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EnGenius EWS850-FIT (formerly EWS850AP) Review: An Excellent Outdoor Wi-Fi 6 Access Point

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The EnGenius EWS850-FIT (once EWS850AP) is a standalone outdoor Wireless Wi-Fi 6 access point (WAP) and differs significantly from the previous cloud-based ECW230. And that's a good thing.

EnGenius announced the EWS850AP in early 2020 and started shipping in February 2021. In early β€ŽNovember 2022, the company launched a new EnGenius FIT product line and made a new variant of the access point called EWS850-FIT that shares the same hardware and cost.

By mid-2023, the EWS850-FIT is the only variant available -- the EWS850AP is discontinued. But either will give you the same experience as a standalone AP. The only difference the new variant has is the FitXpress cloud management option. Other than that, the two share the same setup of settings, features, and real-world performance.

This Wi-Fi 6 access point has everything to work right out of the box, is much more affordable, and was faster in my testing. It's also a rugged device that can handle the elements and, most importantly, doesn't require a login account with the vendor to work.

On the downside, it has relatively subdued Wi-Fi specs. Still, at the street price of around $315, it's well worth the investment as one of a few options for those needing to blanket a large outdoor area with reliable Wi-Fi.

Dong's note: I originally published this review on February 3, 2021, after in-depth hands-on testing of the original EWS850AP. I updated it on October 6, 2023, with the real-world experience of the new EWS850-FIT variant.

EnGenius EWS850 FIT Access Point
The EnGenius EWS850 FIT PoE Outdoor Wi-Fi 6 access point

EnGenius EWS850-FIT: A simple and effective approach to outdoor Wi-Fi coverage

Unlike many other PoE access points, including the EnGenius ECW230, which often don't include a power adapter or a PoE injector, the EnGenious EWS850-FIT comes with a pleasant surprise: There's an injector inside the box.

You won't have any issue getting this new access point up and running, at least in terms of hardware parts.

Convenient but bulky design, lots of amounting options, weatherproof

The AP doesn't have an AC port -- the only way to power it is via Power over Ethernet. And that's fine -- you'd need to use a network cable with an access point, anyway.

Supporting all existing PoE standards, the EnGenious EWS850-FIT will work with any PoE switch. But for best performance, you want to use one that supports 2.5Gbps Multi-Gig standard.

But it's OK if you don't have such a switch. The access point has everything you'd need out of the box: the passive (proprietary) 38-watt Gigabit PoE injector. You'll also find accessories for any mounting surface -- a fence, a wall, or even a pole.

The EWS850-FIT is bulky, as you'll see in the photos below. It comes with four detachable antennas, two on top and two on the bottom. When assembled, the antennas make the whole package even bulkier.

On top of that, the AP is also heavy, at 3.96 lbs (1.8kg), thanks to the metal housing. Keep that in mind when finding a mounting place.

To make up for physical size, the AP is P67-compliant. It can handle any weather.

EnGenius EWS850 FIT Logo 1 EnGenius EWS850AP Wi Fi 6 Access Point 1 1
EnGenius EWS850-FIT vs EWS850AP: The logo on top is the only thing that sets them apart, hardware-wise

EnGenius EWS850-FIT: Hardware specifications

The EnGenius EWS850-FIT features dual-stream (2x2) Wi-Fi 6 without supporting the 160MHz channel width.

As a result, its 5GHz band caps at 1201Mbps when working with a Wi-Fi 6 client or 867Mbps with a Wi-Fi 5 one. On the 2.4Hz band, it has a ceiling speed of 576Mbps.

EnGenius Fit Wi-Fi 6 2Γ—2 Outdoor Wireless Access Point
ModelsEWS850-FIT
Standards802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax
Roaming802.11k & 802.11r
Frequency2.4 GHz & 5 GHz
Channel Widths20/40/80MHz
Streams2 x 2
2.4 GHz Data Rate574Mbps (Wi-Fi 6), 
300Mbps (Wi-Fi 4)
5 GHz Data Rate1201Mbps (Wi-Fi 6), 
867Mbps (Wi-Fi 5)
2.4GHz RF 
Output Power 
23 dBm
5GHz RF 
Output Power 
23 dBm
1024QAM SupportYes
SSIDs8 (4 on each band)
Wi-Fi SecurityWPA3/WPA2 Enterprise/PSK
Ethernet Ports1 x 2.5Gbps BASE-T RJ-45 Port
Power-over-EthernetIEEE 802.11af/at/11e, 
Passive 48V to 54V PoE injector
(included)
Power Consumption 12.6W
External Antenna2x 5 dBi @ 2.4 GHz, 
2x 5 dBi @ 5 GHz
Dimensions
(without antennas)
9.2 x 11.18 x 5.67 in 
(234 x 284 x 144 mm)
Weight3.96 lbs. (1.8kg)
RuggednessP67-rated
CPUQualcomm Quad-Core 1.8GHz CPU
ARM Cortex A53s 
Operation ModesAccess Point, Client Bridge, 
Mesh, WDS
Local ManagementYes
(via a web user interface)
default login: admin/admin
Cloud Management Yes
(optional, via FitEXpess)
BSS ColoringYes
MU-MIMO / OFDMAYes (Uplink and Downlink)
US Retail Cost
(at review)
$313.80
EnGenius EWS850-FIT Outdoor PoE Access Point's hardware specifications

The access point comes with eight virtual SSIDs (Wi-Fi network names), four for each band. You can customize each with lots of options. In other words, it's excellent for segmenting their networks.

EnGenius EWS850-FIT: Detail photos

EnGenius EWS850 FIT fully assembled
When fully assembled, the EnGenius EWS850 FIT is quite bulky. It's heavy, too.

EnGenius EWS850AP Wi Fi 6 Access TopEnGenius EWS850AP Wi Fi 6 Access Point Bottom
The access point comes with four antenna mounting ports on its top and bottom.

EnGenius Passive PoE 2.5Gbps njector PortsEnGenius Passive PoE 2.5Gbps Injector Bottom
Here's the EnGenius EWS850-FIT's included passive PoE injector. The access point also works with any standard PoE switch or injector.

The straightforward setup process, helpful mobile app, and convenient web interface

Setting up the EnGenius EWS850-FIT typifies that of any PoE access point.

Hardware setup

  1. Mount the AP using the included accessories. Pick a place as close to the center of the area you want to blanket with Wi-Fi as possible.
  2. Connect a network cable (CAT5e or higher grade) to its only port. (Note: This port, on the AP's underside, is recessed for weatherproofing purposes, making it a bit hard to remove the cable. That said, make sure you use a cable of the desired length the first time around.)
  3. Connect the other end of the network cable to the PoE port to the PoE switch or the included injector. In the latter case, connect the injector's 2nd network port to an existing network, such as a router, and then plug it into power.

And that's its mission accomplished. Now, you need to set up the AP's Wi-Fi.

Wi-Fi setup

This part can be done via the EWS850-FIT's local web interface, just like you do any standard Wi-Fi router. Out of the box, the AP has an open "Management SSID" -- a Wi-Fi network -- shown on the label on its backside -- that you can use for the setup process.

The only tricky part is accessing this interface. That's because, like all APs, the EnGenius EWS850-FIT gets an IP address from the network's router, so this address varies depending on the existing network. That said, you'll first need to find out what it is via the existing router's web interface, as I detailed in this post on IP addresses.

After that, enter the IP address on a browser of a network computer, and you'll be able to access the AP's interface -- the default login credential is admin for both the username and password -- to configure its Wi-Fi and other network settings.

FitXpress Portal Daskboard Device Manager
The FitXpress cloud-based web portal makes managing the EWS850-FIT convenient and allows it to be part of a robust mesh system when multiple EnGeinus FIT access points are used together.

Alternatively, and probably the easiest, you can opt for the FitXpress cloud-based management. In this case, you can use the FitXpress mobile app to add the online account using its QR code on the back. Like all cloud management solution, FitXpress require a login account with EnGenius to work.

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.

Here's EnGenius's Privacy Policy.

Online privacy and security are a matter of degree. Different companies handle their users' data differently.

However, the web user interface is generally the way to go if you only need a single Wi-Fi access point. And it worked well in my trial.

Lots of Wi-Fi and network options, no web portal for guest sign-in

Like all business APs, the EnGenius EWS850-FIT has many options to customize each of its eight Wi-Fi networks. These include band steering, client isolation, VLAN, limiting each band's download/upload speed, etc.

There are also all available options regarding wireless security and authentication methods. When multiple units are in use, you can also make them work together as a mesh -- more on that in my take on the EnGenius FIT family.

EnGenius EWS850 FIT Local Web User Interface EnGenius EWS850 FIT Local Web User Interface Wi Fi Settings
The EnGenius EWS850-FIT local web interface, which is identical to the older EWS850AP variant, allows for many settings and customization. However, it doesn't support WPA and older Wi-Fi security standards.

But the EnGenius EWS850-FIT doesn't have everything. For example, I was disappointed that when working as a standalone AP, it has no option for a guest Wi-Fi web portal where a client must agree to specific terms before getting connected. Additionally, it doesn't support WPA or older Wi-Fi security. That means many Wi-Fi 5 and all Wi-Fi 4 and older devices won't be able to work with it unless you keep the SSID open.

EnGenius EWS850-FIT: Reliable performance

I've used the original EWS850AP in an outdoor setting since its review in February 2021, and the AP is still working well today. There's no reason not to expect the new EWS850-FIT variant, essentially the same, to deliver the same level of reliability.

EnGenius EWS850AP Wi Fi 6 Access Point 19
My original EnGenius EWS850AP unit has been working with no issues for over a year and a half through rain and shine.

Still, I tested the new AP for over a week, mostly indoors, and was happy with it. The new EWS850-FIT had the same range and performance as the original variant, which was about the same as a high-end Wi-Fi 6 router, like the Asus RT-AX86U. Outdoors, its range was much better. I was able to get a good connection from about 150 feet away. So, you can expect it to cover about 5,000 ft2 (465 m2) of open space, such as a park or a playground. But your mileage may vary.

EnGenius EWS850 FIT EWS850AP Long Range Wi Fi PerformanceEnGenius EWS850 FIT EWS850AP Short Range Wi Fi Performance

As for throughput speeds, the numbers were as expected for a 2x2 broadcaster without supporting the 160MHz channel width. It's worth noting that the APs (both the old and new versions) have a 2.5Gbps port, but I tested them with their included Gigabit injector. In the case of the EWS850-FIT, I also tried with an EnGenius FIT PoE switch, also Gigabit.

Considering the max ceiling Wi-Fi speed of 1200Mbps, chances are it won't produce any higher numbers when used with a Multi-Gig switch or injector.

EnGenius EWS850-FIT (formerly EWS850AP) Access Point's Rating

8.1 out of 10
EnGenius EWS850 FIT
Performance
8 out of 10
Features
8.5 out of 10
Ease of Use
8 out of 10
Value
8 out of 10

Pros

Reliable performance, excellent coverage, fast 2.5 Gbps PoE+ network port with included injector

Full web interface that's responsive and comprehensive; helpful FitXpress cloud-based management

Includes all parts and accessories to work right out of the box; IP67 weatherproof

Cons

Midling Wi-Fi 6 specs with no 160 MHz channel width support

Bulky, no separate power port

Conclusion

The EnGenius EWS850-FIT -- as well as the original EWS850AP if you can still find one -- is a straightforward outdoor Wi-Fi 6 access point that gets the job done.

The fact that it now belongs to the new EnGenius FIT family means you can use it as part of a robust mesh system to reliably blanket a large property in both indoor and outdoor settings. And that makes it a unique piece of hardware.

If you're looking for a Wi-Fi solution for a large outdoor area, like a small park, a motel, or a huge backyard, one (or a few units) of these EnGenius EWS850-FIT APs will make an excellent investment. Give it a try!

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26 thoughts on “EnGenius EWS850-FIT (formerly EWS850AP) Review: An Excellent Outdoor Wi-Fi 6 Access Point”

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  1. Hi Dong, any update on a recommended outdoor POE access point. The Engenius EWS850 is discontinued/
    Thanks
    Stanley

    Reply
    • The FIT is not. Other than that, there are not a lot of outdoor PoE APs, Stanley. But you can get any that’s available. Good luck! πŸ™‚

      Reply
  2. Hey there!

    I’m trying to set up a security camera at our barn which is approximately 1000 feet away from our house thus not in range of our indoor router.

    We have a strong DSL internet connection. There are some trees about midway between the house and the barn, but it’s not terribly thick. We cannot see the barn from the house.

    Is this a good option for us?

    Thanks so much!

    Reply
  3. Hi Dong, I have a question on the two types of outdoor APs. EWS850AP vs WAX610Y. Unless I am mistaken, both are spec’d similarly and outdoor rated although EWS850 has slightly better IP ratings and WAX610Y has POE+ – DO you recommend one over the other. My requirement is to use the AP outdoors and the wifi transmit is about 150-200 feet radius from the AP location

    Reply
    • I haven’t reviewed the WAX610Y, Rama, but the EW850 is excellent. That doesn’t mean it can handle your requirement in terms of coverage, though. That depends on the environment and there’s only one way to find out.

      Reply
  4. Hi Dong,
    On your recommendation we purchased the ASUS RT-AX86U router and ZenWiFi hubs. We need to extend the range on our property to our generator (~150 feet away from the house) and entrance gate (~300 feet away). We cannot economically run ethernet cable to these locations.
    What do you recommend for a high-quality outdoor extender? Is it enough to have one which is 150 feet away which would also reach to the 300 foot location? Or do we need two units?
    Thank you…

    Reply
      • I’ve worked with dozens of EnGenius products in the past. For Mathew’s proposed application, I recommended implementing a bridge setup using a pair of ENH500v3‘s or EnStationAC (with PoE Pass Through). You can essentially beam your internet signal via 5Ghz to your remote location, up to 5 miles away direct line of site. These devices are all rated for outdoor climates, IP55.

        Reply
  5. Hi Dong,
    Thanks for all the great articles and reviews! I am far from being a tech genius but your articles are clear and informative. I’ve been looking for an outdoor and indoor coverage solution for my home in the mountains that is situated on a large rectangular lot (100’x450′). The house is 2,700 sq.ft., two story. I was originally thinking of installing the Asus AX XT8 for the house and putting a satellite unit outside in a weatherproof enclosure. However, it looks like the EnGenius EWS850AP is a better solution for the exterior. Would the AX XT8 be a good match or do you recommend a different mesh system or router for the interior?

    Thanks,
    Mike

    Reply
  6. Hi Dong

    I have an Ax86u in my brick house. But I’d like WiFi outside too. I’ve tried another 86u near the back yard exterior wall and it created interference issues inside the house (but coverage outside was good).

    What AP would you recommend to use outside with an Ax86u inside? Would this one be good?

    And would you keep the SSID the same or different?

    Thanks!

    Reply
  7. I found 1024 Concurrent users can handle.
    How about Surge protection? or what is the best way to survive at thundering?

    Reply

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