Amazon has announced that it’s acquiring Eero, the maker of mesh home routers. Amazon says buying Eero will allow the company to “help customers better connect smart home devices.” It will certainly make Alexa-compatible gadgets easier to set up if Amazon also controls the router technology. Financial terms of the deal are not being disclosed.
“We are incredibly impressed with the Eero team and how quickly they invented a WiFi solution that makes connected devices just work,” Dave Limp, Amazon’s SVP of devices, said. “We have a shared vision that the smart home experience can get even easier, and we’re committed to continue innovating on behalf of customers.”
Eero kicked off a wave of “smart” mesh router setups designed to overcome the coverage issues and dead zones of traditional routers. Instead of a single router device, multiple access points are used to blanket an entire home or apartment with a strong Wi-Fi signal. The system works as advertised, and it’s all controlled with an intuitive smartphone app. Google, Samsung, Linksys, Netgear, and other electronics companies have since followed Eero’s lead and released their own mesh bundles. Eero also offers a paid $99/year service called Eero Plus that extends security and parental controls beyond the out-of-box capabilities its routers and beacons ship with.
It sounds as though the Eero brand will live on after the acquisition — at least in the near term. “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,” said Nick Weaver, Eero’s co-founder and CEO. Amazon isn’t saying much about its future plans for Eero; might we see an Alexa-enabled router? An Echo that doubles as a Wi-Fi access point sounds nice.
But some existing Eero owners might not have such a positive reaction to the successful startup being snatched up by Amazon. It will give the powerful company yet more valuable data on consumers and advance Amazon’s growing dominance of the smart home. Amazon acquired smart doorbell and camera maker Ring last year and bought Blink in 2017.
Amazon already has millions of Echo speakers and third-party gadgets tied to its Alexa ecosystem in homes, and acquiring Eero could help it bring everything together more seamlessly. But there will certainly be questions about what data will be shared with Eero’s soon-to-be new owner. On Twitter, Eero assured one customer that it “does not track users’ internet activity and this policy will not change with the acquisition.”