adsl/linksys & cisco type routers - query

hi i was wondering as im sure i was told not so long ago:

that a company has bought 'linksys' equipment and that they tend to have bugs on them and in order to create a single or just a few vlans, then the whole range has to be configured and the reason for choosing these was because cisco was too expensive.

questions 1.  can anyone advise on what the best corse of action so not to have any problems like that ?

i have not enough experience to comment!!
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I had similar issue with linksys wireless router, i was configuring the DHCP however non of my machine was able to get to internet whereas the normal IP allocation was fine, then i thought of upgrading the firmware and it certainly helped and now all is fine with all three linksys wireless routers.

I suggest the same to you, you may get the firmware upgrade file from linksys official site.

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Steven CarnahanNetwork ManagerCommented:
Actually Linksys is owned by Cisco (since 2003)
WORKS2011Managed IT, Cyber Security, BackupCommented:
I too had problems with Linksys after being bought out, its like Cisco bought Linksys to take over market share but didn't care to maintain / manage the product well (my opinion of course). I had several Linksys routers that would lock up for no apparent reason, mainly the wireless portion. Some a firmware upgrade took care of others I had to return. Prior to Linksys being bought out didn't have problems.

I use more D-Link and Netgear products because of the problem and since the buyout. I think Cisco makes amazing enterprise level routers, I don't think they really care about Linksys and the small $80 - $300 routers they made...the market share...this makes more sense to me and business is business, just my personal and business sense.
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mikey250Author Commented:
hi bawer, ive never actually looked into this 'firmware' but im assuming it is like a service pack or ios for routers, but if i buy something like this from the shop i thought it would already have the neccessary firmware on it or are you saying before i buy from a random shop/internet ensure that it has the correct feature/firmware on it.

although normally when i look on the box it shows a description of say it uses or has the ability to run:

- dhcp
- wireless etc

so im still left wondering!!!!
mikey250Author Commented:
ok linksys is owned by cisco i did not know that!!!
mikey250Author Commented:
hi works2011, thanks for that input useful to know!!

the popular routers ive seen appear to be:

- linksys
- netgear
- dlink
- & cisco if affordable to businesses

question 1.  does anyone have any preferences ?

question 2.  correct me if im wrong but what about setting up 'vlans' as was told im sure it was 'linksys' that the whole ip range has to be created as cannot just create 1 or 2 or 3 or more for example and what about this 'vlan hopping' functionality that is within cisco ?

question 3.  when i look in shops like 'maplins' or ebay the internet im spoiled for choice as something maybe more affordable or preferential that all of the above but due to never heard of some of those name im reluctant to even touch one!!!  can anyone educate me or is it just down to actually buying one and experiencing for myself just like, nike or puma, or addidas or none of the above and go for a cheaper pair of not nike for eg ?

question 4.  if i chose anyone of the above and as im used to using 'cisco switch' 2950 for eg, should/can i use as normal with those routers as i could also setup 'standard spanning-tree or rapid spanning-tree', or should i stick to same brand switches aswell, but do they even use 'standard spanning-tree/rapid spaning-tree/per vlan stp' for eg but not sure if there are features that i would need to be aware of prior to buying or would i just contact the manufacturer and request if they have it a 'firmware' update' as 'spanning-tree' speeds up the layer network for eg, so not even sure if these4 other brands mentioned above even use this feature, although im assuming this feature is aimed at more enterprise type brands and not the small business end hardware devices ?

question 5.  can anyone give me some education other than reading the box description and communicating with the manufacturer on 'firmware' specific update requests beyond the sold item in shop, although making decisions quicker and on the actual day is better rather than having to go through this whole procedure as it may not work with some function of win 2003/2008/sbs 2003/2008/2011 ?

apologies for asking these last few questions as just wanted to get a hold on this knowledge so i know what to do!!!
Steven CarnahanNetwork ManagerCommented:
I don't have a lot of time to address all your questions however I can offer this:

The firmware could be considered similar to a BIOS upgrade to a computer. Firmware is also the underlying code for printers and other devices.

What happens is a device (router in this case) is put on the market shelf and may sit there for months before someone actually purchases it. Durring which time the "builder" discovers some issues with their code that they choose to change/fix.

Think about purchasing a brand new computer. As soon as you unpack it and set it up you go to Windows (if that's what your running for an OS) and look for any updates.

Firmware and BIOS are often overlooked however they should periodically be looked to for updates as well.

As for what router to use in an environment that you choose not to purchase the Cisco enterprise routers such as a very small business or home network there are several options. I have used D-Link, Netgear, Linksys and Westell.  I have found each to be simple to use and configure as long as I keep to the simple stuff.

Since most of my experience with these devices has been for home use I have not had an opportunity to work with VPN's on them.  

Hopefully someone will be able to adress you actual questions.
mikey250Author Commented:
thanks 'pony10us'  thanks for those comments they were definately useful!!   all i could do then is go to a forum site and find out from others if a particular model that maybe outdated has updates to fix problems, depending on the manufacturing fixing them or not or just bringing out another model and i may or may not be forced to buy!!!  ok clear!!
Steven CarnahanNetwork ManagerCommented:
Each manufacturer will have a way to check/download/install firmware updates. For example you can follow the instructions on this site: to update a linksys router.
mikey250Author Commented:
thanks for that 'linksys' link!!
mikey250Author Commented:
sound advice!
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