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DrayTek Vigor 2830Vn review

Verdict

Lacks antivirus or anti-spam, but it’s a low-cost security router with excellent web access controls and wireless features

Review Date: 20 May 2011

Reviewed By: Dave Mitchell

Price when reviewed: £249 (£299 inc VAT)

Overall Rating
5 stars out of 6

Features & Design
4 stars out of 6

Value for Money
5 stars out of 6

Performance
5 stars out of 6

It’s been a long time coming, but DrayTek’s Vigor 2830 family of business routers makes some much needed improvements, as evidenced by the huge feature list. Taking the old 2820 as a starting point, the top of the range 2830Vn crams in an SPI firewall, triple WAN ports, an integrated ADSL2+ modem, VoIP support, 2.4GHz and 5GHz wireless and optional web content filtering.

The LAN ports have been upgraded to Gigabit speeds, and for WAN connections you have the ADSL2+ modem, a fifth Gigabit Ethernet port and USB for an optional 3G modem. Failover can be applied to each of those, and if all three are active you can use load-balancing policies to direct specific traffic and protocols to selected interfaces.

Along with 3G modems and printers, the USB port now supports storage devices, presenting their contents as network shares and as an FTP site. You can create users and decide on their read and write privileges, and each has a home directory on the device.

However, it’s a USB 1.1 port, so performance is excruciatingly slow. Using a USB stick, we connected to the router using the FileZilla FTP client and saw read and write speeds of just 2.1MB/sec and 1.5MB/sec.

DrayTek Vigor 2830Vn

For wireless, the 2830Vn supports the 2.4GHz and 5GHz spectrums, but not simultaneously. However, it can now present up to four SSIDs, each with their own encryption schemes. You can apply black and white MAC address lists to each SSID, and clients can be isolated so they can’t see users on the other wireless networks. Different upload and download rate controls can also be applied to each SSID.

VoIP features are basic, but it’s easy enough to add a SIP account and create dial plans for the router’s phone ports. Two phones can be connected via a port-doubler cable (which isn’t included) and the second RJ-11 port is used to route calls over PSTN.

DrayTek partners with Commtouch for web content filtering, and once licensed you get a list of 64 URL categories to play with. During testing it delivered a clean sheet, with the gambling and games categories blocking our attempts to visit these types of sites.

Draytek’s controls for IM and P2P are a cut above the rest, letting you control precisely what can be done with them. We tested this with Windows Live Messenger and were able to control the login process, chat, file transfers, video and game playing.

And a final new feature is user management, which can be employed to control Internet usage. The router can manage up to 200 accounts, where each defines an authentication method and a policy, including QoS settings, a time schedule and controls for web, IM and P2P usage.

All that’s lacking is some kind of antivirus and anti-spam feature. If that’s a must, we recommend Cyberoam’s CR15wi for around £100 more – it also uses Commtouch and has more security features than you can shake a stick at. That omission aside, however, the DrayTek Vigor 2830Vn offers great value and some welcome improvements.

Author: Dave Mitchell

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User comments

A bit expensive?

Great products, but the after care is a bit expensive over the phone.

By f8itsolutions on 24 May 2011

Correction

You mentioned that the telephone port-doubler cable isn't included in the box. I bought one of these routers last week, and the cable was included. Its also listed on the "box-contents" sheet.

By cnoble on 26 May 2011

For a device that costs £300, I can't believe they include a USB1.1 port..

By rjd83 on 26 May 2011

Port-doubler

Many thanks for highlighting this. The unit I was supplied with didn't have the port doubler included or the 'box-contents' sheet.

By DaveMitchell on 26 May 2011

USB 1.1

Anyone know of a similar load-balancing router that has USB2 to take a 3G dongle?

By fulfilco on 22 Jun 2011

USB 1.1 !!!!!

We are in 2011 and Draytek make a device with a USB1.1 port.....whose bright idea was that?!!! talk about shocking. Overally though it sounds good value apart from the USB!

By DeanC on 27 Aug 2011

hidden fees

before purchasing i did a good research! but didnt notice that you have to pay every year to use content, web filters! now it is a big surprise! well done! hidden fees! :(((((

By Vladimir on 11 Oct 2012

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