The ESR300H's Web interface is well-organized and responsive, providing access to the router's various features such as Parental Control, Firewall, and Quality of Service. While these are useful features, the interface's layout and wording are technical and only suitable for experienced users. The router seems to be intended for home use, but the inexperienced will have a hard time taking advantage of its advanced features.
The EnGenius ESR300H showed no genius in terms of performance. In my testing, the router scored just 22.6Mbps in close-range tests when a client was set at 15 feet away. When I increased the range to 100 feet in the long-range test, the score dropped to a dismal 5.6Mbps. For comparison, the similarly priced Linksys E1200, which was previously the slowest wireless router I had seen, registered 37.5Mbps and 6.4Mbps for the close-range and long-range tests, respectively. Other routers I've reviewed can easily double or even quadruple the EnGenius ESR300H's data speeds.
I was hoping that this XtraRange router would at least impress with its range, but there was nothing of note there, either. The router indeed offered longer range than the Linksys E1200 in my office environment, up to about 200 feet. But from about 150 feet out, it was basically impossible to do any surfing or to transfer data, making the connection virtually useless. The router should be used from within 75 feet if you want to experience a viable wireless connection. And even then, the connection wasn't always rosy.
What I found most disappointing about the EnGenius ESR300H was its signal stability. Even at close range, the router appeared to randomly disconnect from and reconnect to its wireless client. While this wouldn't be a big deal for those who just want to surf the Web or e-mail, it'd be a headache for those who need a constant and reliable connection for gaming or VoIP applications like Skype. The router miserably failed our 24-hour stress test within just 1.5 hours of testing.
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Service and support
EnGenius backs the ESR300H with standard one-year warranty. At the company's Web site, you will find a dedicated page for the router where you can find support information including downloads and FAQs.
Despite the compact design, the VPN support, and even the nice low price of just $45, I recommend skipping the EnGenius ESR300H High Power 300Mbps Wireless N Router due to its mediocre performance and unstable wireless signal.