consistently the easiest to install because it holds your hand and loads quickly.
  • Software
    The phone app does everything other mesh systems promise to do, but in a cleaner and quicker fashion. You can group devices and schedule access.
  • Performance
    The hardware internals are almost identical to Google. Eero performed better alone, but worse with mesh.
  • Design
    Eero and Eero Pro have two Ethernets, while Beacons plug directly into a wall outlet.

Google WiFi

  • Setup
    I’ve installed Google WiFi five times. The app instructions skip steps and the app can crash without warning.
  • Software
    You can group and pause devices. The bandwidth usage interface is fantastic. However, it doesn’t play nice with VPNs or WiFi calling.
  • Performance
    I got better mesh download speeds than Eero but random check-ins were almost always slower. Performance is a wash.
  • Design
    With the three-piece set, you'll have five Ethernet ports. There's no wall outlet option.

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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.

Power Moves Promise

Things To Know

amazon eero vs google
  • I’ve ranked and tested nine mesh systems over three years (check my power rankings). Eero Pro and Orbi are the best performers, but they’re not necessarily for everyone. The Eero (non-Pro) three-pack is what I recommend to my friends and family now.
  • My testing process for download numbers:
    • I unplugged my modem and routers. Then I plugged in the modem and routers and waited ten minutes.
    • I used speedtest.net to test download speeds from ten different locations in my house and backyard.
    • I repeated this process two more times for each router system.
    • Then I divided the 30 readings by 30 to get an unweighted average speed.
  • My home’s layout isn’t the same as yours and there are other flaws with my testing. My numbers shouldn’t be treated as the definitive answer. For example, which nodes your devices (phones, computers, etc.) connect to can be random and affect the testing numbers.
  • My internet speed maxes out at 117/mbps, so I can’t test how these two systems would perform with gigabit internet speeds. Although, there shouldn’t be a difference because the internal hardware is almost identical.

Video Version

Nerdy Review

SetupA+

  • I’ve installed Eero five times. Your technologically-challenged parents could use the app without struggling and have a network running in under ten minutes. My latest installation took less than five minutes.
  • Eero guides you through basic steps. Eero tells you which cords to unplug and when and where to plug them back in. It sounds silly, but fewer problems occur because of the step-by-step process.
  • Each step of configuration loading takes less than 20 seconds. Google keeps you waiting around for a longer time.
  • Eero’s process is smarter than other mesh systems because it assumes you know nothing and gives you router placement tips. I admire the time that the developers and designers spent on refining the installation process.

SoftwareA+

  • You can create profiles of people in your household in order to name and group their devices. Inside of each profile, you can set schedules and allowances or pause the internet on-demand. This is useful for parents who want to control their kids’ access without restricting use for adults. Eero’s user interface and interactions in the app are more intuitive and easier to use than any of the other systems I’ve tested.
  • You can’t prioritize which devices get the most bandwidth like Google WiFi, but Eero has a feature called Smart Queue Management that helps to automatically prioritize devices without killing access to other devices.
  • Band Steering tries to push devices that support 5GHz to that channel to increase performance.
  • You can create a guest network and give it its own name and password.
  • You can send your friends a token or have them scan a QR code to get access to your network in three seconds.
  • The firmware updates automatically.
  • Lots of tech nerds on Reddit are frustrated with Eero’s interface choices in version 3.0 of the app, but Eero’s new phone app got better for the average user. There are three things that prevent the app from being perfect:
    1. You can see real-time bandwidth usage for each device, but it only shows when you tap on a specific device. With the previous version of the Eero app, the home screen listed your devices in order of which was using the most bandwidth.
      • Eero decided to prioritize family profiles and devices instead, which should have more mainstream appeal.
      • If one of your devices is hogging resources, it’s hard to find which of your 50 devices is causing the issue. Eero is betting on their software to handle hiccups better than other systems.
    2. Eero has never tracked bandwidth usage over a set period. Google shows you usage per device for one day, one week, and one month.
    3. You can’t give other household members their own account to access Eero. If you want Eero on two phones, you must use the same account.
  • While Eero is the easiest router to use, they also provide all of the high-tech features and configurations for the nerds (like reservations, port forwarding, thread support, DNS settings, and MU-MIMO support).
  • You can ask Alexa to find your phone, pause a person’s internet, or put your kid in a timeout by turning off their internet for a certain period. With Amazon’s purchase of Eero, expect Alexa integration to get even tighter.
  • Eero offers an optional subscription service called Eero Secure for $3/month that gives you better security, ad-blocking, content filtering, and you can see how devices are using your network.
  • For $10/month, Eero Secure+ gives you all of the features from above, plus a subscription to Encrypt.me, 1Password, and Malwarebytes.

PerformanceB-

  • Solo router performance (for baseline):
    • One Eero router gave me an average of 93/mbps, in my house and backyard.
    • Eero (non-Pro) has two bands, just like Google WiFi. They have the same theoretical bandwidth and similar hardware.
    • For reference, one Eero Pro router gave me an average of 108/mbps, in my house and backyard.
  • Mesh router performance (using the routers together, as intended):
    • Three Eero (non-Pro) routers gave me an average of 96/mbps, in my house and backyard.
    • A set of three should cover 5,000 square feet according to Eero. They should comfortably cover 4,000 square feet from my testing.
  • Eero (non-Pro) and Google WiFi won’t set performance records because they’re slow compared to Orbi and Eero Pro, but both systems provide enough power for the average user. I spent hours recording my download speeds for my posts and I use the internet all day, but I didn’t notice a speed difference from any Google, Eero, or Orbi sets. The only noticeable thing is cutouts. I haven’t experienced any cutouts in my two years of using any Eero product.
  • Why is Eero Pro faster? It has faster and stronger radio and three wireless bands compared to two on Eero. The extra band creates more room on your network for the nodes to talk to each other without interfering with your devices.

DesignA+

  • Eero (non-Pro) has a glossy white finish and is shorter than Google WiFi.
  • You get two Ethernet ports on each. The standard three-pack will have five available ports (one is used for your modem).
  • The Ethernet ports are auto-sensing and interchangeable, whereas Google WiFi has a port designated for the modem.
  • Other Eero options:
    • Eero Beacon: They plug in directly to the outlet without a cord, so you don’t need to waste counter space. During the night, Beacons turn into a nightlight. Unfortunately, there are no ports on the Beacon routers. Eero Beacon provides the same performance as Eero (non-Pro).
  • Eero Pro: They’re beautiful, sleek and sit flat on the table. They perform better than Eero (non-Pro).

Google WiFi

8

SetupB-

  • I’ve installed five Google systems. With three of them, the installation was smooth. Two times, the app wouldn’t recognize the routers without lots of time-consuming troubleshooting and false error screens.
  • Rather than adding all nodes at once, Google gets the network running first, then has you add additional nodes one by one after that.
  • You can have your system installed in 15 minutes, but keep four things in mind:
    • You should power on your base router right away. Google doesn’t hold your hand and jumps into things without telling you when to plug it in.
    • Once the router is powered on, connect to the Google WiFi dummy network in your phone’s WiFi settings. Then open the app. Google WiFi is supposed to automatically connect when you scan the QR code (bottom of the router) in the beginning, but it doesn’t always work automatically.
    • The app doesn’t instruct you to unplug your modem until there’s an issue and, in most cases, there will be. Eero asks to unplug your modem from the get-go.
    • There aren’t progress percentage bars when you’re adding more nodes to the system. There were times where you’re on a screen for three minutes and you’re not sure if you’re making progress or you should close the app and quit. In most cases, when this happens for extended periods, you should start over.

SoftwareA

  • The Google WiFi app is intuitive and has an excellent layout with lots of brilliant features.
  • You can see the real-time stats for each device on the network and rename those that aren’t labeled correctly. You can also see how much each device is downloading (per 5 seconds, hour, day, and month). This is a great way to see who’s consuming resources if you live with multiple people. Also, you might catch a device downloading things in the background that is slowing down your network.
  • You can manually prioritize devices, giving them more of your bandwidth for a set period of time (one, two or four hours), then things will go back to normal.
  • There’s an excellent interface to see your overall bandwidth usage.
  • With “Family WiFi” you can group devices and create scheduled internet access, enable Safe Search, or manually pause a set of grouped devices. It’s not as smooth as Eero, but it has the same parent features.
  • You can check the connection of individual devices to your router, which could help diagnose buffer issues.
  • You can add household members’ Google accounts and make them managers of your network.
  • There is integration with smart hubs. If you have Philips Hue lights, you can control the lights from Google’s app.
  • You can restart the entire system in three minutes using the app.
  • You can enable IPv6, manage DHCP IP reservations, play with DNS settings and manage ports.
  • These six things won’t affect the average consumer, but may disappoint some:
    • You have to use a Google account.
    • Google relies on the cloud.
    • The radios aren’t MU-MIMO.
    • Google doesn’t play nice with VPNs.
    • Most users are reporting WiFi calling through phone carriers isn’t working with Google WiFi.
    • Google is a massive company with tons of other interests and a history of sunsetting products quickly. Google WiFi is three years old and since its successor (Google Nest WiFi) uses the Google Home app, it seems inevitable that the Google WiFi app will eventually stop getting updated.

PerformanceB-

  • Solo router performance (for baseline):
    • One Google WiFi gave me an average of 90/mbps, in my house and backyard. Google WiFi has the same internal specs as Eero and performs solidly compared to others on the market.
  • Mesh router performance (using the routers together, as intended):
    • Three Google WiFi Routers gave me an average of 107/mbps, in my house and backyard.
    • Google outperformed Eero in my mesh tests, but it’s probably due more to the randomness of my computer connecting to the improper node.
    • A set of three should cover 4,500 square feet according to Google. They should comfortably cover 4,000 square feet from my testing.
  • During random speed check-ins, Google WiFi consistently scored lowest. I can’t nail down a specific reason, but I saw the same thing with Nest WiFi.

DesignB-

  • They’re small and unobtrusive.
  • There are two Ethernet ports on each router. The standard three-pack gives you five ports to plug in accessories (one is used for your modem).
  • Ideally, you shouldn’t put a router next to a wall if you can avoid it. During some experiments, I put Google WiFi on the window sill and it was barely able to function while Eero did just fine.
  • There’s a light that can be useful as a nightlight. You can toggle the brightness or turn it off.
  • There’s no outlet router option.
 

2 Comments

  • Mark says:

    Hi Cam,
    Thank you for your reviews! We live in a 2400 sq ft, 4 level townhome. So it’s the vertical coverage we need help with. Our iMac, modem & router sit in the loft, the fourth level, and we currently have a TP Link repeater on the bottom level. WiFi coverage is ok but not great. We’re retired so it’s me and my wife, and we use WiFi for iMac, iPads, iPhones, printer, doorbell and one TV. Happy to go with Eero Pro (2?) if you think that would optimize coverage. Suggestions? Thank you!

    • Cam Secore says:

      2 Eero Pros would probably work, but because your house is so tall, a more optimized solution would be 1 Pro with 2 Beacons (same price).

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