Amazon has announced that they will acquire mesh router company Eero to expand their smart home portfolio. Eero is best known for being the first to popularize mesh routers which use multiple access points, spread across your home, that work together to create a single WiFi network that typically provides better connectivity than a single router.
From the sound of things, it seems like Eero will continue to operate under their own brand, much like how Ring and Blink, which were both recently acquired by Amazon, have also continued to develop and release products. Eero Co-Founder and CEO Nick Weaver says “By joining the Amazon family, we’re excited to learn from and work closely with a team that is defining the future of the home, accelerate our mission, and bring eero systems to more customers around the globe.”
Eero’s only product is their series of mesh WiFi routers. While their product catalog is small, it certainly made a big splash when it debuted several years ago. Since then, most major network hardware manufacturers, as well as a few newcomers, have jumped on the mesh router revolution. Netgear, Linksys, Google, TP-Link, and Samsung all now have mesh routers that have undoubtedly been heavily influenced by Eero’s success.
It’s obviously too early to know how Amazon’s influence will affect Eero’s products. We could see Eero’s future routers serve double duty as far-field Alexa devices, or we could see the opposite, where Echo devices function as additional WiFi access points for an Eero network. Those two possibilities are likely in the distant future, if they do come to be. More immediately, we’ll probably see Eero’s routers become much more competitively priced. If the incredibly simple setup process between an Echo Plus and an Amazon Smart Plug is any indication, I also suspect that setting up smart home devices in the future, especially those compatible with Alexa, will become much easier if you have an Eero system in your home.
Who else is seeing a near future where Alexa speakers will double as your mesh network’s “multiple access points” ????
I’m seeing a future where there is a $400-$500 alexa speaker.
That would be sweet.
Sounds like an acquihire. Amazon may be more interested in the staff than the base product.
Routers by themselves aren’t a huge growth business. Unless they own some essential mesh routing patent being ripped off all over they’re more likely going to be assigned to designing new types of home automation products. Not necessarily Alexa-driven but alnost certain Alexa-compatible.
I don’t totally disagree however routers are becoming exceptionally important as entertainment moves to streaming. Try using an older router with some surveillance cameras, Alexas, laptops, streaming tv etc etc. The new ones if you get the right ones do a much better job but more will be required.
That said you are correct the staff may have been identified by Amazon as what they are looking for to get Amazon in the forefront of getting the internet to your devices. Perhaps even to make sure their own devices have some kind of advantage when using Amazon routers. Not for the actual devices they presently have.
Routers are important, yes.
But how much room is there for differentiation between brands?
Unless you want to bake in a proprietary protocol atop the industry standards interoperability limits how much the hardware can be tweaked.
There might be a case to be made for a next gen router/streamer combo using an alternate frequency or a streaming-optimized protocol but had better offer a truly significant advantage to fly. So far the vanilla industry standard seems adequate enough.
I was thinking that Amazon would integrate z-wave or zigbee radios into them to expand their smart home reach so one wouldn’t need multiple echo pluses..much like the samsung smartthings routers….
It will be interesting to see if the system becomes what I consider more affordable. The idea of mesh wireless sounds interesting, though I always go wired.
Given Amazon’s push to get more and more network based equipment in people’s homes, in some ways it does make sense.
ISPs have a reputation for providing poor equipment and they could integrate MESH into products such as the Echos.
Last year I had Wifi issues (both ISP and non-MESH third party WAPs) but I later switched to the BT whole home and while not perfect, it has solved most of my Wifi problems.
How effective are these type of devices? I realize everyone’s setup is different, but for me:
I have a 5 year old Actiontec router (it was top of the line in it’s day), I do have a fairly large home, the router is centrally located, & I have several wifi only streaming devices located throughout.
As a litmus test , I have streamed 3, 1080p movies, AT THE SAME TIME, without a single hiccup so would I really benefit from a mesh router setup?
The main benefit to mesh is reducing deadspots/low bandwidth areas.
If you don’t have these then I’d say no.