EnGenius announced the EWS850AP in early 2020 and started shipping in February 2021. In early November 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: 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
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: 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 2×2 Outdoor Wireless Access Point
|802.11k & 802.11r
|2.4 GHz & 5 GHz
|2 x 2
|2.4 GHz Data Rate
|574Mbps (Wi-Fi 6),
300Mbps (Wi-Fi 4)
|5 GHz Data Rate
|1201Mbps (Wi-Fi 6),
867Mbps (Wi-Fi 5)
|8 (4 on each band)
|1 x 2.5Gbps BASE-T RJ-45 Port
Passive 48V to 54V PoE injector
|2x 5 dBi @ 2.4 GHz,
2x 5 dBi @ 5 GHz
|9.2 x 11.18 x 5.67 in
(234 x 284 x 144 mm)
|3.96 lbs. (1.8kg)
|Qualcomm Quad-Core 1.8GHz CPU
ARM Cortex A53s
|Access Point, Client Bridge,
(via a web user interface)
default login: admin/admin
(optional, via FitEXpess)
|MU-MIMO / OFDMA
|Yes (Uplink and Downlink)
|US Retail Cost
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
The straightforward setup process, helpful mobile app, and convenient web interface
Setting up the EnGenius EWS850-FIT typifies that of any PoE access point.
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
Midling Wi-Fi 6 specs with no 160 MHz channel width support
Bulky, no separate power port
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!