What you need to know
- Amazon will deliver a software update in the coming months that will allow Eero routers to use an Internet connection from the mobile hotspot on your phone as a backup.
- Eero Internet Backup will be useful when your main ISP fails. You'll be able to tap into your mobile carrier's data network when the DSL, cable, or fiber service goes down.
- The service will be available to existing Eero routers, so a hardware upgrade won't be necessary.
- The downside is that the service will only be available through Eero's optional subscription service, so you'll have to pay to utilize Eero Internet Backup.
- Amazon is also expanding its hardware lineup with new Eero devices made for SMBs and A/V use.
As part of its fall devices showcase, Amazon introduced a notable update to its Eero mesh networking router series that will enhance the Internet experience for users. Through a software update, Eero mesh wireless devices will gain the ability to connect to your smartphone's mobile hotspot to ensure that you don't lose Internet connectivity when your cable, DSL, or fiber service goes down through a feature called Eero Internet Backup.
"Internet outages are frustrating when they happen, and are even more disruptive as we continue to work, learn, watch, and play games from home," the company wrote in a blog post describing the new feature. "That’s why we’re introducing Eero Internet Backup, which lets you wirelessly connect your Eero network to a backup internet source, like a mobile phone hotspot."
With Eero Internet Backup, you can configure the mesh network to connect to any one of up to eight nearby mobile hotspots or Wi-Fi networks as a backup to your main home network. If your ISP signal goes down, Eero will tap your mobile phone's hotspot, for example, and keep you connected to your favorite video streams, downloads, and work.
While existing Eero owners, like those using the Eero Pro, won't have to upgrade their hardware to take advantage of Eero Internet Backup, the biggest downside with this latest update is the feature will be paywalled.
Though Eero devices are ready to be used out of the box, Amazon offers a suite of additional features, including access to password managers, VPNs, and anti-virus tools, through an optional subscription plan that extends that adds additional features to the router. Eero Internet Backup will only be available to those subscribing to Eero Plus.
"Eero Internet Backup will be available in the coming months to all Eero Plus subscribers and select ISP customers," Amazon stated. "With Eero Plus, we’re simplifying our subscriptions for our retail customers and moving to only offering Eero Plus, formerly known as Eero Secure+. Eero Plus includes all the same features our customers know and love from Eero Secure+, like advanced parental controls, network insights, and Dynamic Domain Name System (DDNS), as well as access to three top-rated security apps: Malwarebytes, 1Password, and Encrypt.me. It also adds the benefits of Eero Internet Backup, to deliver a comprehensive wifi solution. Learn more about the rebrand to eero Plus."
While the feature definitely extends the usefulness of Eero during an ISP service disruption, it doesn't go as far as what rival Netgear has done with some of its Orbi mesh router models. In addition to being able to connect to traditional ISP networks, like fiber or cable service, a few of the Orbi models come with 4G LTE or 5G radios that allow them to tap mobile cellular data networks as well, like a traditional mobile hotspot. Eero's hardware to date do not come with the built in cellular modems and instead will rely on a nearby smartphone to handle the heavy mobile data lifting.
During the same media event, Amazon also announced new Eero devices that are aimed more towards small businesses. The new Eero mesh router and gateway both support power over Ethernet (PoE) capabilities. The new Eero PoE 6 is a Wi-Fi mesh router that can be wall or ceiling mounted, while the new Gateway supports 2 x 10 gigabit ethernet and 8 x 2.5 PoE-enabled gigabit ethernet interfaces.
“At Eero, we started with a vision of bringing simple, reliable, and fast Wi-Fi to customers across the globe, and now our wifi solutions are in millions of homes around the world,” said Nick Weaver, co-founder and CEO of Eero. “As we look for ways to continue to solve challenges for new types of customers, we’re thrilled to expand our offerings to professional installers and small businesses with these new PoE products and services.”
Amazon stated that the Eero PoE 6 can cover up to 2,000 square feet of space and allow more than 100 devices to connect. The mesh router retails for $299, while the Eero PoE Gateway will sell for $649.
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Chuong's passion for gadgets began with the humble PDA. Since then, he has covered a range of consumer and enterprise devices, raning from smartphones to tablets, laptops to desktops and everything in between for publications like Pocketnow, Digital Trends, Wareable, Paste Magazine, and TechRadar in the past before joining the awesome team at Windows Central. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, when not working, he likes exploring the diverse and eclectic food scene, taking short jaunts to wine country, soaking in the sun along California's coast, consuming news, and finding new hiking trails.
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