My three-node Eero Pro 6E Wi-Fi mesh system arrived today. This kind of a rip and replace operation is always a little dicey, and so the first thing I did was ask my wife, “how badly do you need to be online today?”
Sign up for our new free newsletter to get three time-saving tips each Friday — and get free copies of Paul Thurrott's Windows 11 and Windows 10 Field Guides (normally $9.99) as a special welcome gift!
"*" indicates required fields
She had an important call at 2:00 pm. It was 12:30 pm, so I looked at my watch dramatically. “We should just make it,” I said.
I was kidding … sort of. In an ideal situation, removing all four of my Google Wifi nodes and replacing them with the three Eero Pro 6Es should have taken less than 30 minutes, based on literally nothing but my imagination. But I knew that these things rarely go as easily as advertised. And even though I had researched the process for moving my Sonos gear onto a new Wi-Fi network, I figured that would be especially problematic.
And so I dove in. The instructions were simple enough: Download the Eero mobile app from the app store, unplug the ISP’s router, and then follow the instructions. I did so, and also unplugged the Google Wifi node that connected to the router. And … It mostly happened on cue. It took the first router a while to come up, but it finally connected, and so I created my new Wi-Fi network.
A word about that.
When we lived in Dedham, our Wi-Fi network was of course named thurrott. And when we bought the home here in Pennsylvania, I had the Internet connection set up here before we moved, and I installed the original three-node Google Wifi mesh system here the same week. I named that network thurrott-emmaus because that was the name of our new mailing address. (We actually live in Lower Macungie, but … forget it. It’s a Pennsylvania thing.) And I figured I’d rename it to just thurrott when we moved. But I never did.
When we bought the apartment in Mexico City this year, I likewise had an Internet connection set up there. For now, I’m just using the ISP’s crappy router for Wi-Fi, but I named that network … thurrott. Because I was tired of the longer name in PA and I knew that duplicate names don’t actually matter. And so when I set up the new Wi-Fi network on the Eero, I named it thurrott. It only took five years.
Anyway. From there, the setup progressed much as it had with the Google Wifi five years ago: plug in each of the additional nodes one at a time, configure it using the app, and then repeat. In each case, I was told that the separation and signal were great, and after installing the requisite software update, I started testing Wi-Fi speeds around the house.
They are, in a word, fantastic … given what we have to work with. We supposedly have a 400/40 Mbps connection here thanks to Astound/RCN, the most horrible ISP I’ve ever dealt with. And I can exceed those speeds, which is fun, near the routers. But in the far corners of the house—out in the sunroom, in the far corner of the home office in the basement, and in the furthest bedroom upstairs, the speeds are still terrific. I think the slowest I saw was 200 over 20 Mbps.
With the basics out of the way, I had my wife get online with her laptop, no issues there. I ensured my own laptop and Xbox were connected, again, no issues. (OK, I may have done a quick Call of Duty test too. For science.) My wife’s phone and my iPhone both auto-connected to the network—interesting, but I’m sure related to using the same name and password here and in Mexico City—and so I started looking at the more complicated devices.
The first was the two Google smart displays, one in the kitchen and one in my wife’s office. Here, I’ve had mixed results. The kitchen display came right up once I told it about the new Wi-Fi network, but my wife’s display still won’t connect, and I have no idea why. I may need to factory reset it. But I had bigger fish to fry first.
I love Sonos. But I have had no end of technical issues with Sonos, and I cannot stand its terrible app. But in I went, determined to get all of my many Sonos devices up and running. And not just up and running but up and running on SonosNet, the special network that was created by adding a Sonos Boost to get the speakers off the congestion of the main Wi-Fi network.
Here, too, I had mixed results.
It’s not worth describing how terrible the app is, or how much more complicated it is getting this stuff moved over than the Sonos support page describes. But the short version is that I manually added three of the speakers to the new network and the rest followed. So that’s nice, they’re all online and working. Less nice: my SonosNet is no longer working, so they’re all on the regular Wi-Fi. I’ve done nothing to troubleshoot this yet: all I did was plug the Sonos Boost into the Eero node in the kitchen (as I had done before with Google Wifi). I’ll get to that.
Everything I described above took about an hour. Not bad, and as I type this, my wife is on that important call, so that seems to be going well.
This weekend, I’ll look at SonosNet. And I’ll look at my wife’s smart display. There’s always something.
Something for tomorrow. Today, I’m just happy about the speeds and that most things just work. Given all the technical issues I have, this one is a win, so far.