Best answer: It doesn't have to. Eero is meant to replace your existing router, so the two don't need to work together. For certain circumstances, like if you have a modem and router combo device, if you want to continue using your router's network management settings or if your ISP requires specific equipment, you can use Eero in conjunction with any wireless router with a few simple configurations.
- Mesh networking: Eero Home Wi-Fi System (opens in new tab) (From $299 at Amazon)
Eero as a router replacement
Eero is a mesh Wi-Fi system made up of the main Eero hub and Beacons that you place throughout your house. This works better than a traditional router setup because it broadcasts the Wi-Fi signal from multiple points, eliminating dead zones and perking up speeds at the edges of your network. Eero in particular is super user-friendly and has an appealing, minimalist design. It also has routing and network management capabilities that you control from the Eero app, so you can completely and easily replace your router with the Eero Home Wi-Fi System. To do that, simply disconnect your standalone router, plug the main Eero hub into your cable or DSL modem and set it up following the in-app instructions.
Modem and router combos
Internet service providers (ISPs) frequently rent out modem and router combination gateways to subscribers. If you only have one device between your main internet connection and the rest of your network, it's probably a modem/router. Because the two functions take place in the same machine, you can't just replace the whole thing with Eero. You absolutely can use Eero with a modem/router, but setting it up requires a few extra steps to make sure everything runs smoothly.
In most cases, you should first set up your Eero system normally by plugging the main hub into the modem/router via Ethernet and then following the in-app instructions. Once this is done, turn off the combo device's routing and Wi-Fi functions by placing it into bridge mode. Specific instructions how to do this vary by device and are available on your ISP's website, but generally, the process is as easy as accessing the router's web interface and toggling on the bridge setting.
If you don't put the router into bridge mode, you could end up with two separate Wi-Fi networks that don't communicate very well. This is also known as double NATing. Most of the time this happens by accident, and it often doesn't interfere with normal internet usage. It can cause problems, however, with activities such as online gaming or remote desktop access.
Eero Bridge Mode
Like your current router's settings and controls? Great! You can keep them by bridging your Eero. In this setup, the Eero components disperse Wi-Fi and relay information as usual, but everything is controlled by your router's settings instead of the Eero app. Bridging Eero disables most of its features, including family profiles, Eero Plus and device bandwidth monitoring, but you still get mesh coverage and speeds. Some internet service providers require equipment that supports PPPoE or that has a specific MAC address. In these instances, you have to bridge your Eero so your network is supported by the proper system.
Here's how to put Eero into bridge mode:
- Set it up normally using the Eero app.
- Click on the top left menu.
- Select Network Settings.
- Navigate to Advanced Settings.
- Tap on DCHP & NAT.
- Tick Bridge.
- Save your settings.
A whole world of Wi-Fi
With or without a router, Eero can cover your whole home with speedy Wi-Fi. It's a minimalist mesh device with easy setup and advanced network management settings you can control from your phone.
Netgear CM700 Cable Modem (opens in new tab) ($100 at Amazon)
Eero replaces your router, but if you're looking to update your whole network, you'll need a shiny new modem as well. This cable modem supports download speeds up to 500Mbps and is compatible with most cable ISPs.
AOZBZ Eero Wall Mount Bracket (opens in new tab) ($13 at Amazon)
This semi-transparent mount's side and bottom arms hold your Eero in a secure embrace and keeps it safe from accidental falls.
Linksys LGS105 Ethernet Switch (opens in new tab) (From $25 at Amazon)
The Eero system is great for Wi-Fi but doesn't have many ports for wired connections. This plug and play Ethernet switch is available with five, eight, 16 or 24 Gigabit Ethernet ports to expand your hard line options.
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