[SOLVED] Cisco 2900 series router questions

mangaman

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Jun 13, 2015
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My friend gave me a Cisco 2900 series router, because he says that it is outdated and no longer needs it. I looked on Cisco's website and it states that the end-of-life was in September 9, 2016. Cisco will also be ending security hardware support on December 8, 2020.

My questions are:
  • What can I do with this router?
  • What environment is the router mostly suited for? (Businesses, schools, home use etc.)
  • Why do network routers (not WiFi routers) need security support?
  • Once the security support ends, can I still use the 2900 series router safely in a network?
 
As a non corporate user you really don't care about end of life or end of support dates. One of us average persons can not afford a service contract and without a service contract you can not even download patches for a router. It is in the grey area if you can even use the version of software that is currently loaded. There license says the software can not be transferred but I suspect they do not want to try to force that issue in the courts.

So even if you bought their newer models you have no support unless you pay for it and it is not cheap. You need to be very very suspect of any IOS images you find on the internet.

There are many different models of 2900. This type of router is mostly used when you need the special WAN interfaces it provides. It allows the connection of actual phone type circuits like T1/E1 or things like DS3 to the router. It also can take may other boards many times related to VoIP or PBX abilities.

As a simple ethernet to ethernet type of router it pretty lacking. The cpu is fairly small so it limits the amount of traffic you can pass. Now this is not just because it is old. Cisco designs these boxes so that if you want more data throughput you must buy a faster device.

Real physical routers are fun to play with if you are pursuing a career in commercial networking. You learn things about how you physically get things connected between routers. These issues are almost impossible to simulate so you see very little on certification tests but the knowledge is critical for someone who actually works with these devices.

From a actual "usefulness?" to say your average consumer it is likely best to sell the scrap metal and invest it in something else.
 
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LWFG001

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Apr 12, 2017
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My friend gave me a Cisco 2900 series router, because he says that it is outdated and no longer needs it. I looked on Cisco's website and it states that the end-of-life was in September 9, 2016. Cisco will also be ending security hardware support on December 8, 2020.

My questions are:
  • What can I do with this router?
  • What environment is the router mostly suited for? (Businesses, schools, home use etc.)
  • Why do network routers (not WiFi routers) need security support?
  • Once the security support ends, can I still use the 2900 series router safely in a network?
The big problem is that Cisco won't be updating the firmware after December 2020 to protect the router rendering it vulnerable to hackers.

That said, you can still console into the router and learn how to use the Cisco IOS (internal operating system). If you ever wanted to become a CCNA, having a Cisco router to work with is a big giant plus! Even if you don't seek such a designation, the knowledge will aid you if you ever need to use other Cisco devices.

Of course, if Cisco routing is not a career track you intend to pursue the router can still be used as a paper weight ;).
 
As a non corporate user you really don't care about end of life or end of support dates. One of us average persons can not afford a service contract and without a service contract you can not even download patches for a router. It is in the grey area if you can even use the version of software that is currently loaded. There license says the software can not be transferred but I suspect they do not want to try to force that issue in the courts.

So even if you bought their newer models you have no support unless you pay for it and it is not cheap. You need to be very very suspect of any IOS images you find on the internet.

There are many different models of 2900. This type of router is mostly used when you need the special WAN interfaces it provides. It allows the connection of actual phone type circuits like T1/E1 or things like DS3 to the router. It also can take may other boards many times related to VoIP or PBX abilities.

As a simple ethernet to ethernet type of router it pretty lacking. The cpu is fairly small so it limits the amount of traffic you can pass. Now this is not just because it is old. Cisco designs these boxes so that if you want more data throughput you must buy a faster device.

Real physical routers are fun to play with if you are pursuing a career in commercial networking. You learn things about how you physically get things connected between routers. These issues are almost impossible to simulate so you see very little on certification tests but the knowledge is critical for someone who actually works with these devices.

From a actual "usefulness?" to say your average consumer it is likely best to sell the scrap metal and invest it in something else.
 
Reactions: LWFG001

mangaman

Reputable
Jun 13, 2015
494
37
4,990
74
So even if you bought their newer models you have no support unless you pay for it and it is not cheap. You need to be very very suspect of any IOS images you find on the internet.
Ya, Cisco want's users of the 2900 series to upgrade to the 4000 series. Cheapest I could find was $450, and that is for small branches. At least I can play around with it and learn how it works.

Any articles or websites that teach users how to console into the router? This does seem very interesting.
 

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