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Pros: This is the final review on my part...the firmware update from 1.01 to 1.10 has resolved the slow page load issues I was experiencing. The router has zero issues with stability, the machine never restarts unless I perform a reset and al connections have been stable and reliable.
Qos appears to be working just fine, youtube videos load immediately and playback without stuttering or dropping frames as far as I can tell.
Range is excellent and better than my old Netgear N600 router by a fair distance.
Signal strength is excellent and throughput is either the same or better than my old N600 as well.
This router performs flawlessly now and has no other issues I can root out. Updates are quick, timers display remaining time on reboot, reset, and are much appreciated.
This router has an odd mix of tools available and in a rather weird drop down menu style left panel on the gui page. These tools are ok to use if you have some skill sets with networking but could get you into some trouble if you do not know what you are doing.
Cons: No cons I can find now except one quirk!
Upon performing the firmware update...my 2 blue LED's for 2.4 and 5 Ghz wireless radios both flash in unison and continuously. I can't tell which one has traffic on it nor when the traffic is moving through the router. Prior to the firmware flash...both LED's were illuminated when the respective radio was enabled and only flashed when traffic was present...now both flash together all the time. This is frustrating when trying to determine who is on your router and what band they are on unless you log in to see what devices are connected and even then, you may have connected devices without descriptors to ascertain whom is connected.
Other Thoughts: All in all, this is a very nice router that has excellent range, performance is reliable and stable, connections are rock solid and stable and the router does enhance/extend the range for the 2.4 ghz wireless by about 15% range wise and about 10% on the 5 GHz radios compared to my old Netgear N600 WNDR 3700 v1 and with a reduced price at newegg.com...at $76 this is a bargain/steal.
I have no problem recommending this for anybody wanting to upgrade the current network hardware, the shape lends itself to ceiling or wall mount and is small enough to allow to sit on an unused corner of a file cabinet or desk!
This is a solid entry for the affordable networking hardware for end users in a home or small business that makes upgrading a positive experience that provides tangible evidence that your upgrade was worth it.
Pros: This is to add to the previous post about the Routers choppiness with youtube expanded to include extremely slow webpage loads, especially with flash laden webpages!
Cons: The Engenius router ESR900 is now experiencing severe issues with loading flash enabled webpages.
There are pauses of 10-20 seconds on average for anything to load that includes flash. Pages where my browser cache should allow for almost instantaneous page loads averages 10 or more seconds between page loads and sometimes it's 20-30 seconds and as time goes on, it gets longer and longer.
I reconnected my WNDR3700 V1 router and immediately the page load hangs disappeared. This tells me the controller in the ESR 900 is having trouble with the packets coming in and allocating bandwidth to multimedia by priority as in WMM...the slow page loads happen whether I'm connected via direct Ethernet cable or the wireless...both bands G&N (2.4 & 5 GHz) are involved and both exhibit the page load issue exactly the same...it's the routers decision making algorithms for multimedia based packets and how to route them to your ip address...but it does it on chrome, firefox, and IE11 with the same slow loads for all browsers.
Since the router swap back to my WNDR3700 V1 eliminated the problem immediately, it indicates that the issue lies with the router itself and not my cables, my wireless chips, or my home lan.
The gui page located at 192.168.0.1 gets you to the menu page but once login to router is chosen, it hangs for 30 or more seconds sometimes 60 seconds isn't unusual in ALL browsers, which isn't how it did on initial set up and the first 2 days...everything slowed down immediately after the 3rd day, first review.
I powered cycled the router several times each couple of hours for another 2 days and no success, the slow login, slow page loads, all remained as bad or worse as when I finally disconnected it at day 5 of ownership.
I checked my power outlet with a digital Multimeter for power fluctuations, and no problems found, I checked the power strip for the same voltage issues and it's rock solid as well. I checked to make sure the power block wasn't overheating at the power strip and it was normal to feel with my hand and was warm but not hot. I checked the router itself for cable connection issues I checked for heat issues and all was cold to touch and Ethernet connections were solid.
All this leaves ONLY the router itself as the final culprit, I once again checked power at the wall, the power strip, and even the power coming in to the router itself from the power brick...all were fine and stable, no fluctuations anywhere.
Other than the extremely slow login issue and the slow page loads...the router exhibited no other issues, connections were completely stable, distance for useable connections remained the same and all indicator lights were normal indicating stable firmware...just inefficient.
Look at other thoughts for the chips that are in the router.
url of info: http://wikidevi.com/wiki/EnGenius_ESR900
Other Thoughts: Chips that are in the router
Type: wireless router
FCC ID: A8JESR900
Industry Canada ID: 10103A-ESR900
Power: 12 VDC, 1.5 A
Connector type: barrel
CPU1: Qualcomm Atheros QCA9558
FLA1: 16 MB (Macronix MX25L12845EMI-10G)
RAM1: 128 MB (Nanya NT5TU32M16DG-AC x 2)
Expansion IF types: USB 2.0
USB ports: 1
Usually Atheros is an outstanding chipset that works extremely well so all I can surmise from my issues is that the firmware written is having issues and some of the algorithms used for Qos aren't holding up or the cached data for dns or routing tables aren't flushing properly but I lean towards the algorithms AND control scripts aren't remaining efficient and are failing to perform data cache flush routines.
I have reset the router numerous times, power cycled the router over and over, power cycled my cable modem which is a Cisco DPC 3208 and nothing changed the extremely slow login page nor the webpage slow loading.even though I am connected directly via Ethernet cable.
Since changing back to the WNDR3700 V1 router...all problems disappeared upon connecting and displaying a website...all pages are snappy and load as soon as I click the url...all flash pops right in and the router remains up for months and months without a single power cycle.
All this tells me it's the hardware code that isn't remaining efficient so call if Firmware related and that's an engineering or coders issue to provide a patch or new firmware update to solve the problem.
All I can say is the router works extremely well and range is as good as anything I've seen for a home router, but I can't recommend this to home owners until these problems are addressed because of the frustration generated when I'm used to my broadband 30meg connection with Mediacom being full throttle with instantaneous webpage loads and feeling like I moved back to "dial-up" which is to say the least "horrible."
So back to the drawing you engineers and coders...this one needs some tweaking to improve the QOS and algorithms so that the router responds correctly
Pros: I have had the router for 3 days now and it is replacing a Netgear WNDR3700 v1 router I've had since 2007 which I also purchased from the Egg.
This router had zero issues connecting 3 laptops, 2 desktops, 2 xbox 360's, wii, nextbook ereader, 2 smartphones, and a zune.
All devices on the 2.4 GHz wireless with a -26 dba signal through 2 floors, and 3 walls, except my laptop and the desktop which use the 5GHz signal with a -36 dba strength according to inSSIDer which is exactly the same as the Netgear router but available bandwidth jumps from 300 max to 450 max and throughput is about the same with very little interference but several overlapping channels on the 2.4GHz.
The router comes in a sealed box with all items neatly packaged to include a power supply, 2 small startup guides, a wan connection cable, a couple of screw adapters for drywall and the router of course.
The firmware seems stable and so far has exhibited no hiccups except a bit of choppiness on youtube but I attribute that to time of day...Friday evening and Saturday afternoon which is when traffic is heavy and dense on the net.
The lights available are 2 blue for 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz bands, a red light for power on and a third blue light for internet traffic. The 4 port gig switch is in the back of the router and has no indicator lights for connectivity so you can't see if your ports are being used or not from a glance.
The router is very easy to setup if you follow the well written quick setup guide and it is correct in it's steps as in power down your cable/broadband modem, connect the router WAN port to the cable/broadband modem and power your MODEM back up FIRST then power up the router AFTER the modem is up and running to allow the modem to reset the routing table to hand out it's IP to the router with a new mac address. Then you can connect your devices one by one.
The gui at 192.168.0.1 is really easy to access the first time or you can type in engiusrouter in your address bar on your browser...either way it's fairly quick to respond.
So for packaging and quick setup...it's very straightforward and requires little knowledge of networking to get the router up and running. Just follow the setup guide step by step and no problems should crop up.
See "other thoughts" for a bit of technical information and the reason for the "odd mixture" in the title.
Cons: No port indicator lights for the 4 port gig switch, range didn't improve with the new router but available bandwidth is better. No screws to use with the drywall adapters.
That is it so far for basic router likes and dislikes.
See "other thoughts for technical pluses and minuses.
Other Thoughts: This will be my technical review.
The router interface gui is fairly quick and I really like the timer countdown for a reboot when applying changes to the router. The firmware is very stable and works well but the choices are very odd..the mixture of easy to hard to understand tools, and the mixing of things like nat, vpn, and security items are rather strange. This strikes me as trying to combine a managed router with a non-managed router or home router.
The tools available require a fair amount of knowledge to implement and things like ACL's (access lists for the firewall) and setting up NAT (network address translation) are usually reserved for professionals and home routers usually do not include these tools because you can royally make a mess out of the routers interfaces and make it impossible to use it at all.
With that said, the gui is well designed for "looks" but the access to the tools are weird, one must really pay attention because clicking on the links on the left side of the page aren't always obvious and you have to hunt a bit to find some of the items listed in the pdf user manual. I do like how it describes in detail your connection status and types of security implemented be it wep, wpa, wpa2 or wpa/radius which is wpa2 with a radius server for authentication as a professional security implementation available. Nice Security.
The range didn't improve over my old router. 40' through two floors and 3 walls provided the exact same signal strength as my old Netgear router and connections were absolution stable with Zero dropped packets. The throughput was excellent and inSSIDer reported the correct available bandwidth...450 on both wireless channels G and N.
I have no trouble streaming Netflix on xbox 360's and movies off of my laptop shared to the desktop upstairs via the wireless 2.4 OR the 5 GHz channels period. No hiccups and no stuttering.
SIgnal strength and channel strength were exactly the same at -24 dba for the 2.4GHz channel and -36 dba for the 5Ghz channel.
When I take my laptop outside, I can reach about a half a block away and still maintain a connection that is "more" than useable so that's about as good as it gets if you ask me. I went three houses down and I had a slow but useable connection at a buddy's house on their back deck and my router is in the basement bedroom where I reside so that's about two walls, and 80' to their back deck. This is on the 5GHz channel on my laptop but I didn't check the 2.4Ghz.
The auto channel selection worked very well for both the 2.4 and 5Ghz channels with minimal overlapping on the 2.4 channel and zero overlap of networks on the 5Ghz so nice implementation there.
To conclude, the router works very well, range is impressive, stability is absolute.
The negatives are minimal and mostly asthetic, no lights for the ports isn't a deal breaker but would've been nice and the tools included are more for the pro not the average home user but still, it works and works wel