What Router/Switch for home network and CCNA

By mke · 13 replies
Jan 10, 2007
  1. Hello all,

    basically i have a simple question for u network gurus. Currently am looking into buying a router (not wireless, atleast not necessary, if for the same price, then why not :)) for my home network, since my old one died somehow, probably cause of heavy traffic up/down. Now the problem is that i also plan to take the CCNA exam in the near future and hence i thought it would be better to get from now the equipment to start practicing oncetwice a week.
    The only thing that dissapoints me on the whole process is that they can become quite expensive and i was not planning to give more than 50£, used on ebay :)
    The only requirements i have is that the router/switch is operating to atleast 100Mbit, prefferably 1Gbit but i doubt i'll get this at the price am asking, beying cisco aswell which can become very expensive.
    If one can recommend either

    a) a decent router on its own (like netgear, usrobotics, cisco,.....) for my home network only, so i can connect all 3 of my systems,

    b) or a router and switch/hub for use on the home network as the primary network components, and for studying/practicing towards CCNA. basically all the router models and details get my head boggling and to identify a good model will take me sometime and i wanted to get this in the next 48 hours. for instance on a setup i am after, i would wont both router and switch to be 100Mbit, and not only the switch, as i would want to keep the router for a number of years, possibly :) yes i know am cheap :)

    thanks guys, hope for some positive response :)


    ps: using ntl cable at the moment, so not necessary to be with adsl port like modem and stuff
  2. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,128   +982

    First, the top-end stuff would really be neat, but features come at a price, so
    most commercial routers are eliminated.

    review this post for some ideas.

    Personally, I've been using a Netgear 4-port for several years and it's been
    a faithful servant :)

    Don't get confused re router vs switch/hub. The router is at the top of the list.
    A switch(preferred) or hub can then be attached to the router to make more
    connections available.
  3. mke

    mke TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 90

    i know about router/switch difference in regards to osi model and stuff, though i just down know the models and all their wireless gimbo crap. i actually bought now a router from a sale for 15quid , a DLink DSL-G604T and although not the best, i was very happy with the price. One thing though interesting is that i forgot i havent got bloody adsl, i have bloody cable. so my question is if there is a way to convert the routers port from standard dsl/telephone socket to ethernet??? i know its not possible, i just hope for some marvelous genious to find a new way to do this, like eject the socket, and convert the analogue singal to digital for me cable :)
    also i dont like the idea of having to use the router only as a switch, and sharing connections in that way, i wanted a router to have internet without running a server pc dedicated all the time for this. i could return the dlink and get my money back, but getting to town will setme back 5-10 quid, so its almost relactant or money down the drain as the shop hasnt got something else .....

    any advice though for router/switch still much appreciated :)

  4. mikescorpio81

    mikescorpio81 TS Rookie Posts: 293

    If you are planning to become CCNA you dont need to practice on a real Cisco router; instead there are cool simulation programs on the market that are basically a Cisco interface, but you can go nuts and have 5 - 10 cisco routers configured!
    Trust me, for the money you will waste on a Cisco it is really not worth it. Simulation is the way to go ... :grinthumb
  5. mke

    mke TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 90


    i would prefer still to train using some real hardware. in my humble opinion :) nothing beats real action :)grinthumb "getting down and dirty":D ). either way i already have routersim, boson netsim v5 and planning to get network visualiser aswell :)
    i found on ebay a cheap cisco router, rather old model but for 10£ i cant complain. its an Cisco 1603 router, with 4mb of flash card mem. dunno the actual ios version but i think its a bargain, ah i dont think there is a card installed on it. Is this worth it? i believe its a 10mbit port to connect to the switch but then again i dunno jack sh*t about cisco producs, so any advice much appreciated. also what switch could i use with this router, as i need to connect 3-4 computers to it, all with atleast 100mbit conn to the switch.
    Can anyone advice please??? thanks

    aahhh forgot, i've found the 1720 (20£), and 1721(30-50£), and 1750 (70£+ a bit tooo expensive at the moment)

    any advice much appreciated.

  6. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,128   +982

    the nics speed is obviously irrelevant to learning the how-to for
    however, network 101: the backbone should have more thruput than the down-links,
    so your router+switches should exceed or match that of any system nic.

    you would normally not need a switch at all but only when all ports on the router
    are already in use. if that were to occur, divide the network evenly and place
    a switch into both halves and your systems into the switches.

    as a switch is not configurable -- brand name is irrelevant
  7. mke

    mke TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 90

    hello and thanks for the reply.
    3 nics from the systems are 10/100, and main system has a gigabit port also. however i do not care for that at this stage. I plan to use them all at 100Mbit , therefore i wanted to have a switch capable of this, eg 4 ports of 100Mbit (with a minimum of 8, so when required to plug other system to have spare, or on lan party :).
    The switch then connect to the cisco router with i guess an rj45, as i am not yet sure about that serial, console and other ports that cisco routers have. The wan port would the connect to the cable modem, operating at 4mbit, therefore i thought that i do not require more than 10mbit on the router side, not for other reason, as would ideally preffer a 100mbit. Would that decrease the performace?

    cable modem (rj45) ---> router (lan port 10/100Mbit) ---> switch (atleast4 ports 100mbit) ----> pc's nic (100Mbit)

    if i have got something wrong do let me know. anyhow

    thanks again
  8. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,128   +982

    you got it :giddy:

    you can also:
    modem ---> router --> switch ---> (4) pc's nic 
                   +----- (3) other pcs
    all PCs getting DHCP from the same router :)
  9. mke

    mke TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 90

    but why dynamic??? is there any benefit to this, i mean most of the time the systems are gonna be hard wired to their position for ages to come, once in a will my mate my bring a laptop and i would allocate an ip on the fly, or have one already set.

    what bogles me though is what you said earlier, that the backbone has to have more throughoutput, which would be nice, but i dont think is the case with the equipment i will get, or plan to get.

    also if this scenario is consider good? are the router 1603, and 1720, 1721, 1750 any good??? they start from about 10£ and go way up to 200£. i would prefer something easy on the pocket but have most features of the cisco ios and commands so i can experiment and pracrice a little,.


    thanks again
  10. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,128   +982

    dynamic(DHCP) makes the network admin simple. each system
    configures itself and you don't need to keep records of all the settings. :giddy:

    it's not thruput you impact but rather the reduction of contention and error recovery. If all NICs are 10/100, then that will be fine. Just don't allow a downstream device to have more bandwidth than any upstream device.
    let your pocket book make the choice -- r
  11. mke

    mke TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 90

    hi all again.

    ok basically i found a relative cheap router, the cisco 2500 series models, which seem decent enough to start with. however i have one main important question as i dont get that much info in regards to them with manuals and stuff.

    these routers are non modular, hence they have only a few slots on the back, like 3 pair of what looks to be an ethernet rj45 socket that say (aux, console, ???). also there are three pairs of what seems like serial 1, serial 2 and aux.
    can someone please give me some points to what each port connects to, like i would imagine my cable modem to connect with the rj45 aux??? but where would the switch connect to?
    Any advice on this much appreciated. also i found the series 2600 but they are a bit too expensive at the moment, over 100£ but can be expanded with cards which would be nice. either way, i still am on basic learning with them so the advice on them would be great.

    like if i get the 2500 series, can i connect 2-3 pcs? on their own somehow or having a switch is a necessity? does the cable modem with ethernet rj45 cable connect directly to this router??? where each port connects too ? :)


    thank you
  12. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,128   +982

    >the cisco 2500 series models ... can I ....

    have you tried google.com for a manual for the device?
  13. mke

    mke TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 90

    well yes, but i was wondering if one could give me a hint or two in the form of the setup i want to build (modem rj45 --> router --> switch -- pc) or (modem rj35 --> router --> pcs....)
    like what would connect to what on these routers

    serial 1 --connects to .. some device
    serial 2 --connects to .. some other device
    aux --.........

    i dont undestand yet how everything connect to one another, more used to el cheapo routers like linksys, netgear....


  14. sasistpi

    sasistpi TS Rookie

    hi to all,
    i am new to this group, help me in How to remove banner message in router.
    it's appearing at the time of telnet
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