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Eero: tiny devices that smother your house with Wi-Fi

Barry Collins
4 Feb 2015
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New devices combine router and network extender into a single, compact unit

A new start-up is promising to eradicate the problem of Wi-Fi deadspots with a series of small devices that you dot around the house. Dubbed Eero, the system combines Wi-Fi router and network extender into a single device - you simply drop another Eero box wherever reception drops off. 

The Eero device itself is tiny, roughly the size of an Apple TV or Sky Now TV box. It offers dual-band Wi-Fi and support for 802.11a/b/g/n/ac devices. There are no external antennas on the puck-shaped device, which is likely to limit its range, but given that it's an attractive unit, users are far more likely to be willing to leave it out on display in the centre of a room rather than tucked away in a corner.

Sold in packs of three, the Eero devices create a mesh network around the home. New devices can be easily added to the network using the accompanying smartphone app, with set-up completed within seconds via Bluetooth. The company claims you'll need one Eero units for every thousand square feet in your home.

The smartphone app isn't used only for set-up. It can be used to send guests a text message containing the network login information. If they have the Eero app installed themselves, you can simply invite them to join your Wi-Fi network without having to enter any login details. 

There are a couple of drawbacks. The units are so small that they only have space for two Gigabit Ethernet ports on the rear, which could be a problem for those who have multiple set-top boxes, consoles and other wired devices to connect. They're not cheap either - a set of three currently costs $299 (around £200), which would be enough to buy you a top-grade router and an extender or two. 

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The Eero is currently available for pre-order from the company's website, but the devices won't actually ship until the summer, and the company is currently only accepting orders in the US and Canada.