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Wireless Reviews

When I met EnGenius in January at CES, they mentioned that they had new firmware that significantly improved the performance of their EAP-300 access point that fared so poorly in my review last December. So I promised I'd give it a retest and finally have.

The retest was done with the EAP-300 upgraded to version 1.2.3 firmware, using our standard wireless test process. The AP was set to Channel 1 and the Intel Centrino Ultimate-N 6300 in a Lenovo x220i notebook running Win 7 Home Premium test client was connected using WPA2/AES security. As with the previous test, the AP was left in its default 26 dBm transmit power setting for testing.

The updated throughput ranking in Figure 1 shows the EAP-300 moving up from bottom to fourth-from-bottom position for downlink with a 32.8 Mbps overall average downlink throughput across four test locations vs. 16.5 Mbps in the previous test.

Wireless performance comparison - 2.4 GHz, 20 MHz mode, downlink

Figure 1: Wireless performance comparison - 2.4 GHz, 20 MHz mode, downlink

Overall average uplink throughput also improved, but not as dramatically (20.9 Mbps vs. 17.3 Mbps previously).

Wireless performance comparison - 2.4 GHz, 20 MHz mode, uplink

Figure 2: Wireless performance comparison - 2.4 GHz, 20 MHz mode, uplink

The IxChariot plot in Figure 3 shows much better stability, with none of the wild swings seen with the previous firmware. Location A throughput increased significantly from 43 Mbps to the 75 Mbps shown below.

IxChariot plot - 2.4 GHz, 20 MHz, downlink

Figure 3: IxChariot plot - 2.4 GHz, 20 MHz, downlink

If you check out the other plots via the links below, you'll see similar stability in the other modes. I was able to achieve 122 Mbps of total throughput in Location A in 40 MHz bandwidth mode running a simultaneous up and downlink test.

Here are links to the other retest plots for your reference:

Figure 4 shows the Performance Table with the retest data.

Wireless Performance Table - retest

Figure 4: Wireless Performance Table - retest

While Figure 5 shows the original data. Uplink in 20 MHz mode still seems to produce the weakest performance, especially as signal levels decrease (Lcations C, D, F).

Wireless Performance Table - original

Figure 4: Wireless Performance Table - original

Closing Thoughts

EnGenius' new firmware has definitely improved the performance and throughput stability of the EAP-300. As long as you don't expect exceptional range/coverage performance from it, the EAP-300 could serve you well if you are looking for an single-band 802.11bgn smoke-detector style access point and don't mind paying a relatively pricey $100 for it.

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