There are lots of good reasons for replacing the internet router supplied free with most broadband services, especially if you're a business user.
Perhaps you want to balance loads across multiple WAN connections, and maybe failover to 3G if needed.Or perhaps upgrade to Gigabit Ethernet networking, enhance Wi-Fi coverage or boost security by logically separating wireless and cabled users.
All of which, and more, can be done by throwing out your old router and replacing it with Draytek's newest business product, the Vigor 2830.
A replacement for the popular Vigor 2820, the 2830 doesn't look that much different, mainly because it comes in a very similar white plastic casing which can be wall mounted or, by purchasing an optional bracket, located in a standard 19in equipment rack. Power comes from an external AC adapter and there are three models to choose from.
The cheapest is the plain Vigor 2830, which lacks any Wi-Fi support and sells at just £160 (ex VAT). Wireless comes on the Vigor 2830n (£180 ex VAT) and supports the 2.4GHz and less crowded 5GHz Wi-Fi wavebands.
Lastly, there's the model we looked at: the all-singing, all-dancing Vigor 2830Vn (£199 ex VAT) with additional VoIP capabilities accessed using ordinary analogue phones plugged into a couple of extra ports at the front.
A big change on all 2830 models is the choice of three WAN interfaces, starting with a built-in ADSL2/2+ modem for use with broadband services delivered over a phone line.
The second is a Gigabit Ethernet port for use with BT Infinity and cable modem services, and the third, support for 3G wireless broadband dongles, which can be plugged into a USB port on the front of the router.
We found all three pretty easy to configure. The ADSL modem, for example, we simply plugged into our BT telephone wall socket, while to test the Ethernet WAN interface we cabled the Vigor to a BT Infinity VDSL modem in place of the ISP-supplied HomeHub.
Both were correctly identified by the Vigor router, so all we had to do was supply the relevant user names and passwords to complete the connections.
The 3G interface required a little more setup work, but we soon found the settings required for our T-Mobile dongle on the Draytek web site, enabling us to get it working in just a few minutes.
We did, however, encounter a small issue when we wanted to share a USB printer via the router or attach a memory stick or external USB disk and share that over the LAN. Having just a single USB port meant having to unplug the 3G dongle to do this and there is no support for USB hubs, which could solve this problem.
Any two of the three WAN interfaces can be configured and active simultaneously, with automatic load balancing and a four-port Gigabit Ethernet switch on the LAN side to handle the aggregated traffic.