Amazon is jumping on the Wi-Fi 7 bandwagon. The eero Max 7 significantly increases the maximum wireless transmission speed compared to the previous top model eero Pro 6e, but cable connections are also much faster. Netgear also presented a similar model with the Orbi 970. Both are intended to work as nodes in mesh WiFi systems.
Just like its predecessor, the eero Max 7 sets up three wireless networks in the 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz and 6 GHz bands. However, it is only with Wi-Fi 7 that the signal is broadened from 160 to 320 MHz in the 6 GHz band. With four MIMO streams, the eero Max 7 should reach up to 11.5 Gbit/s gross, but Amazon cited 9.4 Gbit/s as the top value in its presentation and 4.3 Gbit/s in a press release. In the lower bands, the eero router operates with four or two MIMO streams, achieving a maximum of 5.76 or 0.7 Gbit/s.
The upgrade from the eero pro 6e to the 7 model is almost even more important when it comes to Ethernet ports: the new top model provides two LAN ports each with 10 and 2.5 Gbit/s. Previously there were only 2.5 and one Gbit/s.
Amazon still does not integrate a modem. Users also have to install a modem for DSL, cable, fiber optic or mobile communications with the eero Max 7. WAN detection occurs automatically on all four Ethernet ports.
Under the hood is an ARM processor with four Cortex-A73 cores instead of two Cortex-A53. There is also 2 GB of RAM and 4 GB of flash memory. The eero Max 7 is also suitable as a smart home control center: it can control devices via both Matter and Zigbee. However, Alexa is not integrated and requires an additional device if desired.
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(Image: Amazon / eero)
Netgear with quadruple WiFi
When it comes to wireless connections, Netgear goes one better: The Orbi 970 has four wireless modules and can also set up a second 5 GHz network. This is useful when using many clients such as notebooks and smartphones. The Orbi series is designed with powerful mesh repeaters (called satellites by Netgear) for huge Wi-Fi coverage with hundreds of clients. The 970 model is the first in the series to support Wi-Fi 7.
The Orbi 970 has a dedicated WAN port that transmits 10 Gbit/s – a separate modem is also necessary here. Of the four pure LAN ports, three transmit 2.5 Gbit/s each and one manages 10 Gbit/s.
The Orbi 970 is available in a package with one or two satellites. The latter look like the router itself, but have fewer LAN ports.
Meanwhile, the prices are high. Amazon charges around 700 euros for the eero Max 7, which is far more than for the eero Pro 6e (290 euros). There is no set with additional mesh repeaters at the start. Amazon already lists the router in the store and delivery should begin soon.
In the future, Netgear will only sell the Orbi 970 as a package with satellites. A set consisting of a router and a single satellite costs 1,700 euros, with two satellites 2,400 euros. Delivery is scheduled to begin in November.
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