DrayTek Vigor2925Ln Product Review – published in APC magazine Issue #431 (August 2016)
DrayTek Vigor2925Ln Dual-WAN Security Router
Data security and link resilience all in one.
For anyone whose business relies on having internet access, some kind of failover is absolutely essential. Now, a number of routers support the attachment of USB 3G/4G modems as an alternate WAN device, and you can also pick up Wi-Fi 3G/4G adapters for about $100 or simply use tethering on your mobile, but if you want real continuity of service, then a router with built in LTE support and failover is fantastic.
The DrayTek Vigor2925Ln is such a router. It has an actual SIM card slot and internal 3G/LTE modem, as well as two large attachable antennae (with convenient magnetic bases) for LTE reception. Those antennae make a big difference. We tested a Vodafone LTE service with Speedtest.net using a tethered iPhone 6 and received a download speed rating of 27.3MB/s; we then put the SIM card in the router and hit 35.2MB/s, a notable difference. There are also handy extras, like the ability to send SMSs through a web interface, as well as receive router alert and notifications via SMS. You can also reboot the router using SMS, which is great for remote managed installations.
The Vigor2925Ln is more than just a router with integrated LTE, however. It has a host of features that support security and management far beyond that found in typical consumer and “prosumer” routers. Those additional features come at a cost — both financial and in terms of complexity — but if you’re a technical user who wants a lot from your router, the DrayTek has just about everything you need.
One highlight is the load balancing system, an option that does much more than simply balance internet usage between the two WAN ports and the LTE port or act as a failover in case of lost connectivity. It allows a complex series of routes to be created, routing certain connections through specified LAN, WAN or VPN ports. If you want a specific connection to be routed through a VPN, for example, while all other traffic goes through the regular WAN port, you can set it up here. There are also tools for managing the WAN budget and individual usage and much more.
Then, of course, there are the VPN functions, which have been improved substantially over earlier iterations of DrayTek firmware. You can set the router up as a VPN server or as a LAN-to-LAN gateway, with PPTP, L2TP, IPSec and SSL supported.
However, the wireless support is a weak link. As it stands, the router only supports two-antenna 802.11n, and for any serious network additional access points will need to be added.
Its Wi-Fi weakness aside, the Vigor2925Ln is an impressive small business router, perfect for satellite offices and where connection security and resilience are paramount. It could find use in consumer environments as well, although the administration interface is not for the neophyte. It’s complex and powerful, giving you a lot of options, but only if you know what you’re doing.
written by Nathan Taylor