Eero, the company that popularized the trend of mesh networking for your home, is releasing its biggest software update to date today. The new software improves the connectivity between devices and Eero routers and adds the ability to control the Eero system using Amazon’s voice-controlled Alexa platform. Additionally, an updated smartphone app provides more information about connected devices and better troubleshooting tools.
Eero is calling its network improvements "True Mesh," and it says that local area network speeds between Eero units are up to two times faster than before. The company also says that the system has more intelligence for routing traffic to provide better speed and more reliability and avoid interference when it’s detected. It developed this system based on the data it collected on how customers have been using its product in the nine months since its launch.
The new Alexa skill lets Eero owners that have an Amazon Echo (1 in 5 Eero customers, according to the company) use their voice to control Family Profiles to limit traffic to specific devices; turn the LED light on the front of the device on and off; and to locate devices in their home based on the most recent Eero they were connected to. Eero is not the first router to add Alexa voice control — Almond’s system gained the ability earlier this year — but its implementation is clever and possibly useful if you can’t remember where you left your phone in your 40-room mansion.
Though Eero was the first mesh network system for consumers, it has gained a lot of competition in the past year from the likes of Netgear, Almond, and even Google, which is shipping a very similar system next month. Eero CEO Nick Weaver says this competition only validates what the company is doing and proves that "this is an important product category." With today’s improvements, Eero’s already good system appears to be getting even better. The update will start to roll out automatically to Eeros today, but owners can trigger the update manually from the smartphone app.