Having Trouble Choosing Between Cisco Router Models for Your Business?

cisco routersCisco products have long been backed by their reputation; however, since they change frequently it is often difficult to determine what Cisco router models make the most sense for meeting business technology requirements. While the company has discontinued models such as the 2600 and 3600 series, these are still offered as a used or refurbished option. Because these particular models are able to accomplish the same results as newer models, they are still in high demand in their used condition. If they are not exactly what you are looking for, the company provides several routing options ranging from solutions for small businesses to global enterprises.

Newer models were put on the market to alleviate the CPU processing, Flash, RAM storage, and packet loading issues experienced from continuously increasing network demands. To select a router from this industry leader, it is important to know what the hardware should accomplish. This will be helpful in assessing the features of each available design. Will it be used for a home office, small branch office, a small to mid-size remote office, or a large headquarters office? Each of these situations will require specific features and performance factors for the chosen router to perform as expected and deliver the desired benefits.

What To Access When Choosing Cisco Routing Products

Cisco integrated service routers are ideal for any company as they operate just as a traditional router, but also provide additional services like IPSec VPN, intrusion prevention, and VoIP call management. For example, the 800 Series is ideal for a small office whereas the Catalyst 6500 series better meets the needs of a head office or WAN aggregation. What features should you evaluate when choosing a new router for business use? The process is not as simple as reviewing customer ratings and making a choice, as the specific needs of your business must be compared to what the device is capable of accomplishing.

As you begin to assess Cisco router models, first understand that the model can be a VPN router/firewall or a Unified Threat Management gateway (UTM)/firewall. The latter includes additional security features like virus and malware protection. Ethernet switch expansion capabilities will be necessary for scalability and the chosen hardware should offer the required connectivity features. Ethernet considerations include:

–Ethernet Speed
–Switching Capacity
–Dual or Backup WAN
–PoE Support
–DMZ Ports

Do users need to access the network securely when not in the office? If so, it would be beneficial to acquire a router with a VPN server so these types of connections are supported. In this scenario, the right type of VPN (PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, SSL, or OpenVPN) must be selected to ensure the best results. If you want to share files or printers, you might also need a USB port to accomplish this task. Depending on the level of security, general purpose, and filtering needs of your business, additional considerations may be necessary. It is essential to take ample time to evaluate each available Cisco router model before making a decision, as there are many new and refurbished options capable of handling a variety of traffic loads, access requirements, and security preferences.

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