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Wi-Fi Router Charts

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Wireless Performance - 2.4 GHz 2 Stream

For performance comparison, I chose three other "N750" routers: NETGEAR WNDR4000; Belkin N750DB and Cisco Linksys EA3500.

The comparison tables are large, so I'm going to provide links that will open them in a new window/tab to make things easier. Let's start with the Performance Table for Two-stream 2.4 GHz.

Even though 2.4 GHz is the 750H's better band, it doesn't win any of the overall comparisons. The best it can manage is one Location A tie (20 MHz, uplink).

To reinforce its bad showing, note that there are no Location F test results in 40 MHz mode. In that weakest signal test location, the client was able to stay associated with the 750H, but not with a good enough signal to support even a ping return, let alone running the IxChariot test.

The IxChariot plot summary below for 20 MHz mode downlink shows fairly large variation in Locations A, C and D and a long period of barely-usable throughput for Location F.

EnGenius ESR750H IxChariot plot summary - 2.4 GHz, 20 MHz mode, downlink, 2 stream
EnGenius ESR750H IxChariot plot summary - 2.4 GHz, 20 MHz mode, downlink, 2 stream

Note the large difference in uplink and downlink performance in the simultaneous tests linked below:

Wireless Performance - 5 GHz 2 Stream

Next, we'll look at the Performance Table for two-stream 5 GHz.

Very few routers can reach the SNB test location F using the 5 GHz band. The signal loss from the test house is just too great. But it's seldom that products can't reach test location D and even with reasonably high throughput.

Such is not the case, however, with the 750H. It was only able to reach to Location C. And when switched to its default Auto 20/40 mode, both up and downlink throughput in Location C was barely usable!

This poor range could be partly due to the switch in test client, which I had to use to test two-stream performance. I fired up inSSIDer on both test notebooks and parked them in the test Location A spot side-by-side and found that the two-stream client's RSSI reading was about 10 dB lower than the three stream's. Nevertheless, this two-stream client hasn't previously failed to connect in location D in 5 GHz with other products.

The IxChariot plot summary below for 20 MHz mode downlink shows throughput varying all over the place.

EnGenius ESR750H IxChariot plot summary - 5 GHz, 20 MHz mode, downlink, 2 stream
EnGenius ESR750H IxChariot plot summary - 5 GHz, 20 MHz mode, downlink, 2 stream

The other plots linked below show similar effects during the other test runs.

Wireless Performance - 5 GHz 3 Stream

Finally, we'll look at the Performance Table for three-stream 5 GHz.

This group of results used the same test client used for all other tests except the 5 GHz, 2 stream. This combination of client and router did reach test Location D this time, but with sub-par results. Downlink in 40 Mhz mode—what most people would want to use when attempting HD streaming—eked out only 15 Mbps of throughput in Location D. And running uplink in 40 MHz bandwidth mode yielded an tenuous connection, which quit part way into the test and could not be re-established so that I could get a complete test run.

The IxChariot plot summary below for 20 MHz mode downlink once again shows high throughput variation.

EnGenius ESR750H IxChariot plot summary - 5 GHz, 20 MHz mode, downlink, 3 stream
EnGenius ESR750H IxChariot plot summary - 5 GHz, 20 MHz mode, downlink, 3 stream

Variation settles down for the other 20 MHz mode tests, but picks up again during the 40 MHz mode runs:

Closing Thoughts

I can't give you a good reason to buy the ESR750H. While it has a large feature set, including PPTP and L2TP VPN, up and downlink QoS and parental controls, the actual operation of these features isn't impressive and in some cases inoperable. To make matters worse, documentation is downright awful. The user manual has little more than screenshots with short "what" descriptions and no "how" and "why". And forget trying to find helpful info in the EnGenius Knowledge base, there isn't much there.

As for the 750H's claim of "Super Long Range", forget it. Long range has always been a key part of EnGenius' pitch. But the router shows no signs of notably high wireless throughput even under strong signal conditions in either band. And 5 GHz performance falls off so quickly with even moderate distance that the 5 GHz band will be useless for most users.

People buy wireless routers expecting good wired and wireless performance. The ESR750H is a speedy example of the former, but fails badly at the latter.

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