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EnGenius ESR9855G | Multimedia Enhanced Wireless 300N Router for Gamers

EnGenius ESR9855G | Multimedia Enhanced Wireless 300N Router for Gamers | Review

The EnGenius ESR9855G Multimedia Enhanced Wireless 300N Gaming Router is a single-band device, blown up with advanced features and generous a spiky managing interface. It delivers strong throughput at close range in a row in 802.11 b/g/n (Mixed) modes, but that throughput down off at distance increasing. Unexpectedly, speed actually declined when we set the gadget (EnGenius ESR9855G) on 802.11n only mode. This makes for a router that aims high yet falls short in retaining constantly strong throughput. It's the one big mistake in this gadget, otherwise very good router.

EnGenius ESR9855G Multimedia Enhanced Wireless 300N Gaming Router
Specs and Design
Among consumer router, the ESR9855G’s design is only one of its kind. It's an authentic eye catcher, with black shiny top and bright orange bodywork. Two external 3dBi Dipole antennas attach to both sides of the router. Inside are the Ubicom IP7K + Atheros AR9223 (RF) chipset. The front panel has LEDs for monitoring power, client connections, WAN and WPA. The rear houses four Gigabit LAN ports, a WAN port, and a power switch.  On top of the unit is a WPS button for easy client connectivity. The bottom of the device has two wall mount sockets.
The design is apparently conducive to cool running, as the router remained cool to the touch after two days of uptime.
Setup and Features
The setup process, which requires wiring a computer to the device, seems dated when the norm is wireless setup found in routers such as the Cisco Linksys E4200 Maximum Performance Wireless-N Router or Belkin's N750 Wireless Dual-Band N+ Router, but it is still easy and efficient. The router ships with a CD containing the user manual and the EnGenius Smart Wizard, a browser-based interface rather than an executable file.
Setup commands are very detailed, illustrating how to power up and connect the cables to the router. My WAN settings were picked up right away. By default, the router was configured to run in mixed mode with no security setup. This may be problematic for less technical users. Routers from Cisco/Linksys and other vendors incorporating security configuration into the initial setup process; it’s just that important. Since EnGenius is marketing this to the savvier gamer set, the omission of security configuration from setup is forgivable.
The interface is sharp. It's clean, and easy to navigate through. The color choices and font-sizing makes it very easy on the eyes. Once the router is set up, the interface allows for further configuration of basic and advanced settings. A wireless wizard within the interface walks users through the basics—changing the SSID and setting up security. Although, as mentioned, security isn't configured during initial setup by default, EnGenius does a good job of conveying what the different security settings mean, with WPA2 listed as "Best."
Advanced settings allow for very granular tweaking of settings that most users won't want to fuss with, such as transmit power and DTIM interval. In between the very basic and very advanced settings are lots of other features in this router. The device offers DHCP, SPI firewall, VPN pass-through, Dynamic DNS, virtual server mapping and port forwarding.
QoS is done with feature called SteamEngine. When enabled, it aids in prioritizing traffic, which is why this is a router targeted for gamers and multimedia enthusiasts.
While some throughput issues stop me short of recommending this as a small business router, there are some capabilities that would be attractive to a small business. For instance, the ESR9855G supports WPA2-Enterprise encryption, and users can establish up to four distinct WLANs.

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