Upgrading Draytek router

14 06 2012

Came across an interesting issue with Draytek routers that I’d not encountered before during an attempted firmware upgrade yesterday.

A great thing about Draytek is the ease of finding and downloading firmware for the devices.. The download links pretty much all sit on a page of their website that’s easily found with a Google search.

Downloaded the latest version for the device in question, unzipped, and tried to install during a planned window, but got an error message about an invalid file name.

This happened from two different machines. A bit of digging turned up the fact that upgrades must be carried out using Internet Explorer, not Firefox (and, I’d hazard a guess, not Chrome or Safari either!). Another IE specific web UI!

Just discovered the throughput limit..

10 02 2012

.. of a Draytek 2910. This was while testing the throughput on a new Virgin Media link. Initially, VM Support told me to set the LAN card on a laptop to 100/full and plug it directly in to the external port of the router. This resulted in a 2Mbps throughput of the link, and triggered VM to come out and adjust light levels.

I thought that the 100/full may be having an impact, so set the card to 1000/full and immediately saw the full 100Mbps obtained from the link. Result.

This was still with the laptop plugged in to the external port of the router, and one of our external IP addresses assigned to the NIC. I added a new “External” VLAN, and plugged both the external port of the router, and the Draytek (which is very much a “standby” bit of kit used for testing – we have a Checkpoint cluster in production), into ports in this VLAN, and I could only achieve 30Mbps.

After verifying that all the port speed and duplex negotiations were correct, I decided to have a dig online – and found several references to the fact that the maximum throughput of the device was 30Mbps (there are a few exceptions – someone has got 40 out of one, but it’s definitely not 100!). The last time I used the Draytek in a testing capacity was when my last fibre connection was installed – but at the time, this was running at 25Mbps, so I wouldn’t have seen the limitation. D’oh!

I’ll know for sure when I carry out the project to make the new connection the primary of two, using our Checkpoint cluster and auto-failover between the two. Gulp.