Tip & How-To about Computers & Internet

How to Select a Very Right Router for Home or Business

No matter which group you belong to or stay with? If you want to connect outside world through computer, router is an essential element of modern home and business networks. A router lets your computer connect to the Web to read your favorite Web sites, check e-mail, IM friends, or teleconference with colleagues....

When we speak of routers, I usually think of Cisco---a network giant, even though so many others such as Nortel, D-link, Netgear, etc. Because Cisco router is considered as the top choice while choosing a router for home or office, and the more important is that Cisco System offer SOHO, small, medium and large-sized offices or enterprises with different types of routers to meet their different needs.

As we known, the popular Cisco router in the market are Cisco 800 series, Cisco 1800 series, Cisco 1900 series, Cisco 2800, Cisco 2900, Cisco 3800, 3900, 7200 and 7600, etc.(for small to large businesses), also Cisco Linksys-E series for home.

More choice, harder to select the very one for family or for enterprise. But it doesn't matter if you evaluate and weigh the following eight criteria that can help you figure out which router best fits your needs.

Your Usage and Router's Performance For home or for office (small or large size?), first be clear about it. Different demands require different performance of router. For example, choosing a one for family, you may just want to surf on the internet, no need of a router as a heavy-duty gamer or a small business, Cisco Linksys-E series will fit you. Because you know the more expensive the router, the more features it will contain. However, it doesn't necessarily buy a higher performance router. And for business, especially for large or head offices, router's higher performance and safety is vital elements which must be considered while buying. Cisco 1800, 1900, 2800, 2900(for small to medium-sized business or enterprise branch office, Cisco 3800, Cisco 3900, Cisco 7200, Cisco 7600(for medium to large-sized business and enterprise head office), these types can meet companies' various requirements...

Expandability The router usually has a default number of interfaces-but some routers, such as the 3600 series, have none. So, pay attention to the number of interfaces you can add on top of the default.

Router's Integrated Services This refers to functionality supported by a router that previously required separate boxes. For example, a 16- or 32-port switching module in a router negates the need for an Ethernet switch; having a firewall, VPN server, and IDS/IPS sensor in a router can negate the need for a firewall, VPN concentrator, and dedicated IDS/IPS appliance.

Support and Reliability Cisco routers are traditionally reliable, and Cisco is always offering a high level of support. When purchasing a router, you will have various levels of support options. Select the best level for your organization. Of course, using these features in your decision-making process requires some research. You could peruse the Cisco Routers Product Portfolio, scan through the specifications, and select the router yourself. Or, you could also use the criteria above to work with are seller or directly with Cisco to determine which routers offer the features you need.

Warranties Router manufacturers always provide a warranty package together with their equipment. The length and terms of these warranties vary widely. A better warranty may indicate a manufacturer more committed to support their products, while a lesser warranty could indicate a somewhat lesser standard of product quality or reliability. Always consider router warranties when making your purchase decision.

Router's Cost Router manufacturers or router suppliers (like Cisco router supplier) sometimes offer rebates or other discounts from the full retail price of their routers. So you can buy a suitable router at a very great price while router is at a big discount. (Routerswitch.com, hardware.com, often have big discount for hot routers, like Cisco 1800, Cisco 1900, Cisco 2800, Cisco 2900, etc.

Actually, besides considering router's basic function, performance, quality and style, you must notice router's price. So you'd better make a comparison among different routers in order to choose a highly efficient and cost-effective one.

More you need pay attention to while buying a router...

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