No longer is a firewall enough to keep the bad guys from your network; security devices such as the Draytek VigorPro 5500 now have to offer Unified Threat Management – a one-stop shop that provides firewall protection plus antispam, antivirus (AV), anti-intrusion, virtual private network (VPN) support and web-content filtering.

A slight departure for a company best known for its routers and access points, then, the Draytek VigorPro 5500 is a rack-mountable device with seven ethernet ports: two for wide area network (WAN), plus five Gigabit local area network (LAN) ports.

A small-but-noisy cooling fan encourages you to locate the Draytek VigorPro 5500 in an equipment cabinet, where it’ll offer support for 200 IPSec VPN connections. Configuration is performed via Draytek’s familiar but antiquated web interface.

No doubt about it, the Draytek VigorPro 5500 is serious about security. Take the firewall, for instance: it offers a bog-standard service provider interface (SPI), but you can then apply a range of custom filters which allow you to specify the service, port range, source and destination addresses, plus inbound or outbound traffic. To work with large networks, you can apply complex rules to groups – although this does require some fiddly setting up.

The Draytek VigorPro 5500’s real strength derives from its subscription-based services, which are a bit like buying antivirus software. SurfControl provides industrial-strength web-filtering – you can choose from more than 40 categories, decide which ones you want blocked and apply schedules. This will set you back £30 per year for 10 users.

Meanwhile, the Draytek VigorPro 5500's antispam service costs £89 per year, which isn’t too dear given that it protects an entire network. A three-year AV subscription is included, while Kaspersky’s well-known AV software is available at extra cost.


It might seem pricey but the Draytek VigorPro 5500 is a powerful, price-competitive security device, capable of dealing with the demands of mid-range to large networks. It simplifies applying complicated settings across larger networks, and benefits from reasonable subscription fees too.