"Loaded with features"on by 21kev
Pros Lots of features
Cons Will be hard for new users to understand
Summary This is compact unit, much smaller then I expected. The unit comes with 16 megs of memory. Some Linksys devices come with twice that much at a hundred dollars less. When using PPPOE as in DSL you can NOT use the built in pptp software that comes with windows to build a vpn to the 501. Even though the option is there in the 501 to allow connection with pptp, if you are using pppoe, you will not be able to connect. When using the site to site vpn wizard you HAVE to enter a ip address of the other device. This will not work for dynamic address's. The device does NOT have built in support for Dynamic DNS. I installed some dyndns soft on a workstation to get the wan ip of the router. So far Cisco tech support has been very good, as 6 months support comes with the unit. Even though I took a Cisco class at college, this unit can be confusing to the new user. The Pix Device Manager (PDM) runs in a java window. Some computers can not run this window, my win2k machine can not, but winxp can. Enabling remote administration can be hard to set up, with out the support of dyndns, makes it even harder. Unless you know the cisco commands, you might want to consider another unit. This unit is getting a low score because the device comes with blank username and passwords, the support cd does not come with an auto-play, the PDM is not very straight forward and can be confusing, the dhcp ip range starts next to the internal ip of the 501, there is no space between workstations ip's and server ip's, there is NO included support documention that comes with the unit, when in operation the unit is using 11 megs of its 16 memory. If I change my mind on this devices score, I will post it later.
Pros ok hardware
Cons terrible support, no free patches out of the box
Summary I have been using Cisco hardware for years and never bought support contract from them. We have enough in house knowledge to support the product but there is a catch - Cisco will not give you free updates to patch buggy code like everybody else does.
I found Cisco to be a terrible company from the support point, the worst support experience of a liftime, bad treatment and lots of nonsense and zero common sense and understanding. Cisco support is designed to get more money out of you despite charging you high initial price for the product. Also industry weakest warranty - 90 days - watch out.
Do not buy it or you will be stuck with the pile of metal unless you buy pricey support contract every year. I understand charging for phone support but Hello - software patches and fixes should be free.
I wish Cisco will reform their support system because hardware is otherwise pretty good but until free patches will be publicly available without extra fee - my rating is 1.
Cisco needs to stand behind their product and treat customer base better, until then my future Cisco purchases are on hold.