The following review was conducted in December 2016.
The first product in the new line of Grandstream networking equipment is the GWN7610, a wireless access point, soon to be followed by the GWN7600. This device can be used to connect wireless devices to your local network. In this review, we take a look at the GWN7610's design, features, setup, and more.
For the purposes of this review, we tested two GWN7610’s paired together to serve a single Service Set Identifier (SSID) across multiple wireless access points.
The GWN7610 is positioning itself as a direct competitor of the Ubiquiti UniFi AP Pro, and as such, has taken on many similar characteristics.
The GWN7610 looks like many other access points, and takes after the AP Pro with its multi color LEDs to indicate device status. Installing the GWN7610 was simple. We actually didn't even use the included wall mount plate. We simply used a few screws that were laid out to fit into the slots of the back of the GWN7610.
The build quality feels quite sturdy, and the device comes packaged with a wall/ceiling mount plate. One thing to note is that the GWN7610 does not come with any power adapter, even though it does support being powered from a 24v 1A adapter. You will need to have an appropriate 24v 1A adapter, PoE, PoE+ capable switch, or PoE injector to power the device.
The GWN7610 has some basic features such as client isolation per SSID, as well as RSSI cutoff and band steering. Built-in web based provisioning allows the GWN7610 to auto discover and manage networks of up to 50 GWN7610s. This is all without requiring a separate controller.
The ability to self-manage the device without having to use a separate software, or hardware controller, is extremely convenient. You can very quickly augment a wired network without needing any other particular equipment besides the access points themselves.
The GWN7610 offers high-end security features that are not available on most 3rd party WiFi access points. This includes unique security certificates for each device, via SHA256 encryption, along with strong random default passwords. Other features include:
- IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac WiFi standards
- 3x 2.4 GHz/5 GHz, gain 3 dBi, internal antennas
- Competitive WiFi data rates (up to 1300 Mbps)
- WEP, WPA/WPA2-PSK, WPA/WPA2 Enterprise (TKIP/AES)
- 575 ft. (175 meters) coverage range
- 16 SSIDs per radio
- 250+ concurrent clients
- 2x auto-sensing 10/100/1000 Base-T Ethernet Ports
- IPv4, 802.1Q, 802.1p, 802.1x, 802.11e/WMM
- Wall mount
- USB 2.0 port
We conducted an unscientific throughput test by downloading a 826MB file over WiFi with the GWN7610, via SFTP. This was from a host that was directly connected to the same gigabit switch as the GWN7610. We downloaded the same file 5 times, and these were our results:
826MB 45.9MB/s 00:18
826MB 41.3MB/s 00:20
826MB 48.6MB/s 00:17
826MB 43.5MB/s 00:19
826MB 48.6MB/s 00:17
We got an average rate of 45.58 MB/s throughput, which is a solid result. This particular device was connected over a 5Ghz radio link.
Upon logging into the GWN7610’s web interface, you're presented with a overview screen. This gives you a picture of the status of your various access points and network connectivity.
Moving on to the “Access Points” page, we see the status of the access point we're accessing as a “Master”, along with any other access points it has discovered (in this case, the second GWN7610). From this screen, we're able to pair with the discovered access points in order to provision them from the web UI.
After pairing with the discovered access point, it's now in our paired devices list.
Each access point has a number of configuration options, such as network, frequency, band steering enablement, channel width, and so on.
Once the access points have been paired and the network has been configured, we can go ahead and create a network group with two SSIDs.
The GWN7610 has a default network group, “group0”, that cannot be deleted. We used this group to set up our main SSID, and we set the device membership of the group to contain both access points so could pair the network with both devices.
After setting up our primary network, we then added an SSID via the “Additional SSID” sub page of the network group settings.
Finally, we can look at the client’s page to get an overview of who was connected to the network. From here, you can block clients, set specific names for clients identified by MAC, and more.
The GWN7610 provides general maintenance capabilities, including managing firmware updates for all paired devices, viewing routing tables, performing ping and trace routes, and taking PCAP’s and save them to a USB drive.
The GWN7610 is a wireless access point that's very convenient to deploy and manage in relatively large numbers, with support for up to 50 paired devices. While it isn't suitable yet for very large enterprise deployments, it's well worth the price for $129 and will suit many applications quite well.
The GWN7610 is not generally a feature heavy device. It doesn't have traffic shaping, or bandwidth management per-SSID, or landing pages for guest networks. But there's no management software to install and the web UI is very simple to navigate and use. Overall, the Grandstream GWN7610 is a relatively basic device that does a small number of critical features very well, and will be a good fit for smaller enterprises that don't have highly complicated IP infastructures.