My Facebook feed is currently flooded with Eero ads for the new Eero Max 7, a Wi-Fi 7 compatible device to rival TP-Link’s Deco BE85 and Netgear’s Orbi 970 range. But is the Max 7 (and its competitors) any good – or are they a waste of money right now?
After all, the vast majority of household connected devices are still stuck on 5 GHz or even 2.4 GHz. Amazon (who own Eero) aren’t helping because they keep mass producing millions of Amazon Echo and Ring devices that are stuck on 2.4 GHz/5 GHz – with no WiFi 6 support in sight.
Plus most ISP’s are waaaay too slow, offering sub-gigabit speeds. So is there are benefit in buying the 10 gigabit-supporting Max 7 from Eero?
The short answer is YES: while it’s a really, really expensive product, it has some awesome new Qualcomm networking hardware and a larger antenna array – deliving longer Wi-Fi range and lower latencies.
I wrap up this video by discussing why I’m not personally upgrading my 4x Eero Pro 6 set-up just yet, though. I’ll probably wait another 4-5 years before upgrading.
If you prefer text over video, please read on for the guide/transcript version of this video.
Video Guide And Transcript
Hey everyone, I was recently browsing Facebook and I noticed adverts for the “all new Eero Max 7”, which is Eero’s first WiFi 7 compatible device:
It joins a small number of mesh WiFi competitors including the TP-Link Deco BE85 and the Netgear Orbi 970. This is great, right? WiFi 7 is HERE and all our devices will now SUDDENLY be twice as fast, right? Well, no. Nope. Nada. Most of my household devices are still stuck on 5 GHz – or even 2.4 GHz only. Even Amazon (who own Eero) keep mass producing millions of Ring and Echo devices that have no WiFi 6 or 7 support whatsoever. And pretty much no-one’s phones or TVs support WiFi 7 either. So, what gives – is the Eero Max 7 a massive waste of money?
Yes, yes it is. Thanks for watching this video. If you liked it, please…
[Edit cut screen]
Just kidding, sorta. In general, RIGHT NOW, buying the Eero Max 7 (or a similar WiFi 7 model) IS a waste of money for MOST people. But there are some benefits to the Max 7, so let’s explore those.
Eero Max 7 Overview & Benefits
Firstly, the Eero Max 7 has a max speed of almost 10 gigabits per second when wired, or 4.3 gigabits per second in wireless mode. That’s pretty awesome.
While WiFi 6 does – in theory – support these speeds, IN REALITY most previous Eero devices struggled to even hit gigabit speeds. The Max 7 also supports multi-gigabit backhaul meaning that when you plug them all in via Ethernet, you won’t be limited to sub-gigabit speeds in other areas of your home. This is achieved by the Max 7 offering four Ethernet ports – two are 10 gig, and the other two are 2.5 gig. That’s quite a nice benefit because SO MANY routers and mesh WiFi points are still stuck offering gigabit ports only.
Of course, there is a big downside here. ISPs. Most internet providers are still only offering sub-gigabit speeds. That’s certainly true here in the UK, and it’s generally true in large parts of America too. So if external internet connection is capped to a gigabit or less, you don’t really NEED the Max 7.
But would there be ANY benefit to buying the Max 7 in this case? Well yes, actually. The Max 7 isn’t just a minor upgrade: it features powerful Qualcomm networking hardware and also has a larger antenna array:
This all means that the Eero Max 7 actually supports a wider range within the five and six gigahertz spectrums. This might not sound like much, but in practice WiFi signals on the Max 7 should have improved wall penetration – delivering a longer and more stable Wi-Fi signal to your wireless devices.
Indeed, the range of the Max 7 is over 230 square metres per unit, which is pretty impressive. The improved hardware inside the Max 7 should also deliver lower latency – noticeably so in some cases – which is increasingly important for video conferencing y’know, along with gaming of course. Quite a few early reviews have found this to be the case for them, which is reassuring – although one guy made the same comment in various Facebook threads and Amazon reviews, which is a little bit suspect:
4 Reasons Why I’m Not Upgrading Yet
But moving on, there are four reasons why I’m not upgrading from my Eero Pro 6 set-up just yet. Firstly, the WiFi 7 standard is still very new and it hasn’t even been fully ratified yet. I mean, the spec is unlikely to change in a way that makes the Max 7 redundant, of course, but it all feels a little TOO early for me right now.
Secondly, there are some early adopter niggles. The Max 7 firmware is a bit more buggy than the Eero 6 and 6e firmware, with various compatibility issues reported. Plus Eero ships this REALLY EXPENSIVE device with a 45 watt power supply. Apparently this isn’t always powerful enough, so users have then had to purchase their own 65 watt USB power supply to see increased performance – which they shouldn’t really have to do.
Thirdly, the price. Gosh. I mean, I get it. The Max 7 is Eero saying “hey look, we’re a cutting edge tech company” but £600 (or $600) per unit is a LOT. If you want WiFi outside, you’ll probably need to buy more than one – and immediately you’re paying over a thousand pounds (or dollars). Yikes. If WiFi 7 devices were widespread and I had a 10 gig internet connection, I MIGHT buy the Max 7 – when it’s on sale! But I personally have no need to buy it right now.
I AM looking forward to WiFi 7 though, and Multi-Link Operation looks really promising. This is a bit like HTTP 2’s stream multiplexing which really improved website speeds all around the internet. Actually, technically it’s different because stream multiplexing involves a single TCP port per website – whereas MLO actually establishes multiple WiFi band connections per devices then allows “mixing and matching” for the best traffic delivery. But the end result is the same for both: introducing a multi lane “highway” will always result in faster and more reliable real world performance.
And that just about wraps up today’s video. If I was suddenly rich and looking to buy a mesh WiFi system, the Max 7 would make sense. But I don’t personally understand people saying “I had an Eero 6e system and it was SLOW, but the Max 7 is resulting in much better speeds”:
Like, really? You had an expensive system already and it wasn’t working too well, so why upgrade with the same company? It’s more likely that you had a problem with your networking set up, in my opinion.
Anywhoo, if you have the money then MAYBE buying the Max 7 makes sense – especially if you use WiFi 6 a lot, and you already own a couple of WiFi 7 devices. You’re THEN investing in your home’s networking future. But in all other cases, buy a cheap Eero 6 system and relax: you’ll be fine for 5 or even 10 years! Disagree with me though? Please let me know down in the comments. I hope you enjoyed this video. If you did, please click the thumbs up button. Please also subscribe to my channel if you haven’t already. Thank you!