DrayTek Vigor 2860Vac wireless router review
The pricey, business-grade router has some powerful features. But you pay for them.
- Solid construction
- 6-port Gigabit Ethernet switch
- Seamless failover with multiple internet connections
- Business grade security and user management features
- Average wireless transfer speeds
- Outdated and unintuitive admin interface
A wealth of advanced features - hence the price. But worth it if you need them.
Price$ 479.00 (AUD)
DrayTek has long been synonymous with business-focused routers and the Vigor 2860Vac is one of the company’s first to offer the faster 802.11ac wireless standard. This allows a theoretical throughput of 1,300Mb/s on its 5GHz band and 300Mb/s on the 2.4GHz band simultaneously.
The 2860Vac is different to its 2860ac predecessor by integrating VoIP support in a way that doesn’t put your regular fixed analogue line out of play. The router gives you the option to make and receive calls either via VoIP, fixed line or both. For example, you can route local calls via your fixed line and elect to have international calls go via your preferred VoIP provider.
It’s also ‘nbn Ready’ in that it supports VDSL2 so Fibre-to-the-Node and Fibre-to-the-Basement internet connections should work fine.
The 2860Vac comes with features not normally found in consumer grade models but they’re certainly not exclusive to business users. These include a six-port Gigabit switch, an extra Gigabit WAN port for cable modem connections, ‘failover’ reliability with multiple internet connections, several SSIDs, sophisticated content filtering and traffic analysis, support for up to 20 wireless access points and centralised VPN management.
The extra business grade features do, however, drive up the cost to a $479 street price which is double the price of most consumer models.
The business focus of the router is reflected in its looks which are markedly bland and lack the visual “flair” of other routers in the consumer space. However, the solid construction and practical design may equally be more appealing to some domestic users.
Unlike most consumer routers, the 2860Vac puts its ports on the front for easy access along with an accompanying bank of LEDs that give you an indication of activity on the various ports and connections.
Our favourite feature of the 2860Vac is its ability to automatically switch all traffic over to a 4G or 3G connection whenever it notices your ADSL or cable connection has dropped out and then reverts back to your primary internet connection once it is up and running again, ensuring constant uptime. This modem connects via the onboard USB port and although not every model is supported, the 2860Vac 3G/4G compatibility list is quite extensive and it does include Australia’s big three carriers. A list of supported USB modems is available on the DrayTek website.
The 2x USB ports on the modem can also be used to convert regular USB external drives into network shares. However, the USB drive must be formatted to FAT32 storage and the files can only be transferred using FTP rather than SMB (SMB is slower but generally more convenient).Read more: Back to Business: school and work guide
The 2860Vac also offers support for up to 32 simultaneous VPN tunnels with comprehensive secure protocols. It is restricted to IKEv1, AES-128 and DH2 which limits its use in organisations that require AES-256 and DH5 or greater.
To access any of these features, you’re going to need to dive in to the router’s admin interface which is text-heavy and confusing at times. It’s easy enough to set up the router for basic use but anything more advanced requires a lot of searching and digging through sub-menus. We understand that this is a router geared towards experienced users but router manufacturers like Asus and more recently, Synology, have proven that it is possible to have a slick and clean interface without skimping on features and customisation options.
Unfortunately the 2860Vac underperforms on the fundamentals of what makes a good router, namely wireless transfer speeds and range.
2.4GHz performance was particularly poor with speeds of just 1.5 Megabytes per second (MB/s) at 10 meters over a 802.11n connection while the router failed to hold a stable connection over 20 meters. Speeds improved over the 5GHz band, reaching 13.15 MB/s within a 10-metre range while maintaining speeds above 6 MB/s over 20 meters. It’s important to remember, though, that performance can dramatically fluctuate in different locations and different times due to differing environmental effects, so our measurements aren’t the be all and end all.
Transferring large files from our Synology NAS (connected via Gigabit Ethernet) to our 802.11ac-enabled Macbook Pro achieved almost 25MB/s at 10 meters and 18.5MB/s at over 20 meters.
Though improved, these speeds were still decidedly average when compared to some other consumer grade 802.11ac enabled routers.
The 2860Vac expensive price tag and average wireless transfer speeds makes it a tough recommendation for home users. The 2860Vac is a much more compelling option for SMBs who are looking for a reliable modem router with advanced security and enterprise features. Its support for a backup internet connection and the automated nature of how that works is particularly compelling, particularly for businesses who require constant uptime. However, if you don’t have a need for extensive VPN features and user management, then a high-end consumer router will likely be a better and cheaper option.
- PARC spin-out launches Kickstarter campaign to disrupt home networking market
- Ruckus Wireless and reseller deploy Smart wireless telephony for Alex Perry’s new hotel
- Encapto WiFi increases UK play with distribution agreement
- Linksys Max-Stream AC1900+ WiFi Range Extender RE7000 review
- WiFi review: Does MU-MIMO currently make a difference?
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 2 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 3 Parrot Mambo Drone review
- 4 Evapolar USB air conditioner review
- 5 Hisense Series 7 ULED 4K UHD TV review
Latest News Articles
- Netgear Nighthawk X10 AD7200 Smart WiFi Router goes all the way to 11
- Can Wi-Fi and LTE-U live together? The tests are ready
- New wireless tech from MIT promises password-free Wi-Fi
- Facebook to begin testing its Internet drone this year
- Consumers let down by broadband speed and performance: ACCAN
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: The new best Android phone
- TV buying guide: What to look for when buying a TV in 2016
- Best iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus plans: Optus vs Telstra vs Vodafone vs Virgin
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (CISCO/IT Security) 161028/AP/142Asia
- CCSystem & Network EngineerVIC
- CCContract IT Assistant (UNIX/Windows) 161028/ITA/003Asia
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (HTML/JAVA/J2EE) 161025/AP/862Asia
- FTNetwork Support SpecialistACT
- FTSolution Delivery ManagerVIC
- CCNetwork AdministratorVIC
- CCSenior Project Manager (Marketing Automation)NSW
- CCSAP FunctionalistACT
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (IT Security) 161018/AP/383Asia
- FTCRM Developer - MS Dynamics CRMNSW
- CCIT Senior Systems Administrator- Server Patching RemediationNSW
- CCSAP Finance Business AnalystNSW
- FTDigital Optimisation and Analytics SpecialistNSW
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (J2EE/Oracle/SQL) 161018/AP/812Asia
- CCFront End DeveloperNSW
- FTSenior Consultant Commercial PricingVIC
- CCSenior Java Analyst Programmer - Front Office TradingNSW
- CCProject Manager - Payroll SystemsSA
- CCBusiness AnalystACT
- CC.Net Sitecore DeveloperVIC
- FTFront End DeveloperSA
- FTWeb DeveloperNSW