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Perfect router for small office (2-3 peoples)


I'm trying to find the most cost effective VoIP solution for one of our small branch offices. This office will have no more than 3 peoples, but each person requires to have a PC and Cisco IP phone (voicemail, multiple line, direct inbound, pstn dial out and etc).

Building will provide ethernet hand-off for internet access (part of T1 I guess) so we are planning to create VPN connection between our data center and the local gateway.

As for the PSTN connection, 2 POTS will be provided by LEC. Gateway should be able to accomodate 4 Ports FXO module.

What would be the smallest but the best router can handle firewall/VPN/IP Voice/PSTN for the small office?

Thank you very much for your help in advance.

paolo bevilacqua
Hall of Fame Master


What drives the price up a bit is the FXO requirement. Cisco used to have a router small as the 1751V, but it is EOL now, so the smaller you can get is a 2801. The price is almost the same but the earlier model was a bit more office-friendly due the box shape and size, while the 2801 is a classic rack box 1 unit.

The good thing with the 2801 is that it supports POE (optionally), so if you put one 4 or 9 port ethernet switch (HWIC) in the router, your phones can work without the external power supply.

You can configure the voice system be totally controlled by the router itself with the embedded CCME, or be part of company's CallManager (now CommunicationManager)

Can I give you another advice, try to get ISDN BRI preferentially instead of FXO. You will have all the features like DID, caller-ID, and much easier setup a diagnostic in the router. Plus, if you add a WIC-1B/ST you can also have ISDN backup using the same data facilities.

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Thanks for your quick response.

So 2801 with HWIC (with optional RPS) is the way to go.

I also prefer BRI/PRI if I can justify the cost, but 1. This is two persons office. Cost of BRI would be much more expensive than 2 POTS. 2. We don't have the ISDN backup facility at the core, but VPN only.

Do you think BRI would be more cost effective than POTS?

Hi Mac,

The optional PS that does POE one the 2801 is not RPS, it's called PWR-2801-AC-IP, it replaces the standard internal PS, so you end with a non-POE spare PS.

Speaking about ISDN, on the telco side, one BRI should cost like two standard lines, as it gives you two lines indeed. Ask them.

Router side, the card (VIC2-2BRI-NT/TE) that has 2 ports (4 lines) cost the same than a 4 port FXO, that is twice than a 2 port FXO.

Hope this helps. If so, please rate useful posts!

Thank you very much.


Cisco seem to be launching something called "Cisco Unified Communications 500 Series" at their Partner Summit 2007:

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