DrayTek Vigor2962P

The DrayTek Vigor2962 series are a pair of dual-WAN routers aimed at small to medium businesses who need high performance networking with options for future growth. We got ahold of the P model for this review, which includes PoE (Power over Ethernet), though the standard 2962 model is otherwise identical. 

The Vigor2962 is ideally suited to run a smaller network, but it has the capacity to be the heart of a larger setup in the future. The dual-WAN capabilities help ensure redundant internet access, while the fast 2.5GbE Ethernet port avoids bandwidth bottlenecks. 

The router also has rich support for network management, including using external software. In the P model, PoE across four of its six Ethernet ports means you can directly run network hardware such as access points or security cameras, without needing extra wiring.

As with many Draytek SMB-oriented routers, it’s hard to do justice to all the ins and outs of the Vigor2962 with just words on a page. To better understand the router and interface, we highly recommend checking out the excellent DrayTek online demo, where you can investigate and test the interface and features up front. You can also do the same for other DrayTek devices. The product page is also a good place to start, and makes it easy to check out the manual, guides, and even a video overview

DrayTek Vigor2962P price and availability

At the time of writing, the Vigor2962P was available through select specialist retailers in the US, UK and Australia, although it was a little difficult to find – your best bet is to contact your country's DrayTek office for a list of local sellers. 

The Vigor2962P will set you back $600 / £400 / AU$900, while the Vigor2962 model without PoE is around $100 / £70 / AU$130 cheaper. 

DrayTek Vigor2962P dual WAN router

The 2.5Gbe Ethernet port on the Vigor2962 series enables high speed connections, while the SFP port gives additional connection options.  (Image credit: Future)

Design and specifications

The Vigor2962P’s key job in life is making sure your business stays connected to the internet. To manage that, the router is broadband ready, connecting through one or two of the configurable WAN ports. The fastest runs at 2.5GbE, and there are also two 1GbE ports, plus a 1GbE SFP connection for use with fiber. 

There are additional 1GbE Ethernet ports, for a total of six network connections. Four of those (1 x 2.5GbE, 3 x 1GbE) also support PoE up to a total of 65W output. There’s also a pair of USB ports (1 x 2.0 spec, 1 x 3.0 spec) which can handle external devices such as temperature probes, as well as USB storage.  

A business setup for the Vigor2962 might include two GbE ports being configured for redundant load-balanced WAN, while the 2.5GbE port is connected to a NAS. 

The SFP port could be used for a fiber connection to a seperate section of the business, while the remaining Gigabit LAN ports link into other network devices, such as a switch, wireless access point, phones or cameras. The 2962 can also directly manage other DrayTek network devices, up to a total of 50 VigorAPs and 30 VigorSwitches. 

DrayTek Vigor2962P Router

WAN / LAN ports:  1 x 2.5GbE, 1 x GbE/SFP, 4 x 1GbE 

Network Management: 50 access points, 30 switches

NAT Throughput: 2.2 Gbps

USB: 1 x 2.0, 1 x 3.0

Maximum VPN tunnels: 200 (50 SSL-VPN)

PoE: 4 x 802.3af/802.3at at 65W

Power: 240V, 100W

Dimensions: 273 x 171 x 45mm

Weight: 1.53 KG

Warranty: 2 year back to base  

There’s no point having 2.5GbE connections if the router can’t handle the load, so DrayTek have configured the 2962P with hardware acceleration that gives 2.2Gbps of NAT throughput. To put that in perspective, it’s 2.4 times better than the previous Vigor2960 model without hardware acceleration.

These days it's increasingly important for businesses to provide flexible yet secure work-from-home solutions, so the 2962 can handle 2,000 concurrent VPN tunnels – 50 of them using SSL security. 

If using the VigorACS 3 management software, the Vigor2962 makes the process even easier thanks to SD-WAN support. This is an especially important consideration for businesses who need to often set up temporary offices or work areas, or have a lot of employees working from home. 

The Vigor2962 is well equipped to handle multiple networks, with support for 20 VLANs and subnets. It has very in-depth bandwidth management, and a comprehensive inbuilt firewall and content filtering capabilities. 

When connected to wireless access points, it can also manage a Hotspot web portal for users to log in and access Wi-Fi. The unit is rack mountable, making it easy to slot in with other networking hardware.

Interface and testing

The Vigor2962P can be configured via a web browser, which is fairly straightforward. The interface of course is quite dense, but that is a reflection of the multitude of features. 

The digital manual (all 732 pages of it!) is a very comprehensive how to guide in itself, though there's also a condensed quickstart guide (paper and digital) which is an excellent collection of the most important information. DrayTek also has loads of extra options for support, and guides online for their products.  

DrayTek Vigor2962P dual WAN router

The Vigor2962 web interface is very functional, and there’s an online demo you can try.  (Image credit: Future)

To test the Vigor2962, we set up a network with a variety of DrayTek Wireless access points, switches and routers, as well as a range of other networking gear, including NAS, IP cameras, smart devices and computers. We configured the router to use a broadband connection via WAN, as well as a backup internet connection via Ethernet to a 4G modem. 

We connected the 2.5GbE port to a 10GbE NAS, made some remote VPN connections and linked in various Wi-Fi devices, before trying to swamp the 2962P with network traffic. The router easily handled the loads we provided right up to the limits of the network protocols. 

Even heavily utilized, the Vigor2962P handled itself well, and had performance to spare. We also tested the PoE ports, and as expected, they were perfectly capable of running our IP cameras and a DrayTek wireless access point.

It will come as no surprise that getting everything configured correctly at first is a reasonably in-depth task, but from that point on it's smooth sailing. VPN links, bandwidth allocation, WAN failover all worked as described in our testing. The router will happily auto discover existing LAN subnets, as well as other DrayTek switches and APs.

As part of our testing, we incorporated the router into our everyday network and ran longer term testing over a number of months. We also did remote testing using a second Vigor router on a 4G connection. Once the initial setup was fine-tuned, the Vigor2962 performed extremely well, and we had no issues with stability or functionality; all worked reliably and as expected.

Network management

One of the key features of the Vigor routers for business use is the ability to manage a wider network made up of DrayTek devices. The 2962P can handle 50 wireless access points and 30 switches right from the inbuilt interface.

DrayTek Vigor2962P dual WAN router

Multiple 1GbE connections that support PoE, as well dual USB ports, help round out connectivity options for the Vigor2962P.  (Image credit: Future)

Of course such a setup can start to become unwieldy to manage long before hitting that high a number of network devices. To make life easier, DrayTek has a paid server-based TR-069 management solution called VigorACS. The latest version, VigorACS 3, enables the DrayTek SD-WAN solution on compatible hardware, which includes the Vigor2962P. 

VigorACS is based on a yearly license, with keys that cover up to a certain number of devices available for purchase. The exact price varies depending on how many nodes you need to handle, but are quite reasonable in comparison to the time-savings possible when using the software for network management. 

VigorACS can be installed on a Windows or Linux server either locally or in the cloud, and doesn’t need particularly demanding specs unless you run thousands of nodes. Getting it up and running is a pretty normal process from an IT administrator setup perspective, but still fairly involved compared to consumer products. 

Once VigorACS is configured it can provide huge time savings that make it well worth the cost. Of course, there are other paid, free and open source TR-069 management software solutions available, but VigorACS is designed to work well with DrayTek hardware. 

A key advantage is auto provisioning, where new devices can be added to the network and are automatically configured and updated by the VigorACS server. It also makes it easy to remotely control and schedule updates to your network. 

There’s also a host of data collection, from real-time status monitoring (and alerts if equipment goes down) through to stats such as performance logging and report creation. VigorACS also has a VPN setup wizard, which helps make it easy to create and backup configurations and make sure your remote workers can stay connected. 

DrayTek makes it pretty easy to give VigorACS a try, and buying a compatible device means you get a free 30-day trial. There’s also an online demo. While it's not the only option for TR-069 management, VigorACS is undeniably a great match for DrayTek hardware. There’s also a large VigorACS knowledge base of articles that make using it much easier.

DrayTek Vigor2962P dual WAN router

VigorACS 3 is a powerful TR-069 management solution from DrayTek, and you can even test it online for yourself. (Image credit: Future)

Final verdict

The Vigor2962P is a relatively affordable business router which still manages to provide high performance, excellent redundancy, and the latest features such as SD-WAN support. It’s also well suited to manage both small through to very-large networks, and has the flexibility to easily scale up in the future. 

The inbuilt hardware acceleration means no bandwidth bottlenecks, and the 2962P can handle a large number of VPNs for remote users. Having four PoE ports also means that it’s easy to run a small network of other devices such as cameras and wireless APs without needing extra wiring or hardware. 

While it is very capable on its own, the Vigor2962P really performs best when paired with other DrayTek devices, as well as the VigorACS software. While the hardware is excellent, it's also important to note that there is a wealth of support options and articles available. The software side is also top notch, and DrayTek is committed to frequent upgrades and improvements over time.  

It’s hard to fault the Vigor2962P from a technical perspective. Most of our complaints are simply a wishlist of features that instead appear on higher-end DrayTek routers. That’s not to say this router is perfect in every situation, and many businesses don’t need the high-end capabilities it provides. But for those that do, the Vigor2962P is a great choice. 

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