Can someone give me some kind of general overview of the differences between the ASA devices and the 800 (specifically 871) series routers?
Mainly interested in VPN and security, but anything that can give me an idea of which one fits my scenario is greatly appreciated.
I have multiple agencies that I am setting up, some small (1 WinXP), some medium (5-15 WinXP, 1-10 VPN), some large (for me) (10-100 WinXP, 10-50 VPN).
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The ASA firewalls are definitely faster than the 800-series routers, but for smaller offices (10 users), it may not matter. I like the ASA 5505 because it has a built-in 8-port switch while the 871 only has a 4-port switch.
One thing to remember is that although the ASA does have SOME routing capabilities...it is first and foremost a FIREWALL. Thus you will lose a bit of flexibility in going with an ASA that you might have in a router. (eg: I don't think an ASA can be a "router on a stick" with packets being routed in&out on the same interface)
On the other hand, on the 871 router with the firewall feature set, you have to make sure the firewall features are enabled and configured... by default the ASA is a firewall...you don't have to do anything except plug it in and the firewall features are automatically running.
Thats my view anyway