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DrayTek Vigor 2862 review: Price-conscious protection

A bargain for SMBs that want a solid mix of security measures and top-notch WAN redundancy options

IT Pro Value
Price
£150 exc VAT
  • Excellent redundancy options
  • Great value
  • Simple setup and configuration
  • No built-in Wi-Fi

This unit may look like a regular router, but don’t be fooled - DrayTek’s Vigor 2862 is a bona fide security gateway, with optional remote management via the cloud-hosted VigorACS 2 service. 

To be sure, it’s not as feature-packed as some chunkier, more expensive options. Notably, the Vigor 2862 doesn’t offer antivirus services, nor any sort of spam filtering. You do, however, get a 400Mbits/sec SPI firewall, plus a good range of web-filtering and app-control options.

The Vigor 2862 will also make your day if you’re looking to provide secure connections for remote staff, as it supports up to 32 concurrent IPsec VPN tunnels and 16 simultaneous SSL connections, via DrayTek’s free Smart VPN client for Windows, macOS, iOS and Android.

And while the appliance doesn’t have built-in wireless services, it does include DrayTek’s Central AP Management (CAM) feature for discovering and provisioning up to 20 DrayTek wireless APs – and it can discover and centrally manage up to ten DrayTek VigorSwitch devices.

We found installation was easy. The web console provides a quick-start wizard for changing the default admin password and configuring internet access, and additional wizards are provided for enabling DrayTek’s free DDNS service and setting up VPNs. This latter task is a cinch, and VPN performance isn’t bad: testing with an external Windows 10 PC running the Smart VPN client, we saw file copies to a LAN system complete at a respectable 2.3MB/sec. Don’t get carried away with multiple SSL VPN connections, though, as during our tests we saw appliance CPU utilisation occasionally peaking as high as 88%.

Configuring the firewall isn’t too complicated, either. It’s all based on filters, which manage your incoming and outgoing traffic. Each filter comprises up to seven rules, defining specific traffic types and directions, along with a load-balancing policy and QoS priorities. 

Filters can also define behaviours for the app-control service – a free extra that we activated from our MyVigor account after registering the router. You can manage various protocols and decide what to do with remote-control, tunnelling, streaming and web connections, as well as setting policies for IM and P2P apps and social media sites. As a test, we created an enforcement rule for Facebook and added it to the firewall filter – after which users on our network instantly found they were unable to log into their accounts.

The Vigor 2862’s standard web-filtering provision is a rudimentary thing, based solely on keywords, but for just £38 a year you can upgrade to DrayTek’s much more powerful GlobalView service. This employs the Cyren web filter, which lets you decide whether to block or allow 64 different categories of site, and shows a warning message if users attempt to access a blocked page.

One last strength of the Vigor 2862 is its degree of WAN redundancy. Alongside a built-in ADSL2+/VDSL2 interface, the router features a pair of USB 2 ports that can both accept 3G/4G LTE USB modems, and one of its five Gigabit Ethernet ports can be used for a WAN link as well, for a total of four separate connections. It’s up to you whether you have these all active at the same time – in which case the router will perform load balancing across them – or whether you set specific ones as failover provisions. The new high-availability feature even allows you to deploy two routers in parallel, sharing a single virtual IP address, in either hot-standby or active-standby failover modes.

For the price, the DrayTek Vigor 2862 offers a remarkable range of security features. It might not have the grunt to cope with lots of simultaneous VPN connections, but its multitude of filtering and WAN options make it ideal for budget-conscious SMBs that need a secure and stable internet connection.

Draytek Vigor 2862 specifications

Chassis

Desktop/rackmount chassis

Network

5 x Gigabit Ethernet (4 x LAN, 1 x LAN/WAN2), ADSL2+/VDSL2 interface  

Other ports

2 x USB 2  

Management

Cloud-hosted VigorACS 2 

Dimensions (WDH)

241 x 166 x 44mm (WDH)

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