Now don’t get me wrong, the DrayTek 2820 is an exceptional router. Having used them for over 5 years (2800 previously) and the hundreds we have installed, we’ve only ever had two of them go wrong, and that was after 3 years.
However, recently we have been having serious problems with their new firmware releases. Currently they are on firmware v3.3.4 which is my opinion is quite appalling. The entire web user interface has become slow and sluggish, it takes almost half an hour to configure a box, something which we could usually do in about 10 minutes. Especially since their new URL whitelist/blacklist system has been revamped, it was a learning curve but something which now takes too long to configure when we only want a simple setup.
Getting back onto topic, we recently tried to configure the router to work with our Snom VoIP phones which was connected to an externally hosted VoIP provider. This is not uncommon, and with the costs savings of a hosted VoIP solution we are beginning to see more and more customers take to it. The problem we faced after hours of on-site troubleshooting was that on all 6 phones calls could come in to the phone and audio was heard in both directions, however calls could not be made out from the phones at all. Having done several setups this did seem odd and at first I turned to the VoIP provider to see if it was a configuration issue on their end, this was not the answer.
Several days later, having replaced a couple of the phones as well as the Cisco Small Business PoE switch (more on this later) the problem was still not rectified so I then turned to the DrayTek router. As we use the same router in several sites I compared configurations and settings and found that the firmware was obviously different as it was a newer model. However, recent VoIP updates on the new DrayTek 2820 routers firmware is what was preventing the VoIP phone system to work. Our only solution was to downgrade the firmware on the DrayTek 2820 router and see if that resolved the problem.
Looking for the correct DrayTek 2820 firmware was another task in itself. We wanted to go back to firmware v3.1.2 as we knew that this worked on other sites, and there was nothing in any of the newer firmware versions which we required. Scouring the internet through Google for the correct firmware we found nothing, and the DrayTek site was so poorly setup that there was no obvious link to any previous firmware downloads. Having gone through the DrayTek site with a fine toothcomb I finally found the older firmware download page. It is hidden under a link titled “DrayTek International FTP Site” which had no resemblance to what was in there. Within this link, you can navigate to your product model number and download the correct firmware. This can then be installed quite quickly and easily through the router’s web interface.
I think DrayTek will need to do something quickly about fixing this issue in any new releases as eventually it will render any new boxes useless to our customers. For anyone who is looking for the DrayTek Firmware Download page, you need access to their FTP site (port 21) and navigate your web browser to: ftp://ftp.draytek.com/ I hope this helps someone solve their problem a lot quicker than I could solve mine, it nearly took me 3 days of troubleshooting and replacing hardware before I got to the root cause.
It may be worth noting that we were not using the DrayTek 2820 as a PBX. We had a VoIP provider on the internet which was hosting a Centrex PBX system, and this is where I think the firmware problem lies. The router is assuming that if anyone is using VoIP on port 5060 then it must be terminating on the 2820′s built in PBX server. Big mistake!