DrayTek Vigor 2860AC

Con­fig­urable and stuffed with fea­tures per­fect for busi­nesses, but not the best Wi-Fi range or speed

PC Pro - - News - SCORE ✪✪✪✪✪ PRICE £207 (£248 inc VAT) from misco.co.uk

DrayTek has plied its trade for years pro­duc­ing wire­less routers for small to medi­um­sized en­ter­prises – and con­sumers who like to tin­ker. With the Vigor 2860AC, that’s not about to change any time soon.

This router is all about func­tion be­fore form and it’s stuffed with prac­ti­cal fea­tures. At the front there are six Gi­ga­bit LAN ports, plus one Gi­ga­bit WAN port and a VDSL2/ADSL port for con­nec­tion to Open­reach­based broad­band con­nec­tions. Along­side th­ese is a pair of USB 2 ports that can be used for con­nect­ing USB stor­age, prin­ters or 3G/4G adapters for backup con­nec­tion to the in­ter­net if your main con­nec­tion goes down.

There are plenty of op­tions for con­nec­tiv­ity, then, but the real magic is hid­den away in the 2860AC’s web-based ad­min­is­tra­tion pages, which pro­vide ac­cess to a trea­sure trove of op­tions. Set­ting up the router isn’t for the faint-hearted.

The user in­ter­face is a lit­tle old-fash­ioned and text-heavy but it’s also in­cred­i­bly com­pre­hen­sive, of­fer­ing ev­ery­thing from a proper SSL VPN server to data-lim­ited, sched­ule-based and ac­cu­mu­lated-time-based ac­cess con­trols. There’s even con­tent-based web fil­ter­ing for block­ing web­sites by cat­e­gory, although you do have to pay a sub­scrip­tion for the ser­vice af­ter an ini­tial 30-day trial.

DrayTek has al­ways val­ued re­li­a­bil­ity over keep­ing up with cut­ting-edge net­work stan­dards – note that it’s a many-time win­ner of the PC Pro Ex­cel­lence Awards for routers – and that’s re­flected in the Vigor 2860AC. De­spite the high price, it’s only a 3x3 stream 802.11ac router of­fer­ing speeds of up to 1,300Mbits/ sec over 5GHz and 300Mbits/sec over 2.4GHz.

Wire­less per­for­mance isn’t great ei­ther. In our tests we saw a top speed of 54.8MB/sec over 5GHz in the through­put test at close range, which isn’t bad, but in the long range test the Vigor 2860AC fell flat, achiev­ing only 1.64MB/sec over 5GHz. That’s just about enough to stream Net­flix in 1080p, but not much else, and its 2.4GHz per­for­mance was worse.

If you’re look­ing for a wire­less router to ex­tend the range and reach of your net­work, then, the Vigor 2860AC clearly isn’t the router to pur­chase; but if it’s more fea­tures you need, and the power to con­trol ev­ery as­pect of your wire­less net­work, you won’t be dis­ap­pointed.

ABOVE As ever with DrayTek, there’s much here to at­tract busi­nesses – in­clud­ing six Gi­ga­bit LAN ports

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