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EnGenius EWS850AP Review: Simply an Excellent Outdoor Wi-Fi 6 Access Point

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The EnGenius EWS850AP (subsequently EnGenius FIT or EWS850-FIT) 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.

Update: EnGenius first announced the EWS850AP in early 2020 and started shipping in February 2021. In early β€ŽNovember 2022, the company gave the access point a new marketing name -- "EnGenius FIT" -- and released a new model called EWS850-FIT.

Other than the new moniker, the hardware and cost remain the same. Eventually, the EWS850-FIT will replace the EWS850AP entirely. In the meantime, rest assured either will give you the same experience.

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 $330, it's well worth the investment for those needing to blanket a large outdoor area with reliable Wi-Fi.

EnGenius EWS850AP Wi Fi 6 Access Point 19
The EnGenius EWS850AP Wi-Fi 6 Outdoor Access Point on a rainy day

EnGenius EWS850AP: A simple and effective approach to outdoor Wi-Fi coverage

After reviewing the ECW230, which doesn't include a power adapter or a PoE injector, I found the EnGenious EWS850AP a pleasant surprise. Indeed, 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 EWS850AP 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. Out of the box, the access point has everything you'd need: the passive (proprietary) 38-watt Gigabit PoE injector (model EPA5006GR). You'll also find accessories for any mounting surface -- a fence, a wall, or even a pole.

EnGenius EWS850AP PoE Adapter 1
The EnGenius EWS850AP includes a passive PoE injector.

The EWS850AP sure 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 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 EWS850AP: Hardware specifications

The EnGenius EWS850AP 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.

ModelsEWS850AP / EWS850-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
BSS ColoringYes
MU-MIMO / OFDMAYes (Uplink and Downlink)
EnGenius EWS850AP/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 EWS850AP: Detail photos

EnGenius EWS850AP Wi Fi 6 Access Point 10
The EnGenius EWS850AP Wi-Fi 6 Access Point's retail box

EnGenius EWS850AP Wi Fi 6 Access Point 11
Out of the box, the EnGenius EWS850AP includes everything you'd need, including a passive PoE injector.

EnGenius EWS850AP Wi Fi 6 Access Point 13
The EnGenius EWS850AP itself is pretty large.

EnGenius EWS850AP Wi Fi 6 Access Point 6
It comes with two antenna connectors on top.

EnGenius EWS850AP Wi Fi 6 Access Point 14
And another two on the underside. Note the recessed PoE LAN port. You will need a tool, like a screwdriver, to remove the connected network cable --there's no way to put the finger on the latch that locks the connector in place.

EnGenius EWS850AP Wi Fi 6 Access Point 15
With the antennas assembled, The EnGenius EWS850AP is very bulky.

EnGenius EWS850AP PoE Adapter 2
The included PoE injector (model EAP5006GR) has two Gigabit LAN ports. One is PoE.

EnGenius EWS850AP Wi Fi 6 Access Point 16
The underside of the PoE injector
You can also mount it on a wall, and mounting screws are included.

EnGenius EWS850AP Wi Fi 6 Access Point 12
The backside of the EnGenius EWS850AP
Note the mounting grooves and the Management SSID.

EnGenius EWS850AP Wi Fi 6 Access Point 21
The EnGenius EWS850AP makes an excellent Wi-Fi 6 outdoor Wi-Fi solution.

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

Setting up the EnGenius EWS850AP 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 other 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.

EnGenius EWS850AP Wi Fi 6 Access Point 1
The EnGenius EWS850AP's included mounting accessory is well-designed. Note the screw that will keep the AP tightly attached when mounted.

Wi-Fi setup

This part can be done via the EWS850AP's 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 EWS850AP 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.

EnGenius EnWiFi Mobile App
Among other things, the EnGenius EnWiFi Mobile App will detect the AP and show its IP address.

Alternatively, and probably the easiest, you can use the EnWiFi mobile app. First, connect the mobile device to the existing Wi-Fi network or the Management SSID of the EWS850AP, as mentioned above.

Now, launch the app, and it will detect the AP within the network -- assuming your mobile device is and show its IP address. You then use it to access the interface with a computer.

(The app is a handy local tool -- it doesn't require a login account with EnGenious -- that allows setting up some of the AP's settings. I always prefer the web interface, however.)

And that's now, from a connected computer, navigate a browser to the IP address -- 192.168.88.243 in my case, as shown in the screenshot -- and log in with the default account, which is admin for both username and password. The rest is self-explanatory.

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

Like all business APs, the EnGenius EWS850AP has many Wi-Fi settings and other options to customize each of its eight Wi-Fi networks.

These include the ability to set up band steering, client isolation, VLAN, limit each band's download/upload speed, and so on.

There are also all available options regarding wireless security and authentication methods. And when multiple units are in use, you can also make them work together as a mesh. (I had only one unit and didn't test this feature.)

EnGenius EWS850AP Web Interface
The EnGenius EWS850AP's Web Interface allows for lots of settings and customization.

But the EnGenius EWS850AP doesn't have everything. For example, I was disappointed that it has no option for a guest Wi-Fi web portal, where a client must agree on specific terms before getting connected.

The web sign-in portal is a popular and valuable option if you want to provide a public hotspot, and the much cheaper TP-Link Wi-Fi 5 access point has this option.

EnGenius EWS850AP: Excellent performance

I tested the EnGenius EWS850AP for over a week, most of which was out in the rain, and I was happy with it. The AP handled the wet weather very well and proved to be reliable. I had no issue with it at all, even during rough weather.

EnGenius EWS850AP Wi Fi6 Performance
The EnGenius EWS850AP's 5GHz Wi-Fi Performance when hosting a Wi-Fi 6 client.

When indoors, the access point had about the same range as a high-end router, like the Asus RT-AX86U. Outdoor, though, its range was much better. I was able to get a good connection from some 150 feet away. So, conservatively, you can expect it to blanket about 5000 ft2 (465 m2) of open space.

As for throughput speeds, the EnGenius EWS850AP performed as expected for a 2x2 broadcaster without the support for the 160MHz channel width.

(Note: The AP does have a 2.5Gbps port. However, the included is a Gigabit PoE injector. As a result, it connects to the existing network at 1Gbps at best.)

EnGenius EWS850AP Wi Fi5 Performance
The EnGenius EWS850AP's 5GHz Wi-Fi Performance when hosting a Wi-Fi 5 client.

I stacked it up against other standalone Wi-Fi 6 routers, and it proved to be quite formidable. Most interestingly, it was faster than the more expensive ECW230AP, averaging 515Mbps and 770Mbps up to 40 feet (12 m) away on a 2x2 Wi-Fi 6 client.

The access point did well with Wi-Fi 5 clients, too. My 3x3 test device registered a sustained speed of 547Mbps at a close range of fewer than 10 feet (3 m). At 40 feet away, it still got some 520Mbps.

EnGenius EWS850AP 2 4GHz Performance
The EnGenius EWS850AP's 2.4GHz Wi-Fi performance

And finally, on the 2.4Ghz, the EnGenius EWS850AP did comparatively the best among the top five Wi-Fi 6 broadcasters I've tested. It's safe to say if you have a 250Mbps broadband speed, this AP can deliver it in full for a large outdoor area.

EnGenius EWS850AP/EWS850-FIT Access Point's Rating

8.3 out of 10
EnGenius EWS850AP Wi Fi 6 Access Point 18
Performance
8.5 out of 10
Features
8 out of 10
Ease of Use
8 out of 10
Value
8.5 out of 10

Pros

Reliable performance, excellent coverage

Full web interface that's responsive and comprehensive

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

Weatherproof

Convenient mobile app

2.5 Gbps PoE network port

Cons

No 160 MHz channel width support

Included PoE injector caps at 1Gbps

No web portal sign-in option for Guest Wi-Fi

Bulky, no separate power port

Conclusion

EnGenius EWS850AP, as well as its EWS850-FIT replacement, is a simple Outdoor Wireless Wi-Fi 6 access point that gets the job done.

If you're looking to blanket a large outdoor area, like a small park, a motel, or a huge backyard, one (or a few units) will make an excellent investment. Give it a try!

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26 thoughts on “EnGenius EWS850AP Review: Simply 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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