Skip to main content

EnGenius ECW220 Wi-Fi 6 AP review: A viable alternative to Ubiquiti

With cloud management and excellent throughput, the 2x2 ECW220 nails the fundamentals.

You can just pick up one of the best Wi-Fi 6 routers if you want to unlock the full potential of your home broadband connection; with Wi-Fi 6 mesh routers offering tri-band systems with a dedicated wireless backhaul, modern routers can deliver multi-gigabit speeds to your connected devices.

But I like the extensibility that comes with a wired router, so for the last four months, I used Ubiquiti's UniFi Dream Machine Pro as my router, and the UniFi 6 LR and UniFi 6 Lite to blanket my home with fast Wi-Fi 6 coverage. Going with the UniFi build gives me the freedom to set up rules around internet access and better insights into the traffic that's flowing in and out of my home network.

Ubiquiti has built its name around catering to the prosumer segment, offering a variety of switches, access points, and routing solutions. It isn't the only one to do so; EnGenius is another brand that offers access points aimed at indoor and outdoor use as well as multi-gigabit switches. The biggest selling point for the brand is its cloud-managed interface that makes it easy to manage its access points from anywhere.

So if you're looking for an easy way to extend the wireless coverage in your home or are trying to set up a home network from scratch and want a powerful access point, let's take a look at what the ECW220 has to offer.

Bottom line: The ECW220 is a wireless access point that does a good job delivering fast Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 5 connectivity to all the devices on your home network. It is easy to set up and use, and the license-free cloud dashboard has an exhaustive list of features. It also has a minimalist design that blends into your home décor, and overall, there is a lot to like here.

The Good

  • Standout Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 5 performance
  • License-free monitoring
  • Clean design
  • Highly configurable

The Bad

  • Doesn't come with a PoE injector
  • No 160MHz channel
  • No offline monitoring

$365 at Amazon $297 at Insight

EnGenius ECW220: Price and availability

The EnGenius ECW220 is available in North America, and you can pick it up from Amazon for $365. It's available for considerably less at dedicate networking stores, where it usually goes for under $300. It's sold in a single variant, and comes with a two-year standard warranty.

EnGenius ECW220: What you'll love

The ECW220 is a wireless access point with 2x2 MIMO antenna and Wi-Fi 6 connectivity, and it can deliver up to 1,200Mbps at 5GHz. Like all access points, it doesn't come with any routing features of its own, so you will need to use it with a wired router. Alternatively, if you have Ethernet cabling in your home and want to extend wireless coverage, you can always connect the ECW220 to a switch that's hooked up to the router.

The ECW220 is a great way to extend wireless coverage throughout your home.

As for the design, the ECW220 has a square chassis with rounded edges, and it is made out of plastic. The minimal design works well for the product, and you'll find LED indicators for the 2.4 and 5GHz bands, LAN connectivity, and power. The underside has a metallic finish along with mounting points that makes it straightforward to install the AP on the ceiling — you'll find the requisite mounting brackets within the package.

The ECW220 needs up to 12.8W of power, so you can use it with PoE switches in the market. There's also the option to use a standard power adapter if you don't want to go with PoE.

The standout feature on the ECW220 is the license-free cloud management. All you need to do is sign up for an EnGenius account and register the ECW220 using the QR code at the back. After it's registered, you will be able to set it up and configure all the features. The EnGenius Cloud dashboard gives you an overview of real-time traffic and all the devices connected to the ECW220, and you get to change the SSID and radio settings, set up additional VLANs, and configure schedules as needed.

The ECW220 excels where it counts; you'll get reliable bandwidth even with over 20 devices connected to the network.

Coming to the hardware itself, the ECW220 is able to deliver up to 574Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and 1,200Mbps at 5GHz. You'll find beamforming, MU-MIMO, and OFDMA over Wi-Fi 802.11 ax and OFDM for 802.11 ac/a/g/n. I tested the ECW220 with both Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi ac devices; using the best Android phones for the former.

With a Wi-Fi 6-enabled device, I got bandwidth of up to 364Mbps from 15 feet away, going down to 250Mbps at 35 feet and with two walls in the way. At a distance of 45 feet, I averaged 140Mbps, and these scores are in line with what I usually see from the UniFi Wi-Fi 6 hardware. The ECW220 holds up just as well for Wi-Fi 5 testing as well, and in general I've had zero issues with throughput in the time I used the access point.

I usually have over 20 devices connected to the same node, and even then the ECW220 was able to deliver consistent bandwidth without any bottlenecks. Obviously, not all devices use a lot of bandwidth at once, but even with simultaneous use there's a lot of overhead here to ensure reliable connectivity.

While the web management has a lot to offer, you'll be using the EnGenius Cloud To-Go mobile app to set up the ECW220, and EnGenius did a good job offering most of the features within the mobile client. There is a decent feature-set here, and the easy-to-use settings combined with the versatility make the ECW220 a great overall choice.

EnGenius ECW220: What needs work

The ECW220 does a good job covering the basics, and while the hardware stands on its own, the fact that you don't get a PoE injector or power adapter in the package is a bit of a letdown. It isn't difficult to find a PoE switch that can power the ECW220, but considering what the access point costs, it would have been nice to see a power connector bundled with the package.

Another omission is the 160MHz channel; this prevents the ECW220 from being able to deliver multi-gigabit bandwidth. Again, this is one of those features that would be nice to have, but for a majority of users picking up the access point, it shouldn't make too much of a difference in real-world use. The 80MHz channel has adequate headroom, and for low-latency use cases, you're better off connecting your gear over Ethernet anyway.

Finally, the lack of an offline management interface will be a deal-breaker to a subset of the audience. EnGenius Cloud has been a revelation, but you will need an internet connection to pair the access point and manage it.

EnGenius ECW220: Competition

The obvious alternative to the ECW220 is the UniFi Wi-Fi 6 LR. It is more affordable at $179 and has 4x4 MU-MIMO, and it integrates seamlessly with Ubiquiti's UniFi dashboard. I have noticed issues with high latency on a few devices and limited bandwidth if I get over 50 feet away, but for the most part, the UniFi 6 LR is a solid choice.

The Aruba Instant On AP22 is also a good alternative to consider. It is similar to the ECW220 in a lot of ways; its power threshold goes up to 10.1W, it connects over Wi-Fi 6 and has 2x2 MIMO, and it has a robust management interface.

EnGenius ECW220: Should you buy it?

You should buy this if ...

  • You want a wireless access point with Wi-Fi 6 connectivity
  • You need a license-free management suite with plenty of configurability
  • You want an access point that works with a PoE switch

You shouldn't buy this if...

  • You want to set up an AP and manage it offline
  • You're in the market for the best value
  • You want an access point that has the 160MHz band

All things considered, the ECW220 gets a lot right. It has the hardware to deliver fast Wi-Fi 6 connectivity to several devices at once, and EnGenius' monitoring dashboard gives you a lot of features and makes it easy to manage the ECW220.

4 out of 5

Sure, it's missing offline access, there's no 160MHz band, and you don't get a PoE injector in the box. That said, the ECW220 delivers the goods where it matters, and if you're looking for a Wi-Fi 6 access point with low power use and great connectivity, this is a great option.

Bottom line: The ECW220 is a wireless access point that does a good job delivering fast Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 5 connectivity to all the devices on your home network. It is easy to set up and use, and the license-free cloud dashboard has an exhaustive list of features. It also has a minimalist design that blends into your home décor, and overall, there is a lot to like here.

$365 at Amazon $297 at Insight

Source: androidcentral

Popular posts from this blog

The hidden cost of food delivery

Noah Lichtenstein Contributor Share on Twitter Noah Lichtenstein is the founder and managing partner of Crossover , a diversified private technology fund backed by institutional investors, technology execs and professional athletes and entertainers. More posts by this contributor What Studying Students Teaches Us About Great Apps I’ll admit it: When it comes to food, I’m lazy. There are dozens of great dining options within a few blocks of my home, yet I still end up ordering food through delivery apps four or five times per week. With the growing coronavirus pandemic closing restaurants and consumers self-isolating, it is likely we will see a spike in food delivery much like the 20% jump China reported during the peak of its crisis. With the food delivery sector rocketing toward a projected $365 billion by the end of the decade, I’m clearly not the only one turning to delivery apps even before the pandemic hit. Thanks to technology (and VC funding) we can get a ri

Technics EAH-AZ60 review: Contending in stunning fashion

Technics serves notice that everyone should notice these earbuds. Technics ventured into the wireless earbuds category to go after the big dogs in the race. Think of the likes of Sony, Bose, and Sennheiser on sound quality, as well as the best you can find on design and functionality. It's a combination that comes at a price, but if done right, it gets easier to justify spending more. That's the case Technics makes with its EAH-Z60 earbuds. Its newest pair aims to take what the company has done in the past and make it even better. The results are easy to like and are significant enough to consider them as serious contenders. Technics EAH-AZ60 review: Price and availability What's good What's not good The competition Should you buy? At a glance Technics EAH-AZ60 Bottom line: Technics didn't just do one thing right with the EAH-AZ60. It covered almost the whole gamut of what makes wireless earbuds feel and sound exceptional. As a result, the p

iOS 14 Favorites Widget: How to Make a Replacement With Shortcuts

In iOS 14 , Apple overhauled widgets and introduced an option for adding ‌widgets‌ to the Home Screen , but in the process, a well-loved Favorites widget that existed in iOS 13 was removed. The Favorites widget let users set certain contacts and contact methods as favorites that were easily accessible, so you could, for example, add a favorite option for messaging Eric or calling Dan, with those actions executed with a tap. Why the Favorites widget was removed is a mystery and it could be a simple oversight with Apple planning to reintroduce it later, but for now, those who relied on the widget can recreate its functionality with Shortcuts. It takes some effort, but it may be worth the time investment if you often relied on your Favorites. Creating a Favorites Shortcut Making a shortcut that replicates the behavior of the Favorites widget isn't too tough, but if you want multiple favorite options, you'll need to create a separate shortcut for each one in the Shortcuts

Top Stories: Apple Event Preview, iPad Pro With M4 Chip Rumor, New Beats Headphones, and More

It's been a long time since the last one, but an Apple event is finally right around the corner! While it's anticipated to be a fairly short pre-recorded affair, we're expecting to see the first updates to the iPad lineup in over a year and half, so make sure to tune in to see what Apple has in store. Other news and rumors this week included a couple of product introductions from Apple's Beats brand, a roundup of rumors about updates to Apple's stock apps coming in iOS 18, and more changes to Apple's policies in the EU related to the Digital Markets Act, so read on below for all the details! What to Expect From the May 7 Apple Event Apple's first event of 2024 kicks off on Tuesday, May 7, at 7 a.m. Pacific Time, and we've put together our usual pre-event guide outlining what we're expecting to see on Tuesday. Several new products are expected to be unveiled, including two new iPad Pro models, two new iPad Air models, an updated Apple Pencil,