Insight needed on upgrading software on PIX 501 ... current version is 6.1(3) to atleast 6.3 ...

Posted on 2006-04-30
Last Modified: 2013-11-16
Hi All.

I am hoping someone can provide insight into what's needed to upgrade my Cisco PIX 501. I aquired it used and it's
currently running software version 6.1(3). I am using it in a lab setting, and I would like to upgrade to a newer feature set.
That is to 6.3(x) , or possibly 7.0 ? So, my question is twofold:

1) Is the feature set of version 6.1(3) so far removed from 7 as to render what I learn obsolete?

2) Am I correct in ascertaining that it's cheaper to purchase a new Pix 501 with the current software than it
is to purchase a maintance agreement for the pix I currently have (it's licensed for 10 users ... basically just to learn with
at home). If I where to purchase a new pix, I would go for the 10 user option again... just suitable for SOHO use.

Thanks in advance,

Question by:lewirp41
    LVL 57

    Expert Comment

    You need to check to see if the V7 will run on your 501.  
    You will also see what it will cost.  The PIX software is not free, you need to have Service Net on the PIX box to get new software.

    Most of the basic features/commands/configurations are the same in V7 as they are in V6.

    Just how small is the SOHO?  PIX is good firewall, but if I was protecting an office of 5, 10, or even 15 users I would go with Linux, Squid, and IPTABLES.
    LVL 20

    Accepted Solution

    PIX version 7.x will *not* run on a 501 or 506/506e.  The 7.x series currently will only run on PIX 515/515e or above.  But if you have current SmartNet on the PIX, I highly suggest you upgrade to the latest 6.3(5).

    >1) Is the feature set of version 6.1(3) so far removed from 7 as to render what I learn obsolete?
      6.1 is pretty ancient, but the concepts & several of the commands are the same in 6.3 or 7.x.  But 7.x is a major change though, even from 6.3 series.  *Lots* of new features & several aspects of the config are different.  Version 6.3 also adds several new & great features.

    >2) Am I correct in ascertaining that it's cheaper to purchase a new Pix 501 with the current software than...
       It's much cheaper to buy SmartNet for the PIX than buying a brand new one - 1 yr SmartNet is <$150 at CDW, while a brand-new PIX runs ~$370 (10-user lic).  BUT, your PIX may not be eligible for SmartNet.  You should call Cisco's customer service (800-553-6387), provide them the serial # of the PIX, & ask if you can purchase SmartNet for it.  Full serial # is on the underside of the unit (or check the output of "sh ver").


    Featured Post

    How your wiki can always stay up-to-date

    Quip doubles as a “living” wiki and a project management tool that evolves with your organization. As you finish projects in Quip, the work remains, easily accessible to all team members, new and old.
    - Increase transparency
    - Onboard new hires faster
    - Access from mobile/offline

    Join & Write a Comment

    This article offers some helpful and general tips for safe browsing and online shopping. It offers simple and manageable procedures that help to ensure the safety of one's personal information and the security of any devices.
    If your business is like most, chances are you still need to maintain a fax infrastructure for your staff. It’s hard to believe that a communication technology that was thriving in the mid-80s could still be an essential part of your team’s modern I…
    After creating this article (, I decided to make a video (no audio) to show you how to configure the routers and run some trace routes and pings between the 7 sites…
    This video gives you a great overview about bandwidth monitoring with SNMP and WMI with our network monitoring solution PRTG Network Monitor ( If you're looking for how to monitor bandwidth using netflow or packet s…

    745 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

    Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

    Join & Ask a Question

    Need Help in Real-Time?

    Connect with top rated Experts

    16 Experts available now in Live!

    Get 1:1 Help Now