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Draytek Vigor 2860n review

Kat Orphanides
30 Sep 2013
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
176
inc VAT

Capable of routing and load balancing almost any WAN source you connect to it, this router brings versatility to your business

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The Draytek Vigor 2860n is among the most versatile business routers we've ever reviewed. It's capable of balancing or switching between up to three different WAN connections. A built-in modem supports ADSL and VDSL internet connections, including Fibre-To-The-Cabinet connections such as BT Infinity, while a dedicated 10/100/1000 port allows you to plug in a second WAN connection. Finally, you can connect a 3G or 4G mobile internet dongle to one of the router’s USB ports.

Draytek Vigor 2860n

All the router's ports and indicator lights are on the front, with only a pair of replaceable Wi-Fi antennas, the power connector and a power switch at the back. There are two USB ports, an RJ11 port for your ADSL or VDSL connection, a Gigabit Ethernet WAN port and six Gigabit Ethernet ports for your local network. To the right of the ports is a panel of lights showing you the status of various features, including the WAN connections, VPN and wireless network. There’s also a factory reset button and a button to enable and disable your wireless network, as well as a WPS button for quickly connecting compatible devices.

Draytek Vigor 2860n

Network administrators will be pleased to know that you don't have to be at the router to see its status lights and connected ports. The main page of Draytek's web-based admin interface is crowned by an image showing these with colour-coding to indicate which ports are connected and in use.

The Vigor 2860n’s web interface is packed with options, but fortunately there's a quick-start wizard that helps you configure it.

Draytek Vigor 2860n

WE GOT ALL THE NETWORKS
The Vigor 2850n can provide up to four wireless networks, and you can easily create a Guest network so that visitors or staff can get online without having unrestricted access to other directories and devices shared on your network. Each wireless SSID can be configured to "isolate member", which means that devices connected to it won't be able to see either each other or anything else on the network. There's also an "isolate VPN" option, which prevents users on the SSID communicating with users who've connected to the network via a VPN.

The router's NAT settings make it easy to open and forward ports, which you’ll need to do if your users ever need to access an online service or make a web or FTP server available outside your local network. The firewall menu includes simple content filtering based on your own blacklists of URLS and general keywords, and the ability to create APP Enforcement Profiles. These can block certain kinds of internet traffic, such as games, instant messaging or P2P file sharing services.

Dratytek Vigor 2860n

Rules can be applied to specific users and groups as required. You can, for example, create an IP group that includes the addresses of every PC in a department using the router's Objects Setting menus. While the configuration screens for these settings initially look a little obtuse, Draytek's online documentation is thorough and the examples available inside the web interface when you start creating rules and groups are helpful.

CONTENTED MANAGEMENT
More advanced content management is available as an optional feature through the router's Service Activation Wizard. Most of the options are tailored for German-speaking family users, but the Commtouch filter is an appropriate choice for UK businesses. You can buy a licence, sold as the Draytek GlobalView Content Filter, for around £22 ex VAT or register for a free trial via the Wizard and later upgrade to the full version. Once you've added a content filter, it'll create a new default content filtering profile. You can then select the categories you wish to block, such as nudity, drugs, games or dating websites. Once again, different filtering rules can be applied to different users or departments.

Other tools include bandwidth management options for specific IP ranges, whole subnets or your entire network, a virtual terminal that gives you command line access to the router's settings via the web interface, a fully-fledged VPN server and the ability to use the router's USB ports to share a USB printer or hard disk across your network. In testing this, we found that not all our external disks were picked up by the router's USB server, which can only mount FAT32 drives up to 500GB in size.

We tested the router's wireless transfer speeds using both our usual laptop's integrated Wi-Fi adaptor and Draytek's Vigor N65 wireless adaptor. This version of the Vigor 2860n only supports 2.4GHz Wi-Fi, but a version of this router with simultaneous 2.4GHz and 5GHz dual-band wireless is due out at the end of 2013. However, 2.4GHz is still the only band that really matters for business users as the vast majority of mobile devices are still restricted to it. While many routers can auto-detect the best channel, the Vigor 2860n lacks this function. We had to manually switch the router to an uncrowded channel to get a stable wireless connection.

WI-FI PERFORMANCE
Using the laptop's integrated wireless adaptor, we got a throughput of 37.7Mbit/s at a distance of 1m, a near identical 37.6Mbit/s at 10m and a surprisingly quick 22.6Mbit/s at 20m. The own-brand dongle performed better in all but the most distant test, producing a transfer speed of 59.7Mbit/s in our near test, 68.1Mbit/s in our far test and 9.2Mbit/s in our very far test.

CONCLUSION

This is an excellent business router, even if you do have to subscribe to content filtering as an added extra. We really appreciated the ability to configure multiple WAN connections for simultaneous or redundant use, and although its interface isn't as clearly designed as some, it has all the options you could possibly need. At £176 ex VAT, it's beyond the budget or requirements of many SMBs, but if your business has expanding network requirements, this is ideal insurance against anything the future can throw at you.

Basic Specifications

Rating****
Modem typeADSL/VDSL/4G
802.11b supportyes
802.11g supportyes
Draft 802.11n supportyes
Draft 802.11n 5GHz supportyes
MIMOyes
Turbo modechannel-bonding
Stated speed300Mbit/s

Security

WPA2yes
Firewallyes
MAC address filteringyes
DMZyes

Physical

Size44x165x241mm
Antennas2
Internal/external antennasexternal
Upgradeable antennayes
Number of WAN ports2
Ethernet ports6
Ethernet connection speed10/100/1000Mbit/s
Other ports2x USB
Wall mountableyes
Power consumption on6W

Other Features

Dynamic DNSyes
Universal Plug and Play supportyes
DHCP serveryes
MAC spoofingyes
Port forwardingyes
WDS Supportyes
USB device supportyes
QoSyes

Buying Information

Price£176
Warrantytwo years RTB
Supplierhttp://www.broadbandbuyer.co.uk
Detailswww.draytek.co.uk