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Differences between 2811 running advipservices vs 2901 or 1921 running ipbase-k9? Other questions concerning integrating home network and lab network

Hi, I have a cisco lab setup at home for my CCNA studies.  I'm currently studying for the 200-105 exam.  I passed the 100-105 exam in February.  I had the idea of integrating my lab network with my home network.  My lab network is all 10/100 ethernet connections.  I've got 3 x 2811s running 15.1-4M advipservices-k9 and 3 x 3560s running 12.2-44 advipservices-k9.  My home network is all gigabit ethernet connections.  I'm looking for a 1921 or 2901 as they're both 1U units and I only have a few U left on my rack.  I'm also looking at a 1921 or a 2901 because they have gigabit ethernet ports. 


I've been looking on ebay at refurbished and used routers as I don't have a very large budget.  All of the ones I've seen come with just ipbase-k9 it looks like.  I tried using the feature comparison tool on Cisco's website to compare the firmwares and had a hard time interpreting the differences.  It looked like it was mainly just a bunch of VoIP stuff which I'm not dealing with at all. 


What differences would I notice between the advipservices firmware on my lab devices and the ipbase-k9 firmware?  Is the 1921 or the 2901 better?  I think the 2901 is preferable since it can have it's ram expanded while the 1921 is stuck at 512MB maximum.  I don't think I'd necessarily ever need more than that but I like to have options for upgrading on the chance that I start doing more with my networks in the future.


My goal with this project is to make it so that I can talk to my lab devices from my pc without having to disconnect my pc from the internet.  Is this even a worthwhile goal?  I think it would be a fun project to practice setting up a router for a real world usage scenario instead of just doing labs.  I think I know enough to make it work at this point?  The way I'm seeing this is I would setup the router with EIGRP or OSPF and a couple subnets.  One subnet would lead off to my lab network and those three routers and switches and the other subnet would lead off to my home network.  


Right now on my home network I have a couple stand alone network drives, a wifi router, a laptop and a pc and several wired and wireless devices.  I'm getting a rackmount Netgear 4-bay NAS with dual gigabit ports and a 24-port HP gigabit switch in the next couple of weeks when my friend can bring them over to me.  I've got a sonicwall on the perimeter that I want to replace with an ASA but I haven't taken the CCNA Security course yet.  That's next term after I finish my CCNA and my CCDA this term :)

Francesco Molino
VIP Mentor

With ip base you can use ospf and eigrp.

Take a look on the following link to see what features you have in ip base and you can also compare different versions with different levels:

PS: Please don't forget to rate and select as validated answer if this answered your question

Thanks for the reply, I've already tried using that link and also the feature comparison tool to compare ipbase-k9 vs advipservices-k9 and just got a slew of features that I didn't fully understand.  It looked mainly like there was a lot of VoIP stuff?  I'm not looking for a full breakdown of all the features.  Just some semi-broad categories of things that I'd be missing out on with just ipbase-k9.  Like would I not be able to run a vpn with ipbase-k9?  Would I have ssh capability?  I think that's what k9 implies but I'm not sure.  If it has EIGRP and OSPF that's a good start at least.  I just don't want to buy a router and then find out a couple months down the line it can't do something that I thought of to try and do or be unable to do something that comes up in the CCNA course of study for 200-105 or CCNA Security.

The biggest difference probably is that with ip base you do not have support for vpn or some other features that involve encryption. You should get SSH with both feature sets (there is encryption for that but not for other things in ip base).