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HWIC-4ESW= for WAN connections?

Can I use a HWIC-4ESW= 4-port switch card to connect 2 fiber links (already converted to ethernet) into a Cisco 2811 router? I need to configure the 2 links for load balancing and failover.

I have been told by my reseller that I need to purchase an L3-capable card instead for connecting any WAN interfaces.

Any help will be greatly appreciated.


Hall of Fame Super Gold

Re: HWIC-4ESW= for WAN connections?

Reseller is right and a L3 capable card would be better choice. For example, hwic-1fe. The reason is, once you do vlans and try to use the switch card as multiple interface, unexpected issues can show up and you would not be supported by cisco.

That is not to say that your configuration wouldn't work even with the switch card.

Hope this helps, please rate post if it does!

Re: HWIC-4ESW= for WAN connections?

Hi Michel,

It depends on what is exactly your requirement.If you use a HWIC-4ESW on cisco 2811 router then you want to do routing functions and can add any other module. All should be run on software.If you use L3 switch to terminate any wan interfaces then all should be run on hardware(ASIC) you cannot add any modules such as WIC,VIC,VWIC in the future.

Just check this link out. You'll lose some switching features when you use a HWIC-4ESW module.! If you are okay on which features that it provided then it should be fine to use it.

Hopes this helps


Hall of Fame Super Gold

Re: HWIC-4ESW= for WAN connections?

Hi Thot, actually nothing prevents you from using the esw modules together with other wic, vic or whatever else. It's just that certain things may not work es expected on a vlan interface. One example for all. pppoe client.

Re: HWIC-4ESW= for WAN connections?

Hi poalo,

Let me explain a bit more about what I mentioned. I meant that when you use a L3 switch such as cisco 3750 switch then you cannot add a WIC,VIC etc. I do agree with you on what you said.No harm to use wics or vwics with ethernetswitch modules on cisco ISR router.

Edit: may be I was out of topics with my answer. ;-)