eero Wifi – Likely my final post about it

June 20, 2020 at 9:59 am Leave a comment

I’ve been using eero for my wifi needs for probably a few years now.  They were among the first of the Mesh Wifi systems that came out.  For me, it was down to the eero or the Luma wifi system.  Luma seemed to have more advanced features, but early reports on the functionality of it were not encouraging.  I may have even had a pre-order in place for it at one point.  One interesting thing was that Amazon was backing them (to some degree).

Anyhow, I got my eero system and was pretty happy with it.  It was a very simple system, in terms of daily operation.  It seemed to work well, with little input from me.  Perhaps a bit too well, as I recall one time (I think I posted about it here) where my network was segmented from my the eero that was connected to the Internet, and it was routing the traffic from the entire rest of my home across the Wifi to the eero that was connected to the Internet.  As I recall, I noticed there was only one cable hooked to the back of the eero that goes to the Internet, and I realized – Wait!  That’s not supposed to be that way.  But everything still worked.

That said, the eero does lack customization and some features.  One in particular is the ability to run a second SSID (other than the Guest SSID).  To make a long story short, I ended up with 4 eeros for my main Wifi network, and two for my secondary Wifi network. Ok, I really didn’t need 4 for my main network – Three did the job well, but I added a beacon that I didn’t absolutely need.

The eero does a very good job for a simple home.  It has visibility into what devices are on your network, but not much in the way of visibility into what those devices are doing.  The do offer a subscription service to block malware and a limited number of additional categories of sites, but you don’t get that full device-level log of activity directly from the eero.

I think part of the problem for me came when Amazon bought eero.  There was apprehension around what Amazon might do with the deep data that is potentially available to them, being the gateway out of my network to the Internet  I understand that the eero privacy policy did not change as a result of that purchase, so as long as that holds true, we shouldn’t have any privacy issues (at least, from the assurance of an eero developer that often posts on the eero sub-reddit).  It’s entirely possible that Amazon just bought them to have a simple-to-use, but very reliable brand they could sell to customers of their product line of tablets, streaming boxes, assistants, etc.

But, the simple fact is that the eero sees all of your port 53 DNS requests in clear text.  Looking at the MAC address of individual devices can reveal the maker of the device.  If you put that info together with the DNS names of where the individual devices are communicating, you can get a pretty good idea of what devices a customer has.

Now again, I say this is “part” of the problem.  I don’t have any reason to believe Amazon is doing this, or planning to do so any time soon.  This potential privacy issue, along with the lack of some features has recently led me to move away from the eero product line.

I will still say that it’s a great line of wifi devices for a non-technical person that just wants Wifi that works with minimal headaches.

Entry filed under: Networking.

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