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How to get full performance from Hardware Acceleration

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DrayTek's Hardware Acceleration allows LAN clients to achieve the full performance of full-fibre Gigabit broadband and FTTP. This article explains how to get full performance from hardware acceleration.

The router's nominal firewall / router performance, for example a throughput of around 400Mbps on the Vigor 2862 series can be boosted by the dedicated hardware acceleration function. Accelerating performance up to the full 1Gbps link speed of the WAN connection, or around 940Mbps when accounting for Ethernet overheads, when Hardware Acceleration is in full effect.


A DrayTek router achieves this by first checking that any inbound or outbound session is allowed through the router - checking the router's Firewall and Content Filtering rules first. Once a permitted session has been passed through the router's Firewall, it can then go into the router's Hardware Accelerator, which bypasses the router's processor, reducing CPU load for the router and boosting performance.

On DrayTek's latest router models, the Hardware Acceleration featureset is further improved to provide Quality of Service, WAN Budget, Bandwidth Limits and the Data Flow Monitor. On older models, Hardware Acceleration up to over 900mbps upstream & downstream is still possible, with some limitations on the features that are available when using the Hardware Accelerator.


There are specific features on the router that when enabled can limit the capability of hardware acceleration.

The table below lists the features that can limit the capability of Hardware Acceleration on different router models, as well as any specific settings that must be configured to use these features with Hardware Acceleration.

In the sections following the table, each of these settings is explained in detail, demonstrating how to optimise these where needed.

Turn Off - Disable this feature for Hardware Acceleration to take full effect.
Available - This feature can be enabled and used with Hardware Acceleration on this model.
Available* - See that item's section for more information, specific settings may be required for Hardware Acceleration to take full effect.
N/A - Not Applicable. This feature or limitation is not applicable to, and does not affect this model.

Feature affecting Hardware Acceleration QoS for Ethernet WAN WAN Budget for Ethernet WAN WAN1 ADSL/VDSL Bandwidth Limit Data Flow Monitor
Vigor 2760 series Turn Off Turn Off Turn Off Turn Off Turn Off
Vigor 2762 series Turn Off Turn Off Turn Off Turn Off Turn Off
Vigor 2765 series Available* Available Available Available* Available
Vigor 2766 series Available* Available Available Available* Available
Vigor 2832 series Turn Off Turn Off Turn Off Turn Off Turn Off
Vigor 2860 series Turn Off Turn Off Turn Off Turn Off Turn Off
Vigor 2862 series Turn Off Turn Off Turn Off Turn Off Turn Off
Vigor 2865 series Available* Available Available Available* Available
Vigor 2866 series Available* Available Available Available* Available
Vigor 2925 series Turn Off Turn Off N/A Turn Off Turn Off
Vigor 2926 series Turn Off Turn Off N/A Turn Off Turn Off
Vigor 2927 series Available* Available N/A Available* Available
Vigor 2952 series Turn Off Turn Off N/A Turn Off Turn Off
Vigor 2962 Available Available N/A Available Available
Vigor 3220 series Turn Off Turn Off N/A Turn Off Turn Off
Vigor 3910 Available Available N/A Available Available

Enabling Hardware Acceleration

To enable Hardware Acceleration, look for the [Hardware Acceleration] menu item. In that menu, set the mode to "Auto" or "Enable". If your router model has the option for "NAT" tick that and the "TCP", "UDP" protocols to accelerate NAT (general Internet traffic) for either TCP protocol, UDP protocol or both.

IPsec acceleration is available on DrayTek's SME routers such as the Vigor 2865, Vigor 2866 and Vigor 2927. It can be enabled to improve LAN to LAN IPsec VPN performance.

The Exception List is available on DrayTek's latest generation of routers. When enabled, specifed LAN MAC addresses can be exempted from the router's Hardware Acceleration system. This can be useful if problems are encountered with network printers or client VPN tunnels passing through the router.

When making changes to these settings, click the OK button when done to save and apply the change.

hwaccel 0

Note - Vigor 2962 & Vigor 3910 users
These router models employ a different method for hardware acceleration, it is always on and does not need to be enabled or configured. All router features listed in the sections below can be used, without affecting the router's performance.


Quality of Service for Ethernet WANs

Setting Recommendation of "Turn Off"

On router models that need to have Quality of Service disabled on the Ethernet WAN for full Hardware Acceleration performance. Go to the [Bandwidth Limit] > [Quality of Service] menu and disable QoS for the WAN interface that is to be accelerated, do this by unticking its Enable checkbox as shown below.
In this example, the WAN1 and LTE Quality of Service is enabled while WAN2's QoS is disabled. This allows WAN2 to give full performance while WAN1 and the LTE WAN can still use QoS.

hwaccel 1

When making changes to the Quality of Service settings, click OK when done to save and apply the changes.

Note - QoS with Multiple Ethernet WANs - On purely Ethernet WAN routers such as the Vigor 2952 or Vigor 2925, QoS can be enabled on Ethernet WAN interfaces but Hardware Acceleration will not take effect on any WAN interfaces that have QoS enabled. This could allow WAN2 to be accelerated without QoS, while WAN1 could have QoS enabled and operate without affecting the router's Hardware Acceleration.

Setting Recommendation of "Available*"

This is applicable to DrayTek's current router models, the Vigor 2765/66, Vigor 2865/66 and the Vigor 2927 series.

Up to 4.3.1.x Firmware Hardware Acceleration works with Quality of Service enabled for Ethernet WAN, however this affects only outbound packets.
4.4.0 Firmware and later

Disable Software Quality of Service for the Ethernet WAN interface(s) for Hardware Acceleration to take effect.

Use Hardware QoS for full performance and QoS classification of inbound & outbound packets.

WAN Budget and Hardware Acceleration

Setting Recommendation of "Turn Off"

On router models that can't perform WAN Budget with Hardware Acceleration, make sure that the [WAN] > [WAN Budget] settings do not have a WAN Budget configured for the WAN interface to be accelerated. On these models, when WAN Budget is enabled on Ethernet WAN interfaces, Hardware Acceleration will be disabled on the router.

WAN Budget can be used for a router's USB 4G modem or LTE WAN interfaces, with Hardware Acceleration in use on the Ethernet WAN interfaces.

Setting Recommendation of "Available"

WAN Budget can be enabled for all WAN interfaces with no limitations. Hardware Acceleration will take full effect with WAN Budget enabled for accelerated Ethernet WAN interfaces.


WAN1 ADSL/VDSL and Hardware Acceleration

Setting Recommendation of "Turn Off"

On router models that have a recommendation to turn off WAN1 for full acceleration, this is recommended because as shown in the table below, Hardware Acceleration's capabilities are limited while the WAN1 ADSL/VDSL modem is enabled. In the example below which is a Vigor 2862, if WAN1 is enabled, Hardware Acceleration does not take effect for "RX" or Download packets - "TX" (Upload) is accelerated.

Therefore, on these models that have an integrated ADSL/VDSL modem and include a "WAN Information" table as below. The recommendation is to disable WAN1 when using WAN2 with connection speeds over 400mbps.

hwaccel 3

To do that, go to the [WAN] > [General Setup] menu and untick the "Enable" checkbox for WAN1. Click OK to save and apply the change, which will require the router to restart to take effect.

hwaccel 2

Once the router has restarted, Hardware Acceleration should then be effective for both Download and Upload traffic.

Setting Recommendation of "Available"

This is applicable to DrayTek's current router models with integrated ADSL/VDSL/G.fast modems, the Vigor 2765/66 series and the Vigor 2865/66 series.

On these models, all WAN interfaces including the ADSL/VDSL/G.fast modem on WAN1, can be enabled with Hardware Acceleration still taking full effect on the Ethernet WAN port.

Bandwidth Limit and Hardware Acceleration

Setting Recommendation of "Turn Off"

On these router models, disable the Bandwidth Limit in [Bandwidth Management] > [Bandwidth Limit] by setting it to "Disable". Click OK to save and apply the change. Hardware Acceleration should then be able to take effect.

Setting Recommendation of "Available*"

On routers that support Bandwidth Limit along with Hardware Acceleration (Vigor 2765, 2766, Vigor 2865, 2866, Vigor 2927), the Hardware Accelerator's capability is limited while performing Bandwidth restriction. It should be applied only to specific IP addresses or groups of IPs with the understanding that the WAN performance of those devices will not be accelerated and will instead be limited to the values specified.

To set up the Bandwidth Limit to only take effect for specified IP addresses, set the Default Limit on the Bandwidth Limit settings page to "0" for transmit & receive as shown below. This allows Hardware Acceleration to take effect.

hwaccel 4

Data Flow Monitor & Traffic Graph

Setting Recommendation of "Turn Off"

On these router models, the Data Flow Monitor will stop Hardware Acceleration from taking effect while the "Enable Data Flow Monitor" setting is ticked on the [Diagnostics] > [Data Flow Monitor] page, ensure the setting is disabled when testing throughput to get full performance.

The Data Flow Monitor can be used for diagnostics and checking which devices are using bandwidth, but be aware that while enabled, sessions will not be accelerated and will instead operate at the router's nominal firewall performance

Hardware Accelerated sessions are not counted by the Traffic Graph, in the [Diagnostics] > [Traffic Graph] menu, for the WAN interfaces that are using Hardware Acceleration. Traffic Graph will still work for WAN interfaces the Hardware Acceleration does not apply to, such as a connected USB 3G/4G modem.

Setting Recommendation of "Available"

On these models, the Data Flow Monitor can be enabled with no expected drop in throughput - Hardware Acceleration can still occur while monitoring throughput on the [Diagnostics] > [Data Flow Monitor] page while the "Enable Data Flow Monitor" setting is ticked.

When Hardware Acceleration is enabled, accelered Internet traffic is counted by the Traffic Graph.