EdgeRouter - Which EdgeRouter Should I Use?


Overview


This article will help users decide which EdgeRouter product to use, as well as outline the differences in each product and product series. 

NOTES & REQUIREMENTS:
Applicable to the latest EdgeOS firmware on all EdgeRouter models. Please see the Related Articles below for more information. A great comparison of all the different EdgeRouter models and their technical specifications can be found here.

Table of Contents


  1. Introduction
  2. Identify Your Needs
  3. Switch-Chips
  4. Hardware Offloading and Traffic Analysis / Deep Packet Inspection
  5. Related Articles

Introduction


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Each environment is different and unique, this changes the type of router that is best for the job. Some EdgeRouters include a switch-chip, which makes them ideal when multiple router ports need to be present in the same subnet. Other routers are better at raw performance and are more suitable for an environment where switches are also present. Other factors are whether the device will be mounted outside or whether it needs to provide PoE (Power over Ethernet).


Identify Your Needs


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Start by limiting down the choices by asking yourself these questions:

Question Yes
Do I need a switch-chip?
  • ER-X
  • ER-X-SFP
  • ERPoE-5
  • EP-R6
Is the device mounted outside?
  • EP-R6
  • EP-R8
Need PoE?
  • ER-X
  • ER-X-SFP
  • ERPoE-5
  • ER-6P
  • EP-R6
  • EP-R8
Maximize performance?
  • ER-Pro
  • ER-4
  • ER-6P
  • ER-8-XG

There are other models available as well such as the ER-Lite, ER-8 and the ER. A great comparison of all the different EdgeRouter models and their technical specifications can be found here. Regardless of which router you use, the software will be the same, EdgeOS. 


Switch-Chips


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These devices include a hardware switch-chip:

  • ERPoE-5
  • ER-X
  • ER-X-SFP
  • EP-R6

Products that include a hardware switch-chip have increased performance when multiple interfaces need to be present in the same subnet.

Other EdgeRouters can also support multiple interfaces in the same subnet, but this requires the usage of bridged ports. Bridging ports is done in software and will lead to traffic not being offloaded. See our Hardware Offloading Explained article for more information.


Hardware Offloading and Traffic Analysis / Deep Packet Inspection


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As of EdgeOS firmware version v1.9.1, all EdgeRouter models support some type of hardware offloading. Please see our Hardware Offloading Explained article for more information. As of EdgeOS firmware version v1.8.5 all models support Traffic Analysis through Deep Packet Inspection (DPI).


Related Articles


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EdgeRouter - Hardware Offloading

EdgeRouter - Beginners Guide to EdgeRouter

Intro to Networking - How to Establish a Connection Using SSH


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