1841 model and IOS

Unanswered Question
Sep 25th, 2009

Hello. I am new to Cisco products and this forum.

I bought 1841 for my organization, but I found out that I need to upgrade IOS in order to use Firewall, NAT and VPN.

Looks like I need to upgrade IOS. Because I did not buy it through Cisco reps, I could not get any help about it.

I am wondering if IOS upgrade can be done for free or the item description on the online store I bought from had a error.

I just need a new router for around 100 hosts.

Because 1841 does not those features, I am thinking of returning the item.

Any advice is appreciated.

Thank you very much.

I have this problem too.
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Paolo Bevilacqua Fri, 09/25/2009 - 03:52

You just need to work with a reputable Cisco reseller that will identify the upgrade part number and sell it to you.

At the same time a good idea would be to buy a support contract that give you access to software download.

Note anay IOS do NAT, so if you post here the exact IOS version it can be confirmed.

hsauwcusa Fri, 09/25/2009 - 05:18

Thank you very much for your reply. Because the item description on TigerDirect said 1841 seemed to support all features I need, I thought that it was the right model for us. But I will think about buying through Cisco sales reps.

Originally, when I was reading the manual, it says 1841 does not support DHCP. IT was the beginning of my concerns. In order to support DHCP, I was told that IOS version must be 12.4(24)T1. Fortunately, it was OK.

I have already packed the router in the box. But if my memory is correct, the IOS version was 12.5(24)T17 or something like that. When I was trying to configure it, it said Firewall, NAT and VPN are not supported - you need to upgrade IOS....

I am familiar with Linksys products, and I thought Cisco router is the best choice this time. But are all Cisco routers like that? I am still trying to get 871 or 1811, but I just want to avoid any extra work for IOS upgrades or additional purchase.

I am sorry, but I am totally new to Cisco products... (I do not know even whether this forum is right place to ask...)

Paolo Bevilacqua Fri, 09/25/2009 - 05:38

I think that for the very exact reason that you're new to cisco, you need to hire a professional for this job. If you try to do it alone, more frustration will follow.

You have been give incorrect information, you best choice is to retain the router that is an excellent product, just get someone that knows to work on it.

There are many many around.

hsauwcusa Fri, 09/25/2009 - 06:32

I am getting a sense that I need to work with cisco reps for now.

Our organization is non profit, and does not have much budget to hire somebody easily. To do these things in house, CCNA is good enough? I am thinking to train myself to do by myself comfortably. (I am still on the way to get Network+ now)

Paolo Bevilacqua Fri, 09/25/2009 - 06:48

Yes a smart CCNA should be able to sort it for you. If you want a competitive offer, contact me at address present in my profile.

Nothing prevents you to do it alone, but sometime business cannot wait and it's better to avoid mistakes.

Please remember to rate useful posts with the scrollbox below.

Joseph W. Doherty Fri, 09/25/2009 - 04:16

Generally, feature upgrades require purchase of a license for those features. IOS updates [usually patches] are sometimes "free" or require a maintenance contract. Specifics are often tied to the device and how it's marketed.

The store that you purchased the 1841 from, likely sold the unit with only the most basic IOS feature license. (Not so much a mistake on their part - more so for this type of [professional] equipment buyer knows their needs and what they are buying.)

Often we don't size network devices for some number of hosts, but for required performance (and features). Sometimes information is provided that a certain device supports X number of hosts, but this either assumes those hosts are some kind of "average" and/or there are hard limits on some features (e.g. VPN users). In your case, since you mention FW, NAT and VPN, I assume there's Internet involved and key questions would be the bandwidth to/from the Internet and the kind of VPN with perhaps number of VPN users involved.

With correct IOS feature set, the 1841 might be fine for your needs, but might not too; not enough information to be certain.


BTW, if you do shop for another router, the 800 series, I believe, comes with FW, NAT and VPN "standard", but doesn't offer as much performance as the 1800 series.

hsauwcusa Fri, 09/25/2009 - 06:29

Thank you very much for your kind reply. I did not expect such a quick response for me. I really appreciate all of you here.

As you mentioned at last, higher performance is also important to us. If I buy 1811 from the general online store, will I make a same mistake? In addition to what I need, we will start with 5Mbps/5MBps bandwidth, and I want to run a couple of small web/ftp severs and media server.

Richard Burts Fri, 09/25/2009 - 09:27


Figuring out what you need in Cisco IOS can be difficult to figure out, especially when you are new to Cisco. There are two important factors to consider: the version of code is important (for example 12.4(24)T is a current version of IOS) but the "feature set" is also important. There is a basic level of feature support which is sometimes referred to as IP BASE and there are other feature sets which support expanded sets of features. From your description I would guess that the post which suggests that you purchased the 1841 with IP BASE is correct. It is certainly true that the 1841 platform does support features like DHCP, NAT, VPN, and firewall, etc. But IP BASE does not include some of the features that you want. The features that you want are probably found in the Advanced Security feature set or perhaps the Advanced Enterprise feature set.

If you are going to purchase a different router you should verify what feature set is on the router that you are purchasing and get one that does support the features that you want.

If you will be starting with 5Mbps I would be careful about what router I purchased. I would certainly not get anything less powerful than the 1841 and I am a bit concerned how the 1841 will perform if you really expect to get close to 5Mbps throughput.

One resource that may help you with the various feature sets is the Cisco Feature Navigator:


In the Feature Navigator you can specify what features you want the the tool will identify what feature sets to include support for that feature.



Joseph W. Doherty Fri, 09/25/2009 - 11:36

"If I buy 1811 from the general online store, will I make a same mistake?"

Less likely; the "fixed" 1800 models come standard (I believe) with advanced IP services IOS and only advanced enterprise servies IOS as an option. This unlike the 1841's IP base IOS feature set (which I suspect is what you have), the "standard" 1811 is more likely to meet your needs.

I believe any of the 1800 series should be able to process 5/5 Mbps.

If you were planning interior routing, you also might want to consider using an "inexpensive" L3 switch. (For just 100 users, you should, I also think, be able to use just L2 on the inside; i.e. internal routing not necessary.)


From your other posts, with your inexperience you might want some additional help. When you start connecting your network to the Internet (and/or do wireless), network security becomes something that can easily be done incorrectly without experience.

hsauwcusa Fri, 09/25/2009 - 14:07

When I looked back the online store I bought from, there is no explanation about IOS. However, I found out that CDW, Cisco partner, has clear description about IOS.

If 800 series is questionable to our heavy use, definitely, I go with 1811 or 1812.

Is "Cisco IOS Advanced IP service" the keyword I should look for?

DHCP, NAT, Firewall, Security (blocking p2p, control bandwidth, block URL, etc), VNP, port forwarding are what we need for now.

(I am asking questions like a baby, but I really appreciate your warm replies and this community.)

Joseph W. Doherty Fri, 09/25/2009 - 16:11

"Is "Cisco IOS Advanced IP service" the keyword I should look for? "

Alas, probably not that simple. Rick's post, with the reference link to the feature navigator, would be used to find an IOS feature set that matches all your requirements.

On the fixed configuration 1800s (or the 800s), they're marketed more toward SMBs (such as yours), Cisco has simplified the available feature sets (two) and has likely placed features in advanced IP, that might only be found within other feature sets on other platforms. (BTW, just did a comparison between the two 1811 images; looks like Advanced IP Services likely has all you need, doubtful you would need what the Advanced Enterprise Services IOS adds on the 1811.)


"(I am asking questions like a baby, but I really appreciate your warm replies and this community.)"

We all start there, and some of us pre-date having something as nice as this forum to ask questions on. Regardless of when we started using these forums, or even our level of experience or knowledge, all(?) probably can learn from others (at least I do). There's also the old adage "out of the mouth of babes". ;)


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