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Your Echo Dot can Soon be an Eero Wi-Fi Access Point

Your Echo Dot can Soon be an Eero Wi-Fi Access Point

Amazon just announced a bunch of new hardware. From new Echo smart speakers to new Blink and Ring home security cameras, there are plenty of shiny new gadgets on the horizon.

For its part, the Amazon-owned Eero isn’t unveiling any new household hardware, but the company did announce a new software feature that’s coming to the fourth-generation Echo Dot and the newest Echo Dot.

Eero’s mesh wireless Wi-Fi systems rely on multiple access points to blanket your home in Wi-Fi. Until now, the only way to add another access point required you to buy an Eero-branded access point. However, Eero announced that through a software update, the fourth-generation Echo Dot — along with the new Echo Dot and Echo Dot with Clock — can be added to your existing Eero network and act as an extra access point.

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Eero Built-in

Officially, the new feature is called Eero Built-in, and will be available on Oct. 20. Each Echo Dot will be limited to broadcasting Wi-Fi 5, and limited to speeds of 100 Mbps covering up to 1,000 square feet. 

If you have an Eero Pro 6 or Eero Pro 6E system, both of which support faster Wi-Fi protocols, then the initial idea of a slower Wi-Fi 5 device on your network may be a turn-off. However, the addition of Eero Built-in on the Echo Dot is designed to be a tool that extends Wi-Fi to the hard-to-reach corners of your home that you may not want to invest money into adding dedicated Eero hardware.

It’s a clever way to repurpose existing Echo Dots and add an appealing feature to the new 5th Gen Echo Dots, assuming you have an Eero system.

  • 4th Gen Echo Dot ($49.99 at Amazon)
  • 4th Gen Echo Dot with Clock ($59.99 at Amazon)
  • 5th Gen Echo Dot ($49.99 at Amazon)
  • 5th Gen Echo Dot with Clock ($59.99 at Amazon)

This Joins “Internet Backup”

Another new feature Eero is launching is called Internet Backup. As its name implies, the new software-based feature will provide an easy way to use your phone or tablet’s hotspot feature to provide a backup internet connection when your main Internet Service Provider’s connection goes down. For example, if Comcast has an internet outage, the Eero system will automatically connect to your phone and resume providing connectivity through your existing hotspots. Internet Backup is limited to Eero Plus subscribers and Eero’s ISP partners, but it’s a perk that may be worth the monthly subscription fee if you frequently experience internet outages. Eero Plus is the company’s new name for its subscription service, however, the monthly or yearly cost wasn’t readily available.

Eero Hardware for Network Geeks

Eero did announce some new hardware, but it’s designed for business customers or those who really know their way around managing a network. There’s a new Eero PoE 6 and Eero PoE Gateway, with the PoE portion of that meaning “Power Over Ethernet.”

PoE relies on a single ethernet connection, providing both internet and power to the device. The Gateway is capable of powering and connecting multiple Eero PoE6 access points, while each PoE 6 access point will cover up to 2,000 square feet.

The Eero PoE 6 will only be available through authorized professional installers starting in October, and in early 2023 everyone will be able to purchase it for $299.99 each at Amazon.com. The Eero PoE Gateway is priced at $649 and will be available in the U.S. and Canada through Amazon.com early next year.

Which Eero is right for you?

If you like the idea of using your existing Echo Dots to extend your home’s Wi-Fi network, but you don’t currently have an Eero mesh system, how do you know which one you should get?

The abbreviated version of it is this: The $169 three-pack of the base Eero is for someone whose internet service isn’t the fastest (350 Mpbs or less), and has less than 50 devices connected to their network at a given time. If you have a home full of Echo Dots that are compatible with the new Eero Built-in feature, you can pick up a single Eero unit for just $69.

However, if you need a faster connection, more devices and a broader range of coverage, then you’ll want to look at the $199 Eero 6, $299 Eero 6+, or $599 Eero Pro 6. Each setup gets more expensive, but also faster and more capable.

If you’re wanting to future-proof your home’s Wi-Fi setup, then the $699 Eero Pro 6E is what you want to look at. The Pro 6E supports the fastest and most capable Wi-Fi standard that’s currently available, with a max speed of 2.3 Gigabit, over 100 devices, and covers up to 6,000 square feet.

Prices are accurate and items in stock at time of publishing.

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Written by Andrea Davies

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