DrayTek Wireless Solution
There are many wireless routers or Access Points in the market; most of these deliver Wi-Fi speed as set down by Wi-Fi standards such as 802.11n or 802.11ac, and come with standard functions such as settings for SSID, channel or WEP/WPA2/PSK security.
These routers or Access Points will perform okay, if you just need to browse websites, share files on your local network, send print jobs to printers, etc. However, for most small to medium sized businesses, you will need many more functions.
DrayTek keeps up with advances in wireless technology and produces products that meet the Wi-Fi requirements for small to medium sized businesses as well as the home user. I will go through DrayTek’s wireless functions that empower your wireless networks.
These functions are available in most DrayTek wireless routers in both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz wireless channels in the dual band Wi-Fi routers. Below are configuration options that are available in the Vigor2860 series routers.
1. General Setup
In the General setup menu in the Vigor2860n-plus we can select the mode of operation which can be any combination of 802.11b, g and n for the 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi band and 802.11a and n for the 5 GHz Wi-Fi band.
Another option is the operating channel which can be selected. Usually you will select a channel that is not used by other Wi-Fi devices or on a busy network select a channel that will cause least interference.
Up to 4 SSID’s can be created to segregate wireless users. For example you may wish to have two wireless networks. One can be for employees that require full access and the other can be for guest users or visitors who are going to have restricted access to the network. Another option in this page is the ability to limit the data rate for a particular SSID. For example you may wish users of the guest Wi-Fi network to have slow upload and download speeds so that it does not congest the main office network.
2. Security Settings
It is essential that security is enabled to prevent unauthorized access to your network.
Here we can configure the security settings for each SSID which can be either WPA or WEP encryption. WPA provides more security than WEP encryption. An option is available to use WPA with 802.1x authentication for added security. For added security, DrayTek routers and access points now have a default WPA+WAP2 password configured for Wi-Fi to avert the possibility of unauthorised users accessing your wireless network before you customise the settings.
3. Access Control
Here you can restrict access to the Wi-Fi network based on the MAC address of the Wi-Fi Clients. You can create a white list which only allows the MAC addresses listed to be able to connect to the selected SSID. The other option is to create a black list. Devices on the black list are blocked from accessing the Wi-Fi network.
WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup) provides a simple way to establish a connection between a wireless network client and a Vigor router or an access point. There is no need to select any encryption mode and enter a long encryption passphrase to setup a wireless client every time. You just press a button on wireless client, and WPS will connect the client and router automatically.
There are two methods to do network connection through WPS between AP and Stations: pressing the Start PBC button or using PIN Code.
Up to 4 wireless routers or access points can be connected by WDS to increase Wi-Fi Coverage. WDS can also be used to connect one router to another wirelessly. For instance, when you need to create a network between two buildings that are next to each other but it is difficult to install cabling between them.
The router in one building may be connected to the Internet, but the second building may have no internet access and may be part of the same company, so they need to share resources in the other building as well as gain internet access through the main building.
WDS extends the Wi-Fi network in Bridge mode or Repeater mode.
6. Advanced Setting
The advanced settings include operation mode, channel bandwidth, guard interval, and aggregation MSDU for wireless data transmission.
The mixed mode option allows all modes, includes 802.11a/b/g and 802.11n to be used for Wi-Fi transmission. The Green field mode provides the highest performance by only allowing communication between 802.11n wireless clients.
The channel bandwidth is used to adjust the bandwidth for communication. The higher bandwidth setting provides higher speed, however some older devices require the lower speed setting.
The Guard Interval assures the safety of propagation delays and reflections for sensitive digital data.
Aggregation USDU is used to combine data frames of different sizes to improve performance.
WMM (Wi-Fi Multimedia) is used in wireless routers and access points to define the priority levels of 4 access categories, so as to improve performance for particular applications or data types.
8. Access Point Discovery
A useful tool in DrayTek wireless routers and access points, AP Discovery is used to scan all the Wi-Fi channels and discover nearby access points. It also reports on what channels are being used so a suitable Wi-Fi channel can be selected for the network to minimise interference. APD can also be used to speed up the setting up of WDS connections.
9. Station List
Station List provides a list of Wi-Fi clients that are currently connected or are attempting to connect to the Wi-Fi network. It is a useful diagnostic tool to help troubleshoot connection issues.
10. Station Control
Station Control allows you to limit how long your customers stay connected. For example, a coffee shop may want to limit free Wi-Fi for its customers for up to one hour each day to allow other customers to use the service. So setting the connection time for 1 hour and re-connection time of 1 day will prevent the customer from trying to access the free Wi-Fi for that day once he has used his daily quota.
Apart from the configuration options for Wi-Fi settings described above, below are some additional features of DrayTek’s Wi-Fi implementation.
11. Dual band
The Dual Band Wi-Fi capability of the Access points and routers offer you the option of using the less crowded 5GHz spectrum for your Wi-Fi communication.
The standard configuration options including Station Control, bandwidth management for wireless etc. apply to both 2.4GHz and 5GHz band.
12. Central AP Management
Central AP Management is available for the Vigor2860 and Vigor2925 series routers, and allows up to 20 wireless access points to be centrally managed from router’s web interface.
Some of the features include:
- Preconfiguring an AP profile on router so when new AP is connected to the network, this configuration can be pushed to the AP.
- Upgrading access point firmware.
- Backup and restore Access point configuration.
- Monitor the traffic status of each wireless access point.
- Rogue AP detection is a monitor tool to mark an AP as friendly or rogue AP.
- AP load balance.
13. AP Load Balance
Being part of the APM software, the AP Load Balance is different to router load balance in that with AP load balance, Wi-Fi traffic is load balanced over multiple wireless access points. You can choose an overload definition for each AP. For example, it can be set to 50Mbps. So when one AP reaches the traffic limit of 50Mbps it will reject any new connections. Any new connections will now connect to the AP with a lower traffic load. This feature is supported with AP810 and AP900 wireless access points.
14. Air Time Fairness
Air Time Fairness ensures that slow Wi-Fi clients do not affect the performance for all other users in a busy Wi-Fi network, so as to improve network performance. This is more noticeable as the number of Wi-Fi clients is increased. You can select the trigger based on number of Wi-Fi clients. E.g. once the number of connected users reaches 20 then Air Time Fairness will be started.
As of now Air Time Fairness is implemented in VigorAP900 access points.
DrayTek router products support a range of Wi-Fi technologies including 802.11n, dual band Wi-Fi in the Vigor2860n+ and Vigor2925n+ as well as 802.11ac in the Vigor2860ac and Vigor2925ac routers including the new Vigor2132ac.
Wi-Fi Access Point products include VigorAP710, VigorAP810, the dual band VigorAP900 and the latest addition is the ceiling mounted VigorAP 910C featuring 802.11ac technology.