An FTTN NBN compatible Wi-Fi router full of high end features and VoIP support.
As the National Broadband Network spreads around Australia, people are finding themselves in the market for a new device that lets them connect to it. Those in a Fibre to the Node (FTTN) area need to throw their ADSL 2 modems in the bin and upgrade to a VDSL 2 modem, like the DrayTek Vigor2862Vac.
The Vigor2862Vac not only supports VDSL 2 so it’ll work on the FTTN portion of the NBN, but has a gigabit Ethernet WAN port, four gigabit Ethernet LAN ports and 802.11ac Wave 2 dual-band Wi-Fi with support for MU-MIMO, beamforming and four spatial streams. Standard stuff for 2018. Where things get interesting with the Vigor2862Vac is VoIP support and two USB ports.
The USB ports can be used for sharing a printer or an external hard drive over the network, as well as using a USB 4G modem for fail-over Internet access. Once you connect the USB modem in, it’ll appear as a new WAN interface and you can tell it to take over as the primary WAN interface if the other WAN interface is disrupted for some reason. It’ll even automatically switch back to the previous WAN interface when it starts working again.
VoIP is extremely well supported, with an RJ11 port to plug your phone into and a plethora of protocols available. There’s support for up to 12 SIP endpoints and the ability to do stuff like call waiting, transfer calls to different phones, forward calls to other phones, do internal calls and many other features any sane person could reasonably expect outside of a full-blown enterprise phone system.
Like most of DrayTek’s routers, the Vigor2862Vac is not designed for ease of use. It uses a rather dated looking web interface, whereas most mainstream routers have easy to use smartphone apps or slick web interfaces with the mostly unnecessary features tucked away. If you like tinkering or need advanced features, DrayTek’s interface is probably more your style.
The Vigor2862Vac is loaded with features, that unless you know what they are, you probably don’t need it. Things like a firewall with support for stateful packet inspection and content security management, the ability to create up to 16 VLANs on the built in switch, support for up to 32 VPN tunnels, an Active Directory client, SNMP reporting and QoS with 4-level priority and layer-3 (TOS/DCP) mapping. Probably acronym soup for most people, but for those who need it, music to their ears.
To make the Vigor2862Vac even more enticing for enterprise users, there’s the VigorACS 2 central management software that’s designed to help those who have the task of looking after a fleet of routers. Use VigorAC2 to get an overview of all the DrayTek devices that are your responsibility, receive status updates and remotely manage them. This feature is useful for IT support companies who are paid to support a business’s IT setup and want to know what’s going wrong before their customers do.
DrayTek even sell a USB thermometer that can be plugged in to the front of the Vigor2862Vac and used to report the ambient temperature in your server room or cupboard. It’ll send you an SMS or an email to let you know it’s about to overheat and action is required to keep Internet access flowing.
This is all irrelevant to most people though, which makes this router irrelevant to most people. The $564 street price doesn’t help either. For that sort of money, you can get a nice Asus DSL-AC3100 which is faster in every single way, easier to use and has more relevant features.
The DrayTek Vigor2862Vac’s niche are business scenarios where someone is being paid to remotely manage it. If that’s what you plan on using it for, you won’t find any better. Anyone wanting a solid, well-featured modem router with 802.11ac Wi-Fi to use at home or in a small office should look elsewhere - there’s much better units, for less money.