Need eero buying advice: 3 eeros or 1 eero+2 beacons

(Posted this elsewhere and didn’t get a response.)

Would it be better to get three eeros connected wirelessly to each other, two of them wired to Apple TVs, or an eero and two beacons, with the beacons near the Apple TVs?

How much would optimal placement be compromised by needing to wire near the Apple TVs?

Would it be more convenient to plug the beacons into wall outlets?

Hm. Good questions.

I think this would be okay, as TVs are on opposite ends of the house, but on different floors. The eero could be very near to the Apple TVs.


I guess my underlying question is:

Apple TV <-- wireless --> Beacon <-- wireless --> eero
-- or --
Apple TV <-- wire --> eero <-- wireless --> eero

would give better performance.
And I guess that is, in essence, whether the beacon to eero wireless is as good as eero to eero wireless.

Got it. I think that it would be faster, then, to do three Eeros since you’ll wire in and you’ll have two 5ghz bands of WiFi in the whole house, but I don’t know if you’d notice the difference unless you have a lot of active devices. The wireless latency between the beacons and the Apple TV is going to be unnoticeable.

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I agree with @cornchip; 3 eeros would preserve all of your wireless bandwidth for your wifi devices. The backhaul would be handled by ethernet, so no wifi bandwidth would be needed for the backhaul.

I have a 3-eero network in my home and have been very happy with it. When only my wife and I are home there are usually about 23 devices on the network. Not all of those are wireless, of course, but most are. Even our two iMac computers have wifi connections, in addition to ethernet. It’s amazing how fast the number of wifi devices adds up - Macs, iPhones, iPads, watches, AppleTVs, Ooma VOIP, Ring doorbells, printer, Alexa, Tablo, and whatever IOT devices you might have - thermostats, etc.

When our adult kids and their families visit for holidays, the number devices can go into the mid-thirties. One of my sons likes to play interactive games on his iPhone. This apparently requires a lot of bandwidth. He used to complain about my older network which had first-generation eeros (dual-band radios). My newer network with second-generation eeros (tri-band radios) is much better in these high-usage situations; there are no more complaints. I’m pretty sure that the limitation is available the wi-fi bandwidth, not the total bandwidth available from my ISP.

One feature that distinguishes eero from other mesh systems is the ability to connect the secondary devices by ethernet for the backhaul. Take advantage of this feature if you have available ethernet wiring. Your need for additional wifi bandwidth will inevitably go up in the future.

I just installed for the 2nd time a set of 3 Eero’s and am very impressed with the coverage and performance.

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Just want to be sure we’re on the same page, my setup with 3 eeros would only be wired from eero to Apple TV. Am I correct that by backhaul you mean back to the router? If so, that would also be wireless for me.

My apology … I misunderstood your proposed eero setup and incorrectly assumed a wired connection between eeros.

Yes, I use the term backhaul to mean the network traffic from the “secondary” eeros back to the router (or the “primary” eero).

Referring back to your original question (3 eeros vs. 1 eero and two beacons), I think there would still be a theoretical advantage to using 3 eeros for your situation. The ethernet connection from two eeros to AppleTVs would free up wireless bandwidth that could be shared among all other wireless devices and the wireless backhaul traffic. I have no idea whether this theoretical advantage would translate into a practical advantage, though. It probably depends on how many wireless devices you have in use at any given time and how much bandwidth each device consumes. Another consideration is determining what really constrains your network - bandwidth available from your ISP or your local network wifi bandwidth. Interesting thought problem!

You might try calling eero technical support to ask that question. Eero’s tech support is excellent.

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Thanks for the follow up!

Great idea. I’ll do that.

I’m 100% wireless. I have one Eero base unit connected to the router, and two beacons. We have 2 xboxes, 3 apple tvs and a slew of computers / idevices.

I was going to wire the TVs and / or the xBoxes but have never found that I needed to.

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Welcome @supham!
Thanks the input.

So what did you decide and how is it working out for you ?-)

I switched everything over to 5GHz on the AirPort Extreme, and so far it’s taken care of nearly all the beach balls on Apple TVs and devices.
I’m going to hold off on dropping 4 or 5 bills right now.

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Actually, all good mesh Wi-Fi systems have the ability to backhaul over wired Ethernet.

Only the very inexpensive or off-brand devices don’t offer that capability now.

Keep in mind that Beacons only have two radios in them and no wired Ethernet connections.

In some ways, the older Gen 1 Eero units (which have two radios and two Ethernet connections) would be a better choice for those locations - and cost the same or less.

The main benefit of the Beacon is easier installation because they plug directly into the wall plug, but they also can obstruct some devices in the second plug of a 2-plug standard wall outlet.

If you end up putting the access point on the top of a bookshelf, cabinet, or other location, the regular Eero units will be easier as you would need an electrical extension cord with the Beacon to plug it in.

The ideal goal is to wire everything over Ethernet if it doesn’t move - AppleTV, smarthome hubs, desktop computers, Sonos Speakers, etc. Use wireless only for truly mobile devices or devices that only have a Wi-Fi interface.

For maximum throughput on wireless, use the 3-radio units instead of the more convenient beacons.

The more radios you have (in total - spread around between all the AP units) the more wireless bandwidth. It’s a “divide and conquer” distributed approach to optimizing limited frequency spectrum and channels.

Think of radios like lanes on a freeway. A 2-lane freeway with an 80mph speed limit that is clogged up isn’t faster than a 6-lane freeway with 55mph lanes that are relatively empty.

The big Eeros have 3 radios and they work great

Hey moderators, what’s the etiquette on people posting links to products with their own Amazon kickback codes embedded in the shortened link?

Seems like if anybody should be getting commission, it’s the MPU people. Otherwise, there might be a lot more trolling and spamming “one liner” messages being posted?

I make a living as an iT consultant and contribute here for free. If I spend the time giving answers and free advice spending time finding recommendations at least we can make a few cents.

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I haven’t seen this happening, have you?

How much time would it take for the mods to police this?

If you look before I have participated in this discussion and just gave a quick advice.