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Extending WiFi Coverage with the eero WiFi Extender

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Devices! Devices! Devices! Our busy family of 5 seem to always have lots of devices running on our WiFi. Plus, we have recently moved to a bigger home with a basement and upstairs and want to make sure that we are covered everywhere in our home – including the outside. 

And, when you have kids and devices, you also need to set up boundaries as to the amount of usage for those devices and when they can be used. We need a WiFi extender for our new house!

We have found that the eero has helped us to solve all of those issues plus more. About a year ago, Well Connected Mom reviewed a WiFi system for the home, eero, that gave you many capabilities with an app.  It was a system that worked great for our family. 

Since then, eero has come out with their 2nd generation model, also with a WiFi extender. The eero (2nd-generation) has the same elegant design and footprint as eero (1st-generation), but is more than twice as powerful. In additon, they have also introduced the eero Beacon WiFi extender which is half the size, but even more powerful than eero (1st generation). 

With eero WiFi extender Beacon, simply plug the unit into a wall outlet to easily expand coverage in the home – no more cords! Perfect for areas such as hallways, stairs and other places where it is not very convenient to set the eero somewhere.

After trying out the 2nd generation eero as well as two eero Beacons, we are loving the improvements that have been made. 

 

Set-Up

Set-up seemed to be even easier this time than last time. Simply use the eero app (available on both Google Play and iOS) that walks you through the entire process. The system that we tried out included one 2nd generation eero as well as two eero WiFi extdner Beacons. You begin by plugging the 2nd generation eero into your existing modem. From there you can begin placing your additional eeros or eero Beacons throughout the house. 

One new feature on the app is that once you plug in each device, it will test to make sure that it can connect to the original device. If it can’t, the app will help you with placement to ensure that all the eeros are connected to each other and giving you the best coverage possible. 

 

The eero App

The eero App keeps getting better. It seems to me that eero as a company that has done a great job gleaning input from their customers and have made improvements accordingly.

When you first open the app, it will tell you if it sees any problems. It will also show you how many devices are connected and the eeros you have connected. At the bottom of the screen it gives you your Internet speeds. 

 

Parental Controls

As far as the connected devices go, you can click on each individual device. The screen will show you the top devices by usage. From there you can block a specific device from the network. This is great for kids. If I have a child that needs a time-out from a device, it is as simple as hitting “Block From Network“.

In addition to blocking an individual device, you can also create family profiles. One for each person. You can create scheduled pauses that will disable the WiFi from all the devices that are assigned to that specific person’s profile.

 

eero Plus

Want even more capabilities as well as safety options for your family? There is now eero Plus App which is a subscription service that provides an extra level of security to your network. For a monthly charge of $9.99 or a yearly charge of $99 you get:

  • Advanced Network Security which protects the devices on your network from potential viruses, malware, phishing attacks, and more. Before anything malicious can happen to you or others, eero Plus will catch these attacks so that your devices stay protected.
  • SafeSearch, when turned on, the devices associated with that profile will filter out any potentially inappropriate search results for websites, images, or YouTube.
  • Content Filtering which allows network admins to have 3 filtering options that you can enable for each device connected to a Family Profile. These options include:
    • Sexually Explicit: eero will filter out any online content that includes adult material, adult themes, nudity, pornography, and anything else that is deemed sexually explicit.
    • Illegal or Criminal: eero will filter out any online content that is themed around hacking, drugs, copyright infringement, or the like.
    • Violence: eero will filter out any content that is related to guns, fighting, other similar content.

The eero Plus will only let you load a site if it passes inspection. Devices are blocked from loading any site that contains harmful content.

 

In addition, each week, you receive an email update that tells you your eero Plus week in review. It will give a security report. It shows you the requests that are made each time you visit a site. 

 

Last week, we had 167 threats blocked from our outbound network traffic including Malware and Spyware. It also blocks Phishing and Botnet which our network did not have this week.

The email also includes an article that keeps you informed on internet security issues. This week’s article was “How to Avoid Phishing Attacks”.

It is important to note that while using eero Plus adds security enhancements to your network, not using it won’t make your network unsecured. The eero was designed with security in mind, and will always provide features and updates to keep your network safe.

The eero Plus is just that extra assurance – knowing that you are protected from harmful threats and that you are able to filter content that is inappropriate for your kids. 

 

WiFi Extender – The eero Beacon

One of my favorite improvements is the eero Beacon. Before we received the 2nd generation eero and two Beacons, I had set up our 1st generation eero in our new home. I wanted one of the eeros at the top of our stairs to give us better coverage upstairs.

Immediately I realized that I had no place to set the eero on and had an ugly chord hanging from the stairway. I did my best to hide it but it was not great. 

 

The WiFi Extender Beacon solves this problem. It plugs directly into your outlet and is about half the size of the regular eero. A bonus feature is that it has a night light which is perfect for the hallway. 

 

The main difference between eero and eero Beacon is that the Beacon has no ports. You need to start your network with an eero as it has two available Ethernet ports. While this is necessary for starting your network, it isn’t a requirement for adding additional eeros. 

Another key difference between eero and eero Beacon relates to their radios. The eero Beacon is a dual-band device, meaning it has one 2.4 Ghz and one 5.2 Ghz radio. The eero (2nd generation) has three radios, including a 2.4, 5.2, and 5.8 Ghz radio. This means the 2nd-generation eero offers even greater performance and stability. 

 

Features:

  • TrueMesh software that learns your home and optimizes your devices 
  • One network, one password – all controlled by the eero app
  • Tri-band radios (2.4GHz, 5.2GHz and 5.8GHz) for the eero, Dual-band radios (2.4GHz and 5GHz) for the eero Beacon
  • Security with WPA2 encryption
  • Parental controls with Family Profiles
  • eero Beacon has a built-in night light which works great in hallways, kitchens, etc.
  • Automatic software updates that give you the latest features and security

 

Pros:

  • Multiple options to choose from that best suit your home set-up (eero or the eero Beacon)
  • eero Plus app – appreciate the SafeSearch and Content Filtering
  • Full coverage for any home – expand your WiFi coverage by adding as many eeros and eero Beacons as you need
  • Nightlight on the eero Beacon is a nice touch – works great at the top of our stairway

 

Cons:

  • It is unfortunate that the eero Plus app has a monthly charge attached to it
  • Only Dual-band radio on the eero Beacon

 

The eero is available for purchase at their website with several options to pick from ranging from a single eero or eero Beacon for $149 to a set-up for a medium sized home for $399 as well as a Pro WiFi system for the larger home for $499.

No matter what you need, there is a perfect option just for you. At the time of this writing, the mid-range option was also available on Amazon for $349.99 with free shipping. The Pro WiFi system was available on Amazon for $473.95 with free shipping.

 

WellConnectedMom.com

A Mom’s Perspective

After having reviewed the first generation of eero, I was sold on the product. Now, getting the opportunity to try out the second generation of eero as well as the eero Beacon, I can tell that eero is definitely listening to their customers and making improvements. 

The second generation eero is even better! And, I appreciate that it is completely compatible with the first generation. So, if you are looking to expand your system and already have first generation eeros, you do not need to start completely over. 

The eero Beacon WiFi extender is a great addition to the eero family. No more ugly cords hanging in awkward places! They make it much easier to place the devices in the best place to get full coverage. 

The app is user-friendly and has great features. I especially appreciate that I can create profiles for each of my kids and control when they are able to use their devices whether it be a one time pause or a daily turn off at a certain time of the day.

The addition of the eero Plus app gives you even more capability and safety. SafeSearch and Content Filtering are must haves when you have kids that are using apps like YouTube and are searching the web. 

 

 

* I was given an eero Home WiFi System (1 eero and 2 eero Beacons) for my honest review. All opinions are my own. 



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