- Amazon announced its acquisition of a small company called Eero on Monday for an undisclosed amount.
- Eero makes mesh WiFi systems, which include devices that are designed to be placed throughout a user’s home to deliver fast and strong WiFi, even in areas that typically have weak WiFi strength.
- The company also rolled out a yearly subscription service that includes internet-based services, like threat protection, website content management, and ad blocking.
- Mesh WiFi systems have several other benefits over traditional WiFi routers and extenders.
Amazon announced its acquisition of the WiFi router startup Eero on Monday.
Eero was among the first companies to offer mesh WiFi "systems" to consumers, which were typically expensive and used by organizations in large spaces, like offices.
The aim of mesh WiFi systems like Eero is to deliver full — if not nearly full — WiFi speeds throughout the home, even in areas where a primary standard WiFi router might not reach. There are also several other key benefits to using a mesh WiFi system over a traditional router and extender setup.
Check out what Eero makes and how mesh systems work:
Eero was founded in 2014, and the startup released its first mesh system in 2016, before the major networking companies released their own mesh WiFi devices.
Eero was cofounded in 2014 by Nick Weaver (CEO), Nate Hardison (CTO), and Amos Schallich (VP of Engineering) to offer a better WiFi solution for consumers. Few — if any — of the bigger networking companies had released a mesh WiFi system for the consumer market at the time.
The first generation of Eero mesh systems was released in 2016. The second generation of Eero devices was released in 2017 with performance improvements and a new device called "Beacon" that plugged directly into power sockets. Along with the second generation of Eero devices, Eero introduced the Eero Plus subscription service that offered several internet-based features and services, like threat detection, a VPN, and a password manager.
The company started off with $2 million in seed funding, and had raised $148 million as of December 2017 before the Amazon purchase for an undisclosed amount, according to Pitchbook data. Eero currently has 130 employees.
What mesh routers do
Mesh systems have the same core idea as a traditional WiFi router and WiFi extender setup: Deliver WiFi all over your home where a single WiFi router might not reach.
Unlike a traditional WiFi router and extender setup, mesh systems are designed to use several satellite units throughout a home. Compared to traditional extender setups, Eero delivers much faster internet speeds via each satellite unit. And because you’d ideally have several satellite units throughout your home, the WiFi signal strength should also be stronger.
Mesh WiFi systems also offer other things that traditional routers and extenders don’t …
Mesh systems like Eero are much easier to set up than traditional routers and extenders.
Antonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider
Eero’s setup is incredibly easy. All you have to do is install the Eero app on a mobile device and follow the setup instructions.
The setup instructions are simple: For the primary Eero router, all it involves is plugging into power and connecting it to your model with an Ethernet cable. After you give your mesh WiFi network a name and password, the Eero system and app largely do the rest.
As for the Eero satellite units, you just plug them into power and tell the app you want to set up a new Eero device. From then on, the Eero satellite units and the app do most of the work of connecting to other Eeros to form a mesh WiFi network.
The whole setup experience is painless, simple, and pretty quick, which aren’t usually things that can be said about traditional router and extender setup process.
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Source: Business Insider