EnGenius has been at the forefront of home and corporate networking for over a decade in its native Taiwan, and the company has recently entered the United States market. I was able to review a duo of home networking devices from the company – the ESR9850 router and the sidekick EUB9706 wireless adapter.
EnGenius’s ESR9850 wireless router is built with home networking in mind, and it is advertised as being very easy to set up. I did indeed find this to be the case, as all I needed to do was connect the router via ethernet cable to my cable modem and follow the Setup Wizard instructions. Even though the ESR9850 is branded as a consumer router, it is rated as N, with a max connectivity rate of 300 Mbps. In my tests, anywhere within 10 feet of the router gets top speed, and while the speed does drop off a bit to my desktop (which is a full 70 feet away from the router), I’m usually getting 162 Mbps, with occasional upticks to 212 Mbps and also occasional decreases to only 81 Mbps (my “bar” rating is usually between 2 and 3, but speeds are still faster than with my old router). While I was hoping for a little bit better range (70 feet is not exorbitantly far away for a router, especially consider houses that are much larger than mine), the speed is still considerably faster than our old entry-level Cisco router.
While the ESR9850 is compatible with any wireless adapter, EnGenius makes several USB wireless adapters that promise maximum speed as well as extremely easy connectivity – something that is often taken for granted. The EUB9706 wireless adapter has the great feature of one-touch connectivity with the ESR9850 router. Once your network is set up and wireless adapter plugged in and live, all it takes are two button presses – one first on the router and then a second press on the wireless adapter itself – and you are connected! Thankfully for EnGenius, it really did work this easily.
The EUB9706 is a bit bulky for crowded USB ports, so be aware that you may wish to have a adapter dock with an extension cable. I’m currently using this set up for my home desktop, which not only keeps my USB ports from being crowded, but also puts the adapter about 4 feet closer to the router.
Overall, both the ESR9850 router and the EUB9706 wireless adapter are very good home networking devices that will give you top speed at a very reasonable price.