DrayTek Vigor2862Vac Review Published in APC Magazine Issue 455, June 2018
It’s been a while since DrayTek last updated its line of small business DSL modem routers, but the new Vigor is a worthy update, modernising many of the features of the Vigor2860 series without departing dramatically from that baseline.
Aesthetically, the router is consistent with DrayTek’s previous routers: no frills, with LAN, USB, WAN, DSL and phone ports up front for easy access. Only the power plugs into the back of the router. This isn’t pretty when it’s all plugged in — it’s more like a rack mount in miniature than what you might have come to expect from more consumer-focused routers — but the DrayTek is designed to be practical, not pretty.
That approach extends to DrayTek’s firmware itself, which is very powerful, giving you access to a lot of tools more commonly found in corporate routers. There are capable VPN tools with up to 32 simultaneous tunnels supported; it will support USB 3G/4G modems plugged into the USB ports with dynamic failover in case of landline failure; it has corporate-grade content filtering and centralised management; smart monitoring and support for up to eight subnets and 1,022 IP addresses (most routers in this grade only support up to 256 devices).
DrayTek expects that somebody who knows what they are doing is at the helm of this device. There are no easy mobile apps and no pre-configuration. You will be expected to know your stuff, especially if you want to deep dive into some of the more advanced capabilities.
Compared to the Vigor 2860 line, the Vigor2862 series has received touch-ups across the board.
The processor — previously 600MHz — now runs at 720MHz and the new router has twice as much memory. Perhaps the most significant change is to the wireless, which tackles one of the older DrayTek line’s biggest shortcomings: the mediocre wireless performance.
The Vigor2862 now has an extra antenna, for a top speed of 1,733Mbps with 4×4 MIMO. It also now supports beam forming and multi-user MIMO, which makes it a Wave 2 router, in line with the best consumer wireless models. It also performed well when we tested it: at 5m from the router, we managed to get 59.9 MB/s download speed, and at 15m, we got 30.6 MB/s when tested with a 3×3 Linksys WUMC710 adapter/bridge. This compares well with the excellent TP-Link Archer VR2800, which received 63.9/27.4 MB/s in the same tests. DrayTek really has caught up when it comes to wireless.
Finally, there’s the ‘V’ in Vigor2862Vac. That stands for ‘voice’, and DrayTek remains one of the few vendors that continues to build a VoIP system into its routers. With a VoIP setup, you can just plug one or two traditional phone handsets into the DrayTek, and have your calls automatically routed through a VoIP service provider — or, if the internet goes down, through a standard phone line.
There’s a lot of depth in the VoIP settings, such as call forwarding, transfer and waiting, call barring and do not disturb, as well as an internal phone book. It’s not nearly as capable as AVM’s FritzBox! VoIP routers, but it’s more than enough for most users.
While it’s not a huge departure from previous models, it’s fair to say that DrayTek has done all the right things with the new Vigor2862. Recommended.