We have started working with Cisco Packet Tracer again, which I am happy about. The tool is a great way to learn networking and try out many of the aspects of network setup and security. One of which is the hardware itself, although it is not really all that up to date.
As I have learned there are different functions in the IOS for the different hardware. In some of the more advanced routers with enough extra module space for adding a lot of cabling – there are some of the functions that are missing – like login-block and so on. This means that you can either have a great deal of ports/connections OR have more functionality. For some reason that I wish I could ask a Cisco manufacturer manager about 🙂
Anyways, my favourite router so far is the Cisco 2126XM router with WIC-2T and NM-2FE2W modules installed. That is a great combo ready for almost anything with 4 Fast ethernet ports and 4 Serial Connections.