Cisco 871W Wireless Router does it all

For a device that costs a little more than $500 (some features like BGP or QoS require an Advanced IP IOS license), you certainly get your money's worth. For IT departments that want to offer a seamless router-based IPSEC VPN connection to remote workers but don't want to extent the security perimeter to untrusted computers in an employee at home, the Cisco 871W is one of the most effective ways of doing it.

[Update: Part one of actual tutorial has been posted.]

Cisco 871W Router
I've been testing and reviewing a Cisco 871W Wireless Router for the last few weeks and I'm using it as my primary router at home (yes this is the one I hooked up to my generator during the power outage).  The main purpose of this exercise is to create a series of tutorials on the Cisco 871W Wireless Router because it does so many things.  While the configuration is not exactly like the bigger Cisco devices it shares features with and it's limited in many ways, it does give one a huge leap in Cisco knowledge on a broad range of devices which is very useful for an IT career.

Here are some of the key topics we'll be covering in this series to give you a head start:

  • Cisco command line interface familiarity
  • Cisco IOS Router
  • Cisco IOS Layer 2 and 3 Firewall
  • 4-port IOS switch with VLAN (Virtual Local Area Network) configuration and 802.1q tagging capability on up to 4 VLANs
  • Wireless access point with multiple Virtual SSID and VLAN assignment capability on 10 wireless VLANs and 10 virtual SSIDs
  • IPSEC tunnels
  • Remote access IPSEC VPN server
  • Remote access SSLVPN server with full IP tunneling support
  • Firewall policy between the VLANs and physical interfaces
  • Enhanced QoS policies
  • IP phone VLAN support
  • Enhanced routing functionality such as policy based routing
  • Enhanced routing protocols like OSPF, EIGRP, and BGP

For a device that costs a little more than $500 (some features like BGP or QoS require an Advanced IP IOS license), you certainly get your money's worth.  For IT departments that want to offer a seamless router-based IPSEC VPN connection to remote workers but don't want to extend the security perimeter to untrusted computers in an employee at home, the Cisco 871W is one of the most effective ways of doing it.  I'll start posting an introductory article on the 871W router tomorrow.

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