Unscientific Throughput Testing of the Engenius ECW336

Unscientific Throughput Testing

Engenius ECW336

The following are results of simple throughput testing of the ECW336. The AP is installed in a fairly standard late 1960s stick built house in a 21×24 foot room of the “walkout” basement. The AP is 6.5 feet from the floor on the underside of a drywall box built over the house’s central HVAC duct and a steel support I-beam.

The AP’s radio configuration, yes I know 40MHz on 2.4 is stupid, and like everyone else the 2.4 is trashed by neighbors and my own IoT devices (mainly Thread radios).

SSID configuration for the all clients test. The first two are on separate tagged VLANs, the last two are on the untagged VLAN.

The clients used for throughput testing are:

  • 2.4GHz Intel core i7 running Windows 10 with an Intel AX200 card locked to 2.4GHz
  • 5GHz Apple MacBook Pro M1 14”
  • 6GHz Intel core i5 running Manjaro Linux with an Intel AX210

The two Intel computers are in the corners of the room diagonal from each other, the Mac is on the arm of a couch a couple of feet from the third corner (the AP picture was taken over my shoulder sitting here).

Each test (iperf3, OST) was done simultaneously on all three clients.

Iperf3 download test uses the following options -t 300 -O 4 -R —forceflush Iperf3 Bi-directional uses -t 300 —bidir —forceflush

Iperf3 UDP test was done throwing -PX and -b XXM combinations on the client until the lost packets was <20% or the throughput showed no gain in a short test. Then that command line was ran for -t 300

OpenSpeedTest used the ?s=l option (5 minute download, 5 minute upload)

This first set is what we will call the “Marketing” results. The AP was configured for a single SSID on the default VLAN with only these three clients on it. Each client had their own wired computer for the iperf3 server.

2.4GHz

5GHz

6GHz

Not too shabby. Yes you can make things faster (better “servers”, optimized placements of the clients/AP), but the entire point of this exercise is not to make it a “lab” test, but a test in an average installation.

The next set of tests is where we are getting into the “real world” this set has the AP serving the entire house (~30 some clients spread across the radios) with most of the clients just percolating along idle (there was one Sonos zone streaming music and some web browsing, nothing real intense). For these tests I went with a single server using a 10Gbe adapter providing iperf3 endpoints on different IP ports and hosting the OST server.

In order 2.4GHz, 5GHz, 6GHz. iperf3 down, OST, iperf3 —bidir, iperf3 UDP.

I found it VERY interesting that 6GHz bidirectional is able to get so close to Gbe with a fairly even split between up and down.

I had to give the 6GHz UDP its very own page…..

Yes that is right, almost 2Gbps. In fact when I do that test without the other two beating on the server I have broken 2Gbps (just barely 2.03Gbps)

Now we are into the meat of things for all of the next tests I had some help with people doing “everything all at once”, phones and tablets were streaming YouTube/surfing the web, wifi connected computers and Nintendo switches were playing multiplayer games on the internet, 2 Apple TVs and 1 Roku TV were streaming 4k movies, all the Sonos zones were playing different playlists.

First up the list of connected devices and their SNR

As you can see the ECW336 has a pretty good set of ears on it, most of these clients are on the floor above.

The order for this listing will be all the 2.4GHz, then 5GHz, then 6GHz tests.

The 5Ghz really took a hit, but that is to be expected with as many active clients and mixed types from 802.11n (newer Sonos), to non-standards compliant 802.11ac (Roku) on the AP all at once.

During the OST tests I grabbed a screenshot of the switch’s (ECS5512FP) live diagnostic screen showing the port going to the AP during each phase.

So there you have it, totally unscientific throughput tests of the ECW336.

One thing to keep in the back of your mind is the fact that when using iperf/OST to generate traffic the AP has next to no chance to employ MU-MIMO/OFDMA. While those features won’t make a single client have a higher throughput they do make the AP’s ethernet usage go way up so it is important that if you want full use of your 336 you do not hamstring it with only 2.5 or 1Gb switching.

Happy WiFi, T.C.O.A

EnGenius User group discord https://discord.gg/KZPF6rhT72

Windows VPN Client Configuration for ESG510 using Shrew VPN Client

Although windows has a built in VPN client it frequently is not working due to updates you can use the free shrew soft VPN client with the ESG510.

9.3 VPN Client using Shrew VPN Client on Windows 10 as an example

  • This is an example of how the Shrew VPN client should be configured on a Windows 10 PC in order to launch a Client VPN connection to ESG.
  • The screenshots in this slide and the next slides walk you through the configuration parameters on the Shrew VPN Client.
  • Since my ESG WAN IP is not static, I have enabled the DDNS feature on ESG for hostname “ntkevinshao.ddns.net”, so ESG will report to ddns.net DNS server to use its Primary WAN Public IP for ntkevinshao.ddns.net DNS resolution. Therefore, I can input ntkevinshao.ddns.net in the Host Name or IP Address field without having to care what my ESG’s current WAN public IP is.

If you uncheck Obtain Topology Automatically or Tunnel All and specify Remote Network Resource manually, then Split Tunneling is used and only traffic with destinations matching the subnet(s) specified in Remote Network Resource are forwarded thru IPsec VPN tunnel.

From the screenshot below, you can see client has got a 10.10.11.1 /24 IP address, default route is not changed but a static route to 192.168.66.0 /24 with next hop set to IPsec tunnel 10.10.11.1 is added because we had configured split tunneling in Shrew VPN client.

Cross Country Site To Site VPN testing with the ESG510 and Client VPN testing with IOS

I have been testing the new EnGenius security gateway it is setup as my main Internet router in Connecticut and I have site to site VPN configured with another ESG510 in California. The configuration is mostly automatic both gateways are registered to the EnGenius cloud so no WAN IP addresses are needed and NAT traversal is automatic.

You can choose which networks are allowed access form the far side of t he VPN. Once enabled I was able to access the gateway and access point on the remote side via my local web browser.

Next I enabled client VPN the only configuration necessary is to choose a subnet for the VPN clients and to set the pre shared key.

Lastly I configured the IOS client with my WAN IP and was instantly connected to the ESG510 VPN.

More information on the ESG510 security gateway and router here

WiPry Clarity 6Ghz Wi-Fi 6E Spectrum Analyzer Review

Oscium has just released the WiPry Clarity tri-band spectrum analyzer supporting 2.4, 5 and 6Ghz for the new Wi-Fi 6E standard. The Clarity works with with the free to download WiPry software for Windows and soon Mac and ships with both USB type C and type A adapters.

Wi-Fi 6E has a massive new spectrum with 6 available 160Mhz channels, 14 80Mhz channels, 29 40Mhz channels and a whopping 59 20Mhz channels. It is going to be much easier to find a clean and fast Wi-Fi 6E channel with no disconnects.

I installed the WiPry software on a desktop PC with windows 10 and set it to 6Ghz mode. I have one of the first business class Wi-Fi 6E Access Points the EnGenius ECW336AP running on channel 15 in 160Mhz mode. I started a speed test on my laptop with a Intel AX210 Wi-Fi 6E adapter and you can see it on the spectrum plot below.

Right now the 6Ghz spectrum is pretty empty but if you are doing a tri-band multi AP deployment that will change quickly. You can still have co channel and adjacent channel interference issues if you are not careful with channel selection. There will also be non Wi-Fi devices using 6Ghz that only a spectrum analyzer can detect. Having the WiPry Clarity in your toolbox will help you troubleshoot current and future Wi-Fi networks!

You can purchase a WiPry Clarity here

EnGenius Now Shipping Its First Ever Wi-Fi 6E Access Point for the SMB Market

COSTA MESA, Calif., July 27, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — EnGenius Technologies Inc., a worldwide manufacturer of future-proof enterprise networking solutions, today announced that their very first Wi-Fi 6E access point designed for the SMB market is shipping now—despite persistent supply chain shortages affecting industries worldwide.

Powered by Qualcomm, the EnGenius Cloud ECW336 Wi-Fi 6E indoor ceiling mount tri-band access point has been developed for use in the recently unleashed 6 GHz spectrum. The ECW336 AP marks the company’s first venture into 6E territory.

EnGenius Technologies, Inc.
EnGenius Technologies, Inc.

Experts predict that as many as 500 million Wi-Fi 6E compatible devices will spill onto the market in the next two years, enjoying massive, pristine Wi-Fi real estate. While the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands offer a total of 560 MHz of spectrum and 27 channels, 6 GHz alone offers 1200 MHz of spectrum and 59 channels.

With its 6E capability, the ECW336 AP easily supports the ever-growing bandwidth demands of densely congested environments such as corporate workspaces, multi-family units, senior living, student housing, retail, medical centers, and resorts.

Business professionals and consumers alike will experience much faster connection speeds without the lag, buffering, and endless download delays experienced within the saturated 2.4 and 5GHz bands. The future of lightning fast, unimpeded Wi-Fi is finally here.Top Features of the ECW336 Access Point:

  • Operates in the 6 GHz band, which offers interference-free signals and paves the way for innovation.
  • Can access 14 additional 80 MHz channels or 7 160 MHz super-wide channels to avoid bottlenecks and reach gigabit Wi-Fi.
  • Includes powerful Qualcomm processor to boost performance exponentially.
  • Contains three radios (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, and now 6 GHz) to support thousands of current and new devices.
  • Features high efficiency Wi-Fi 6 technology to handle a massive number of connections and deliver better communication.
  • Comes with 5 Gbps Ethernet port to easily support gigabit wireless speeds and higher user consumption.
  • Includes new diagnostic and connectivity tools, and real-time channel utilization for greater Wi-Fi performance.

The high efficiency of Wi-Fi 6 wireless technology is becoming more prominent in today’s devices, but the true power of these features will now be unleashed in the massive, unexplored 6 GHz realm. Now, users will realize what true gigabit wireless speed really means.

Now is the time to take advantage of this ground-breaking technology. Visit our site for more information on how you can get your ECW336 Wi-Fi 6E access points.

About EnGenius

EnGenius Technologies is a leading global manufacturer of pioneering wireless and voice communications. For more than 20 years, EnGenius has delivered best-in-class voice and data solutions that empower mobility, enhance productivity, and embrace simplicity. EnGenius prides itself on providing you with the best, most reliable, feature-rich, personalized network solutions to drive the success of your business.

Keenan Systems Hotel Wi-Fi guide v1.3

You can download a PDF of this guide here

Wi-Fi is changing the hospitality industry. It is shifting the way hotels run business and market themselves — and frequently it’s a key factor in how guests decide where to stay and whether they’ll come back.

Hotel Managers know they need to offer Wi-Fi to their customers, however they are also very cost conscience. 

This creates a set of opportunities and challenges for the systems integrator doing the installation and ongoing support for these networks. 

Many hotel operators first attempt to use consumer products such as Ubiquity, Linksys, D-Link & Netgear Wi-Fi equipment. Quickly the hotel manager and system integrator realize that SOHO routers, which are designed to support 1-3 users with low powered radios (under 50mW), just don’t perform well in this type of environment. 

Keenan Systems can now offer network systems integrators a centrally managed high powered business class Wi-Fi solutions.  We offer best in class Wi-Fi products from EnGenius Technologies and Ruckus Networks.  We have cloud and controller based management solutions we can help you decide what is best for your situation.

EnGenius has a new line of cloud managed AP’s and switches here.  With a cloud managed AP like the Wi-Fi 6  ECW230 you configure manage and monitor the AP settings on website changes are automatically pushed to the device from the cloud.  Some of the advantages of this are you can maintain multiple sites from one interface you do not need to worry about firmware updates and if you need to replace a AP you can do so remotely you just need someone on site to plug in a new device and send you the serial number.  The same goes for cloud managed switches like the  24 port PoE ECS1528FP your can configure, monitor traffic and check status on switch ports as well as cycle PoE power to reboot a remote device.   Cloud managed devices do usually come with a yearly license fee per device but the EnGenius cloud is free for the life of the product there is an optional pro license for advanced features.  Another great cloud managed AP for hotels is the Ruckus R550 it has the advantage of smart antenna design and can handle hundreds of connections. 

Once you try a cloud deployment you will never go back to on site controller based system. You can setup a free cloud account on the engenius cloud portal and even configure a network before purchasing any hardware. One of the advantages of ruckus AP’s is you can convert most zondirector managed AP’s to cloud by just flashing the firmware. You can also request a free ruckus cloud demo license here.

Some of the advantages of a cloud based systems are. You can remotely monitor, manage and troubleshoot with the cloud website and app. Cloud based PoE switches give you even further troubshooting ability you can remotely power cycle a switch port if an AP is not responding and verify port connections and link speeds. You can even run a remote packet capture with an engenius ECS switch. Firmware updates are also managed by the cloud so all devices will be up to date. Additional features can be added to the cloud so you Wi-Fi systems gets better with more capabilities all the time.

Some of the disadvantage of cloud managed AP’s is your site will need a active Internet connection to manage them and there is sometimes a charge for the cloud license as with Ruckus Cloud. However cloud managed AP’s will continue working with their current configuration even if the Internet is down or the cloud license is expired.

 Most hospitality customers are now moving to cloud management for AP’s and Switches however some still want to maintain a on site controller. The  EnGenius Neutron Manged EWS377AP are 800mW 11ax Wi-Fi 6 access points with 2.5 gigabit ethernet. The coverage is 3-times greater than consumer wireless routers and more powerful than the enterprise class access points from Cisco Systems. The units are feature rich and includes multiple SSID, VLAN tagging, SNMP and Power Over Ethernet for flexible deployment.  They can be managed by any of the engenius EWS switches like the EWS5912FP which can also power the AP’s via PoE and provide gigabit connectivity. The   EnGenius Neutron Manged EWS377AP also supports the free Engenius EZmaster virtual appliance for management and monitoring of larger networks.  There is also an outdoor version EnGenius EWS850AP which can extend the wireless network outdoors or be used to bridge remote buildings.   Another great controller managed AP for hotels is the Ruckus R750 it is a 4×4 Wi-Fi 6 AP and can be  managed by the zonedirector 1205 or smartzone 100 controllers. 

Some of the advantages of a controller based system are. On site controller based systems are quick to react to changes and can monitor channel changes and power output more precisely.  Controller based systems are very hands off so once you configure them for the hotel you will rarely need to make changes.

Some of the disadvantages of controller based systems are. To manage them you will need to remote into the network or use a VPN to troubleshoot or make changes.  Many times this requires a service visit with a truck roll. Software updates can be hard the controller firmware must match the AP firmware. So adding additional AP’s or replacing failed units can be time consuming. The controller is a single point of failure although they are vey reliable if they do fail the Wi-Fi is going to be down.

With a flood of 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) clients coming on the market every day like iPhone 11 , iPad, Samsung Galaxy S10 and Microsoft Surface it is a good idea to boost you capacity with a Wi-Fi 6  AP’s like the ECW230  or  Ruckus R750.  Users are now carrying 5 plus devices that need access to fast WiFi.  By offering them the 5Ghz band you are doubling capacity and eliminating dropped connections you might see on 2.4Ghz band.  If you have a situation with many users in one place like a outdoor bar or indoor conference room a Wi-Fi 6 AP can fix a slow WiFi situation.

The 6Ghz band has now been opened up with the new Wi-Fi standard Wi-Fi 6E. There is a huge new spectrum of interference free channels available with multi gigabit speeds. Two new AP’s that support Wi-Fi 6E are the engenius ECW336 and ruckus R760.

Environment is always a factor when discussing wireless connectively. The hotel’s construction, size and location are some contributing factors, which will determine the wireless coverage for each hotel. These factors determine how radio frequencies travel through and around obstacles which will vary for every hotel installation. 

The first step of any successful installation is a site survey you at a minimum need spectrum analyzer like the Ekahau Sidekick  to determine if the air is noise free and to do channel allocation.  Engenius also has new security AP’s with built in dedicated scanning radios and spectrum analyzers.

For more advanced site survey we recommend Ekahau Site Survey Pro with the capability of displaying coverage on a heat map of your floorplan.  Ekahau Site Survey Pro  also has a sophisticated predictive site planner so you can determine how many AP’s your hotel will need with just a floor plan see example below

Below are sample hotel configurations:

Concrete walls with metal rebar pose the biggest problems for WiFi coverage so positioning the access points in a central hallway is usually best. The ECW230 is a smoke detector like device that can be ceiling mounted it fits into any area.  The access points in the below diagram should be configured on non overlapping channels 1, 6 and 11. For the maximum coverage put the ECW230 in 20MHz only mode and 80Mhz mode on the 5.8Ghz interface.   The SSID of all access points can be set to the same this allow seamless roaming between bands and AP’s so users can walk from one area to another. Power Over Ethernet, which provides power and data to the access point, allow system integrators to conveniently install the access points anywhere in the hotel. Approximately 300ft of Ethernet cable can be run from the PoE switch or injector to the AP. 

When using the engenius cloud controller to manage the network you also add features like captive portal authentication, seamless roaming and  channel and power adjustment.  You can also control the entire network from one web interface and app whether you are local or remote to the site.

Engenius also has a wall plate AP the  ECW215 this combines a wired 2 port gigabit switch and a dual band 11ax Wi-Fi 6 AP in one.  If your hotel is prewired with cat5e ethernet in the walls to each room these will make install a snap.    These are also good to use if you have a heavy stone or metal walls where hallway mounted AP’s will not penetrate into the rooms.

In the example below we have a floor plan with open balconies and large windows.  In this situation it is sometime easier to use outdoor access points like the  ECW260  Power over ethernet is used to supply power and data from the indoor wiring closet. The access point can be pole mounted in the courtyard outside the rooms again on non overlapping channels and will cover 1-3 floors. 

In the example below we have a high end resort, apartment or condo WiFi example with remote buildings.  It may be expensive to run Ethernet between buildings in this case the Dual Radio ECW260  with meshing can be used.  The main ECW260   would be put in access point mode on the 2.4Ghz radio with mesh backhaul on the 5Ghz radio,  The 5Ghz radio will be used to connect to the remote access points while the 2.4Ghz radio can be used for user connection around the office.  The remote ECW260 will have the 5Ghz radio in mesh mode to connected back to the main AP and for 5Ghz clients to connect to,  While the 2.4Ghz radio is used for client access.   The SSID of the remote buildings can be different or the same as the office,  The 5.8Ghz SSID should be different and named something like “fast WiFi” so 5Ghz clients will connect to it first.  You can enable meshing from the engenius cloud portal under radio settings.

In the last example we have a hotel with guest rooms, bar and a pool areas.  The ECW230 can be used in the indoor locations wired back to the cloud managed  ECS2512FP multi gigabit PoE switch switch which is then connected to your router.  In the outdoor areas the two  ECW260   one can be wired into the building and the other can be used in mesh mode extending WiFi into the pool area without wires.  

Contact us for more questions or price quotes

keenanj@keenansystems.com

860 748 4110 

You can download a PDF of this guide here

Adding a Intel AX210 Wi-Fi 6E adapter to a windows 10 desktop computer

Adding a m.2 Wi-Fi card to your desktop can be easy if it already has a compatible slot. My motherboard a Asus Tuf Gaming X570-Plus did not come with a Wi-Fi enabled M.2 slot. So I used this WiFi Card to M.2 Key M Adapter Card below.

I installed it into one of the 2 M.2 slots this board has the other is in use by my SSD.

Next I ordered the intel AX210 Wi-Fi 6E adapter below this supports 6Ghz as well as 5.8 and 2.4 and has a riser with external antennas.

If this was a windows 11 system it would download the latest drivers and 6Ghz would start working. With windows 10 you have to take a few more steps. Here is my windows build.

I followed this guide at SNBForums. But when I installed the latest AX210 driver I could only see 2.4 and 5.8Ghz networks. I ended up having to manually install the driver below. You can download the driver below

Intel AX210 Wi-Fi 6E Driver 22.45.1.1

FREE DOWNLOAD

Send download link to:

Once I installed this driver and rebooted I could see my 6Ghz Wi-Fi 6E ECW336 AP and I was greeted by the WPA3 enabled network message below and connected at 2.4Gbps!

I did some performance testing with iPerf and was getting over 1Gbps a little slower than my laptop with the same card. Desktops will block some of the signal so this is expected.

6Ghz is Finally Here and it is fast! EnGenius ECW336 802.11AX Wi-Fi 6E Access Point Review

The ECW336 is a tri band 2.4 / 5 and 6ghz Wi-Fi Access Point from EnGenius.

I did some speed and distance testing at 6Ghz with my laptop and Intel 2×2 AX210 Wi-Fi 6E adapter and then compared it to the 5Ghz radio. The ECW336 is connected to a ECS2512FP PoE++ switch at 2.5Gb and my workstation is connected to the switch at 10Gb. I am running iPerf with 2 parallel streams for these tests.

At short distance I connect at 2.4Gbps data rate the maximum for 6Ghz @ 2×2 160Mhz

When I run iPerf I get a maximum of 1.4Gbps actual sustained throughput

Now when I switch to 5Ghz radio at the same location I get a maximum of about 700Mbps

Next I go to a location 50 feet away with multiple walls in between the laptop and the AP. At 6Ghz I got a maximum speed of 137Mbps

And then at 5Ghz I got 177Mbps

So as expected 6Ghz Wi-Fi 6E has a massive speed improvement at closer distances and longer range than expected. There are other advantages because of huge new 6Ghz spectrum there are multiple clean 160Mhz channels so it will be more reliable than 5Ghz. As the client device gets farther away it will roam to the 5Ghz interface for faster speeds under normal conditions.

The ECW336 is available here

You can use it with the ECS2512FP switch here for 2.5Gbps speed and PoE++ support.