EnGenius is a well-respected name in the field of managed wireless networks, and now they have introduced a range of network products called FIT that caters specifically to small businesses with limited IT knowledge. This range includes PoE switches, Wi-Fi 6 access points, and an optional on-site controller. The standout feature of these products is their incredibly simple deployment process.
All FIT switches and access points can be used in standalone mode, managed by the FitController appliance on-premises, or completely moved to the cloud using the FitXpress web portal and mobile apps. The FitController, which costs £134, is designed for IT-savvy users, while FitXpress is a free option for those who prefer a hassle-free experience.
In this review, we will take a closer look at EnGenius’ flagship EWS377-FIT. This dual-band AX3600 Wi-Fi 6 access point boasts impressive speeds of 1,148Mbits/sec on its 2.4GHz radio and 2,400Mbits/sec on the 5GHz radio. It also features a 2.5GbE multi-gig PoE+ LAN port, although it does not support high-performance 160MHz Wi-Fi 6 channels.
To power the EWS377-FIT, a PoE source is required as it does not come with a power adapter. We used the EWS2910P-FIT 8-port gigabit switch, which has a 55W power budget and costs £171. EnGenius offers larger FIT Gigabit PoE switches, including the 48-port EWS7952FP-FIT with a 740W power budget.
Performance: For performance testing, we utilized Dell Windows 10 and 11 workstations equipped with TP-Link Archer Wi-Fi 6 and 6E PCI-E adapter cards. Close-range file transfers between the desktops and a Dell Windows server on our main LAN resulted in speeds of around 102MB/sec. When the access point was moved ten meters away to the next room, the speeds remained commendable at 86MB/sec.
The FitController, powered by the switch’s PoE LAN ports, provides a user-friendly web console that is a scaled-down version of EnGenius’ enterprise cloud portal. It is specifically designed for managing local networks. The console is intuitive, with the switch and access point automatically appearing in its inventory for quick registration with just two clicks. After registration, they can be assigned to a preconfigured network.
Before adding access points, it is important to update the preconfigured wireless SSID, which is set to open by default. The controller supports up to 50 networks and 100 FIT access points and switches. The console dashboard offers an overview of all devices and wireless clients, along with graphs depicting wireless throughput, top access points, clients, SSIDs, and applications.
For each SSID, users can activate specific radios, select from a range of encryption schemes including WPA2 and WPA3, enable L2 isolation, band steering, and fast roaming. Download and upload rate limits can be applied to the entire SSID or per client. Guest users can be presented with a captive portal that supports various authentication methods such as click-through, EnGenius user, Radius, or voucher. Users can also create a custom splash page using the built-in HTML editing toolbox.
The FitXpress web portal supports up to eight networks and 30 FIT devices. It is incredibly easy to use—simply create a free account on the fit.engenius.ai website and scan the QR code on the device’s quick start card using the FitXpress mobile app. We successfully assigned the switch and access point to our cloud account using an iPad running the FitXpress app.
The web portal is straightforward, but similar to the FitController, it is advisable to update the default wireless SSIDs as they are open. When creating new SSIDs, options for “Staff” offer enhanced encryption and security choices, including external Radius authentication servers. Guest SSIDs can utilize WPA2/WPA3 Personal encryption and have L2 isolation enabled to prevent user visibility. Open wireless networks can also be set up, with the ability to direct guests to a customizable captive portal featuring an acceptable use policy agreement.
In conclusion, the EnGenius FIT products are a great choice for small businesses seeking easily deployable wireless networks with free cloud management. However, it is important to note that the EWS377-FIT, priced at £386, may be considered expensive for a basic AX3600 access point. Similarly, the other FIT components do not offer superior value.
- How much does the EWS377-FIT cost?
- The EnGenius EWS377-FIT is priced at $188.
- How do I connect my EnGenius extender?
- Connect your laptop to the EnGenius Mesh router and open a browser. Type the IP address (default IP: 192.168.0.1) and log in using the username and password credentials created via the EnMesh APP.
- How do I find my EnGenius access point’s IP address?
- Open a web browser and type the IP address of the EnGenius router (usually located on the back of the router) in the address bar.