What is Cisco Router? | Features, Benefits, Types, and More

What is Cisco Router? | Features, Benefits, Types, and More

A Cisco Router is a piece of hardware that facilitates communication across networks. It’s a tool that enables conversation between computers on a network. This article will explore the Cisco Router’s features, functioning, and importance.

The Cisco Router is a device that routes data communication between different networks. This device allows users to connect to the web and other networking hardware. It performs the network’s routing function and ensures that the data reaches the destination in the fastest and safest way possible. It also allows users to keep track of the network’s health and performance and manage network traffic.

The Cisco Router is a networking equipment that helps data packets get to where they need to go. This device uses an algorithm that determines the shortest path to redirect data packets. This algorithm considers network traffic density, quality, and other parameters to select the quickest and safest route.

In addition, it is an essential tool that makes data transfer over networks faster and safer. This device allows network administrators to control and redirect network traffic. It is also compatible with other devices used on the web and provides complete integrity on the network.

History of the Cisco Router

Despite the rapid global expansion of the information technology sector, products in this area are undergoing significant transformations. The router is an example of this device that is crucial in connecting to the internet and sharing information. Routers take data from different networks, carry out the routing process, and send it to the target network.

When people hear the word “router,” Cisco is likely one of the first brands to pop into their heads. In 1984, the company’s doors opened in San Francisco. As their founders, Leonard Bosack and Sandy Lerner worked at Stanford University; they realized they needed a router device to connect to the university’s computer network. The information technology business is expanding rapidly in many regions, but related hardware is also developing significantly.

In 1986, Cisco launched its first commercial router. This router, called the “Cisco 2500 Series,” contained an Ethernet hub with eight ports. IBM’s Token Ring technology was the foundation for many of the first serial routers. However, Cisco invested in Ethernet technology, which helped the company succeed.

During the 1990s, Cisco kept its position as the leader in router technology and made new products. To meet the needs of ISPs, Cisco began manufacturing high-capacity routers at about this time. These routers have made internet connections faster and more reliable by offering higher speeds on more extensive networks.

In the 2000s, Cisco kept its top spot in router technology and started making other network devices, security devices, and software. During this period, the company’s revenue and customer base increased considerably.

In the 2010s, the company continued to work on other network devices and routers. During this period, the company developed more powerful and flexible routers. These routers can better adapt to faster internet speeds and increased data traffic.

In the early 2020s, Cisco started offering new solutions, such as the Cisco DNA Center, which uses artificial intelligence to manage its networks automatically. By investing in open-source technology and providing a variety of cloud services, it has also been a frontrunner in the digital transformation process.

By the middle of the 2020s, Cisco was also working on 5G technology. Cisco wants to be an industry leader in 5G because of the significance of this development in communications and Internet infrastructure.

What Does Cisco Do?

The Cisco router is one of the things used to send data over the network. These devices provide data flow between different devices in the network. It improves the speed at which information may move between networked devices and ensures that data sent over the network reaches its intended destination.

The main job of this Cisco device is to tell the network how to send data packets. Data packets are bits of information transmitted between different devices in the network. Many other network devices process these packets as they move from the source device to the target device. It guarantees packets reach their destination promptly and correctly.

These include the processor, memory, interfaces, and routing table. The router’s processor performs the necessary calculation operations for processing and routing data packets. The memory may hold data such as a network’s routing table. Interfaces allow the device to communicate with different network devices.

Any router’s routing table determines which network interfaces will reach which targets. The routing table correctly sends data packets between devices in the network. The routing table facilitates the quickest and most direct path for data packets to reach their final destination.

Several routing techniques allow data packets to be sent quickly and efficiently between nodes in a network. The algorithms decide which way to send the data packets. It ensures that data packets reach their destination as rapidly as feasible while keeping the grid from overloading.

What are Cisco Router Models?

Cisco is a leading company in network management and telecommunications equipment. The company provides several models suitable for implementation in various scales of network environments. Some of these router models are listed below:

ISR (Integrated Services Router) Routers

It is a router series designed for small and large organizations. The most popular models in this series include the Cisco 1000, 4000, and 9000. Broadband, wireless LAN, VPN, load balancing, and security capabilities are all available in these models. In addition, these models allow the addition of various additional features thanks to their modular structures.

ASR (Aggregation Services Router) Routers

It is a series of broadband and IP/MPLS spine network routers. The series’ three most well-known members are ASR 9000, ASR 1000, and ASR 900. These models offer high-speed WAN connections, load balancing, high security, backup features, and MPLS support.

RV (Small Business Router) Routers

It is a router series designed for small offices and home offices. The most popular models of this series include the RV160, RV260, and RV340. These models offer wireless LAN access, VPN connections, load balancing, and security features. Installation and administration are similarly straightforward because of the intuitive web interface.

Catalyst Series Routers

The Cisco Catalyst series is a series of routers designed for enterprise networks. The most popular models in this series include the Catalyst 9000, 8000, and 6000. These models offer high-speed WAN connections, load balancing, security features, MPLS support, and virtual private network (VPN) connections. In addition, these models enable the management of large-scale networks thanks to their powerful performance.

Meraki Routers

Cisco Meraki Series Routers are leading routers with cloud-based management capabilities. Among the most popular models of this series is the Meraki MX Series. These routers meet the needs of businesses by providing high performance, security, and flexibility. Because of cloud computing and autonomous configuration, they are also simple to manage.

UBR (Universal Broadband Router) Routers

Cable TV is a router series designed for service providers. The most popular models in this series include the uBR10012, uBR7200, and uBR10k. These routers serve cable TV service providers with high capacity and security features.

What are the Cisco Security Features for Network Devices?

Many businesses rely on Cisco routers, an effective and reliable component of secure networks. Security protocols help shield networks from intrusion and other forms of attack.

The first of them is the day of the week. Cisco constantly updates its routers’ software, often including new security measures. You should always use the most recent version of the software running on your router.

Second, malicious traffic that needs to be monitored and detected must be blocked. Cisco routers have various security features that can identify and block such traffic. For example, you can use a security wall or IPS (intrusion prevention system) to monitor and block malicious traffic.

Lastly, the security of the router benefits from the implementation of reliable authentication and authorization procedures. It works with several authentication protocols and offers other security features. For example, you can protect the router management interface with a password to limit who can use it.

  1. Firewall: The network device has a built-in firewall feature. This feature protects against external connections and traffic. It monitors links and traffic coming to you and blocks them according to specific criteria. Thus, scanning router updates and installing the most recent versions is essential.
  2. VPN: The VPN capabilities of the network equipment are another plus. VPN connections allow remote users working on your network to connect to the web securely. For this goal, it employs a variety of protocols, including PPTP, L2TP, and IPSec.
  3. Access Control List (ACL): The network device’s Access Control List (ACL) feature controls access to particular network portions. This feature lets you determine which IP addresses, ports, or protocols can access which sources on your network. This way, you can control which users access your network.
  4. Secure Connections: The network appliance supports encrypted connections using the SSL and SSH protocols. These protocols allow remote users working on your network to connect securely to the web.
  5. Update: Cisco releases updates quickly when security vulnerabilities are detected. It is vital for the safety of your router. Updates improve your network’s security by updating the router’s software.
  6. DoS (Denial of Service) Attacks: The network device can defend against DoS assaults as well. DoS attacks are attacks that target your network and disconnect it. It can detect DoS attacks and protect your network connection by blocking traffic.
  7. Intrusion Prevention System (IPS): The network device has security features like the intrusion prevention system (IPS). IPS monitors network traffic to block malicious traffic and detect attacks. At the same time, IPS also detects and prevents abnormal activity by examining network traffic. It improves network safety and blocks harmful traffic thanks to these capabilities.

How do I first install a Cisco Router with Putty and Console Connection?

The first installation of the router is the cornerstone of your network. There are a few possible approaches to this. However, installing the Putty and console connection is one of the most common and basic methods.

Step 1: Connect the Device

Connecting your device to your network is required before setting up your router. This process necessitates an Ethernet wire plugged into the back of the router. Connect this cable to a switch or hub to which your devices are connected.

Step 2: Connect to the Console

The first step in configuring a Cisco router is to connect it to a computer using a console cable. Using the console cable, you may click the router backport to your computer’s serial port. This connection allows you to use Putty to do the initial device setup.

Step 3: Download and Install Putty

Putty is a free terminal emulator for Windows operating systems. The initial setup requires the Putty application, which must be downloaded and installed. You can download it from Putty’s official website.

Step 4: Access the Putty Interface

An IP address and port number are required when you launch Putty. Put in the router’s Internet Protocol address. Just enter “COM1” in the “Port number:” field and hit the “Open” button. The console connection will begin here.

Step 5: Performing Setup

Press Enter on the Console Connection screen. After that, a command prompt will appear, allowing you to set the router’s defaults. You can configure the router at this stage by typing the commands required to complete the basic settings.

Step 6: Save and Exit

After you have configured the Cisco network device, type the following commands to save and exit the changes you have made:

Router#copy running-config startup-config
Router#exit

How to Manage Router?

Managing the device is one of the most important tasks of network managers. They play an essential role in ensuring your network works efficiently. Router management involves configuring, managing, and monitoring the device.

The command line interface (CLI) allows for more rapid and efficient configuration than graphical user interfaces (GUI). CLI offers more powerful and flexible configuration options and sometimes responds more quickly.

Cisco’s software is another option for administering Cisco routers. This software informs network administrators about the routers’ status, performance, and configuration. The most well-known Cisco software is:

  • Cisco IOS: The Cisco IOS software is the backbone of every Cisco router. This software allows for the administration, configuration, and management of routers. The Cisco IOS command-line interface (CLI) is used for managing and gives network managers insight into the routers’ health.
  • Cisco Prime Infrastructure: It lets network managers control routers, switches, wireless networks, and other Cisco network devices. With this program, network managers may monitor and control several aspects of the network, including its performance, devices, and alerts. Also, Cisco Prime Infrastructure allows network administrators to set up and update routers.
  • Cisco Network Assistant: It provides the ideal software for small and medium-sized networks. Network administrators use this software to manage, monitor, and configure switches and routers. It is also user-friendly with its graphical interface and offers ease of use for network administrators.
  • Cisco Security Manager: It provides network administrators with various tools for the security of routers. The program offers a straightforward user interface, making it simple for network administrators to configure firewalls, rules, and IPSec virtual private networks.

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