Eero is ending support for its original router – The Verge

September 8, 2022 by No Comments

Eero’s original mesh Wi-Fi router is going to the tech junkyard in the sky. This week, the company delivered an End of Life notice to users in its app, warning that the OG router’s days are numbered.

The first-gen Eero, which debuted in 2016 and was discontinued in 2017, will stop receiving guaranteed software security updates after September 30th, 2022, Amazon spokesperson Connor Rice confirmed to The Verge. This is just over six years after the product launched. The devices won’t stop working, but they won’t receive new features — or, most crucially, security updates — beyond this date.

This gives rise to the question of just how long you should keep your Wi-Fi router around. An essential piece of infrastructure in modern homes, it’s easy to forget about it as it chugs along, streaming your Netflix queue, playing your Spotify playlists, and quite possibly keeping your lights on if you live in a smart home.

With new technologies popping up all the time (yes, there’s already talk of Wi-Fi 7), is a six-year-old mesh Wi-Fi router obsolete? Eero promises to support its routers for at least five years after it stops selling them (the first-gen just squeaked in there, but the second-gen model is promised support through at least 2027). Google will end support for its OnHub routers later this year and has said it will continue to support its Google Nest Wi-Fi routers for at least five years after launch. Other companies’ policies vary. Netgear, for example, promises three years of support after a product has stopped being sold.

A Netgear Orbi, Google Wi-Fi, and first-gen Eero router — the latter is the only one to have reached its official end of life.

Photo by Dan Seifert / The Verge

While a cursory Google search will tell you to replace your router every three to five years, there actually isn’t a hard and fast rule. Sandeep Harpalani, vice president of product management at Netgear, tells me that most routers shouldn’t see significant performance degradation over time unless there’s a hardware failure of some kind.

If you are experiencing problems but your router’s hardware is still ticking along just fine, Harpalani says it’s probably because your Wi-Fi environment has changed. “If you’re seeing issues, it’s most likely because you’re buying all these new devices that would benefit from some of the newer Wi-Fi technologies.” These include routers that are capable of handling faster speeds and providing more robust Wi-Fi performance with new features such as Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E.

Wi-Fi 6E is the newest tech in Wi-Fi routers and brings with it the new 6GHz Wi-Fi band — in addition to 2.4 and 5 GHz bands. This is a wider, cleaner band that can handle multi-gigabit speeds, but only devices that support 6E can use it. Harpalani advises upgrading your router at the same time you’re upgrading to devices that can take advantage of this. But there aren’t many devices with these capabilities on the market yet — only some newer smartphones and laptops like the Google Pixel 6 and some gaming laptops (no Apple devices).

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