During CES (Consumer Electronics Show) 2017, there were a lot of great new technologies shown. It’s one of my favorite technology based shows around the world, because it gives companies a chance to show off some great new tech. Plus, it’s tech that may be brand new, prototype, hype-only, or an old product revised.
While TVs, once again, were the main attraction, consumer drones and smaller tech gadgets were a popular sight to see. One thing I noticed was that it seems as if everybody out there is looking to capture the smart home market and offer even more helpful tech tools for the home.
Amazon Echo was the leader in this smart home market as it provided millions with a personal assistant right in the home. Then Google caught on and others quickly followed. With personal assistants, color-changing smart light bulbs, and automatic garage door openers, the future smart home, as predicted by some TV shows may be here sooner than we think.
There is one slight issue about the futuristic home and that is, how do you get all of these devices connected and talking to each other? While it’s not recommended, many of us use the provided internet service provider router which is mediocre at best. What we really need is a system that can handle all of our smart devices while also providing our primary PCs and phones with the fastest internet possible.
Back in August of 2016, I reviewed a new type of networking system. Known as eero, it was a home network mesh that didn’t rely on one centrally located router, but instead provided multiple ones around the home for an entire-home internet connection.
The company’s quick success has propelled them into the market with one of the best home networking solutions out there. Following their success, Google announced, just a few months later, that they too will be releasing a very similar home networking solution.
Now with two major companies butting heads on which networking solution is best, a third party entered the mix. One of the best names in networking, Linksys, announced at CES that they too will be soon offering a whole-home networking solution.
It’s the new wave of home networking. Instead of having one central router which needs to do all the processing work and can sometimes have dead zones, eero and others have created a system that works as a mesh. By having multiple access points around the house, you can walk around a home with ease and never drop the internet signal.
Following their newly created competition, it’s becoming difficult for eero to standout within the market. Therefore, to fight back, eero recently announced a version 2.0 for their systems which I will be taking a brief look at, because after a few months with this system, it’s a system that just works and it’s something that others should seriously consider.
For a full review of the eero system, I’d recommend looking at my review on it, but the version 2.0 brings a redesigned smartphone application which simplifies things even further. Eero is a system that is meant to be used by everybody, regardless of a technology background. Therefore, by simplifying the application even further, it helps people navigate around the system more easily.
The new app is packaged with some new tools as well. Now, it’s possible to see which device is connected to which eero unit and how it’s connected. For example, my desktop shows that it is hardwired to eero 2, while my smartphone is running wirelessly to eero 1 via a 2.4GHz band. Not only is this intriguing, but it’s also helpful when trying to diagnose a problem in the network.
There are a few other smaller inclusions as well. Eeros can now have their LED status light turned off for the night and existing tools, like Family Profiles, have been refined. Not just the smartphone was updated in this latest patch, the eeros themselves received a massive improvement as well.
Known as TrueMesh, this is eeros next generation technology that helps eeros become faster and more reliable. If they weren’t smart enough already, they are becoming even smarter with TrueMesh. The wireless mesh technology that allows eeros to talk to one another became a smoother operation.
Plus, TrueMesh allows eeros to talk to each other through a hardwire connection that increases the performance and response time on a local network. In my view of TrueMesh, it has helped speed up LAN speeds while also doing a great job at managing the multiple devices for the network.
Here is something else that I noticed while using TrueMesh. I have a desktop PC connected to the switch within the office. Also connected to that switch is the primary eero (unit 1) that connects to the modem and the secondary eero (unit 2). Strangely, eero chose to send the network traffic from the switch to eero unit 2 then back to eero unit 1. It was as if it wanted to offload the processing power to an eero unit that was not in use.
Lastly, within this update, eero now allows Amazon Echo users to control the network with their voice. By speaking to Alexa, users can turn on a family profile, check network speeds, or even turn off a status LED.
All of these updates are fantastic and they’ve really added some great functionality to eero, however, the main reason I wanted to write this article is because of a short story I wanted to share about eero.
This version 2.0 release has been out for a few months now and I have been waiting patiently for it to automatically update my network. After a while, it wouldn’t update, telling me that my network was already up-to-date.
So, I figured it was time to give eero customer support a call. I decided to call on a Tuesday night at 9:00 PM, and, to my surprise, a man in Austin, TX by the name of Ean picked up the phone to assist me.
To make a long story short, this phone call was one of the best customer support calls I have ever experienced. Ean was a fantastic help and understood my problem perfectly. I didn’t need to struggle with a person who didn’t speak English, I didn’t need to explain my problem in great detail, I wasn’t angry while on the phone. It was one of the smoothest conversations I’ve ever had for customer support.
After a brief 30-minute phone call which included troubleshooting, my eero system was automatically updated right then and there and I was a very happy customer in the end. I’ve been loving the eero system, a system that just works and could not possibly get any better. Then, Ean works his hardest to somehow make it an even better experience.
If there’s anything taken from this mini-spotlight article, I’d advise that if you are looking for a network upgrade and don’t want to worry about networking whatsoever, then I wouldn’t recommend anything else.
© 2017 Justin Vendette
Tagged 2.0., 2.1, Amazon, blog, Echo, Eero, google, Home, internet, mesh, network, review, Tru, True, TrueMesh, update, wireless.