Recommended router for startup rural WISP

Hello there,

We have a startup rural wireless internet access in Northern Mexico. Our setup is quite simple:
2wire DLS router >switch> PTP30 integrated form office to our metropolitan hub.
At metro hub we have a CMM micro, a Cyclone omni 5.2 AP and a connectorized PTP30 to our rural cluster 32 miles away.
* Our rural AP is made of a CMM micro and 3 2.4 cyclone AP with 120’ sector antennas.

With that out of the way I now proceed to my question. We are looking for a good router that will support our operation for the first 100-300 customers. Our internet connection for now is a 4M business grade DSL with a single public IP address.
Broadband in Mexico is quite expensive, we anticipate migrating to an E1 ($1500US) with multiple IP addresses but we need at least 15-20 clients to justify the expense. So far we’ve been using the 2wire router that came with the DSL but is quite limited. We can bridge the router and just make it a modem and use the routing features of a more robust router.
Our plan is to provide internet access to mostly rural customers as well as office interconnection between farms in the country and their administration offices in town.
So far we only have a couple of customers as beta testers while we get a hold of the Canopy technology.

Thanks in advance for your help.

:shock: PD. I think our IP scheme is a big mess too but I will leave that for another posting. :shock:



is your DSL symmetrical?
If not, the shared upload speed could be a problem for serving many users (upload saturation will also block normal browsing…).
Anyway you should implement some sort of QoS both using SM settings (down/up sustained limits) and possibily Layer7 filters on your routers against P2P abuse.
We started with a DSL 6M down, 512k up but had problems after 40 customers (offering 2M/256k).
In some moments they were saturating upload and blocking services… very annoying.

Is used Cisco available? I’d look for a used 3600 series with two fast Ethernet ports. I never even have to think about the router.

Next would be to use a PC with 1GHz processor, 1G RAM running MikroTik OS.

Hi there,

Our connection is asymmetrical. We receive about 4Mb down and 1Mb up. Our main office is located abut 30 meters from the Telco central office so we get most of the promised bandwidth. We also thought about a load balancer/aggregator and bond 2 or 3 ADSL lines to it. It’s still cheaper than an E1. We are looking at the PEPlink unit

Regarding the 3600, I guess we can find something used on ebay for a decent price.

Is the Cisco router more robust and friendly than Microtik?


A cisco 2600 series would get you rolling just fine with a WIC-1-ADSL card

I lean towards cisco personally. Industry support is widely available.

You can find those on ebay. I would get a 2621XM myself. If you want to upgrade, the 3640 would be good.

Lets start off: Cisco ADSL WIC information: … 3bff.shtml

Where to get hardware:

Ebay or some other reseller. … p-778.html

You’ll need to get some fastethernet cards too since the router is a modular router. … 50_83.html

I just bought two 2524’s from them for my CCNA lab at home.

Thanks for the info! I see these Cisco routers are widely available and their price is quite accessible.
What about load balancers to aggregate bandwidth to the network? Is the PePlink a good option?

I don’t know about the Peplinks but a lot of NOC managers that I know use F5’s.

The PePLink 380 looks very interesting. I don’t know how well they work, or what kind of reliability you can expect but for a small startup WISP this might be a good choice. I’m always a little leery of boxes that promise to do it all. Invariably they do alot of things, none of them very well.

We started off with a single 2600 and a T1 in 2001. This got us to about 120 users, and then we upgraded to a 3600 and a 5M burstable to 15M WAN connection in 2006. In this time we have had ZERO failures related to the router.

In your case with the DSL circuits, you’ll want to look at the multi WAN capabilities of Cisco.

What was the reason you moved to the 3600 series?

processing power

3600s can be easily sorted from Ebay.

processing power, correct. you can put it with NM2FE2W or the cheaper NM2E2W/NM1E2W.

3640 can be better.

Ah gotcha. I have a 7/7 (not async!) connection running through a 2621XM just fine…

I run a cisco 2621 with 4 bonded T1 lines, over 450 customers for over 3 years now, i have never had a problem excet for the time the ice storm took down city power grind for like 3 hours, :slight_smile: in my eyes if you can get a cisco setup, their is never any reason to use something else.

Same as what others are saying. We have a Cisco 2620 running over 100 customers on a 7/7mb line. I would buy at least a step up if you can tho (2621xm) or 3600 series

Check out
After using this product you will say get rid of Cisco. It has everything that even Cisco does not have. Very flexible and user friendly. Competitive price…

Which Fortinet model you are using and for how many subs?

We have backhauls in excess of 3 figures… itself…and lot of AP’s SM’s etc…
also have VOIP services…
We are using model 60b as primary and 60a as redundant…
also includes support in case if you need.
We used to have Cisco …not any more…

I think fortinet only makes firewalls?

For a startup WISP, there really is no better router than a used Cisco 2900.

They are bullet proof, widely available, and I can guarantee the solution to just about anything you will need to do can be found via Google

Jerry - You successfully fed 120 users off a single T1? Thats lean and mean…

I see some of you are using DSL as your internet connection. Can ya’ll enlighten me on upsides and downsides to using DSL instead of a T1? I was under the impression that this was not possible to do…

Price is a large factor here. I am still a startup WISP yet to break the 100 customer mark. Am currently using a 2600 but my Mikrotik box does all my wireless ops.

In my area the fastest DSL is 8mb down and 768kb up. They can only give you like five or six static public IPs. That won’t really work with customers who want one of those few.