Another feature worth noting on the ESR750H is versatility of the USB Services. The USB port can support drives, printers, scanners, and even speakers. The two modes for the USB port are NetUSB Mode and Server Mode. Server Mode is the typical Samba server, which allows a connected drive to be seen as a share.
NetUSB Mode requires the Engenius USB Device Service (UDS) Control Center software, which then makes the ESR750H's USB port a virtual USB port on your Windows or MacOS computer. According to Engenius' specs, only one computer can connect to a USB device at a time when in NetUSB Mode. This is similar to D-Link's SharePort and how you connect to everything except storage.
Figure 8: Engenius USB Device Service (UDS) Control Center software
Curious to see whether there was a performance difference between the modes, I ran a couple of quick throughput tests with a FAT32 formatted drive attached in each mode using LAN Speed Test. In NetUSB Mode I could only get about 2 MB/s while writing, and 6.5 MB/s while reading. In Server Mode this performance jumped up to 11 MB/s writing and 13.6 MB/s reading.
If speakers are connected to the USB port of the ESR750H, they are then compatible with AirPlay on iOS devices with what Engenius calls shAir. Music can be streamed to the USB speakers from iTunes or directly from iOS devices.
Unlike some other of its competitors, the 750H's storage options are limited. There is no DLNA or other media servers and no download manager/service. You also can't make the single shared folder public and you can't add users or more folders.
Like other EnGenius routers, the 750H has flexible QoS. You must choose between two-level Priority and Bandwidth Allocation modes. It's not clear whether Priority mode applies to upload, download or traffic in both directions. This mode also allows for an unlimited priority queue, which excludes one IP address from QoS policy.
But the more useful Bandwidth Allocation mode lets you set rules for up and download, with controls for IP address range, protocol (All, TCP, UDP, SMTP, HTTP, POP3, FTP), port range, policy (min/max) and rate (Full and stepped from 32 Mbps - 64 Kbps, with each step 50% of the one above it). Figure 9 below shows some of the configuration options when set in Bandwidth Allocation mode.
Figure 9: ESR750H QoS Bandwidth Allocation mode
I ran a quick check of QoS in bandwidth allocation mode and found that the max limit worked fine.
The Engenius ESR750H also includes VPN servers that support PPTP and L2TP tunnels. Configuration options included choice of PPTP or L2TP, user and password, choice of CHAP, PAP or MSCHAP_V2 authentication and Local and Remote Address settings.
I ran a quick test of PPTP connectivity with the built-in 64-bit Windows 7 VPN client and was able to connect quickly. L2TP was more challenging and I was never able to get it to connect in my testing timeframe.
Figure 10: ESR750H VPN Profile Setting screen
Parental controls on the ESR750H support many options. Filtering can be done on a schedule by either MAC or IP address range. Additionally, specific keywords or URLs could be filtered from that policy, as well as TCP or UDP port range. All filters had deny or allow options.
I found with my testing that errors in setting up a policy didn't give you a chance to correct the errors, but instead displayed a warning and booted you back to the main policy screen. Figure 11 below shows the Add Policy screen for Parental Controls.
Figure 11: ESR750H Parental Control Add Policy screen
The other problem with these controls is that blocked sites just result in a hung browser. You are not redirected to a page that explains why your desired page isn't loading. This reduces the usefulness of an otherwise useful feature set.
Web Access Logging
Web Access Logging is marginally useful because every HTTP transfer was captured vs. just the primary web request. So the screen looked more like a Fiddler HTTP capture than something one could quickly scan through. It also looked like the Web Monitor did not capture the PC originating the request if the ESR750H was not configured as the DHCP server for the LAN. Figure 12 shows an example of capturing every HTTP transfer.