DrayTek has overhauled its best-selling 2820 series ‘pro’ broadband modem-routers, adding a raft of features designed to make the product more appealing to SMEs.
Available in three slightly different models (designated 2830/n/Vn), the biggest hardware upgrade is that the design now features three broadband ports, including an extra ADSL/cable port (which links to any chosen modem) to add to the primary and single 3G backup ports.
Other SME-friendly features include support for multiple subnets, a boosted 60,000 NAT session v3 firewall with more complex departmental policy management, and an interface for users as well as admins. The 802.11n Wi-Fi now adds dual-band support and a convenient wireless guest connection.
Elsewhere, it’s a case of Gigabit all round with the second WAN interface running at wire speed backed up by four Gigabit ports instead of only one.
The 2830’s claim to maturity is mostly that it is better featured to manage small networks of users connected to it, a major lack in the original. The user admin interface, subnetting, web filtering (by subscription to SurfControl) and Wi-Fi guess account back up this design.
If desired, the 2830 can even be locked down by setting whitelists of sites that users are allowed to visit. Certain potentially troublesome web app features such as Java, ActiveX and executable downloads can also be blocked. Similarly, protocols (BitTorrent) and apps (IM for example) can be directly shut off.
The 2830 also improves the diagnostics on offer, including throughput graphing, and better information on computers accessing Wi-Fi.
The unit also has a USB port for adding storage and analogue and VoIP ports for voice. About the only element missing is a print server but most small businesses will already have this feature provided for separately. It would also have been nice to be able to physically de-activate the Wi-Fi connection in the style of DrayTek’s home broadband router, the 2710vn.
One thing that has changed for the worse is the price, which is now north of £200, but this is still highly competitive for the features on offer. Look for discounts when the 2830 series becomes more widely available.