An in-depth look at DrayTek VigorFly series
Most of us are blessed with Internet access through any of Wired (xDSL, Cable), Optic Fiber (GPON) or Wireless (3G/4G/Satellite) access; and when we are out and about, we expect the same accessibility. However, for utility operators such as bus or train companies, providing the public with Internet access on the moving bus, train, etc. poses a challenge. They need a device that supports any of the Internet accessing technology, has Wi-Fi capability, provides good data segregation for each user while limiting access to undesirable contents or websites, and at low cost.
DrayTek’sVigorFly series is a broadband router with a built-in WAP. The Ethernet WAN port connects to any of VDSL / VDSL2 / GPON / G.SHDSL / ADSL2 / cable modem outlets. Additionally, the USB port connects to a 3G/4G (LTE or WiMAX) mobile Internet dongle. There are 4 Fast Ethernet LAN ports for laptops or devices to be connected through network cables.
The built-in Wireless AP supports 802.11n Wi-Fi connections for traffic up to 300Mbps with other Wi-Fi devices in the range of up to hundreds of metres. This WAP supports 802.11e WMM (Wireless Multi-Media) mode, WDS (Wireless Distributed System), AP Discovery, MAC Access Control, WPS (Wireless Protected Setup) and all common Wi-Fi security protocols: WEP/WPA/WPA2. Another useful feature is: up to 3 Virtual APs, each with own SSID can be created.
There is a SPI (Stateful Packet Inspection) Firewall with comprehensive features including: DoS / DDoS attack prevention, Port Forwarding, MAC address and Port Opening, Web Content Filtering, etc.
The router supports on WAN connection, 1 x VPN (only by VigorFly 210) and other network management functions including 2 levels of administrator and user access.
The VigorFly series broadband router is designed with loads of functions, starting with the WAN port that takes on modem outlet of any Internet access technology. The USB port supplements the Internet accessing capability througha 3G/4G mobile dongle. It’s this feature that has allowed the router to be deployed in moving train/bus projects globally.
The comprehensive Wi-Fi features allow the intended users to access the Internet with ease. As a start, the VigorFly can be set to Wi-Fi mode as a client to another existing Wi-Fi network, or set as the Access Point for the connection of other clients.
The Virtual AP feature allows you to create temporary profiles for guest users without the need to pass on your regular access network’s password. A fourth SSID can be set to Universal Repeater mode, configuring the VigorFly as a WDS (Wireless Distributed System), thus extending the reach of Wi-Fi network, at the trade-off of halving the network bandwidth.
The SPI Firewall further provides a safe environment for users of all ages to surf on the Internet.
With its capability to seamlessly connect to any of the Internet technologies, from older ADSL, Cable, Satellite, GPON to the state of the art VDSL and the 3G/4G mobile Internet, and with innovative features for the Wi-Fi, Firewall, Network Management and VPN, VigorFly has been popular among the transport companies globally as a solution for providing Internet access for the passengers.
Other applications include: new business offices/branches, and where instant Internet access for a user group is required.
Since 2010, the Portuguese based European bus company, Carris has deployed Carris Net Bus with VigorFly routers and provided free Internet access to all passengers. To date, VigorFly routers are mounted in hundreds of busses across Europe and other parts of the world.
The Carris Net Bus project started as an experiment and involved Carris Bus Corp.,TMN (an 3G/4G mobile communication operator with over 10 million subscribers), and OptusVisus (DrayTek’s dealer in Portugal).
Each of these buses is equipped with a VigorFly, giving passengers the ability to access the Internet with their laptops, smart-phones or other devices compatible with Wi-Fi network for the duration of their journeys.
In case of any malfunction or emergency, the driver or passengers can quickly report the situation to the outside world. The installed solution is based on a combination of Draytek’s VigorFly and a 3G/4G USB mobile dongle for TMN’s network.
The system includes a web platform, available to TMN and Carris, to allow statistical analysis of the service provided with data of days, hours, buses, number of users and availability.
The earlier model of VigorFly, VigorFly200 has won a prestigious 2011 Taiwan Excellence Award, for which products are selected based on their scores on reliability, innovativeness and value-adding to the market and users. Since late 2013, VigorFly200 is replaced with VigorFly210 that has increased memory size and has the IPv6 capability.