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Routed

We've been having problems with our DSL router ever since we upgraded to an ADSL2+ service.

First the router crashed hard at least once a day. While that was awkward, the timeswitch on the power supply worked well enough to get us back on line. Even so, not good. When we got home I upgraded the device's ROM to the latest version - and while we were on line without crashing, it was only letting in mail intermittently. Definitely not good, when you're trying to work with an editor or a PR.

The problem was quite clearly with our little router, which for the last couple of years had been the little router that could. But with three in the house now, and more, less-contended, bandwidth, it wasn't quite up to the task. It was time for the router to retire.

So while we were in town for a meeting yesterday we pottered on down Tottenham Court Road looking for a new DSL router.

We're a small business, really, so we thought it would be best to get something with a little more than the basics - a router with plenty of security, management and diagnostics, with a nice fast wireless connection seemed to be just what the doctor ordered. And that's what we found, in the shape of a Draytek Vigor 2820n. It's a sizeable device, with plenty of ports and the ability to fail over to a USB 3G modem if there's a line outage (or even to load balance with a second router or a cable modem).

So in it went. We did have a few teething troubles - mainly down to my making a handful of mistakes when configuring some of its functions. Hint: don't fill in DNS server details by hand, as that will stop DNS pass-through, and so your existing external DNS server forwarders will stop working. Still, we only learn by making mistakes...

Some of the Vigor's most useful features are its monitoring tools. I can see just which machine is using the most bandwidth, and when.



And it's pretty zippy.

So I think it's going to stay...