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Wi-Fi Router Charts

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Mesh System Charts

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Setup

My test unit came configured with both radios enabled and wireless security disabled right out of the box. I ran through the wizard for wireless setup and came upon an interesting find regarding the wireless password that you see in Figure 5.

Default wireless password on the ESR750H
Figure 5: Default wireless password on the ESR750H

The wizard provides several options for wireless security:

  • None, which my unit came configured as.
  • Medium, which defaults the password to 1234567890 and uses WEP64.
  • High, which uses WPA2 Pre-Shared key, but also defaulted to a 1234567890 password.

Neither Medium nor High required, or even suggested that I change the password! Since the password does not appear to be randomly generated and isn't suggested to be changed, it's easy to make the jump that there will be consumers who take the Engenius 1234567890 suggestion, thinking they are highly secure, when indeed they are not.

Each radio is set to a different SSID by default that appear to be "EnGeniusD" plus the last five digits of each radio's MAC address. But the default SSIDs don't indicate which band/radio they belong to, so you'll probably want to change them to something more informative

Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) also comes enabled by default, but with no encryption set. Once you set up encryption, the WPS status changes to configured. But when I tried to associate with the 750H with a Windows 7 client, it just popped up the encryption key entry box and didn't provide the option to connect via WPS.

EnGenius doesn't Wi-Fi certify many of its products and the ESR750H is among that group. If it were Certified, I doubt that this security hole and WPS problem would have made it through the process.

Features / In Use

The ESR750H has a pretty comprehensive set of features, some of which I couldn't find any documentation on. The admin interface is laid out nicely and was self-explanatory in most instances.

Here is a summary of features I compiled from the ESR750H's datasheet and admin interface:

  • Static IP, Dynamic IP, PPPoE, PPTP, L2TP WAN connections
  • MAC address cloning
  • MTU adjustment
  • DHCP server, range setting, lease time setting, default domain and DNS servers
  • DHCP client table
  • DHCP reservations
  • Dynamic DNS client for 3322, DHS ,DynDNS, ZoneEdit and CyberGate
  • System monitoring, including bandwidth charts and configurable logging
  • Block ICMP
  • NAT+SPI firewall
  • DoS Attack Blocking
  • Rule Based (IP Address Ranges, Port Ranges & Schedule)
  • DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) Host Support
  • L2TP & PPTP VPN servers
  • VPN pass-through (PPTP, L2TP, IPSEC)
  • Static Routing-RIPv2
  • Dynamic Routing
  • Port Forwarding (single port and port range, separate public and private ports)
  • Port Triggering
  • MAC Address Filtering
  • ALG (Application Layer Gateway) Support
  • Up and downlink QOS; two level priority or bandwidth allocation by service and IP address/range
  • USB NetUSB Mode or Samba server mode

And the wireless features:

  • Four SSIDs, each with separate wireless security
  • Wi-Fi Protected setup (PIN and pushbutton methods)
  • WDS bridging and repeating
  • WEP, WPA / WPA2 Personal and Enterprise Radius support
  • Transmit power control (10, 25, 50, 75, 90, 100% [default])
  • Transmit data rate
  • Wireless Modes: B only, G only, N only, B+G and B+G+N (default)
  • Wireless MAC address filtering
  • Connection control per SSID: WAN, Wireless-Wireless, Wireless-LAN

The features are pretty extensive, with the major omission being IPv6 support. There is only an IPv6 firewall passthrough enabled by default. And while you can change the remote administration port from its default of 8080 and lock down access to one IP, secure HTTPs access is not supported.

Table 2 summarizes key wireless settings. Note that both Personal and Enterprise (RADIUS) forms of WPA/WPA2 security are supported and there is one more 5 GHz channel (165) than many other routers support. Also of note is the Country Selection control exposed on the 5 GHz radio Advanced page. It generally isn't a good idea to let users bypass local regulations for frequencies and transmit power levels.

Setting 5 GHz 2.4 GHz
Channel Auto
36, 40, 44, 48
149, 153, 157, 161, 165
Auto
1 - 11
Mode 802.11a/n (default), 11a, 11n 802.11bgn (default), 11b,
11g, 11b/g, 11n
Bandwidth control Auto 20/40 [default]
20 MHz
Auto 20/40 [default]
20 MHz
Security None
WEP - Open System, Shared Key, Auto
WPA PSK (Personal)- TKIP, AES, Mixed
WPA RADIUS (Enterprise) - TKIP, AES, Mixed
Table 2: Wireless settings summary

This is really a nice set of features and they are laid out rather nicely in the admin interface. For the most part, a lot of the admin interface is about what you would expect with other routers. I've included a few key screenshots in the gallery below, but I'll take a closer look below at some of the features that I particularly found interesting.

First is the Monitor function. More routers are starting to have realtime bandwidth monitors in their admin interfaces and that's a good thing. With the ESR750H you get LAN bandwidth monitoring, WAN monitoring, and then Wireless, which is split out between the 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks.

Bandwidth Monitors screens, highlighting no change in LAN monitor
Figure 6: Bandwidth Monitors screens, highlighting no change in LAN monitor

Just for fun, I fired up LAN Speed Test and ran a couple of quick tests from my workstation, through the ESR750H's switch, to a NETGEAR RNDU2120 ReadyNAS connected to another of the ESR750H's LAN ports. Even writing at about 500 Mbps and reading just under that, I was surprised to see the LAN Bandwidth monitor not change at all. After some additional testing, I had to conclude that the LAN bandwidth monitor doesn't monitor wired LAN-LAN traffic.

I then set up the ESR750H as my main router and ran a test using a wired connection to Speedtest.net. I was surprised to see the bandwidth on the WAN monitor not change here either. After some additional experiments, the conclusion is that the WAN bandwidth monitor does work, but it is far from real time and doesn't appear to accurately reflect the traffic.

Finally I ran the same two tests using wireless, this time the WAN and the LAN monitor then showed more accurate results. As you can see in Figure 7 below, the 2.4 GHz WLAN numbers and LAN numbers reflect the LAN test I was running. The monitor is a nice touch, but either it needs some work or I wasn't understanding it correctly. The manual for the Engenius ESR750H didn't have much to say about it.

Bandwidth Monitors screens, highlighting change in 2.4GHz WLAN monitor
Figure 7: Bandwidth Monitors screens, highlighting change in 2.4GHz WLAN monitor

Note, by the way, that the Monitor scales can't be changed. So this makes the feature of little use for those who want to track their monthly bandwidth use against their ISP's cap.

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