Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) is the latest official standard named by the Wi-Fi Alliance, taking over for but still compatible with Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac). Among other benefits, it brings faster transfer speeds, it has more capacity for connected devices, and it requires less power, ideal for laptops. If you haven’t updated your router in the last year or two, chances are you’re still working with Wi-Fi 5.
Mesh networking has also gained traction in the last couple of years, thanks to systems that can cover far more area with a reliable signal. You generally have two or more nodes that work together, creating a “mesh” that your devices can access. Whereas many extenders require you to swap networks as you move in and out of range, mesh systems offer just one unified network and the ability to move your devices seamlessly back and forth without any effort on your part.
Combining these two technologies makes for a truly potent wireless network, and we’re just starting to see companies release Wi-Fi 6 mesh network systems. One of them is Amazon’s own eero brand, a top option for anyone who needs to blanket a ton of space in a reliable, fast signal. And for Black Friday, eero 6 and eero Pro 6 systems are significantly discounted. If you’ve been waiting for a great sale to upgrade your network, this is it.
This pack includes an eero 6 mesh router and two extenders for $223, or $56 off the regular price. If you already have an eero 6 router and just want to invest in some extenders, you can pick them up individually for $71. That’s $18 off the regular price.
Each eero 6 node, including the main router, covers about 1,500 square feet of space in a reliable signal. Of course, that is bound to change depending on levels and layout, and to fully take advantage of the mesh lifestyle you will need at least two nodes.
To get things set up, just download the app, plug in your eero 6 nodes, and let it do its thing. It works with Alexa for smart-home integration, and it comes with Zigbee built right in for easy control over your connected devices. The eero 6 has an AX1800 rating and is best cut out for internet plans that reach up into the 900Mbps range.
The eero 6 router includes two Gigabit Ethernet ports for wired devices, though the extenders do not include the same Ethernet ports. If you do want to go all-out with wired backhaul, you will have to exclusively buy the eero 6 routers (ignoring the LAN-less extenders) or upgrade to eero 6 Pro.
Have more space to cover? Have a robust internet plan with Gigabit speeds? The eero Pro 6 mesh system is no doubt better cut out for your needs. A single node is currently $183 at Amazon, or you can get two nodes for $319 for about $80 in savings.
The differences between the eero 6 and eero Pro 6 really come down to top speed, number of LAN ports on each node, and two bands versus three bands.
Unlike the standard eero 6 that has a main router and extenders, each eero Pro 6 node is equal with two LAN ports. This is a tri-band system with an AX4200 performance rating, meaning it’s best cut out for those with Gigabit internet and more space to cover. Amazon claims these nodes are good for up to 2,000 square feet, though that’s bound to change depending on layout.
Still, if you have a ton of room to cover and a ton of devices to connect, those three bands are going to be much better equipped to deal with the load. That remains true if you’re going with wireless backhaul; the extra 5GHz band will come in handy when the nodes need to communicate with each other. Keep in mind that eero systems are compatible with each other, so you could start with an eero 6 Pro as your main hub and add some standard eero 6 extenders to reach the far corners of your home.
In any case, these mesh systems are on sale for a great price for Black Friday. If you’ve been waiting to upgrade your network with the Wi-Fi 6 standard and also want to eliminate dead spots, the eero 6 is a potent combination.
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