In article , skurlock wrote: :Very little Cisco experience. :Recently decided to change that and picked up a few Cisco related :books. I'm looking to buy a couple inexpensive routers to practice on. :Don't want to spend more than $500 total.
:Can anyone give me model numbers of a couple :decent routers I can look for?
: Appears there's a lot of 25xx versions :that are relatively cheap but I really don't know one model from :another.
The 2500 series is nearly completely obsolete; only two of the models can still be ordered, and they aren't long for this world. If I recall correctly the 2500 were mostly 10 Mbit half duplex.
You are going to find it difficult to find two routers for $US500. The prices you are looking at on ebay are mostly for hardware only: except for a few authorized dealers, when you buy a used Cisco device, you do -not- get a right to use the software, and you must "relicense" the software that is there. If the used machine is old (as the 2500s certainly are) then the IOS version on it is not likely to be at all recent: you have to pay Cisco another fee to buy a more current version. If you also want to change the basic facilities that the device can handle (e.g., you want AppleTalk, or firewall services) then there is yet another fee to change "feature sets".
The devices that might still be affordable on your $US500 budget even after the various fees are the 800 series (e.g., 801) and 820 series (e.g., 827). Those are fixed configuration routers. Also, the SOHO 70 series might be affordable as well: there are a lot of similarities between the SOHO series and the 800 series, with the main difference being that the SOHO series is aimed at a much much smaller office (e.g., 5 devices.)
With the budget you mention, I suspect that the only other thing you will be able to afford after all the fees is possibly a couple of 1600 routers with the most basic of "feature sets". But changing feature sets on the 1600 would likely push you outside your budget.