At the current street price of $150, the EnGenius EWS377-FIT is an excellent alternative to the ECW230 released two years ago. Not only is it significantly more affordable, but it's also more flexible.
The new access point can work as a standalone broadcaster for any existing network, or you can make it part of EnGenius's relatively new FIT ecosystem to build a robust AP-based mesh system that rivals TP-Link's Omada.
This quick review will look at the EWS377-FIT as a standard access point, which applies largely to those needing a single Wi-Fi broadcaster.
Here's the bottom line: This access point is an excellent fit if you already have a non-Wifi router or want to extend the coverage to a far corner via a network cable. That's as long as you're still happy with Wi-Fi 6, as you should be -- the standard will remain relevant for a long time, especially in the business world.
Looking to build a system using multiple units? Check back soon for my take on EnGenius FIT as a whole.
EWS377-FIT Review: Representing EnGenius’s new and practical Wi-Fi approach
The FIT suffix in the model name says it all: the new access point is part of the FIT family EnGenius launched on November 2, 2022. It's also currently the top tier among a few Wi-Fi 6 options in the family.
The EnGenius FIT family also includes the lower-end EWS357-FIT, EWS356-FIT, EWS256-FIT, and the outdoor EWS850-FIT access points. It's safe to say there will be more in the future, including those supporting the new Wi-Fi standards.
Hardware-wise, the EWS377-FIT is standard. It comes with a 2.5Gbps POE+ port and features 4x4 Wi-Fi 6. Like the case of most business-grade access points, it doesn't include a power adapter or a PoE injector. You need to get your own if you don't already have a PoE+ switch.
Firmware-wise, however, the new access point is a bridge between EnGenious's previous standalone-only access point, such as the EWS850AP, and its Cloud Managed-only, represented by the ECW230. The EWS377-FIT is both. It can work as a standalone, local-manged access point or as a cloud-managed mesh member when coupled with others in the EnGenius FIT family.
The table below shows its hardware specifications.
EnGenius EWS377-FIT: Hardware specifications
Like previous EnGenius APs I've reviewed, it's worth noting that the EWS377 does not support the 160MHz channel, which is required for Wi-Fi 6 to deliver top performance.
And since we only have 2x2 clients, the ceiling Wi-Fi speed is 1200Mbps, which translates into sub-Gigabit real-world sustained rates. That makes the 2.5Gbps port a bit overkill.
|Name||EnGenius EnGenius EWS377-FIT |
4×4 Wi-Fi 6 Indoor Wireless Access Point
|WiFi Standards||4x4 Wi-Fi 6|
|4x4 AX: Up to 2404Mbps|
|4x4 AX: Up to 1148Mbps|
|Number of SSID||Up to 8|
|Power over Ethernet (PoE)||802.11at|
|PoE Power Consumption||19.5W|
|Network Ports||1x 10/100/1000/2.5GBASE-T PoE+|
(IEEE 802.3at Power over Ethernet)
|Wireless Security Methods||WPA3, WPA2 Enterprise (AES), WPA2, AES-PSK|
Hide SSID in Beacons
MAC Address Filtering (Up to 32 MACs per SSID)
Wireless STA (Client) Connected List
|OFDMA||Uplink and Downlink|
|Target Wake Time Support||Yes|
|Local Web User Interface||Yes|
(login account required)
(login account required)
|Dimensions (W x D x H)||8.27 x 8.27 x 1.31 in |
(210 x 210 x 33.2 mm)
|Weight||1.70 lbs. (776 g)|
|LED||Four for the statuses of Power, LAN,|
2.4GHz band, and 5GHz band
|Processor||Qualcomm Quad-Core ARM Cortex |
A53s 2.0GHz CPU
Simple setup process, standard web user interface
The EWS377-FIT shares the same setup process as any other PoE access point or any PoE device. First, mount it to your chosen location, then connect it via a network cable to a PoE switch or injector, and the hardware part is completed. The AP includes wall/ceiling mounting accessories, by the way.
The second part is to set up the Wi-Fi network, which is also easy as long as you know the AP's IP address -- given out by the network's router. After that, open the IP address using a web browser of a computer within the same network, and the rest is self-explanatory.
The user interface is similar to the EWS850AP and has many settings and customization. Among other things, users can set up to eight SSIDs, each with all available Wi-Fi settings and other customization options.
In most cases, you only need to create a main Wi-Fi network and a Guest one, and you can call it a day. But you can also create a separate SSID for each band and a few more to segment your networks for different device types.
If you only need a single access point, the web interface is the easy way to handle the EWS377-FIT. It also gives you complete control without privacy risks. On the other hand, if you need two or more units or use other hardware in the FIT family, the local web user interface is impractical and inefficient. In this case, it is better to use the cloud management option.
Optional cloud management and mobile app
The EnGenius FITExpress mobile app is another way to manage the EWS377-FIT, whether you use one unit or many. The app is tied to the company's cloud-based FITExpress portal and requires a login account.
EnGenius and your privacy
Generally, using the hardware via a vendor-connected account means inherent privacy risks. Depending on the hardware, EnGenius's login account is often an option and not required.
Online privacy and security are a matter of degree. Different companies handle their users' data differently.
The app -- as well as the online portal -- makes setting up and managing multiple access points a much easier job. You can also handle your Wi-Fi network from anywhere in the world. As mentioned, I'll discuss this in a separate post on EnGenius FIT.
EnGenius EWS377-FIT 's performance: Reliable with relatively modest throughputs
As mentioned, the EWS377-FIT doesn't feature the venerable 160 MHz channel width. Consequently, its theoretical speed caps at 2400 Mbps when working with (non-existent) 4x4 clients. With 2x2 clients, which are the only available, we get 1200 Mbps at most.
And that was the case in my testing. The AP generally delivers sustained sub-Gigabit rates, even with my 10Gbps fiber-optic broadband connection.
I tested EnGenius EWS377-FIT with a few different PoE+ and PoE++ switches, and it worked without issue. It also remained relatively cool -- it did get slightly warm, but not to the point of concern.
As for coverage, the EWS377-FIT was about the same as any other Wi-Fi 6 AP of its specs. Generally, you can expect a good connection out of it with a place around 2000 ft² (186m²), but that depends on the environment, and your mileage will vary -- be conservative on the expectations if you want to be happy with it.
The access point passed my three-day stress test with no disconnection. It proved to be a reliable performer.
EnGenius EWS377-FIT Access Point's Rating
Reliable performance with excellent range and decent throughputs
Responsive and comprehensive local web user interface with lots of customizations
Robust and free (optional) management with a helpful mobile app
2.5 Gbps PoE network port; comparatively affordable
The lack of 160MHz support hurts real-world Wi-Fi rates
No PoE injector or power adapter is included
The EnGenius EWS377-FIT represents a new Wi-Fi approach, and it'll work well for those wanting to build a robust network via wiring. The standard AP works with all existing networks and PoE switches, but it can also be a member of a robust mesh network when coupled with other FIT hardware.
Consider one today if you want to build a business Wi-Fi 6 network. It's an easy recommendation.