Cisco Router Interfaces

In order to do some hand-on labs you will need to cable your network up. Cisco routers come with various interface types and some of these have changed over the years.

Management Interfaces

Console Port – this is used for initial configuration and disaster recovery of the router (if you lose the passwords or IOS). You can only attach a console/rollover cable to this interface.






On production networks or home labs you can often use an access server (Cisco 2509/2511) to connect to the console port of several routers for remote management.

Aux Port – used for modem access to your router in case of emergency access (WAN down) or to allow temporary access to your equipment by external engineers.






Asynch Ports – used on 2509/2511 routers or models with a NM16 or 32AS module. Use to gain console access to many routers and switches. Octal cable required.

Ethernet Interfaces

AUI Interface – an old fashioned ethernet (10 meg) port. Found on 2500 series routers an other older models. If you want to use this interface you will need to buy an AUI to Ethernet converter.

You can find these on eBay and they are only a few dollars. You will need one if you want Ethernet connectivity to your 2509/2511 access server.

Ethernet – fast Ethernet (100Mbps) is most commonly supplied with modern routers. You connect an RJ45 conector to this interface. You can use a straight-through cable to connect to your switch or crossover to your PC.





WAN Interfaces

Serial Interface – used for standard leased line WAN connections. You would typically connect a DB60 DTE cable to this interface and the other end to your ISPs box or interface. For home labs you would use a DCE to DTE cable.






Smart Serial – this is a fairly common type of interface card. You have two mini-WAN ports one one card. You need to use a suitable smart serial cable to connect to this but the other end can be a standard DB60.
468 ad


  1. just awesome site pls provide some more stuff like this and add contents in your all category like leasson, video etc

  2. Boris Levenzon

    If anyone can do this properly its definately Paul, being is that i’ve been a memeber of his site for while. But what I wanted to say is that, I just finished putting together a home lab, with some routers I purchased I didn’t have wic 1t or higher density wic cards, I made use of the wic-1dsu-t1 cards that I did get with the routers, and made my own t1 crossover cable which is super easy to make, just look for t1 crossover cable on google.

  3. Hey thanks good info for a newbbie.

  4. this is a good work doing to help upcoming engineers

Leave a Reply