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DrayTek Vigor2925ac reviewed by PC&Tech Authority Magazine and published in the September 2015 issue

DrayTek Vigor2925ac Dual-WAN Security Router: A Full-featured router with 802.11ac Wi-Fi suitable for the advanced home setup or office

When stuffing around with Cisco or Juniper gear isn’t appropriate or too expensive, network engineers tend to get DrayTek equipment instead. DrayTek’s Vigor firmware is generally full-featured, relatively easy to setup and the price is quite reasonable. The Vigor2925 is a neat little unit that continues the DrayTek tradition of heaps of features at a comparatively low price for both home and business use.

The Vigor2925 range has a few different configurations – the base Vigor2925 is a router with dual WAN ports, USB ports for 3G/4G modem connectivity and 5 Gigabit Ethernet ports for switching. There’s the Vigor2925n and Vigor2925n-Plus, which are the same as the Vigor2925, just with 802.11n Wi-Fi (the n has a 2.4GHz radio, the n-Plus packs 5GHz and 2.4GHz radios). If you want 802.11ac wireless, the Vigor2925ac fits the bill. Finally, there’s a model with VoIP support and dual radio 802.11n Wi-Fi, the 2925Vn-Plus. A model with 802.11ac wireless and VoIP would be useful too, perhaps DrayTek will offer a model with those features in the near future.

The main differentiating factor between the Vigor2925 series and DrayTek’s other routers is how many VPN tunnels and NAT sessions each unit can support. The more VPN tunnels and NAT sessions supported, the gruntier the internals – so more RAM and a faster CPU. There’s other differences such as DSL modems, VoIP support, Fast Ethernet instead of Gigabit Ethernet, fewer or more Ethernet ports or different flavours of Wi¬Fi. However, all the Vigor units have the same firmware and that’s where it really matters. The firmware is where you spend all your time configuring features and fixing stuff when things go wrong.

The Vigor firmware has a feature list as long as your arm. Beyond the basics most routers have (DHCP server, NAT, QoS, Dynamic DNS), DrayTek has added some nifty features not normally seen on all¬in-one routers at this price range. VLAN tagging, advanced VPN support such as trunking and PSK/X.509 certificate based authentication, a Stateful Packet Inspection Firewall with support for content filtering, support for Multi-WAN failover and load balancing, including good support for 3G/4G modems.

Something families with kids or a share-house will enjoy is the ability to add bandwidth limits and shaping based on traffic types – so you can allow basic web traffic through or gaming, but cap Netflix or YouTube. Even set bandwidth limits on specific computers, so that if someone is constantly blowing the home’s download quota, you can stop them from doing so.

In a business setting, the Vigor’s ability to be centrally managed is very handy. If you’ve got a couple of these units out in the field, you can view the status of them all in a single management interface and configure them from the one spot. No need to log in to each unit individually. DrayTek call this the VigorACS SI-“Centralized Auto-Configuration Server for System Integrators”.

Wi-Fi support in the Vigor firmware is extensive, with support for multiple SSIDs and VLANs, allowing wireless network segregation. If you have large or multiple areas that need wireless, the Vigor devices can even act as a centralised wireless Access Point management system. DrayTek sell stand alone wireless Access Points that you can spread around, linked back to the router and managed centrally.

These features are all great, but it comes at a cost. The Vigor2925ac has a street price of $425. Compared to $150 for a TP-Link Archer C7 AC1750 or $335 for an ASUS RT-AC3200, is the DrayTek really worth the extra money?

For most home users, you should save the cash. The features that differentiate the DrayTek from the top end consumer routers are the enterprise ones. Unless you need dual WAN ports, automatic failover, advanced VPN support, highly configurable firewalls and centralised management and logging, you’re wasting your money.

If you do need those advanced features, then the Vigor is a lot more interesting. There are the low end options from the big players, like the Juniper SRX110, Ubiquiti EdgeRouter and the Sophos SG105 — each with their own unique use cases and features. The Vigor2925 stacks up very competitively with those on price and is very easy to configure. If you’re a home user looking for something more advanced or a business user after something easy to configure with the features you need, the Vigor 2925 should definitely be on your list.

by Anthony Agius

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