If you haven’t been paying close attention to WiFi standards over the last few years the change in naming might be confusing. Especially having WiFi AC switching to WiFi 5. The part where things get even more confusing though is when we have WiFi 6 and then later WiFi 6E. Officially both fall under the 802.11ax standard but the E designation adds the 6 GHz band alongside 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz which have been used in the past. I’ve taken a look at multiple WiFi 6 products but with 6E I have had devices that support it but no access point to check it out yet. Well, EnGenius has finally brought out their ECW336 WiFi 6E access point and today I’m going to check out what sets it apart from their WiFi 6 models so let’s dive in and check it out. 

Product Name: EnGenius ECW336 Wifi 6E Access Point

Review Sample Provided by: EnGenius

Written by: Wes Compton

Amazon Affiliate Link: HERE

 

Specifications

Standards

IEEE 802.11ax on 2.4 GHz

IEEE 802.11ax on 5 GHz

IEEE 802.11ax on 6 GHz

(Backward compatible with 802.11b/g/n/ac)

Processor

Qualcomm® Networking Pro 1210 Platform

Antenna

4 x 2.4 GHz: 5 dBi

4 x 5 GHz: 6 dBi

4 x 6 GHz: 5 dBi

Physical Interface

1 x 10/100/1000/2500/5000 BASE-T, RJ-45 Ethernet Port

1x DC Jack

1 x Reset Button

LED Indicators

1 x Power

1 x LAN

1 x 2.4 GHz

1 x 5 GHz

1 x 6 GHz

Power Source

Power-over-Ethernet: 802.3at Input

12VDC /2A Power Adapter (Not Included)

Maximum Power Consumption

22.5W

Wireless & Radio Specifications

Operating Frequency

Dual-Radio Concurrent 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, & 6 GHz

Operation Modes

AP, Mesh

Frequency Radio

2.4 GHz: 2400 MHz ~ 2835 GHz

5 GHz: 5150 MHz ~ 5250 MHz, 5250 MHz ~ 5350 MHz, 5470 MHz ~ 5725 MHz, 5725 MHz ~ 5850 MHz

6 GHz: 5.925GHz~6.425GHz, 6.425GHz~6.525GHz, 6.525GHz~6.875GHz, .6875GHz~7.125GHz

Transmit Power

Up to 23 dBm on 2.4 GHz

Up to 23 dBm on 5 GHz

Up to 23 dBm on 6 GHz

(Maximum power is limited by regulatory domain)

Tx Beamforming (TxBF)

Increasing signal reliability and transmitting distance.

Radio Chains/Spatial Stream

4x4:4

SU-MIMO

Four (4) spatial stream SU-MIMO for 2.4GHz and four spatial streams SU-MIMO for 5GHz up to 3,548 Mbps wireless data rate to a single wireless client device under 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, and 6 GHz radios.

MU-MIMO

Four (4) spatial streams multi-user (MU)-MIMO for up to 4800 Mbps wireless data rate to transmit to two (2) two streams MU-MIMO 11ax capable wireless client devices under 6GHz simultaneously.

Four (4) spatial streams multi-user (MU)-MIMO for up to 2400 Mbps wireless data rate to transmit to two (2) two streams MU-MIMO 11ax capable wireless client devices under 5GHz simultaneously.

Four (4) spatial streams multi-user (MU)-MIMO for up to 1148 Mbps wireless data rate to transmit to two (2) two streams MU-MIMO 11ax capable wireless client devices under 2.4GHz simultaneously.

Supported Data Rates (Mbps):

802.11ax:

6 GHz:

5 GHz: 18 to 2400 (MCS0 to MSC11, NSS = 1 to 4)

2.4 GHz: 9 to 1148 (MCS0 to MCS11, NSS = 1 to 4)

802.11ac: 6.5 to 1733 Mbps (MCS0 to MCS9, NSS = 1 to 4)

802.11n: 6.5 to 600 Mbps (MCS0 to MCS15)

802.11a/g: 6, 9, 12, 18, 36, 48, 54

802.11b: 1, 2, 5.5, 11

Supported Radio Technologies

802.11ax: Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access (OFDMA)

802.11ac/a/g/n: Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple (OFDM)

802.11b: Direct-sequence spread-spectrum (DSSS)

Channelization

802.11ax supports high efficiency (HE) —HE 20/40/80 MHz

802.11ac supports very high throughput (VHT) —VHT 20/40/80 MHz

802.11n supports high throughput (HT) —HT 20/40 MHz

802.11n supports very high throughput under the 2.4GHz radio –VHT40 MHz (256-QAM)

802.11n/ac/ax packet aggregation: A-MPDU, A-SPDU

Dynamic Frequency Selection (DFS) Certified

Supported Modulation

802.11ax: BPSK, QPSK, 16-QAM, 64-QAM, 256-QAM, 1024-QAM

802.11ac: BPSK, QPSK, 16-QAM, 64-QAM, 256-QAM

802.11a/g/n: BPSK, QPSK, 16-QAM, 64-QAM

802.11b: BPSK, QPSK, CCK

Management

Multiple BSSID

8 SSIDs for 2.4GHz, 5GHz, & 6 GHz radios

VLAN Tagging

Supports 802.1q SSID-to-VLAN Tagging

Cross-Band VLAN Pass-Through

Management VLAN

Spanning Tree

Supports 802.1d Spanning Tree Protocol

QoS (Quality of Service)

IEEE 802.11e compliant

WMM

SNMP

v1, v2c, v3

MIB

I/II, Private MIB

Wireless Security

WPA3 Enterprise

WPA3-PSK (SAE)

WPA3/WPA2-PSK Mixed

WPA2 Enterprise

WPA2 AES-PSK

Hide SSID in Beacons

MAC Address Filtering, up to 256 MACs per SSID

Wireless STA (Client) Connected List

SSH Tunnel

Client Isolation

L2 Isolation

Environment & Physical

Temperature Range

Operating: 32ºF~104ºF (0ºC~40ºC)

Storage: -40ºF~176 ºF (-40ºC~80ºC)

Humidity (non-condensing)

Operating: 90% or less

Storage: 90% or less

Dimensions & Weights

ECW336 Device

Weight: 1.34 lbs. (607 g)

Length: 8.27" (210 mm)

Width: 8.27" (210 mm)

Height: 1.31" (33.2 mm)

Packaging

Weight: 2.5 lbs. (1134 g)

Length: 9.65" (245 mm)

Width: 9.65" (245 mm)

Height: 3.35" (85 mm)

Package Contents

1 - ECW230S Cloud Managed Indoor Access Point

1 – Ceiling Mount Base (9/16” Trail)

1 – Ceiling Mount Base (15/16” Trail)

1 - Ceiling and Wall Mount Screw Kits

1 - Quick Installation Guide

Certifications

FCC

CE

Warranty

2 Year

 


Photos and Features

If you have seen any of our previous EnGenius access point reviews you will know that these are focused on an enterprise environment and like most enterprise-focused hardware the packaging sticks with a basic brown box look. EnGenius did use a box specifically for the ECW336, not a standard box that would be used on multiple models with a sticker to set it apart though the box does also have a sticker like that. The front has the EnGenius Cloud branding along with a logo in the bottom corner letting you know that it is Facebook Wi-Fi enabled. The front also has the ECW336 model name in the corner as well as letting you know this is an access point though I am surprised they didn’t include 6E on there. The bottom edge of the box has more information printed on it letting you know that this is a Tri-Band WiFi 6E indoor access point and they have a sticker location for the part number, UPC, and the serial number.

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Inside the box has a formed cardboard tray that holds the ECW336 and keeps it safely away from the outside edges of the box. On top of that, I was surprised that EnGenius stepped things up with a cover on top again telling us this is their 6GHz Tri-Band AP but it does say WiFI 6, not 6E. This has a QR code on it for a quick download of their EnGenius Cloud apps and at the bottom, they have four instruction steps. Sign up for a cloud account, scan the QR code on the device, connect it to the internet, and then assign the device. Under the cover, the ECW336 is sitting up on top in its formed home. Under that is the documentation and a small box which is also in its own formed home.

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For documentation, the ECW336 comes with a basic guide on using any of EnGenius’s ECW series of cloud-managed access points and they have a paper with the declaration of conformity to EU standards. Inside the small box we have the mounting options. You get a small baggie with two screws and drywall or brick hangers. Then there are two slid-on hangers which are the same as past EnGenius indoor access points. One has screw holes that you can use for mounting the ECW336 to a ceiling. Then both hangers also have a quick clip-on design for drop ceiling railing. One is for 9/16th railing and the other is for 15/16th railing, with the enterprise focus this is a likely solution but you have some flexibility.

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The ECW336 has the same squared-off shape as previous EnGenius access points and it comes in at 8.27 inches squared or 210mm x 210 mm and 1.31 inches tall or 33.2mm. These are the same dimensions as the ECW230, their 4x4 WiFi 6 access point.  For weight, they have the ECW336 at 607 grams whereas the ECW230 is 597 grams so there is a difference there. 

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The EnGenius ECW336 has the same bright white housing as past EnGenius access points which is great for keeping them low-key when mounted on ceilings. In the center it does have the EnGenius logo which is in a light grey then near one edge there is a status strip with the status LEDs. This is the same strip that the other APs have only for the ECW336 they have added an additional LED for the status on the 6GHz range. Other than that there are indicators for the 2.4 GHz and 5GHz radios as well then one LED as a power indicator and one showing network traffic. As far as hardware goes, the ECW336 changes things up from the ECW230 beyond just the addition of the 6GHz radio. For the CPU the 336 has the Qualcomm Networking Pro 1210 Platform listed but looking into that the 1210 platform does use the same Qualcomm quad-core ARM cortex A53s processor only it is running at 2.2GHz vs 2GHz on the ECW230. The ECW336 has a total of 12 antennas, four for each of the three frequencies but the antennas have higher dBi compared to the ECW230 which has 3 dBi on each antenna and the ECW336 has 5 dBi for the 2.4GHz radio and 6GHz radio and 6dBi for the 5GHz radio. With all of that, the ECW336 does have a higher max power consumption as well at 22.5 watts vs 19.5 watts on the ECW230.

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The side view shows the overall shape which has right-angled edges, but the top and bottom still have a bubbled shape as well. I like that for the bottom (aka the mounting side) this gives a little room for airflow to the bottom of the access point.

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The bottom of the ECW336 has a metal finish which helps dissipate heat and to give the mounting tabs some strength. There are two mounting tabs, one on each side of the center sticker. These have two options. You can use the included slide-on mount or they also have keyhole screw mounting holes as well. There is a large hole at the bottom which gives access to the I/O. There is a small reset button here then you have the ethernet and power plugs. You will most likely only be using the ethernet with PoE but it's nice to have a DC12 power option if needed. You will need a power adapter though because that isn’t included. The big change on the I/O is the ethernet has been upgraded to 5Gbps from the 2.5Gbps on the ECW230. The sticker in the center has the model information and the EnGenius branding up top and all of the normal FCC warnings. Then on the right, it has the mac address and serial number as well as a QR code. The QR code is used for quickly adding it to your EnGenius Cloud.

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Software and Performance

Before jumping into performance testing with the EnGenius ECW336 I did need to get it set up and I wanted to go through the software side of things. The ECW336, like with some of the other EnGenius APs and switches we have taken a look at in the past, supports EnGenius Cloud which puts a majority of your control all together on a cloud-based website or app depending on if you are using it from your PC or phone. This makes setting the ECW336 extremely easy, especially if you already have other EnGenius devices set up like I do. Using the EnGenius Cloud app on the main landing page you have a bright orange plus button in the bottom right corner. Clicking this will let you scan the QR code on the back of the ECW336 to attach it to your already setup network. If you haven’t set one up, it will walk you through the steps. From there you just need to have the ECW336 plugged into a network cable with PoE and once it powers up it will update with your current network settings and work right away.

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The main landing page on the EnGenius Cloud website has a radar chart right up top that is used to show if you have any current network issues. You can see that our setup doesn’t like our current mix of 2.4,5, and 6 GHz clients because I have a lot of smart devices which all only support 2.4 GHz networks. This can also show if you have any devices down as well. Next to that, they break down the number of each device type online and the total number of clients, each of those can be clicked on to take you into settings for that device type or for a list of clients. Then below that they have your access point throughput for the last day all graphed along with breakdowns of top clients, top access points, top SSIDs, top device OS, and top applications used.

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In the top left the menu is hidden until you mouse over the images but they have a listing of management pages, configuration pages, and an analyze page but that only has the event log. Looking back the AirGuard section might be a better fit for the analyze section as well. The configuration section breaks things down by device type and for an access point like the ECW336, you can get into SSID settings or the radio settings.

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In the management menu when you click on access points it gives you a full listing of access points that are set up on your network. Each has its name, serial number, mac address, model, uptime, firmware version, WAN and LAN IP, channels, and client quantity listed. You can click and remove any of them from your network here or add more access points as well. Mousing over them also gives you options to see details on that AP, diagnose, reboot, or replace. Clicking on the details opens up a new page with everything about that specific AP listed in even more detail. They list out all of your SSIDs and show you how many clients have been on that SSID in the last five minutes. They also have throughput for that specific AP graphed out. You can get into radio and IP settings if you want to change any of those outside of your overall network settings. You also have access to the device-specific log and a client listing that shows each device attached to the AP with information like its client name, MAC address, IP, SSID, OS, and even signal-to-noise rate.

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Going back to the access point listing page and mousing over a device again or using the button on the device page called diagnose you can open up the diag tools page. This will full screen on your device. There are four and a half pages here with the extra half being that one page is really two. You have the activity page which graphs out CPU, Memory, Throughput, and channel utilization the entire time you are on the diagnosis page. Next to that is the internet connectivity page which has a speed test that you can run and shows a list of pings to popular websites. You can add more ping locations as well. Expanding on that the next page does traceroutes letting you traceroute directly from the access point. This will list out all of the hops as well as graph it as well up at the top. Then the last page is the channel utilization page which will scan and show how much traffic it finds in each channel. This has pages for 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz and does a good job of visually showing how much more room that 5 GHz opens up.

 

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Opening up the SSID page from the configuration menu opens up a complete list of all of the SSIDs that you have set up. The main page gives you a few details like if the SSID is enabled and if it is hidden as well as the security. In the top right, you can click add SSID to create a new one or click on any of your old SSIDs to open up the same page where you can make changes to them. The page has the SSID name up at the top and lets you turn it on and off. You can also limit different radio channels depending on the SSID as well. EnGenius gives you access to all of the modern security types including mixed security like one that does WPA3 when supported and WPA2 when it isn’t which is a great option. Most smart home devices don’t support WPA3 at all even though it provides a lot of security benefits. Below that you can set up the default VLAN specific to the SSID.

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This is where all of the standard settings are and most won't need anything beyond that. Being an enterprise access point however the ECW336 does have a lot more to offer as far as SSID-specific settings. You have a page for setting up the bandwidth limits. You can do this per client or you can set limits for the SSID as a whole. Then there is a page to set up a captive portal which has a long list of authentication options. You can set up a custom redirect URL and they also give you finer detail to change idle and session timeouts. There is a default splash page or you can set up a custom page. Then one of the features I really like is the SSID-specific scheduling. With this, you can turn off guest SSIDs when your business is closed or all of them if you are setting up an office environment or if you are a power user you could use this to block access for kids at specific times. There is also the access control page where you can block specific mac addresses from being on that SSID at all.

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Unlike the SSID section which had everything split across multiple pages, the radio page has everything all together on one screen. There is a lot to take in, especially with the ECW336 supporting 6 GHz. The page is split in half with nearly the same settings on each side. The left is all of the settings for your indoor access points and the right is for outdoor access points letting you have different settings for each situation. Then at the top of each you can turn on or off each of the three frequencies. Below that you have settings per frequency to force a channel if needed or let it auto-select, setting channel width, transmit power, and minimum bitrate. You can also set up limits for the number of clients on each as well. From there you get into mode detailed settings like turning 11AX on or off, and disabling 802.11a/b/g if you want to turn off older legacy wireless. You can turn DCS (Dynamic Channel Switching) on or off depending on the radio as well as change the different modes and also the time limit on that. Then you have client balancing which is good to run to spread them out better across frequencies, I only have this off to keep 5 GHz and 6 GHz open for devices like our phones and PCs while keeping smart devices altogether. You also have the option to turn on wireless mesh but I have that off because all of ours are hard-wired.

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Of course, I can’t check out the performance of the EnGenius ECW336 without testing out its wireless performance. With the main change being the move from WiFi 6 to Wifi 6e I wanted to focus on that, specifically testing out the performance difference between 5Ghz and 6Ghz both on the ECW336. I should also point out that these were done with the ECW336 hooked up to a 2.5G network connection, not the 5G network connection that it is capable of. That doesn’t affect its single device performance but could if pushing things with a lot of devices change performance in that situation. I tested the wireless using two different devices and two different tests. My go-to is using Passmark Performance Test 10.2 with its network test. I used our test bench which supports Wifi 6e as the wireless device and test to my PC which is connected to a 10G network connection, both the access point and my PC were wired to the same EnGenius  ECS2512FP. The end result was 545.6 Mbps as the best result when connecting via 5Ghz but by switching to 6 GHz I was able to improve that to 849.8 Mbps. I did a similar test using an android app called Wifi speed test while running the test server on the same PC and the app on my Samsung S21 ultra which was one of the first devices to support Wifi 6e. My phone connected at 640 Mbps on 5Ghz and was slower than the PC at 406.18 Mbps. With 6Ghz the link speed was much higher at 1200 Mbps and it tested at 831 Mbps. This is fast enough to max out my 600-700 Mbps internet connection over wireless for the first time and finally giving me real world wired like performance through wireless. Now obviously the connection is capable of a lot more with a single connection being capable of 1200 Mbps and that doesn’t count MU-MIMO which would make 4800 Mbps possible but I’m happy with the significant improvement I’m seeing in real-world performance as it sits. My only complaint is that as of right now the ECW336 can’t hide an SSID while supporting 6Ghz and while hiding an SSID isn’t a big security feature I do prefer to keep mine hidden when possible.

WiFi 6 (5Gz)

WiFi 6E (6GHz)

Passmark 10.2 Network Test

545.6 Mbps

849.8 Mbps

WiFi test on Samsung S21 Ultra

406.18 Mbps

831 Mbps

Phone Link Speed

640 Mbps

1200 Mbps

 

As far as power usage the ECW336 didn’t do too badly. In the picture below port 8 is the ECW336 and depending on usage I normally see it pulling between 9 and 10.2 watts. The ECW230 is port 6 which I have seen in the same power range as the ECW336 but has peaked a little higher at 11.3 watts. Then lastly is the ECW260 outside AP on port 7 which consistently pulls less in the 6-7 watt range but also has fewer devices running on it. The main takeaway from this is that the ECW336 isn’t pulling noticeably more power than any of our other EnGenius access points but it is rated at a max power of 22.5 watts which is higher than the ECW230 at 19.5 watts, the ECW260 at 15.9 watts and the ECW220S at 12.8 watts.

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Before finishing up I did also put the ECW336 in front of our thermal camera. When bench testing it the back side felt very hot any time it was running and these pictures did confirm that. You can see that the back side is five degrees hotter than the front. The back side of the ECW336 is aluminum whereas the front is plastic so that isn’t a surprise at all. Both the included clip-on mounts or using the screw hangers both keep the back of the access point away from your wall or ceiling which will help with airflow to keep things cool. The plastic cover does almost give us a look through the housing, we can see where most of the heat is coming from and it is just behind the status LEDs. The back side shows this as well but the aluminum dissipates that heat out across the surface more.

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Overall and Final Verdict

With our testing out of the way, we can step back and gather our thoughts on the new EnGenius ECW336. The ECW336 is their first Wifi 6e access point which means on top of the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz IEEE 802.11ax support that the ECW230 had they have a third quad antenna setup and a 6 GHz radio added into the mix. To handle this the ECW336 does have a new processor from the Qualcomm Networking Pro 1210 Platform and the wired connection has been upgraded from a 2.5 Gigabit ethernet connection to a 5 Gigabit connection to handle the extra bandwidth that the ECW336 is capable of. Like the ECW230 the 336 is capable of up to 23 dBm of transmitting power, but now across the three frequencies. All of this has been packed into the same form factor as the Wifi 6 ECW230.

While the ECW336 is targeted as an enterprise device just like most of the past EnGenius products I have covered, with their EnGenius Cloud support they have made the initial setup extremely easy and continued support easy as well by bringing all of your control together in one place which can be accessed using an app or through the web browser at the office and when out of the office. The ECW336 is also easy to physically install with two different mounting clips or wall hanging slots built in as well. The mounting clips make drop ceiling installation in seconds easy while also leaving the option to screw mount if needed.

EnGenius gives you support for up to 8 different SSIDs which can help you sort your network out using VLANs, to have different levels of security or open networks for public areas, or even to split up ITOT devices and people. My only complaint there is that while it has been proven not to help security, I like being able to hide some networks and you currently can’t do that while also allowing 6 GHz on an SSID which was a bummer. The ECW336 doesn’t run hot, but I should point out that it does run at least warm. If mounting correctly this shouldn’t be a problem, however. Performance wise 6 GHz expanded already solid performance but more importantly with WiFi 6 and 6e capabilities of handling lots of devices have been improved.

For pricing, the EnGenius ECW336 does have that enterprise pricing as well with it available at $699. Those of you hoping to get a good deal to be able to put it to use as a power user, that is most likely going to be priced well above what you are looking to spend. EnGenius has recently announced a product lineup focused more on that target audience, so hopefully, we can check that out at some point as well. But right now the ECW336 is a welcome addition to our network which has been rock solid at least on all of the EnGenius hardware, our Dell PoE switch for our cameras can be questionable at times.

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Live Pricing: HERE

Author Bio
garfi3ld
Author: garfi3ldWebsite: https://lanoc.org
Editor-in-chief
You might call him obsessed or just a hardcore geek. Wes's obsession with gaming hardware and gadgets isn't anything new, he could be found taking things apart even as a child. When not poking around in PC's he can be found playing League of Legends, Awesomenauts, or Civilization 5 or watching a wide variety of TV shows and Movies. A car guy at heart, the same things that draw him into tweaking cars apply when building good looking fast computers. If you are interested in writing for Wes here at LanOC you can reach out to him directly using our contact form.

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