Introduction to the EnGenius ECS1008P
Throughout my life, I have been constantly reminded that when purchasing new networking hardware, you’re stuck choosing from three categories. Cheap and barely functional, moderately priced and mediocre, or great and expensive, but that narrative seems to have changed over the past few years. Now cheap and decent networking hardware is easy to find, but truly good networking hardware that won’t break the bank is now also becoming available at an ever-increasing rate. I was contacted earlier this year by a company called EnGenius and asked if I would like to review a new sub, $130 8-Port Gigabit Poe L2 Managed Switch they were launching soon.
The ECS1008P 8-Port Gigabit Poe L2 Managed Switch and an ECW120 Cloud Managed Beamforming WiFi 802.11ac Wave 2 Indoor Access Point arrived a few weeks later, and I sat it on my desk with the full intent of getting started on the review ASAP, but as it does, life got in the way a bit due to the pandemic of 2020 as well as a few other life events. I finally managed to get everything set up and configured about a month ago and have been playing with the switch and learning its ins and outs ever since. Before we get into the review, I want to be completely transparent and say upfront that I am not a network engineer, and I have no formal training in the IT field. However, I am a small business owner, a computer hardware enthusiast, and a consumer electronic reviewer with more than 5,000 articles and reviews across the web. So, keep that in mind, and consider this more of an overview and debriefing on my personal experience installing and using both of these devices.
From the Manufacturer: The EnGenius ECS1008P
EnGenius Cloud ECS1008P, an 8-Port Gigabit PoE Layer 2 Switch with 55W Budget. Select Cloud or on-premises management options based on network architecture, administrative permissions, technical aptitude, or even budget. Enterprise-class features optimize network efficiency, ensuring peak performance while reducing capital and operating expenses for cost-conscious SMBs.
- 8 10/100/1000 Base-T GbE Ports
- Full-Featured Layer 2+ Switching
- 802.3af PoE Ready on All Ports with 55W PoE budget
- 16 Gbps Switching capacity
- Real-Time System Metrics, Deep-Dive Analytics, and Remote Configurations
EnGenius Cloud Managed ECW120 Beamforming WiFi 802.11ac Wave 2 Indoor Access Point delivers 1.3 Gbps speeds and higher user capacity. It supercharges performance up to 30% faster than legacy 11ac Wave 1 APs. This dual-band AP with MU-MIMO and Beamforming features meshing, supports PoE, and improves connection reliability for business-class Wi-Fi.
- Dual-radio 2×2 802.11ac/a/b/g/n with MU-MIMO & Beamforming technology
- Supports up to 867 Mbps in 5-GHz band & 400 Mbps in 2.4-GHz band
- Compliance with 802.3af & 48V PoE input for flexible installation up-to 328 feet
- Quick-Scan Device Register & Configuration and Remote Monitoring & Troubleshooting
- Cloud Manage an unlimited number of AP’s from Anywhere with the EnGenius Cloud App
A Closer Look at the EnGenius ECS1008P
The EnGenius ECS1008P arrived in a plain brown cardboard box and includes no accessories other than a 54-volt 1.2A adapter and a quick-start guide, which is par for the course when you’re dealing with networking hardware more geared towards the small and medium-sized business (SMB), and high-end home networking markets, and that’s who EnGenius is targeting with this switch.
Being a small business owner, I understand the importance of being able to manage my network and do things like setting administrator privileges, and I also see the value in the built-in 55-watts of PoE power. This feature alone was worth it with me being able to power all four of my network cameras from the same ethernet line and without the use of those cheap PoE injectors you can buy on Amazon.
The PoE feature is beneficial for more than just network cameras, though, and allows you to power WiFi access points as well without the need for additional power adapters. I requested the ECW12011ac Wave 2 Managed Indoor Wireless Access Point (AP) to try this out as well and see if the switch could support all 4 of my cameras as well as an access point in my workshop.
Configuring and Management
You can connect to the EnGenius ECS1008P two ways, the first being via a computer being directly connected to the switch, and using the switch’s built-in GUI via a web browser that’s pointed to the switch’s IP, this method is just for setup and monitoring though, and the full management suite can be accessed via the EnGenius Cloud.
With a PC connected to the Switch, the GUI can be accessed via a web browser pointed to 192.168.0.239 and then entering the default admin/password credentials.
Getting things connected to the EnGenius Cloud was a bit more tricky but is quite easy to do as well if you follow the quick start guide that comes with the switch.