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John Weland | July 1, 2020

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EnGenius Networking with EnMesh

If you’ve been following our blog for any length of time, you’ve undoubtedly read our thoughts on home networking. Many of you may have asked “what about those of us that can’t drop hundreds of dollars on enterprise equipment? Well EnGenius reached out to try to answer that with their EnMesh system.

Who is EnGenius & what is the EnMesh?

EnGenius is a technologies company that has been in the space since the early 1990’s, specializing in high-power wireless communications and radio frequency. The EnMesh is a mesh style router. It’s similar in scope to the OnHub or later Google WiFi setups, where you add multiple nodes to extend the wireless range of your wireless domain.

An EnGenius Setup

The EnGenius EnMesh ESR530 kit comes with two wireless router nodes, power cables, and a single foot long Ethernet cable. Setup (much like the Google WiFi mentioned earlier) is all done via an app on your smart phone.

  1. Download the app
  2. Choose to setup a device
  3. Plug in your internet cable from your ISP (modem or ONT) to the WAN port on the one of the EnMesh nodes.
  4. Follow the prompts to setup.
  5. Add other nodes as needed.

Settings

User options on the EnGenius are a bit limited. Some basic digital well-being functionality can be enabled to block social media and the like during specified hours. Port forwarding and DMZ options, while welcome, in our use cases didn’t seem to stick. We would setup port forwarding for the XBOX network and it would remove itself within just a minute or two. This meant we could not connect to XBOX services while on the EnMesh network.

A fun feature, however, is the EnFile app. EnGenius has a USB port on each of the ESR530 nodes. If you populate these USB ports with a thumb drive you can enable SAMBA on the system and then the the EnFile app to have a wireless NAS (network attached storage).

Final Thoughts

We set these units up in 3 different scenarios. One as the network savvy user looking for the best of the best. Another as a network intermediate that still needed some degree of control and lastly in the home of an extreme network novice that simply needed “WiFi for the Netflix”.

The Good

  • Good coverage area
  • Fairly simply to setup
  • Affordable
  • An easy NAS solutions

The Bad

  • Despite our best efforts we could not get our consoles needed ports forwarded or set on the DMZ to allow for online gaming with XBOX.
  • Somewhat sparse on user configurations

Would we recommend it? Sure, for an entry level network, that will get you good coverage at an affordable price. EnGenius as of writing this has a special — when you buy a two-pack of the ERS530, you’ll get a third node free, meaning even better coverage.

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