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Wireless Reviews

Wireless Performance - more

The Throughput vs. Attenuation plots provide better insight into comparative performance than the simple average benchmarks. To keep things interesting, I added the Broadcom-based D-Link DIR-860L and Realtek-based D-Link DIR-850L to compare chipset technology.

The 2.4 GHz downlink comparison below shows the ESR1200 with steady throughput until 24 db, where it takes a sharp drop, stabilizes,drops again, recovers and finally goes away completely at 48 dB of attentuation. The D-Link DIR-860L is clearly the winner in this comparison.

2.4 GHz Downlink Throughput vs. Attenuation

2.4 GHz Downlink Throughput vs. Attenuation

The 2.4 GHz uplink plot shows one of the most erratic plots we've seen to date, with the ESR1200's throughput on a roller coaster ride until stabilizing at around 36 dB of attenuation where it starts a steady decline until the connection drops at 54 dB of attenuation. The two D-Links are pretty evenly matched in this comparison.

2.4 GHz Uplink Throughput vs. Attenuation

2.4 GHz Uplink Throughput vs. Attenuation

The IxChariot plot below shows some serious throughput variation was responsible for the drop to 40 Mbps of throughput with 6 dB of attenuation. The other IxChariot plots of the low points on the chart show similar throughput variation.

2.4 GHz Uplink 6dB attenuation - IxChariot

2.4 GHz Uplink 6dB attenuation - IxChariot

The 5 GHz results start out more encouraging for the ESR1200 at 293 Mbps—about 70 Mbps higher than the two D-Links. But the EnGenius' decline is steeper than the other two products and also ends earlier at a relatively early 36 dB of attenuation.

5 GHz Downlink Throughput vs. Attenuation

5 GHz Downlink Throughput vs. Attenuation

The 5 GHz uplink throughput profile is very similar to downlink, i.e. strong start, but the range just isn't there.

5 GHz Uplink Throughput vs. Attenuation

5 GHz Uplink Throughput vs. Attenuation

Closing Thoughts

The Router Ranker shows the EnGenius ESR1200 in 5th place (out of seven) among AC1200 class routers. The Performance Summary shows the product's strongest points are its peak Wireless throughput; its weakest is range, especially in 5 GHz.

EnGenius ESR1200 Ranking Performance Summary

EnGenius ESR1200 Ranking Performance Summary

Currently at around $110, the ESR1200 is priced slightly higher than most other AC1200 class routers we've seen so far, which are trying to stay on the downside of the magic $100 price point. The exception, of course, is ASUS' RT-AC56U, which is currently commanding $160.

Aside from its flexible VPN services, the EnGenius ESR1200 offers little else to separate it from an increasingly crowded AC1200 field.

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