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SumTingWongg

join:2003-12-20
San Diego, CA

Cisco 831 or Netgear FV328 or ?

I'd like to get a router for heavy home, light office use. When comparing the spec's for the 831 and the FV328, the VPN throughput is 2MBPS, whereas the Netgear is 15 MBPS. This may be due to the VPN hardware acceleration on the Netgear. Netgear states the WAN to LAN throughput at 50+ MBPS. Cisco does not list that spec.

I am NOT an advanced user, and will only make very occasional use of the VPN aspect.

Any recommendations?


ToasterMan78
Premium
join:2003-11-26
said by SumTingWongg:
I'd like to get a router for heavy home, light office use. When comparing the spec's for the 831 and the FV328...
I have an 831, but don’t use it for VPN. Some of the spec info is not on the website - call Cisco at »www.cisco.com/en/US/ordering/or3···cts.html for info. The 831 is a very stable router, especially at high loads where typical home-user routers "freeze" and need to be reset.

I typically works right out of the box for basic routing. However it is not as easy to configure as it has a GUI for only a basic setup but uses a command line interface for the more sophisticated configurations (there is a section in the GUI for configuring VPN, but I never tried to configure VPN).

I am not familiar with the FVS318/FVM318, but netgear is reputed by some to be a bit more stable than Linksys, but somewhat harder to configure than a Linksys.

SumTingWongg

join:2003-12-20
San Diego, CA
Thanks TM. Slight correction, the Netgear model is FVL328 (I had FV328). I can get the Cisco through academic discount for about $250, and the Netgear for about $350. The only problem I see with getting the Cisco is that I, no insult intended, have no wish to become a Cisco expert. I don't mind paying for quality, and can't find many reviews on the stability of the Netgear unit.


ToasterMan78
Premium
join:2003-11-26

4 edits
said by SumTingWongg:
...I have no wish to become a Cisco expert....
Understood. I knew nothing about Cisco when I got the router, and the Netgear would be easier to configure. That said, here are reviews (the only ones I could find) of the FVL328 at »reviews.cnet.com/NETGEAR_FVL328_···?tag=box and »www.epinions.com/content_118911307396 and
»www.wbthub.com/Netgear-FVL328-Pr···0007E6YD . And here is a review of a Cisco 806 (not the 831, but a predecessor - I can't find an 831 review as most home users don't use them) at »www.modemhelp.org/reviews/august2002.html .

As an example of the versatility of the Cisco, which is SNMP-enabled (an internet standardized protocol that allows the router to utilize bandwidth monitoring software), I could use very nice software for bandwidth monitoring (see »Re: Banned Users Need Network Monitoring Software? ) but I had to config the router at the command line interface for this particular function to work(see »Re: Banned Users Need Network Monitoring Software? ).

SumTingWongg

join:2003-12-20
San Diego, CA
Wow, thanks for the reviews. Guess I'll stay far away from the Netgear. I'm going to call Cisco on Monday to ask them what the WAN-to-LAN throughput is on the 831.
Someone else suggested I give Zyxel a look. Any opinions on those?

BTW, did you say you did measure the throughput on yours?


I_Route
Premium,VIP
join:2003-09-19
Merrimack, NH
The c831 will never get more than 10 Mbps WAN-2-LAN since the WAN is a 10 Mbps interface. To add you never want to sustain more than 70% utilization on a link for an extended period of time.

I didn't read anything on the NetGear but it seems a little funny that they would say 15 Mbps VPN when you would only need that if you had say an entire branch office and a HUGE lease line to pass it.....Perhaps it is intended to be a concentrator.

I have a c831 at home with an EZVPN connection to corporate and I have my IP phone, 2 PCs, AP, etc. off of it and it works perfect.

Do you have a connection thru your ISP larger than 10 Mbps?

Later,
Jeff


nozero
Eschew Obfuscation
Premium,MVM,ExMod 2003-06
join:1999-12-29
InnerSanctum
kudos:3
reply to SumTingWongg
Welcome to BBR and the Cisco Forum SumTingWongg See Profile and congrats on your first post. Glad to have you here!

SumTingWongg

join:2003-12-20
San Diego, CA
reply to I_Route
said by I_Route:

Do you have a connection thru your ISP larger than 10 Mbps?

No, it's a standard cable modem connection. But, and feel free to correct me, after a certain percentage network utilization, efficiency drops quite a bit. I run a game server and a VOIP (for the game - on a separate machine in case it crashes) server from behind the firewall. I can see a tremendous increase in packet collisions as traffic ramps up. I'd like to eliminate the router as a bottleneck source, and I don't mind stepping up to a quality unit. I even considered, and I know it's WAY overkill, using a Cisco 1721 I saw on Ebay for $400 used. I just don't have the time or desire to take a Cisco class.


ToasterMan78
Premium
join:2003-11-26
reply to SumTingWongg
said by SumTingWongg:
Someone else suggested I give Zyxel a look. Any opinions on those?
I have heard they are a step up from the home-user class. You may want to post a question in the Zyxel forum. Or IM Anav (at »/useremail/u/431519 ) , who seems to be extremely knowledgeable on Zyxel....
quote:

BTW, did you say you did measure the throughput on yours?

No, in my bandwidth link (at »Re: Banned Users Need Network Monitoring Software? ) I was demonstrating how you could measure bandwidth easily with the router, but I didn't try to get a maximum throughput number.

Just to be fair, I should say I am biased towards Cisco because I am a stability-freak (some may say this is a fetish, heh). I figure the up-front time spent on a more complex but stable router saves me time down the road on a less complex but less stable one.

SumTingWongg

join:2003-12-20
San Diego, CA
TM, do you run high loads through your 831? If so, do you see more collisions, or a decrease in performance?

As an off-the-wall question, I have seen the 1720 and 1721 (Cisco) on Ebay for about $450 with the ENET (for cable modem) WIC. I know it's like shooting a rabbit with an elephant gun, but I would be sure it's not the limiting factor. Soooo, two questions:
Does either of those models have a programming GUI like the 831, or are they strictly command-line?
Is getting one of those for heavy home use utterly ridiculous?


ToasterMan78
Premium
join:2003-11-26

2 edits
said by SumTingWongg:
TM, do you run high loads through your 831? If so, do you see more collisions, or a decrease in performance
When I ran my “hypothetical” web server (at »Re: Banned Users Need Network Monitoring Software? ) I went from .15gig/day to 1.5 gig/day traffic, and my Address translation tables went from about 6 to over 300 – all this with NO degradation. I didn’t record collisions, but I remember at one point over 1 million hits in one day. Absolutely no change in performance

quote:
Does either of those models have a programming GUI like the 831, or are they strictly command-line?
(see below)

quote:

Is getting one of those for heavy home use utterly ridiculous?
The 831 should answer all your router issues. VoIP I don’t know about.

Not familiar with the 1700 series but from the website (and my own knowledge) here’s the deal:

There are two types of GUI’s for Cisco routers, the CRWS (Cisco router web setup tool) and the SDM (Security Device Manager).

CRWS GUI presentation (can be used with the 831) at
»www.cisco.com/warp/public/779/sm···crws.htm tells what routers can use it

SDM GUI presentation (this GUI can be used on the 1700 series)
»www.cisco.com/warp/public/779/sm···m?NO_NAV

I am only familiar with CRWS. It is the more mature of the two. It has settings for “game server.” I got it working, but I had to make some changes to my Internet Explorer version of Java as shown here (»Re: I need big time help (cisco soho91 router) ) . I had to call a Cisco tech but on a new router you get free tech support for 90 days.

BTW, if you order the Cisco router from an “authorized Cisco Reseller” and therefore have a valid warranty (as opposed to gray market or used), you get you can get a Cisco tech on the phone and they can walk you through setting up CRWS or anything else there is an issue with. They have the best tech support service in the world (outside Microsoft ) IMO.

800 series router general info (mentions CRWS demo) at
»www.cisco.com/en/US/products/hw/···dex.html

1700 series router general info (mentions SDM GUI)
»www.cisco.com/en/US/products/hw/···dex.html


I_Route
Premium,VIP
join:2003-09-19
Merrimack, NH
reply to SumTingWongg
When you say collisions, which part of the network are you talking about. The c831 has a built in switch. If you were to use a switch rather than a hub on your LAN segment you would lessen the chance of collisions.

I run the IOS firewall, EZVPN, IDS, etc. on my c831 and I can talk on my IP phone, surf the net and download programs all with no problems. Since gaming uses smaller packets the pps is much higher, like VoIP. Make sure your modem upstream connection can handle what you want to send out, bps and pps wise.

Another thing to remember is to make sure all your nodes are FULL DUPLEX. This will also cut down on collisions.

Later,
Jeff


ToasterMan78
Premium
join:2003-11-26
reply to SumTingWongg
said by SumTingWongg:
...I can see a tremendous increase in packet collisions as traffic ramps up...
According to Cisco (at »www.cisco.com/en/US/tech/tk389/t···6d.shtml ) “Excessive collisions indicate a problem. Common causes are devices connected as full-duplex on a shared Ethernet, broken NICs, or simply too many stations on the shared medium.”

SumTingWongg

join:2003-12-20
San Diego, CA
I can't thank you enough for all the advice. I think I'll get the 831 next week, as it seems to be the most reliable of all the models/brands I've researched. I can't find much negative commentary on it, and your input has been invaluable.

The 1721 is ridiculous for home use, unless running many game servers, in my opinion, so I'm satisfied I am making the right choice. That, coupled with the CRWS interface, make the 831 the best choice.

TM, your second to last post was excellent, and I appreciate the time you took.


MrTwister
Premium
join:2003-09-27
Hilliard, OH
reply to SumTingWongg
Dont forget that cable and most xdsl (with
sdsl being the exception), are not full duplex
connections. I have a 3m down/384k up cable
and 1.5m down/256k up adsl connection, and
I watch my throuput tank off the charts when
Im doing large email uploads, or filetransfers,
even audio streaming. Anything that uses the
uplink side. QoS would seem to be logical answer
to this, something that Im about to tackle with a
c831 router.