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router question

As a computer technician, what do most independent computer technicians do when a client's router needs to be replaced. Do you keep an extra router in stock and sell them yours ? And if so how much warrantee time do you give the client or if any? I want to know what's best to do with my clients.

5 Solutions
I sold my rock solid WRT54G years ago and have regreted it ever since. I have not come across a more stable router of even the same model. If yours is working with absolutely no problems, DON'T sell it. If they need one I always go to Wal-Mart, Staples or something of the sort. Then again, I don't markup anything I purchase new for clients. If you end up selling/buying quite a few for you customers I would keep at least on on hand. I would also recomend that you standardize the model if you do that.

I only help them with the manufacturers or stores warranty if there is a problem. This is part of the reason I don't do markups. I would feel obligated to support it if I made money off of the sale. Anyways if there is a problem, I'd still make more money charging time on the one out of ten that had problems than the markup.

Aaron TomoskyTechnology ConsultantCommented:
I always kept a few switches on hand, but routers I'd purchase if I needed to. Everyone has a fav brand or wants  a different wifi, etc... Too hard to please everyone. And if they did want me to go get it I get to bill the time and plan during the drive.
assuming you're not talking about cisco, juniper, sonicwall routers and that you're talking about 'home based' routers like linksys,dlink, netgear, etc.  I rather buy them new at your local computer store.  that way they are getting brand new hardware with manufacturer warranty.
Marius GunnerudSenior Systems EngineerCommented:
If you are talking business class routers, I recommend to my clients that they purchase a backup router for DR purposes. However not many businesses might have the funds to do so or are just cheap or think that nothing will ever happen to their network. In this case I would have a router or two on hand to sell to them immediately with a nice smile and an "I told you so" :-)

It is always a good practice to understand the SLA (Service Level Agreement) you have agreed with your customers.

You also need to profile the platforms of your customers, i.e. why types of routers, switches, firewall / VPN devices they need / use etc.

It is a good practice to have a collection of your customer platforms for your own use so that when a customer comes with a problem, you can troubleshoot there and then.  The reality is that you can never have every single platform that you customers use.  This is my suggestion:

For most platforms, have a store of configurations, so that if you have to deploy a platform very quickly, you can just apply the configuration immediately. Sometimes, with a new IOS / Software / Fireware onboard, you may have to adjust your existing configuration but it is a small job compared to if you have to do it from scratch.

I personally would not keep a stock of hardware because of the warranty issue.  The problem is that, if you give to a customer a device that you have been keeping in stock for the last year or so for which the warranty has run out, what happens when that device suddenly develops a problem?  

The ideal solution is to have a supplier who can provide you with the required platform in record time. Companies such as Cisco have a sale procedure that may not be appropriate when you are in a hurry.

So my approach would be, to always have the configurations to hand and acquire the hardware brand new when the need arises and apply the configuration quickly.



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