Draytek Vigor 2200 USB Router - PracticallyNetworked.com Earthweb.com Practically Networked Home Earthweb developer.com HardwareCentral earthwebdeveloper CrossNodes Datamation
Welcome to PractiallyNetworked
Product Reviews

 • Routers
 • Hubs/Switches
 • Wireless Gateway
 • Wireless AP
 • Wireless NIC
 • Network Storage
 • Print Servers
 • Bluetooth Adapters
Troubleshooting
& Tutorials

 • Networking
 • Internet Sharing
 • Security
 • Backgrounders
 • Troubleshooting
    Guides

 • PracNet How To's
User Opinions
Practicallynetworked Glossary

 Find a Network Term  
 
Forums
About
Jobs
Home

  Most Popular Tutorials

• Microsoft Vista Home Networking Setup and Options
The most daunting part of upgrading to Windows Vista may be trying to figure out where in the layers of menus the networking and file-sharing options are hidden.

• Do It Yourself: Roll Your Own Network Cables
It may not be something you do everyday, but having the supplies and know-how to whip up a network cable on the spot can be very handy.

• Tips for Securing Your Home Router
Seemingly minor and easily overlooked settings can still have profound security implications. Here are some steps you can take to make sure your wired or wireless home router and by extension, your network is as secure as possible.

  Most Popular Reviews

• Microsoft Windows Home Server
If you have a home network, you'll welcome the easy file sharing, remote access and the image-based backup features of Windows Home Server.

• Iomega StorCenter Network Hard Drive
Iomega's fourth generation StorCenter Network Hard Drive brings many of the features found in higher-end storage devices down to an attractive price.

• MikroTik's The Dude
This free tool delivers many of the same capabilities that you'd find in pricey network monitoring tools. As long as you don't mind tinkering, The Dude is a decent network utility that should be worth the download.


 Draytek Vigor 2200 USB Router

 Author: Doug Kerfoot
 Review Date: 1/24/2002


Model: Vigor2200USB
$139 direct price

As DSL providers increasingly turn to "self-installation" kits to lower the cost of entry into a competitive market, USB modems are becoming increasingly popular. If you have one of these units and wish to add a hardware router, you only have one choice: the Draytek Vigor2200USB.

Fortunately, the Vigor is a well-designed unit featuring four 10/100 Base-T ports, NAT, IP packet filtering firewall, DMZ and VPN. The Vigor 2200USB is a solid performer in this new category.

Pros:

Finally, a router available for USB-based WAN connections
Basic setup is quick and easy
Strong feature set

Cons:

Advanced configuration is complex
Currently only available for use with a few modems

When ADSL service was finally made available in my area, I jumped at the chance to order a self-install kit. To my surprise, when the box arrived, it contained an Alcatel Speed Touch USB modem. Instead of installing a network interface card (NIC) into my computer, I simply had to plug the modem into a USB port. The simplicity of installation certainly makes sense from the point of view of an ISP's support department, but I soon discovered the downside. There was no way to connect a hardware router to the USB-based DSL modem for sharing an Internet connection with multiple computers unless you go the software route with ICS or a product like WinProxy -- at least until now.

Taiwan-based Draytek makes the first router specifically designed for USB DSL modems. Distributed by Best Systems Direct for $139 in the US, the Vigor2200USB currently supports only the Alcatel Speed Touch, the ECI USB modem, the Fujitsu FDX-310 USB modems, though it seems only the Alcatel is in serious use in the United States. Draytek is testing the Vigor2200USB with others USB-based DSL modems including the Efficient Networks 4060 USB DSL modem. So far, there's no information on whether the Vigor2200USB will work with any of the USB connections from satellite systems such as DirecWay or StarBand.

Setup

Basic setup of the Vigor2200USB was quick and easy. My total install time was about 20 minutes from the time I opened the box until I was connected to the Web.

The first step was to upload the modem firmware into router. I ran the USB Modem Firmware utility from the Windows Start Menu and select the modem to get it done.

ConfigureSecond, I used the Web-browser to enter my ISP's name and a username and password.

Then I connected the USB modem to one of the USB ports on the rear panel of the router and the firmware automatically uploaded to the modem.

That's it! The router is secure right out of the box. All that remained for the basic set-up was to connect additional computers to the 10/100BaseT Switch ports.

Unfortunately, the easy-to-use wizards end with the basic setup. More advanced setups are much more complicated. The details are beyond the scope of this review, but if you know what you are doing, you have control over Dynamic DNS, Call Scheduling, NAT, Static Routing and IP Filter/Firewall settings. If you don't already know what you are doing, don't expect the detailed user manual to help you much.

Basic Features

The Vigor2200USB includes a full range of features: 4 port 10/100 switch, virtual private networking (VPN), built-in firewall and packet filter, network address translation (NAT), dynamic host configuration protocol (DHCP), dynamic domain name system (DNS), de-militarized zone (DMZ), port forwarding and more.

The router comes with a Quick start guide, power adapter, Ethernet LAN cable and a CD-ROM. The CD-ROM contains a detailed user manual and firmware installation utilities.

Front Panel
There are eleven LEDs on the front panel:

ACT (Activity) Blinks when power is supplied to the router and the router is running normally.
DSL ON when the DSL modem is active.
USB-1 and USB-2 ON when the DSL modem is ready. Blinking when there is data transferring between the Vigor2200USB and the DSL modem.
LINK-1 and LINK-2 ON when the PPP connection of the DSL modem is active.
VPN ON when the VPN function is active.
P1, P2, P3, P4 (LAN) ON when a network card or hub is connected - green for 100 Mbps connection, amber for 10 Mbps connection.

Back Panel
The Vigor2200USB has a reset button, a power jack, four 10/100Base-T RJ-45 switch ports, an Uplink button, and 2 USB ports. The extra USB port may someday be used for things like analog modem backup, but currently it has no function.

IP Filter/Firewall
IP FirewallThe IP filter/firewall uses a 'set' and 'rule' system, where one event can trigger additional actions. This provides good flexibility, but at the expense of ease of use.

DHCP
From the Web interface you can enable/disable and specify the number of IP addresses to allocate from a start point. You can also assign static IP addresses.


VPN
You can create a Virtual Private Networking connection to another Vigor2200USB. This creates a secure, encrypted 'tunnel' between the two hosts. The primary downside of VPN connections between ADSL connections is that they operate at the much slower "upload" speed (typically 128 - 256 kbps).

Performance

Because of the USB interface of this router, there is no Ethernet WAN connection. Therefore, I was unable to run our normal suite of tests on this unit. Instead, we decided to compare the throughput of the modem alone, to the modem/router combination.

I tested a 768kbps/128kbps connection using DSL Reports' speed test tool. I ran each combination three times at two different test locations, resulting in two surprises. First, the router noticeably improved the download performance of the modem. Secondly, the router slightly improved the upload performance to one location, while significantly degrading the upload performance to the other site.

Test Description

DOWNLOAD SPEED (kbps)

UPLOAD SPEED (kbps)

with router no router

with router

no router

MegaPath Connection

622

612

131

127

LinkLine Connection 624 612 70 127
Average 623 612 101 127

So what do these results mean? To try to get a clearer performance picture, I tested the router/no router combination again by transferring a 3,189KB MP3 file via FTP. This time, the router nearly doubled the download throughput, while slightly improving the upload throughput. The increased throughput is most likely because the router takes some of the load off of the older Cyrix M2 300MHZ desktop that I used.

Test Description

DOWNLOADS

UPLOADS

with router no router

with router

no router

Elapsed time (seconds)

51

101

209

218

Sustained Throughput 62.5 31.6 15.3 14.6

Obviously, this router doesn't just help. It helps a lot.

Summary

If you have one of the supported USB modems and are looking for a hardware router, the Vigor2200USB is the only choice you have as of this writing (January 2002). Even so, its ease of use, extensive feature set, reasonable price and especially the performance benefits it can provide make it a great buy.


 Add YOUR Opinion  

 Opinion Summary:     79.5%   |   20.5%  |   out of 44 reviews  
 Read Reviews by Users  

Print this Page 



Earthwebnews.com Earthweb developer.com HardwareCentral earthwebdeveloper CrossNodes Datamation


Home | Networking | Backgrounders | Internet Sharing | Security | HowTo | Troubleshooting | Reviews | News | About | Jobs | Tools | Forums