Ask the Expert

Which Cisco router should I get as a starting network pro?

What kind of router do you suggest for a beginner like me: a Cisco 805 or Cisco 1720?

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Either router are an inexpensive solution to get your feet wet and learn the Cisco IOS, however, both models are considered "outdated" in terms of the new exam objectives. Cisco is pushing towards utilizing the integrated service routers such as the 1800s.

However, if you are in a financial bind and can't get the new routers, I recommend a Cisco 1721. You can still find them cheap out there, but they also support modular cards for networking and the Security Device Manage (SDM) GUI interface configuration.

This was first published in July 2008

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