Engin oneHub ST790

Engin's oneHub benefits from simplicity, but also suffers from it in comparison to other all-in-one router/VoIP solutions.


5.9
CNET Rating
9.0
User Rating


Design

Engin's oneHub is a colossus amongst routers. Sure, there's an argument that a device that combines ADSL2+ modem, wireless router and cordless phone hub is going to need to take up some space, but the oneHub's actual hub is still pretty big by anyone's estimates.

When you first unpack the oneHub, a small set-up poster falls on your lap. It's to engin's credit that they do live up to the simplicity tag with this poster, especially if you're an engin ADSL2+ customer. You don't have to do much more than connect up the oneHub to your phone and ADSL2+ lines and power on the case. Engin will permit non-engin ADSL2+ customers to use the oneHub, although you'll have to do a touch of manual configuration via oneHub's web interface.

The actual modem/router is, as noted, large, with default lights for its functions running along the top. The rear houses a clipped in cover that goes over the unit's ports. Aside from phone and ADSL, you also get two 10/100 Ethernet ports, and rubber-sealed USB type A and B ports, which were non-functional on our review model.

Along with the router, engin also supplies a single wireless Thomson handset which connects wirelessly to the oneHub. Additional handsets may be purchased and synchronisation with the oneHub was, in our tests, immediate.

Features

So far, so good on the simplicity front. However, there are some downsides. The oneHub is only an 802.11b/g capable router, for a start. That's exacerbated by the relative dearth of Ethernet ports available on the rear of the unit, a choice made all the more baffling by the non-functional USB ports.

If you're the tinkering type, you won't be all that fond of the oneHub either, as, similar to many locked-down provider-specific units, many key router functions aren't available from the web interface. If you were taking on the oneHub with an engin 24-month ADSL2+ contract (where they'll only charge you AU$99) this would be somewhat understandable — but for a unit that they will sell at full price, it's much less compelling. As an example, the default IP address for the router is set, and we couldn't find any way of changing it short of — from what we could research using the OEM's original notes on this router model — using a CLI approach to manually talk to the router, a step that's going to be way above the comfort level of the oneHub's audience.

One plus with the oneHub is that it ships with WPA security pre-enabled and printed on the side of the router, and you're advised to change it as soon as you've finished set-up.

Performance

On the phone handset side, the oneHub's single supplied handset worked quite well. In common with many cheaper cordless handsets, the buttons are squishy and the screen is quite indistinct, but as a basic telephony tool there's nothing wrong with it.

On the network side, we had a few more problems. At first, we couldn't get the oneHub to activate its Ethernet ports, something that was only fixed with a reboot. With 802.11b/g only on-board, wireless signal was less than solid but not surprising in our test environment. Throughput was a little higher than we've seen from many 802.11g routers, but still fell predictably low at distance, with an average of 8Mbps real-time throughput on a file copy test.

There's clearly a market for a product like the oneHub. If you're an engin customer and planning to be one for some time, the AU$99 two-year contract isn't a terrible price to pay for the convenience of the model. At the same time, the truly difficult interface, locked down nature of the router and limitations of 802.11g may mean that in two years time, you'll feel solidly left behind.

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tegs
9
Rating
 

tegs posted a review   

a had trouble with it freezing occasionaly, i contacted engin and they restored it and has worked great since, loce that it is the voice box and modem and wireless all it one

 

Fizzball posted a comment   

The Good:Does what it's meant to.

The Bad:Locked down by default

... as do you Rocket, I supplement the Engin OneHub with a D-Link to get Wireless N performance, along with 4 Gigabit LAN ports... not sure why Engin didn't give people the option to change IP address, disable DHCP etc. on the OneHub - maybe they thought it would make their remote support of the product simpler? The downside of course is that it limits the integration with existing home networks. Alas, good news is that it's fairly simple to unlock the options to disable DHCP and change the IP address which I needed to do in order to let my Mac Mini do what it's meant to...

On the OneHub, browse to -

Home > homeHub > Configuration > Backup & Restore

Backup the settings to a file, then open the backup file in a text editor and search for [ mlpuser.ini ].
After this line you'll find the current users, with their passwords hashed, just copy and paste the "normal" user which by default is Administrator -

add name=Administrator password=_CYP_d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf84abc role=engin_user hash2=a2e279ed6671666bed7738338c8c849f descr="Engin end user" defuser=enabled

....and in the pasted copy, change name=[your new user], and role=root e.g. -

add name=fizz password=_CYP_d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf84abc role=root hash2=a2e279ed6671666bed7738338c8c849f descr="my root user" defuser=enabled

...then from the original Administrator user line, remove the 'defuser=enabled' string, so that when you logon your new root level user becomes default. Then restore the OneHub settings with your modified backup file, and logon with your new username. Finally, go to -

Home > Home Network > Interfaces > LocalNetwork ...select Configure, and you can modify the local IP address, and unselect "Use DHCP Server".

-- fizz

 

rocket posted a comment   

The Good:simple to setup, phone voice quality good

The Bad:large footprint, LAN parameters suppressed

I found this unit very simple to configure and get operating. It doesn't have many bells and whistles but reasonable call logging, address book function, ISP configurations, voice quality etc. make it's deployment quite seamless. I supplemented the solution with a D-link 4 port Wireless N Access point to boost WiFi performance and give me some more ethernet ports as the OneHub is limited in both these departments; however the D-link only set me back another $99, hence collectively with the OneHub it's a reasonably cost effective solution.

I would have liked to be able to change the default IP address scheme on this unit, and disable DHCP (preferring to use the D-link's DHCP server that I could control/configure), however this functionality has been suppressed which was annoying.

In sum, the unit does what it says it does, and quite well. It would have been nice to supply Engin users with an admin level account that allowed more detailed networking parameters to be configured for the more technically savvy, but other than that, it's good value.




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User Reviews / Comments  Engin oneHub ST790

  • tegs

    tegs

    Rating9

    "a had trouble with it freezing occasionaly, i contacted engin and they restored it and has worked great since, loce that it is the voice box and modem and wireless all it one"

  • Fizzball

    Fizzball

    "... as do you Rocket, I supplement the Engin OneHub with a D-Link to get Wireless N performance, along with 4 Gigabit LAN ports... not sure why Engin didn't give people the option to change IP addr..."

  • rocket

    rocket

    "I found this unit very simple to configure and get operating. It doesn't have many bells and whistles but reasonable call logging, address book function, ISP configurations, voice quality etc. make..."

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