Thursday, December 14, 2006

Cisco Equipment Buying and Configuration Tips for The Average Joe

Here are a few things you need to know up front when you plan to buy Cisco equipment for home or business use......

1. Buy new-never-used Cisco equipment from a reliable store or seller.

2. When you buy the equipment, don't forget to also buy the proper Smartnet contract for the equipment.

3. To make it easy for you, buy both the equipment and the Smartnet contract from the same store or seller; and have them register the equipment.

4. For most home users, Cisco 850 or 870 series router should be sufficient.

Now let's say you already have the equipment and it is time for installation and configuration. When you have no or limited knowledge of networking, here are some tips......

1. When you plan to connect the equipment to your ISP, make sure you have all the info you need. There are things you need to ask your ISP and other things you might need to ask your seller or store where you buy the Cisco equipment.

2. Questions to ask your ISP include.....

* Connection method to ISP: PPP (either PPPoE or PPPoA), static IP, DHCP (dynamically assigned)

* IP address you will get from your ISP (the public IP address) along with the subnet mask, default gateway, and DNS server IP address

* Equipment speed setting necessary: full duplex, half duplex, or auto

3. Questions to ask your seller or store include.....

* MAC address (or addresses) of your Cisco equipment

* Cisco TAC or Support Center phone number

4. Once you have all the necessary info, follow the Quick Start Up instructions that come with the equipment to install and setup.

At first glimpse, it looks like there is a lot to prepare when dealing with Cisco equipment. Well, don't quit just yet. :)

All those things are necessary (sometimes required) to make things go smoothly. Keep in mind that Cisco equipment is built with reliability as the #1 priority. Therefore Cisco equipment can be "picky" in terms of installation, configuration, and support. All of these are to ensure that everything works just as it is supposed to.

You might ask, "why do I not have to go through this with Netgear, Linksys, DLink, or similar brands?". Yes, those brands are easy to use....but are they? However that easiness comes with big consequences. These brands sacrifice a lot of reliability. That is why when you poke into Netgear, Linksys, or DLink forums; you almost always find horror stories that stem from unreliable equipment.

So prepare yourself. There might be a few bumps in the ride. Relax, it is only a process. Cisco is always there to help anyway. Once you get through it, you can just leave your Cisco equipment alone and should never have to touch it again. It runs solid as a rock once you get it right.

For a great resource for finding quality reputable Cisco dealers and installers in your area we recommend: Cisco Equipment Dealers & Installers

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks for the valuable information. However, I tend to disagree with one point. Buying Used Cisco can be extremely benefitial if done right.
Please reference my article ont he subject of what to know when buying Used Cisco. Thanks and let me know what you think. Here is the link:

8:57 AM  

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