Difference between Cisco Routers and cheaper routers

Posted on 2003-10-31
Last Modified: 2010-04-17
I've been recommended a Cisco 2621 Dual 10/100 Ethernet to route between two Ethernet LANs.  What is the difference between this router and other Ethernet routers such as Netgear etc. that are about a quarter of the price ?
Is it just throughput ?
Question by:ascot
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lrmoore earned 125 total points
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Throughput, performance, support, features, capabilities, expansion, security..
Try getting tech support on the phone from Netgear, Linksys or any of the other "cheaper" brands.
Netgear is designed and marketed to small office/home office casual use.
Cisco 2620 is designed for small/medium business-class use.
Look for the packet per second throughput stats on the lower end routers and compare to 2621:
2620/21 = 25K pps

Typically, we don't use a router to do simple LAN-LAN routing. We use Layer 3 switches which can "route" at wire speed up to Gigabit, for about the same price as a router.
Cisco Catalyst 3750 and 3550 series switches have the capability to enable IP routing.
24-10/100 and 2 GBIC ports:Enhanced Multilayer SW Image (Cisco part #: WS-C3550-24-EMI) list price $4,990.00
But you get capability of routing at Gigabit speed...
and 17.0 M pps forwarding rate

Compare to 25K pps with a router
Basic 2621 router
Mid Performance Dual 10/100 Ethernet Router w/Cisco IOS IP (Cisco part #: CISCO2621XM) list price $3,095.00


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Can I "route" on IP address using a "switch" then ?
What I'm trying to do is joing 2 LANs, say LAN A and LAN B which are on different subnets.
LAN B is already connected to LAN C so I want to route any traffic that LAN
A has for LAN C via LAN B.  
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Yes, as long as the switch has layer 3 capabilities. The 3550 with Multilayer image does just that.
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I get asked the same question a lot (why purchase Cisco when there are cheaper options) and I agree with Irmoore in all his points. I'd like to share a personaly experience that I have had with Cisco support, that I tell potential customers.

We had purchased a brand new Cisco router with 4hr onsite hardware warranty. As it had 4hr warranty, Cisco had to ship backup parts to our nearest Cisco depot so that they could have them to us within the 4hr period (if needed). Because of this, the actual warranty didn't start until 4 weeks AFTER we purchased the router (to give them time to ship the backup parts). In the meantime, I had implemented the router and it was working fine until some memory in it died (about 2:00pm one afternoon). I placed a call with Cisco and they told me that the warranty hadn't kicked in yet and that the parts werent in the local depot. I asked what they could do and they said they'd see. They called the interstate Cisco supply warehouse and arranged for the memory to be shipped ASAP via airfreight. I got the part that night at about 6:30pm and had the router back up and working. Guess what it cost me ? Nothing ! Even though the maintenance contract wasn't yet in affect they shipped a part via the fastest interstate courier service available, then got it on a local courier to my door all at their own cost.

So that is my story about how good I have found Cisco support to be, and only one of the reasons why I recommend Cisco products.

Disclaimer: I am not a Cisco rep, or in any way connected to Cisco. They just make great products :)

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most important of all you can have alot of support when you have cisco ... other vendors dont have passionate fans like lrmoore and td_miles ...

Disclaimer: cheap router is cheap router ... while cisco router is CISCO router :)


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