Overview: 2500 Series Routers

These routers have been a popular option for home labs for many years, due to low used prices and a large supply in the used market.  Many different models exist. The 2501 (2 serial, 1 Ethernet) is very popular, and two models in particular, the 2509 and 2511, can be useful as an access server to connect to consoles of other Cisco devices. The relatively old IOS versions make these models less popular today, but they still have many uses as platforms from which to drive traffic for testing, and as Frame Relay switches.

Feature Fact
Popularly sold as new in years: 1993 – 1997
End-of-Sale (EOS) years: 1997 – 2007
End-of-sale for (popular) 2501 2003
Most recent mainline IOS supported 12.3
Most Recent T-train IOS supported 12.2T
Max onboard flash 16M
Max RAM 16M

All Features and Versions

Cisco Feature Navigator:
Find IOS files by Version, feature set, and platform

2500 Feature Sets Mentioned Here

  • IP
  • IP Plus
  • Enterprise Plus
  • IP/FW Plus IPSec 56

2500 Series Hardware

The 2500 series contains many different models, and several of those are useful for Cisco exam prep. Some have Ethernet interfaces, mostly with AUI connectors, which require an external transceiver. Others have Token Ring interfaces. Mostl have some number of built-in higher speed synchronous serial interfaces, and some have additional built-in slower speed (up to 128 Kbps) sync/async interfaces as well. Some of the models with sync/async ports have more port density, making these appealing as Frame Relay switch devices. Some have async serial interfaces, making these models useful as dial-up access servers: connecting these routers to the console ports of other routers and switches lets the user easily switch between the consoles of the devices.
Popular models for certification labs:
Device Built-in sync serial Slow speed serial Built in LAN Other built-in WIC/NM slots
2501
2 (DB-60)
1 Ethernet (AUI)
None
None
2503
2 (DB-60)
1 Ethernet (AUI)
ISDN BRI
None
2509
2 (DB-60)
1 Ethernet (AUI)
8 Async (using octal cables)
None
2511
2 (DB-60)
1 Ethernet (AUI)
16 Async (using octal cables)
None
2514
2 (DB-60)
2 Ethernet (AUI)
None
None
2520
2 (DB-60)
2
1 Ethernet (AUI)
ISDN BRI
None
2522
2 (DB-60)
8
1 Ethernet (AUI)
ISDN BRI
None

Start typing and press Enter to search