Cisco 1841 router is intended for use in small and medium branch offices. This router is a low-end device making it one of the cheaper models produced by Cisco, and also Cisco 1841 is enterprise class and quite reliable. As we expect, Cisco 1841 router uses the IOS software and uses Cisco standard cards to provide nearly any type of interface we want in it.
Many people in IT are familiar with Cisco hardware and IOS so configuration and maintenance should be easier to attain than with another brand. This is rack mountable making it fit much better into the wiring closet. However it does only have a single power supply reflecting its intended place in the satellite offices rather than central routing for a large company.
This particular model/CISCO 1841 series comes with the following features:
- 2 10/100 Ethernet ports (copper - RJ45)
- 2 Wan Interface Card (WIC) slots for the ports of your choice
- 1 internal expansion slot
- standard pair of console/auxiliary console ports
- 1 USB port for console access (local device management)
- 128 Meg RAM; only expandable to 384 Meg.
- 1U height
The Cisco 1841 routers come with three-speed fans which are controlled by a thermostat in the chassis. The fan speed varies based on cooling demands which reduces noise and fan wear. Cisco 1841 comes with internal clocks, but is dependent on a non-replaceable battery. Should the battery ever fail you will need to return the router to Cisco for battery replacement, although it should be covered by the warrantee.
If you intend to use VoIP you will need a separate appliance as Cisco 1841 does not support either voice or VoIP despite having two WICs. As with most low-end routers having only one power supply is a bane, although with most typical locations it would be installed in, it simply means not being allowed redundant power supplies, and breakers. The Cisco 1841 router is a fine choice for a field office or a small office with less than 300 or so users depending on how they use it. It is overkill for a job of less than 20 nodes where I’d recommend a smaller router or a PIX firewall. It should be able to handle NAT, having more than one route to the internet or headquarters, as well as a reasonable amount of access control lists (ACLs).