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Wireless Reviews

QoS

EnGenius gives you two QoS methods to control uplink and downlink bandwidth. The first is Priority Queue based in which you can assign ports either High or Low Priority and exclude one IP address from the QoS rules entirely. A few common services are defined for you. You can see the Priority Queue based QoS options below.

EnGenius ESR1200 QoS Priority Queue page

EnGenius ESR1200 QoS Priority Queue page

Setting QoS by Bandwidth Allocation gives you a little more configurability. You can see in the image below that you can configure by protocol, port, upload or download and set a rate. The EnGenius manual mentions you can set up QoS for "video streaming, online gaming, VoIP telephony and videoconferencing to ensure stable and efficient network performance". I really saw no way for the average home user to easily configure VoIP telephony QoS, for instance, with the configuration options given. You can see the Bandwidth Allocation options below.

EnGenius ESR1200 QoS Bandwidth Allocation page

EnGenius ESR1200 QoS Bandwidth Allocation page

Parental Controls

I like EnGenius' Parental Controls, for the most part. Filters could be set up for keyword blocking, website blocking, application blocking and schedules could be set for the access. My only problem with the Parental Controls was that individual machines had to be added to the policy. I like that configuration didn't rely on host names, so I only had MAC addresses listed to choose from. Using Overlook Fing I can easily get the MAC address of a device I want to add a policy to, but it's an extra step.

EnGenius ESR1200 Parental Control page

EnGenius ESR1200 Parental Control page

VPN Server

The ESR1200 includes a VPN server, which is a nice feature for a home router. IPsec, L2TP over IPsec, L2TP and PPTP connection options are given. Setup of the VPN Server wasn't exactly intuitive without the manual, the sideline instructions suggested referencing the manual, but the information in there was very high level and specific to IPsec configuration.

Even so, I was able to set up a simple PPTP VPN connection and test some throughput. I measured 44 Mbps for upload and 48 Mbps for download, which is pretty good. You can see an image of the VPN selections below.

EnGenius ESR1200 VPN page

EnGenius ESR1200 VPN page

If you run into trouble getting your VPN connection to work, you won't find much help in the log entries. They seem to be limited to VPN server configuration and not session setup.

Wireless Features

The ESR1200 has a pretty good set of wireless features:

  • WEP, WPA / WPA2 Personal and WPA RADIUS support
  • Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) support, pushbutton and PIN
  • Auto and manual channel set
  • SSID broadcast enable/disable
  • Enable/disable wireless
  • BSS BasicRateSet, Multicast Rate, 802.11n Protection, DTIM period, Wireless Client isolation adjusts
  • Wireless MAC address filtering (allow or deny based on MAC address)
  • WMM adjustments
  • 10%, 25%, 50%, 75%, 90% 100% transmit power adjust
  • Beacon period, RTS threshold, DTIM interval, Fragmentation Threshold and Data Rate adjusts
  • 4 SSIDs per radio
  • Guest network with separate guest DHCP server and addresses

Key wireless settings are summarized in Table 2.

Setting 2.4 GHz 5 GHz
Channel Auto [default]
1 - 11
Auto [default]
36, 40, 44, 48
149, 153, 157, 161, 165
Channel Width 20 MHz
40 MHz [default]
20 MHz
40 MHz
80 MHz [default]
Mode 11bgn mixed [default]
11b
11g
11b/g
11n
11ac [default]
11a
11n
11a/n mixed
Security None
WEP
WPA2-PSK
WPA-PSK
WPA/WPA2 Mixed-mode PSK
WPA RADIUS
Table 2: Wireless settings summary

It's important to note that WDS bridging and repeating is not supported. WDS isn't mentioned on the product's web page or in the datasheet. But the version of the user manual that is posted as I write this still describes WDS features.

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