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The USB Port menu holds the ESR1200's controls for its shared storage features. For the most part, they are simple enables for the EnShare "cloud" (remote access), File Sharing (Samba) and DLNA services. The DLNA menu lets you change the storage folder from its video default,but doesn't let you initiate a scan or change the scan schedule. The File Server menu actually holds the FTP controls shown below.

EnGenius ESR1200 File Server (FTP) controls

EnGenius ESR1200 File Server (FTP) controls

Windows filecopy tests were run using the standard NAS testbed connected to a router Gigabit LAN port and the standard USB drive (Startech USB 3.0 eSATA to SATA Hard Drive Docking Station [SATDOCKU3SEF] containing a WD Velociraptor WD3000HLFS 300 GB drive) formatted in FAT32 and NTFS connected via the USB 2.0 port.

ESR1200 NETGEAR R6100 D-Link DIR-860L TRENDnet TEW-811DRU D-Link DIR-850L
Processor QCA9558 Atheros
FAT32 Write 15.8 7.8 16.4 8.9 6.1
FAT32 Read 19.2 10.5 27.9 10.8 9.7
NTFS Write 4.8 9.9 18.8 3.6 5.3
NTFS Read 13.5 10.5 28.8 9.4 7.2
Table 3: USB 2.0 file copy throughput - MBytes/sec

Table 3 shows the ESR1200's results along with other AC1200 routers supporting USB 2.0. Overall the numbers look very good, with the only anomaly being NTFS write. For superior storage performance however, the DIR-860L is clearly the winner among this group.

Routing Performance

Routing performance for the ESR1200 loaded with 1.0.1 firmware and using our standard test method is summarized in Table 4. The ESR1200's routing throughput is the lowest of the AC1200 class routers with Gigabit ports that we have tested. The next lowest is the TRENDnet TEW-811DRU that has unidirectional routing throughput at least 200 Mbps higher. Still, the ESR1200's 300+ Mbps wired routing throughput should be plenty fast for most of us.

Test Description EnGenius ESR1200
WAN - LAN 333.6
LAN - WAN 320.3
Total Simultaneous 305.7
Maximum Simultaneous Connections 30,437
Firmware Version 1.0.1
Table 4: Routing throughput

The IxChariot plot shows nice steady throughput in the unidirectional tests.

EnGenius ESR1200 routing unidirectional throughput

EnGenius ESR1200 routing unidirectional throughput

Simultaneous up/downlink throughput showed uplink favored quite heavily.

EnGenius ESR1200 routing bidirectional throughput

EnGenius ESR1200 routing bidirectional throughput

Wireless Performance

The ESR1200 is not Wi-Fi Certified. It defaulted to Auto channel mode on both 2.4 and 5 GHz radios upon power-up. The 2.4 GHz radio defaulted to Auto 20/40 MHZ Channel width, while the 5 GHz radio defaulted to 80 MHz. The router comes with different 2.4 and 5 GHz SSIDs set, so you'll be able to connect to your desired band without having to change router settings.

WPS is enabled on both bands by default. Our Win 7 test client did prompt for a pushbutton session on both bands. However, it only completed a WPA2/AES connection on 2.4 GHz.

Both 40 MHz Coexistence and Fat channel intolerant tests failed, with the ESR1200 continuing to link at 40 MHz bandwidth rates in both cases instead of falling back to lower 20 MHz rates.

For throughput testing, all tests were run using our standard wireless test process and 1.0.1 version firmware loaded. The router was first reset to factory defaults and Channel 6 was set for 2.4 GHz and Channel 153 for 5 GHz. 20 MHz B/W mode was set for 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz was set in 80 MHz bandwidth mode. The closest surface of the router was positioned 8" from the chamber antennas in 0° and 180° test positions. The 0° position had the front of the router facing the chamber antennas.

The retest Benchmark Summary below shows the average of throughput measurements made in all test locations.

Benchmark Summary

Benchmark Summary

Comparing average 2.4 GHz average downlink benchmark values with other AC1200 routers in the Charts, the ESR1200's 53 Mbps is third from the top of the chart, with the NETGEAR R6100 above it at 63 Mbps and the soon-to-be-reviewed ASUS RT-AC56U at the top with 69 Mbps.

For 2.4 GHz average uplink, the ESR1200's 43 Mbps throughput slips it down to next to last place. The top spot in this chart is currently occupied by the NETGEAR R6100. The Simultaneous 2.4 GHz uplink/downlink test finally shows the ESR1200 in the top spot with a 116 Mbps of total throughput.

In the 5 GHz average downlink chart, the ESR1200's 99 Mbps landed it in third place among AC1200 routers, bested by the TRENDnet TEW-811DRU at 134 Mbps and the ASUS RT-AC56U in the top spot with 150 Mbps. 5 GHz average uplink also found the EnGenius in the third spot with 103 Mbps of average throughput. This time the #2 spot was occupied by the soon-to-be-reviewed Edimax BR-6478AC and ASUS RT-AC56U.

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