There was a time when most people only needed a modem and a computer to connect online. But as decades have passed, we’ve developed our entire lifestyles around the internet, introducing the concept of mobility with Wi-Fi along with stronger, better-optimized networks to support those needs.
Naturally, this has led us to the mesh network, a system of multiple routers that directs the wireless signals from one router to another until it reaches your cable modem. It sounds simple and fairly reliable, but there are three important factors for determining the quality of these networks: coverage, affordability, and ease-of-use.
Eero vs Google WiFi – Which is the Best?
Today, we’re going to compare the top dogs of the mesh market, Google WiFi and Eero, and see which is the superior product. Whether you’re a tech hobbyist or you’re in the market for a mesh network for yourself, you may be interested to see how these two stacks up.
When researching Eero and Google-WiFi mesh networks, one of the first things you’ll notice is the price tag. You’re going to be paying out a decent amount, either way, you slice it. Google has the cheapest starter offerings at just $129 for a single pack, which covers 1500 sq. ft., and $299 for their three-pack, which covers around 4500 sq. ft.
Keep in mind that the coverage may not be spot-on, as every home is different.
Eero, on the other hand, offers coverage of 2000 sq. ft. for $249 which includes the standard system and a network extender. For a whopping $549, you can extend your coverage to 5000 sq. ft. That bundle includes the standard system, two network extenders, an ARRIS cable modem, and 2 years of their Eero Plus subscription.
Eero Plus is a $10 a month subscription service that provides a suite of software services. You get 1Password, a password manager, Encrypt.me, a VPN service and MalwareBytes, an antivirus. You also get an ad blocker.
So, which is better? If your home is anywhere from 2000-3000 sq. ft., you definitely want to lean toward Google here. The value of $129 for 1500 sq. ft., a value that Eero doesn’t even offer, is one that’s hard to beat. Theoretically, you could buy two packs for $258 and get 3000 sq. ft. of coverage while Eero would charge you $9 less for 2000 sq. ft.
If you’re in that spending range, you may just want to dish out a little extra for Google’s three-pack at $299 for a full 4500 sq. ft. of coverage. Of course, Eero isn’t without some advantages. For users with decent credit who don’t want to pay any of these full amounts upfront, Eero offers an $18/month for 24 months price plan that includes a down payment.
Still, even with this considered, it’s hard to justify some of Eero’s prices from a coverage standpoint, especially when you consider that you could get beyond the 5000 sq. ft. coverage of their $549 package for just $428 with Google’s three-pack and an additional single pack. For Eero’s highest package, you’re essentially paying for the cable modem, whereas Google’s offerings are tailored around you using your own.
Ease of use
When it comes to the process of setting up these networks, Google and Eero aren’t entirely dissimilar. Both require an iOS or Android mobile device for their respective apps and run the user through a similar process of hooking up the router, scanning it, and labeling it to keep track of where it is.
For Google, you’ll run a typical router/modem setup, plugging the Google Wi-Fi router into your cable modem with an ethernet cord. From there, you sign in with the Google WiFi app (apple store) with a Google account, scan the router’s QR code, label the router by what room it’s In, and set up the WiFi network. It’s that easy.
Eero starts the same way: you download the app to your mobile device, but instead of signing in right away you’ll first enter the square feet and number of floors of your house. You’ll then create an Eero account, plug the WiFi router into the cable modem, register your device’s serial number with the app, label each of the routers, and set up the WiFi network.
Again, Google holds a few key advantages here. For starters, you probably have some sort of a Google account, more than likely for a Gmail address. This will let you skip past the registration process. You can also skip entering the total number of floors and square feet of your house, which some people will appreciate.
You also get Google’s network to assist feature, which automatically optimizes your router channels for you.
On the other hand, the two-year subscription to Eero’s software suite grants you access to internet security features such as website filtering and DNS filtering, which protects your personal information by blocking certain DNS queries. And while these features can also be obtained for free through open-source projects like Pi-Hole, Eero undoubtedly makes them more accessible to the average user.
Lastly, when choosing between these two, another thing to consider is the products you already have. Google WiFi will be more convenient for people who have Google Home because they’re both compatible, and Eero can be controlled by Alexa. Google also comes with its own security features, and unlike with Eero, they aren’t on a two-year trial. For ease-of-use, Google edges Eero out.
Performance (Google vs Eero Wifi)
Much like in the ease of use and value categories, Google and Eero are top-notch offerings that sport a few similarities. Both have two Gigabit Ethernet ports and support BeamForming, a technique that allows you to concentrate your WiFi signal in a single direction toward your devices, allowing for better connectivity.
But, at a certain point, the two offerings begin to diverge when you look into the technical details. For instance, both devices include 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands, but the Eero also includes a 5.8 GHz band. Much like the 5.0 GHz band, this is going to be a shorter-ranged, faster connectivity standard that’s made for gaming on Wi-Fi.
Don’t expect to see an overwhelming benefit performance-wise, though. There isn’t a lot of evidence to support that 5.8 GHz is a huge performance leap that should somehow set Google and Eero apart. You’re going to see the biggest benefit if you’re surrounded by a ton of online devices and deal with Wi-Fi interference because of it, as you’re less likely to run into other devices on a 5.8 GHz network.
This is canceled out by the fact that, in terms of raw performance, Eero falls short. The device only comes with 1 GB of flash memory and 512 MB of RAM, whereas Google wifi comes with 4 GB of flash memory and 512 MB of RAM. These performance metrics are important because having more flash memory allows a router to grow and expand its network more easily.
Once again, Google reigns supreme in the performance category.
It’s important to note that this verdict won’t apply to everyone. There are benefits of these packages that depend on elements specific to your lifestyle. Do you have a Google Home? Do you have an Echo speaker? How many square feet is your house? Do you already own a modem? Are you dealing with any sort of Wi-Fi interference?
Personally, I find it hard to justify what Eero offers. The gap between these two mesh networks isn’t considerably large but it exists. While the flexibility of Eero’s billing may be appealing to some, it’s hard to overlook the fact that Google is offering more coverage for less money while Eero is bogging down its packages with things that most people don’t need.
The software suite seems like a gimmick and charging for security features that could otherwise be obtained for free – on a two-year trial no less – is questionable. And just to reiterate the performance difference, your Google routers will come with 3 more GB of flash memory while the Eero may very well underperform due to its lack of beefiness in that department.
In conclusion, while the needs vary depending on the user, Google takes home the W in this head-to-head. You’re getting the most bang for your buck in terms of raw performance and ease of use. There are very few discernible reasons why one would pick the Eero when comparing these two in my opinion, and I say that as a consumer that strives for practicality and usefulness above all else.