The Challenge: Delivering on the promise of fast, whole home Wi-Fi
The need for whole-home Wi-Fi had seen an explosion between 2014-2016, and as users themselves, the eero team said that they “couldn’t take it anymore” and set out to build the best of the best. And it’s paying off - eero is proud to claim itself as the best reviewed Wi-Fi solution in the world.
“When we were developing the first generation eero product, we were really breaking new ground with our mesh networking technology,” said Tyler Newman, Senior Manager of Engineering Test Services at eero. “Our test efforts in the beginning were largely focused on manually testing the embedded software running on the device, as well as interoperability testing of client devices.”
But the eero system is more than just simple Wi-Fi. Functioning as a home gateway, the eero system is fully featured, and interacts with eero Plus for advanced features like parental controls and security.
“As a routing product, we also needed to test the low level basic capabilities, like firewall, NAT, and DHCP,” said Tyler.
“We wanted to make sure that, build over build, we’re not seeing any regressions in our core networking functions. Moreover, our advanced management features required that we be able to test reliably while our devices are still connected to eero services. Being able to test that in an automated way would free up the team to work on other feature developments - the stuff that’s really important to our brand and our customers.”
The Solution: CDRouter’s complete automation platform for whole-home Wi-Fi systems
“When we started looking into CDRouter, it definitely seemed like something that could make a dent in our testing challenges,” said Tyler. “We were a pretty small team at that time, so it was important that the device could be integrated quickly, and would be easy to learn to use. So we set up an evaluation period, and were pretty well blown away. The setup was straightforward, and the technical support that we needed in the beginning was super helpful.”
“It quickly became obvious that it could help broaden our test coverage while reducing the time investment.”
”The user interface is very well thought out,” Tyler said, “and makes it pretty easy to use, even if it’s your first time. My team loves the attention to detail in the software - little things like checking the syntax while you’re typing, or being able to do a diff comparison between multiple configurations - these things take a lot of the guesswork out of the process. We love how highly configurable CDRouter is.”
“The main feature that sealed the deal was the Internet Connection Sharing add-on, which was more or less purpose built for the type of routing product that we make! It landed just in time for us, and really helped us get to our initial product launch with confidence,” he said.
World-class support and integration with the whole development process keeps eero competitive
“Customer service has always been very responsive, with rapid turnaround times and, most importantly, have been extremely helpful,” said Tyler. “With every interaction we’re given lots of detailed information that helps us get to the heart of an issue quickly. Beyond that, the software updates are frequent and meaningful, the product is constantly improving, and increases in value the longer we use it.”
“One important feature is being able to control it through scripted automation with our build server, that’s saved us tons of time, even though it’s so easily overlooked. Being able to easily spin up comparison testing on router products from other manufacturers has also been really helpful in understanding where we can improve our software functionality. The web based command line interface is another easily overlooked huge time saver.”
“We were able to gain increasing confidence in the reliability of the eero system,” said Tyler, “by making sure that we were adhering to networking standards that were difficult to test by hand. We’re able to reach lower levels of our embedded software that we don’t reach in our day to day manual feature testing. Being able to easily see how the test cases are structured, how well documented they are, what standards are being tested and what the results of the tests mean…these things are hugely insightful for the folks working on that component in our software chain. It helps both the QA and Engineering teams learn more about low level aspects of various protocols, and how we implement them.”
“And the end of the day,” said Tyler, “we’re selling a premium product in the consumer electronics world. Our default assumption is that the customer has super high expectations around the quality and performance. My team is focused on making sure that customers have their expectations met without ever having to worry about things like test coverage, and CDRouter is a big part of making sure that we can do that.”