DrayTek Vigor 2860Ln review

DrayTek delivers a superb range of routing and VPN features, plus a WAN link for every occasion

IT Pro Recommended
Price
£349
  • Versatile firewall filters; Excellent range of security features;
  • No software for IPSec VPNs;

DrayTek's SMB routers have always focused sharply on WAN redundancy, and the latest Vigor 2860Ln has it by the bucketful. Along with an integral ADSL2+/VDSL2 interface, this curvy white box has a Gigabit WAN port, accepts a 3G/4G USB adapter and has a 3G/4G SIM slot around the back.

If that isn't enough, the 2860Ln is 2.4GHz 802.11n wireless-enabled, endowed with a standard SPI firewall and offers application controls, plus optional web-content filtering. We haven't finished yet, either: the router also supports 32 IPsec VPN tunnels and can manage up to five simultaneous SSL VPNs.

Installation is a cinch: wizards abound in the busy web interface, covering initial internet access, site-to-site and client VPNs, and wireless access. Up to 50 routing and load-balancing policies control traffic, allowing you to define sources, destinations and ports, choose the primary WAN link, and add the secondary interface you want it to failover to.

The SPI firewall is enabled by default and, along with protection against common DoS attacks, this uses filters to control all manner of traffic. These are extremely versatile, with each filter comprising up to seven rules defining specific traffic and directions, applying a WAN load balancing policy and assigning QoS priorities. The firewall filters go even further, catering for app-control and website-filtering policies. The former is a free service that we activated from our MyVigor account once we'd registered the router.

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Along with plenty of IM and P2P apps, you can control various protocols, plus tunnelling, streaming, remote control and web apps. We created an enforcement rule for Dropbox, and once it had been added to the firewall filter it stopped users from logging in to their accounts.

Basic keyword-based website blocking comes as standard, but for 35 per year, you can upgrade to full URL category filtering. DrayTek employs the Cyren web service here, which provides more than 60 categories and, if users attempt to access a blocked site, they'll get a warning message.

Wireless services only extend to the 2.4GHz 802.11n variety, but the router supports up to four virtual SSIDs. Each can have its own encryption scheme, app- and web-filtering policies, rate limits in kilobits per second and even quotas that only allow wireless clients so many hours access per day.

DrayTek's SSL VPNs are basic, but they worked for us when provisioning secure remote RDP, VNC and SMB access to our LAN systems. Choosing SMB from the user's web portal provides a simple Explorer-style interface, although the best copy speeds we saw were around the 1.3MB/sec mark, with the router's CPU hitting 88% utilisation.

DrayTek doesn't provide any software for IPsec VPNs, but the router worked perfectly with TheGreenBow client. We had a 3DES IPsec VPN tunnel established in seconds on a Windows 10 remote desktop and saw reasonable performance, with our copy tests returning a rock-steady 7MB/sec.

The USB port can also present storage devices as SMB shares or as an FTP site, and users each have a home directory plus read and write privileges. SMB copy speed wasn't outstanding, with our tests returning 6MB/sec, but you can use the USB port to house DrayTek's thermometer dongle instead, and keep an eye on ambient temperatures from the router's web console.

The Vigor 2860Ln isn't the cheapest SMB router around, but you'll be hard-pushed to find this many security features elsewhere. Its VPN support is top-notch and DrayTek's PC Pro Excellence Award in 2015 seals the deal for a well-deserved Recommended award.

This review originally appeared in PC Pro issue 258.

Verdict

The Vigor 2860Ln 
isn’t the cheapest SMB router around, but you’ll be hard-pushed to find this many security features elsewhere. Its VPN support is top-notch and DrayTek’s PC Pro Excellence Award in 2015 seals the deal for a well- deserved Recommended award.

Desktop chassis

7 x Gigabit Ethernet (6 x LAN, 1 x WAN2)

ADSL2+/VDSL2 interface

4G LTE SIM slot

2.4GHz 802.11n wireless

USB 2

External power supply

241 x 166 x 44mm (WDH)

2yr RTB warranty

Options: USB thermometer/1m cable, £20; 1yr web filtering, £35 (all exc VAT)

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