Google Wifi vs. Eero: Which should you buy?

By | 11th September 2018

We're a virtual company made up of tech experts from across the globe. The majority of our work is also done from a home office, where great Wi-Fi is a must. We've tried all these products and know what works best.

Google Wifi

The name you know

$257 at Amazon

Pros

  • Whole-house coverage
  • Easy setup
  • Inexpensive
  • App-based administration
  • Secure

Cons

  • Google collects data
  • Can't change settings when the internet is down
  • No dedicated wireless backhaul
  • Large satellites

Google Wifi is simple to use, easy to set up, and inexpensive; you can even run a cable to a switch should you need to do it. On the downside, there's no dedicated channel for backhaul and Google does collect some data about how the product is being used.

eero Home

Fits anywhere

$399 at Amazon

Pros

  • Whole-house coverage
  • Easy setup
  • Small satellites
  • Thread support
  • Secure

Cons

  • Beacons not Tri-band
  • Short range
  • Beacons have no ports
  • No backhaul channel on beacons

An eero mesh system is simple to install and set up with beacons that plug directly into a wall outlet and fit anywhere. But the Home version doesn't offer much more performance gain over Google Wifi while costing more.

Both Google Wifi and eero Home are excellent entry-level mesh Wi-Fi systems and each delivers on their main promise — better Wi-Fi throughout your home. If you're vested in the Google ecosystem you can save a few dollars and get the Google Wifi, but if you want better internet-of-things support, eero offers dedicated Thread (IEEE 802.15.4) connectivity out of the box.

The need to know details

Internally, the Google Wifi units and eero Home base have the same hardware. The quad-core ARM CPU and 512MB of RAM don't seem like much, but it's more than sufficient to keep your Wi-Fi network running smoothly and send the information where it needs to go. The biggest differences are in the radio support, and that the eero Home system uses receptacle-mounted beacons instead of multiple base stations.

Both systems are "prosumer" devices — designed and marketed to the average household with an eye towards the tech-lover. They offer all the basic networking control you'd need for your home network and have additions like access control, easy to share passwords, guest networks, and device prioritization and pausing. You won't have much trouble with Netflix buffering or gaming lag provided you have enough units and place them appropriately.

The eero beacons are smaller and easier to place but lack ethernet ports. This can be a downside if you need to connect something like a Philips Hue hub or network switch for your home theater, but most users won't need them or care. If you do need ports the eero Pro system retails for $497 for a 3-pack of eero base stations and offers better network speeds with full triband wireless and wireless backhaul.

Google Wifieero Home
WirelessAC1200 2X2
2.4GHz and 5Ghz dual band
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
TX Beamforming
Bluetooth Smart
2X2 MU-MIMO
2.4GHz, 5Ghz, 5.8GHz triband (base station)
2.4GHz and 5Ghz dual band (beacons)
802.11a/b/g/n/ac
TX Beamforming
Bluetooth 4.2
Thread 1.1 support
Ports2 Gigabit Ethernet ports per unit2 Gigabit Ethernet ports on base station only
SecurityWPA2-PSK
Automatic updates
Infineon SLB 9615 TPM
WPA2-PSK
Automatic updates
ProcessorQuad-core ARM CPU at 710MHzQuad-core ARM CPU at 700MHz (base station)
Memory512MB RAM512MB RAM (base station)
Dimensions4.17 x 2.7 inches (diameter x height)4.76 x 4.76 x 1.26 inches (base station)
4.76 x 2.91 x 1.18 inches (beacons)
FeaturesNetwork check
Family Wi-Fi
Guest network
Basic smart hub integration
Prioritize, group, and pause devices
Family profiles
Access control
Guest network
Prioritize and pause devices

You can't go wrong with either option

Each system comes highly recommended; you can't go wrong here and we can't stress that enough.

Google Wifi costs a bit less for a three pack, but you may find that it also offers better coverage than an eero since each Google Wifi unit is essentially a base station and covers more airspace. The addition of Ethernet ports on every piece makes connecting to smart hubs or other devices easy. It also facilitates a way to use a cable to extend the network or act as wired backhaul. It's not tri-band like the eero base station, so if you need the extra connectivity than what 5.8GHz offers, you'll need to look at eero.

The eero Home 3-pack is simple to set up and the beacons will fit into places where a Google Wifi won't because they mount directly into a wall plug. The range of an individual beacon isn't as good as other products, but the ease of adding another makes up for it. Thread networking is supported out of the box, a trend that's catching on with companies like Nest and Apple. An eero beacon doesn't have any Ethernet ports, but it also doesn't have Google collecting any data (read about that here) if that's a concern.

If you need to cover a large area you'll appreciate eero Home's almost endless expansion as adding beacons is simple and they fit everywhere. We can't pick one over the other in this case, and can easily recommend either for most people. If you have special considerations you'll need to decide which works best for you.

Google Wifi is the simplest choice to make

If you don't have any equipment that needs 5.8GHz wireless and lives in an average to large home, Google Wifi is the simplest choice. It costs less compared to the eero Home and works great. As a plus, each unit has the required ports for a wired-backhaul setup or to connect other devices with a CAT6 cable.

Google Wifi

Inexpensive and works great

$257 at Amazon

The simple solution from a name you already know.

Google Wifi is a great product for almost every home. It doesn't offer the better speeds you see from a mesh system with wireless backhaul and tri-band radios, but most users will never notice and even stressful applications like Netflix binging work great.

The eero gives you more flexibility at a higher price

If you need to cover a large area you'll appreciate eero Home's almost endless expansion as adding beacons is simple and they fit everywhere. As a plus working Thread support means you're ready for the next wave of IoT devices.

eero Home

Fits everywhere

A more flexible solution from wireless mesh pioneers.

$399 at Amazon

An eero Home system is also perfect for most homes. The beacons are small and plug directly into a wall socket for easy placement, and what they lack in range they make up for by being so easy to add more.