Cisco 881 or 1921 router

I am looking at solutions for a branch office.  Currently it has an ADSL connection, coming into an ASA 5505.  There are site to site vpns, some client vpn traffiic.  Office is 10 users.  We have a need to add more bandwidth but getting a T1 is cost prohibitive at the moment.  So I've added a second DSL line.  I need another device to perform some type of load balancing or traffic shaping as the 5505 cannot do that.  The 2nd DSL line is going to be reserved for one application or user.

I am choosing between the 881 and 1921.  Obviously the 1921 is a better device but is is overkill for this scenario?  Would I still use the 5505 as a firewall regardless.  Seems like neither device could replace the ASA firewall capabilities.  There also remains the possibility of going to a T1 down the line, maybe a year or so.
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FideliusConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Cisco IOS firewwall and ASA are almost the same.
Here you can find good discussion about it: 
I think it will answer all your questions regarding IOS firewall and ASA.

Regarding termination of 2 WAN connections on 881, it should be viable configuring VLANs for each DSL line, as Istvan suggested in his posr.

Other solution is to put L2 managed switch in front of 881. Create two VLANs, one for each DSL line, and connect it through trunk to WAN port of 881, on which you need to create sub-interfaces for each VLAN. I can send you config if you need it.


Cisco 1921 is maybe overkill for this scenario, but is more future proof concept if you will upgrade to T1, also it will easier support more users. Also, if you will using it as firewall, 1921 is definitely way to go. It can do almost everything ASA 5505 does, and regarding VPNs:
 Cisco Product Matrix

Hope this helps!
WissamSenior Network EngineerCommented:
I would get the 1921, as you see future requirements would be fulfilled
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Istvan KalmarConnect With a Mentor Head of IT Security Division Commented:

you able to us 2 WAN with ASA 5505 if you buy SEC+ feature!
If you need T1 card you need to bux 19xx series!

Best regards,
dmwynneAuthor Commented:

Is the firewall on the 1921 the exact same as the ASA?  I thought the ASA was more robust as its built as a firewall not a router then firewall.


I believe you are able to use two WAN in a failover scenario but not use them simultaneously in a laod balance setup.
I would still keep the asa as a firewall, maybe in transparent mode though.
dmwynneAuthor Commented:
It is not clear to me if the 881 can handle two internet connections.  Can anyone confirm that?  Seems like it can only handle 1 wan ethernet handoff.
Istvan KalmarHead of IT Security Division Commented:
It knows 8 vlans so you able to do it:

So I think you able to use it with 2 WAN connections...
ThomasChristoryConnect With a Mentor Commented:
or you can go with one 891/2 which has 2 native wan ports :-)
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