IT Pro Verdict
DrayTek’s Vigor 2862Lac is excellent value - it packs in even more features than its well-heeled predecessor and for only a few pounds more. Its tough security measures, great wireless services and excellent VPN support make it our recommended router choice for SMEs.
Superb value; Strong security and access controls; Great business features
None to speak of
DrayTek's routers have consistently offered more security features than any other at this price point and the new Vigor 2862Lac raises the bar even further. Stepping up as the replacement for the exceptional Vigor 2860Ln, it doubles firewall performance to 400Mbits/sec, provides a wealth of VPN options and has WAN redundancy options in abundance.
Along with an ADSL2+/VDSL2 port, it accepts a 3G/4G USB adapter and has a 3G/4G SIM card slot nestling at the back. The features keep on coming as the 2862Lac delivers concurrent 2.4GHz and 5GHz 11ac wireless services with four virtual SSIDs per radio and a new time scheduling feature so you can decide when each SSID is active.
The router has five Gigabit network ports where the fifth can be used for LAN or WAN duties. Value looks even better as the price includes support for 32 IPsec VPN tunnels and the router can manage up to 16 SSL VPNs as well.
Installation is swift; the router's web interface offers wizards for setting up internet access, securing wireless services and creating site-to-site or client VPNs. We had no problems creating an SSL VPN with an external Windows 10 PC using DrayTek's free Smart VPN Client and saw our file copies to a LAN system return 5.4MB/sec -- a fourfold boost over the 2860Ln.
If you have multiple active WAN connections, the router will perform load balancing across them. One can be set as a backup for failover or it can come online when traffic on the primary WAN link reaches specific thresholds.
The SPI firewall is active by default and can be customised with data filters. These comprise up to seven rules where each defines inbound, outbound or inter-LAN traffic, source and destination addresses plus protocols and an assigned action.
The 2862Lac includes a basic URL filtering service which uses keywords to block access to specific web sites. For more granular browsing control, we recommend spending 35 per year and subscribing to DrayTek's Cyren-powered URL category filtering service.
This presents over 60 categories and up to eight profiles can be used to create different web usage filters. You can assign a base profile to the firewall's default rule and use other URL profiles in individual firewall rule filters.
Application controls are available too, and along with IM and P2P apps, you can manage access to various protocols plus streaming, remote control and web apps. If Facebook use in the workplace is a concern, you can enable an app control rule that stops wired and wireless clients logging in to their account.
Wireless features are extensive. As well as client isolation, each virtual SSID can have their own encryption scheme, rate limits in Kb/sec and quotas that only allow wireless clients so many hours access per day.
Hotspot services forward LAN and wireless clients to a web page with an acceptable use policy they must agree to before receiving internet access. Even better, they can authenticate with their Facebook or Google credentials and the router can to send them a unique PIN via SMS to the mobile number they enter in the landing page.
The 2862Lac includes DrayTek's Central AP Management (CAM) feature so it can discover and provision up to 20 DrayTek wireless APs. You can create up to five wireless profiles in CAM to define four SSIDs, enable each radio, apply security, set traffic limits and activate client isolation.
The default profile has an auto-provisioning feature so when APs come online, they will receive this profile automatically or you can push custom profiles to selected APs. The 2862Lac can even discover and centrally manage up to 10 DrayTek VigorSwitch devices.
DrayTek's Vigor 2862Lac is excellent value - it packs in even more features than its well-heeled predecessor and for only a few pounds more. Its tough security measures, great wireless services and excellent VPN support make it our recommended router choice for SMEs.
Dave is an IT consultant and freelance journalist specialising in hands-on reviews of computer networking products covering all market sectors from small businesses to enterprises. Founder of Binary Testing Ltd – the UK’s premier independent network testing laboratory - Dave has over 45 years of experience in the IT industry.
Dave has produced many thousands of in-depth business networking product reviews from his lab which have been reproduced globally. Writing for ITPro and its sister title, PC Pro, he covers all areas of business IT infrastructure, including servers, storage, network security, data protection, cloud, infrastructure and services.
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