Linksys, D-Link, Netgear and Belkin are quite few popular Wi-Fi router brands that are popularly used around the world. Despite the brands the consumers use, it is quite a task to set up wireless internet at home. Choosing from the wide range of Wi-Fi routers available and making sensing out of it is time-consuming. Followed by the installation, there comes the setting up of new admin password to prevent your network being used by unknown people or being hacked. After everything is done, one would realize the no-range in couple of areas because of thick walls. Ugly Wi-Fi extenders would then be required to access the dead zones. Troubles are endless.
Eero is now here to put an end to the constant woes of the customers. The new startup aims to simplify the whole process that revolves around installing and using of Wi-Fi router. Eero routers are not only affordable but a smart wireless networking system that allows 4K streaming. This smart router is meant for the world where dozens and dozens of devices and smart appliances are simultaneously depending on the Wi-Fi network to function effectively throughout the day.
Not only does Eero works smart but also look smart and sleek in white. Gone are the days when one has to hide the routers behind the shelf or beneath the cot, with the new Eero, one would want to flaunt it by displaying it in open.
Though the whole concept sounds unlikely, Eero has some good high credentials working on the background. Among the bunch of advisors is former Apple exec and Palm CEO Jon Rubinstein. The creative mind behind the Eero’s aesthetic and appealing design is Fred Bould, who designed Nest Thermostat and smoke detector and the GoPro Hero3, is also part of the advisors team. Eero founding team members – Nick Weaver, Amos Schallich and Nate Hardison – have a very strong background in networking and are graduates from Stanford University. Most of the employees are ex-employees of Google and the giant mesh networking company, Silver Spring.
Eero’s hardware looks amazing for its beautiful networking system. It’s dimensions are 4.75×4.75×0.85 to 1.26 inches which is not only elegant small footprint but also has a high-gloss plastic curve on the top. Internally, it has a 1GHz dual-core processor, 512 MB of RAM, 1 GB of flash storage, dual Wi-Fi radios for simultaneous 2.4GHz and 5GHZ connections and support for 802.11a/b/g/n/ac. It also has in-built Bluetooth 4.0, that lets one sync with mobile app for quicker and easier configuration.
Getting started with Eero is quite simple. Once Eero is connected to a cable or DSL modem, the router uses its Bluetooth feature to pair with the user’s smartphone and the whole set-up process does not take more than 5 minutes. After a device is connected, users need only plug-in another Eero router and it will connect and control the network automatically. The smart router assists with common tasks like port forwarding, and even lets tinkerers wipe out its default firmware in favor of popular open-source options on the web.
The company provides a smartphone app which intelligently senses the dead zones/weak signal areas in the house and asks the user the place the other two boxes accordingly. The users work ends with creating a username for the network and the rest is left to the router. Each router box connects itself with the cloud to automatically download and install security updates. The network checks it performance by running its own speed test. It notifies the user through phone when an issue is detected. It also tries to automatically reboot the system to fix the errors.
The Eero team pooled in $5 million as fund led by First Round Capital to develop and launch the router in the market. Stanford’s StartX venture fund, Menlo Ventures, AME Cloud Ventures, Homebrew Ventures and Trae Vassallo are few other important investors.
The smart router is not officially launched in the market but is open to pre-order. The price for single device is $125, while the set of three is priced $299. But the prices would not be same forever – the final retail price would be $199 per piece and $499 for the set of three. It does sound a little pricey, but in the exchange for money, Eero promises it will deliver a mesh network that covers every corner of every room with its strong connectivity. It also claims to outperform any router from Apple, Asus or other companies. However, in reality the user users would require more than one piece and purchasing all three would certainly prove expensive than Netgear box. Or, people may buy Apple AirPort Extreme or AirPort Express which costs the same and backed up proven experience and reputation.
Though Wi-Fi is already the life-blood and oxygen to almost everything one does at home, Eero as a hero standing up to companies that have been in the field for long is still a question. Let’s wait to see if it is able to deliver on the lofty ambitions after it hits the market and become a hero in the market.