Comparision between Cisco IOS software and mikrotik routerOS software

 When I learned about networking 15 years back, I took classes for CCNA where we were taught about Cisco routers and switches. In my new WISP project I wanted to use Mikrotik routers because they are more affordable and thinking that things has improved with Mikrotik. But then I wanted to compare the Cisco IOS software and Mikrotik RouterOS software to get similar with router OS software. So here I am just outlining the difference and similarities between Cisco IOS software and mikrotik routerOS software.

 Cisco IOS (Internetwork Operating System) and MikroTik RouterOS are two distinct network operating systems used in networking equipment, particularly in routers and switches. Both operating systems offer various features and capabilities, but they differ in terms of vendor, functionality, and approach. Here's a comparison between Cisco IOS software and MikroTik RouterOS:

1. Vendor and Background:

  • Cisco IOS: Developed by Cisco Systems, a leading networking equipment manufacturer with a long history and extensive presence in the enterprise networking market.
  • MikroTik RouterOS: Developed by MikroTik, a Latvian company known for producing routers, switches, and wireless systems. MikroTik products are often favored by small to medium-sized businesses and network enthusiasts.

2. Market Focus:

  • Cisco IOS: Primarily aimed at enterprise-grade networks, service providers, and large organizations. Cisco's products are known for their reliability, scalability, and comprehensive feature set.
  • MikroTik RouterOS: Often used by smaller businesses, ISPs, and individuals looking for cost-effective solutions. MikroTik devices offer a wide range of features at a more affordable price point.

3. Feature Set: Both operating systems provide a comprehensive set of networking features, but they have different strengths and areas of expertise. Cisco IOS has a broader range of advanced enterprise features, while MikroTik RouterOS emphasizes flexibility, customization, and affordability.

4. User Interface:

  • Cisco IOS: Historically, Cisco devices are often managed through a command-line interface (CLI) which requires knowledge of specific commands and syntax.
  • MikroTik RouterOS: Offers both a CLI and a graphical user interface (GUI) called "Winbox" that simplifies configuration for users who are not as familiar with command-line interfaces.

5. Learning Curve:

  • Cisco IOS: Can have a steeper learning curve due to its extensive command set and complex configurations, making it more suitable for experienced network professionals.
  • MikroTik RouterOS: Generally considered more user-friendly, especially for beginners or small business owners without extensive networking experience.

6. Licensing and Cost:

  • Cisco IOS: Cisco's hardware and software often come at a premium cost due to its reputation and comprehensive feature set.
  • MikroTik RouterOS: MikroTik devices are generally more affordable, making them attractive to budget-conscious users and small businesses.

7. Ecosystem and Support:

  • Cisco IOS: Offers a wide range of support options, documentation, and a large user community due to its popularity in the enterprise sector.
  • MikroTik RouterOS: Although MikroTik has a dedicated user base, its support options and community might be smaller compared to Cisco's.

In conclusion, the choice between Cisco IOS and MikroTik RouterOS depends on various factors such as the scale of your network, your budget, your familiarity with networking concepts, and your specific requirements. Cisco IOS is often preferred for large-scale enterprise networks, while MikroTik RouterOS can be a cost-effective and flexible solution for smaller businesses and individuals.


- CCR2004-16G-2S+ Internet Access Configuration 

- Creating LAN network for WISP

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