DrayTek

All in all, we can’t fault the DrayTek Vigor2865ax in any way more than a quibble, and it’s a respectable option for a small-to-medium business network.DrayTek

Compact and white, the Vigor2865ax hides a lot of functionality under an unassuming shell. (Image credit: Future)DrayTek

The 2865 series has a VDSL modem built in, but can also connect to the internet via the WAN port. (Image credit: Future)DrayTek

The 2865 series has dual USB ports, which support 4G modems, or an optional temperature sensor. (Image credit: Future)


DRAYTEK VIGOR2865AX REVIEW: DESIGN AND FEATURES


  • Feature-packed interface
  • Multi-WAN support
  • Excellent VPN options
  • Mesh network ready

The main drawcard for the Vigor2865ax over similar DrayTek models is the VDSL2 modem. A key feature is that it supports 35b Supervectoring, which allows for faster VDSL speeds up to 300Mbps. While a fiber connection is ideal, many smaller or retail business locations are limited to VDSL for internet, so it’s important to be able to maximise the bandwidth available. For those locations where ADSL2+ is still in operation, the 2865 series is also backwards compatible.

For those who need extra redundancy, handily the 2865 series can also connect to broadband via the WAN port and an external modem, as well as being able to use a (BYO) 4G cellular modem via USB. Importantly, these options are supported by extensive software features such as failover, load balancing, bandwidth limiting and the ability to prioritise specific traffic, such as for VOIP.

The Vigor2865ax we tested includes AX3000-spec Wi-Fi 6, but the models with lesser Wi-Fi, or no Wi-Fi at all, are great for businesses who just want the 2865 as a VDSL modem and network management hub.

Networking is what DrayTek is all about, so it’s important to acknowledge that many of the most useful features of the 2865 series involve the use of other hardware. The 2865 models with Wi-Fi can be part of a mesh network, or even access the internet via a wireless WAN. You can also use the 2865 to control a wider network of Vigor products, such as wireless access points and switches. This is ideal for growing businesses, as it makes expanding a network relatively easy. The USB ports can be used to add external devices, such as 4G modems or temperature probes.

Performance is key, and compared to the previous generation router, the Vigor2865 series much improved throughput thanks includes hardware acceleration. This can be used to provide increased performance in a range of areas. For example, using hardware acceleration, dual WAN use can avoid bottlenecks, with up to 1.6x the unaccelerated throughput.

The 2865 series also has a long list of other business focused features. For example it can host a quite advanced hotspot web portal, including a customised landing page with loads of template options available. The router also includes a comprehensive firewall, and other security and content options, such as web page filtering.

Overall the Vigor2865ax has a varied but useful mix of features, without going overboard with unnecessary options that would drive up the price. Don’t take our word for it either – Draytek have online demos available for their hardware, and you can log in and look through the interface and features before buying. Check out the 2865 series at https://eu.draytek.com:12865/.

  • Design and features score: 4.5 / 5

DrayTek

The Vigor2865 web interface is dense but very functional, and there’s an online demo you can try. (Image credit: Future) https://eu.draytek.com:12865/


DRAYTEK VIGOR2965AX REVIEW: PERFORMANCE


  • Multi-WAN failover and bandwidth allocation options
  • App-based wireless management
  • Mesh networking support

It’s hard to do justice to all the ins and outs of the Vigor2865ax with just words on a page. To better understand the router and interface, we highly recommend checking out the excellent DrayTek demo mentioned above, where you can investigate and test the interface and features up front. You can also do the same for other DrayTek devices. The product page(opens in new tab) is also a good port of call, and makes it easy to check out the manual, guides and other resources.

Getting the 2865ax up and running is straightforward, and can be done completely through the web interface. For more complex configurations the interface can seem quite dense, but DrayTek does an excellent job of providing comprehensive guides, manuals and other help online. There’s also DrayTek phone apps for wireless management, which is much improved from previous versions, and generally works pretty well.

For testing, we added the Vigor2865ax to a network populated with a range of DrayTek access points and switches, as well as other gear, such as a NAS and IP cameras, as well as a bevy of smart devices and computers. We included a 4G USB modem as a backup WAN source.

We didn’t uncover any surprises in testing, and the 2865 was more than capable of handling all the network throughput we could give it. VPN links, bandwidth allocation and WAN failover all worked as described, and the 2865 made it easy to manage other networked Vigor devices. On our Vigor2865ax model, Wi-Fi gave excellent performance up close (maxing out at 549Mbps) and through obstacles such as walls. At longer range performance was decent, but nothing spectacular, due to the relatively low-gain antennas – we achieved 399Mbps at 10m distance. DrayTek does have higher gain and directional patch antennas available as an optional extra for those who want to tweak the Wi-Fi experience. Mesh setup with other DrayTek devices was reasonably quick and easy, and handover between mesh nodes worked well.

Of course getting everything set up just so requires significant time, but that’s a reflection of the depth of features, rather than a failing on the router’s behalf.

  • Performance score: 4 / 5

DrayTek

The Vigor2865 series can be easily wall or rack mounted to help make cable management easier. (Image credit: Future)


DRAYTEK VIGOR2965AX REVIEW: NETWORK MANAGEMENT


  • Remote management direct from router interface
  • TR-069 remote management compatible
  • SD-WAN supported via VigorACS software

One of the key features of the Vigor routers for business use is the ability to manage a wider network made up of DrayTek devices. The 2865 series can control 20 Vigor wireless access points (seven in a mesh network) and 10 Vigor switches right from the inbuilt interface.

Of course such a setup can start to become unwieldy to manage – often long before hitting a high number of network devices. While you can use existing TR-069 management software options, DrayTek has a paid server-based TR-069 solution called VigorACS. The latest version, VigorACS 3, enables the DrayTek SD-WAN solution on compatible hardware, which includes the Vigor2865 series. This is a great inclusion, as SD-WAN is a fantastic option for businesses with remote workers who need secure, easily configurable access to the company network while at home or on the road.

DrayTek makes it pretty easy to give VigorACS a try, and buying a compatible device means you get a free 30-day trial. There’s also a Config Demo. While it’s not the only option for TR-069 management, VigorACS is a great match for DrayTek hardware, and for many will be worth the cost for the time savings alone. There’s also a large VigorACS knowledge base of articles that make using it much easier.

DrayTek

The 2865 series has dual USB ports, which support 4G modems, or an optional temperature sensor. (Image credit: Future)


DRAYTEK VIGOR2865AX REVIEW: FINAL VERDICT


The Vigor2865ax is a relatively affordable business VDSL modem router, and combines a useful array of features for small to growing businesses. It has a decent amount of flexibility and future-proofing to scale with a business’ needs, as well as plenty of options for more advanced functionality such as SD-WAN support.

The inclusion of hardware acceleration is of key importance, and takes the 2865 series from a pretty standard option to one with enough throughput to make it viable to hold off from upgrading to a 2.5GbE or faster solution.

While it is very capable on its own, the Vigor2865 series really performs best when paired with other DrayTek devices, as well as the VigorACS software. The hardware itself is excellent, but it’s also important to note the relative abundance of support options to help get the most out of the router. The software side is also top notch, and DrayTek is committed to frequent upgrades and improvements over time.

It’s hard to fault the Vigor2865ax from a technical perspective, and most of our quibbles are really a wishlist of extra features that would inevitably drive up the price. It’s not perfect, but does what it says on the box with little fuss, at an appropriate price. For those businesses who can make use of its unique set of features, the Vigor2865ax is a great choice.

 

 


Product



Overview


  • Multi-WAN with 1 x VDSL2 35b Supervectoring / ADSL2+ WAN port,
    1 x configurable GbE WAN/LAN port, 2 x USB ports
  • 1 x XDSL port and 1 x configurable GbE WAN/LAN port for Failover, Load Balancing and High Availability mode
  • 2 x USB 2.0 ports for 3G/4G LTE USB modems, FTP server, network printer or thermometer
  • 5 x Gigabit LAN ports with multiple subnets and 60,000 NAT sessions
  • 32 x VPN tunnels (including 16 x OpenVPN/ SSL-VPN tunnels) with most security protocols
  • Fast VPN throughput, VPN load-balancing and backup for site-to-site applications
  • Hardware Acceleration and Hardware QoS for up to 8k NAT and routing connections, and 940Mbps (Single WAN) or 1.3Gbps (Multi-WAN) Firewall speed
  • 16 x VLANs for secure and efficient workgroup management
  • IPv6 & IPv4
  • Up to 1022 IP addresses and 8 IP subnets
  • Integrated IEEE 802.11ax (AX3000) wireless Access Point; dual band; up to 2402 Mbps throughput (ax model)
  • High Availability mode
  • Object-based SPI Firewall and CSM (Content Security Management) for network security
  • Supports VigorACS 2 and VigorACS 3 Central Management Software for remote management
  • SD WAN capability when used with VigorACS 3
  • Central VPN Management for up to 8 remote Vigor routers Learn More
  • Central AP Management for up to 20 Vigor Access Points Learn More
  • Central Switch Management for up to 10 VigorSwitches Learn More
  • 2 years back to base warranty

 


Multi-WAN VDSL2 35b/Ethernet Security Routers for SMB


The Vigor2865 series are VDSL2 35b/ADSL2+ security Firewall routers integrating a DSL modem which is compatible with variants of ADSL and VDSL, including profile 35b supervectoring. There is also a configurable Gigabit Ethernet WAN/LAN port for broadband connections to share the traffic load or serve as a Failover connection. A 3G/4G/LTE USB modem can also be attached to the USB ports of the router. The Vigor2865 series includes models with built-in 802.11ax (AX3000)/ 802.11ac Wi-Fi and a VoIP gateway.

  1. Wireless Antenna (ax/ac/Vac models)
  2. Reset Button
  3. WLAN/WPS Button (ax/ac/Vac models)
  4. LED Indicator
  5. 2 x USB 2.0 ports for 3G/4G LTE USB modems, FTP server, network printer or thermometer
  6. GbE LAN/WAN Switchable Port: 1x GbE RJ-45
  7. Fixed LAN Port: 5x GbE RJ-45
  8. 2 x VoIP FXS ports (Vac model)
  9. Fixed WAN Port: 1x RJ-11 for VDSL2 35b/ADSL2+
  10. Power On/Off Switch
  11. Power Input

New OFDMA Feature for 802.11ax

(Vigor2865ax Only)


 

Higher Transmission Efficiency with OFDMA

OFDMA has been used in LTE for many years, and is now available in 802.11ax for multi-user mode.

With legacy OFDM, each frame is transmitted across the entire channel width. When the transmission rate is low, this causes more latency and jitters and lower the overall efficiency.

OFDMA splits a single frame into groups of subcarriers, and each subcarrier can be sent simultaneously. With multiple access mode, it allows multiple users to transmit at the same time thus improving efficiency and enhancing user experiences in high density environments.

 

OFDM

OFDMA

 


802.11ax Downlink & Uplink MU-MIMO

(Vigor2865ax only)


 


802.11ax BSS Colouring

(Vigor2865ax only)


 

In traditional 802.11 Wi-Fi networks, access points are designed to wait and take turns if other signals of the same frequency are detected from adjacent access points. This sharing of a resource, in this case radio frequencies, is called a basic service set (BSS). 802.11ax adds Colouring to the BSS information being broadcast so that APs can use the same channel at the same time without having to take turns. This increases Wi-Fi efficiency, particularly in high density environments.

In the diagram here, AP1 and AP4 are using Channel 1 simultaneously, which normally means they would have to take turns if transmitting information at the same time. However, using BSS Colouring, the 2 APs can now transmit simultaneously without waiting.

An 802.11ax AP using BSS Colouring has the ability to change its BSS Colour if it detects another AP using the same BSS Colour on the same frequency.


Hardware Acceleration


NAT Acceleration & Hardware QoS

Without sacrificing traffic control features such as QoS, Bandwidth Limit, WAN Budget, Traffic Graph and Data Flow Monitor, Hardware Acceleration enhances performance for:

  • NAT & routing connections
  • QoS
  • IPsec VPN

Hardware NAT & Routing

With Hardware Acceleration and Hardware QoS enabled, the router supports up to 8k NAT and routing connections, and firewall performance reaching 940Mbps on single WAN and 1.3Gbps combined performance on multi-WANs.

Hardware QoS

Hardware QoS allows prioritization of applications and services on DrayTek routers, to improve performance of critical applications such as VoIP, conferencing and video streaming, etc. Furthermore, it allows flexible bandwidth allocation to suit business requirements.

Hardware IPsec

While the Vigor2865 series already has improved IPsec performance over the previous Vigor2862 series, with Hardware Acceleration enabled, IPsec performance can now reach 800 Mbps. The first 16 tunnels are automatically accelerated on a first come first serve basis. If any drops out, a new tunnel will be put into the accelerator automatically to top off 16 accelerated tunnels.


App QoS


 

Application QoS allows prioritisation of applications and services on DrayTek routers to improve and enhance critical applications, such as VoIP, conferencing video streaming, etc. It also allow flexible bandwidth allocation to suit business requirements.

VoIP First

VoIP is always a top priority! The default VoIP port, UDP 5060 (configurable) has priority out-of-box with QoS.

Improve Experience for Business-Critical Apps

Select your business critical apps, and easily put them into QoS classes.

Flexible Bandwidth Allocation

Bandwidth will be reserved for high-priority classes, and can be used by low-priority classes when available.

 

 


Hotspot Web Portal


Market your business while offering free Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi Marketing

Redirect hotspot guests to the company homepage, online surveys, or display a promotion message.

Grow Customer Mailing List

Require guests to leave contact info or social media accounts before they can use the Internet services.

Various Authentication Types

A variety of login methods are supported to meet your business needs, including Facebook Login, Google Login, SMS PIN, Voucher PIN, and RADIUS.

3rd-Party Service Compliant

Supports external captive portal authentication so you can keep using the Wi-Fi marketing solution you prefer.

Data Quota Management

Bandwidth management is integrated into the Hotspot features to control the bandwidth and session usage of the Hotspot guests.

 


AP-Assisted Roaming – built-in in selected Wi-Fi Vigor Routers and all Vigor Access Points


Extend Transmission Range

When a Wi-Fi client moves out of its effective transmission range which is defined by the Basic Rate and/or Received Signal Strength threshold, the AP forces the
Wi-Fi client to pick up a nearby access point with stronger signals thereby extending the range.

Improve Data Rates

When the “Minimum RSSI with Adjacent AP” option is set, APs or routers on the same local subnet will exchange client information with each other and switch to the AP or router that has the strongest signal, ensuring that data rates can be as good as possible.

Better User Experience

Instead of ineffective transmission with low basic rates or RSSI, the better links provide better user experience while saving the airtime.

No Controller Required

Assisted Roaming is a built-in feature in all Vigor Access Points and a number of
Wi-Fi routers; it saves the need for an ad-hoc wireless controller and is an ideal solution for simple network deployments.


Key Features


Load Balancing
Maximise throughput and reliability by using multiple Internet connections. Learn more


Bandwidth Management
Prevent one device using all the bandwidth with bandwidth limit policy, session limit policy, and QoS settings.


VPN (Virtual Private Network)
Build a secure and private tunnel from the LAN of the Vigor2865 Series to remote offices and teleworkers over the Internet. Learn more


Hotspot Web Portal
Market your business and communicate with the guests while offering hospitality Wi-Fi. Learn more


SSL VPN
SSL VPN works through firewalls providing secure remote access to any network environment. Learn more


35b Supervectoring Modem
Integrated VDSL modem, supporting VDSL2 profile 35b supervectoring.


DrayDDNS
Free DDNS service to access the router using a fixed hostname of your choice. Learn more


Firewall & Content Filter
Filter web pages by URL keywords or web category to block access to insecure or inappropriate content.


Central AP Management
Use the Vigor2865 router as a wireless controller to maintain and monitor VigorAPs. Learn more


Central Switch Management
Set up VLAN easily from the router and get a centralized hierarchy view of the switches. Learn more


Management Solution


All-in-One Management

Central Switch Management

Central AP Management

  • Auto-Discovery
  • Provisioning
  • Monitoring
  • Centralised Hierarchy View
  • Reboot PoE Devices Remotely
  • Quick VLAN Configuration
  • Auto-Discovery
  • Auto-Provisioning
  • Monitoring
  • Centralised View
  • Alarm
  • Reboot VigorAP Remotely
  • Wi-Fi Client Load Balancing

Software Management

VigorACS 2
VigorACS 3

  • Provisioning
  • Monitoring
  • Centralised Hierarchy View
  • Alarm
  • Reboot Vigor Devices Remotely
  • Scheduled Maintenance
  • Report

In-the-box

Note :

The throughput figures are maximum, based on DrayTek internal testing with optimal conditions. The actual performance may vary depending on the different network conditions and applications activated.


Config Demo