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Quick and simple question, but I've not been able to find an answer around.

I have a Cisco ADSL router (model 877).

I don't have any Cisco support contract.

How can I obtain an updated firmware for it?

I know which firmware I want, and it's a minor update from my current one (15.0 -> 15.1) with the same feature set; so I should be entitled to have it. And yet, Cisco doesn't let me download it.

What to do?

Is it true that simply owning a cisco router isn't enough to deserve firmware updates?

Side note: of course I know how to "look around" for software on the Internet. But files downloaded from strange places are not something I'd like to run on my router.

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Have you contacted Cisco? Are you asking "How can I obtain an updated firmware for it for free?" – dbasnett Jul 3 '11 at 20:08
I don't know what Cisco policy is about firmware updates. I'm used to be able to update the firmware on devices I bought, as vendors usually offer firmware updates for free once you buy their products. I'm asking for confirmation that either this is not the case with Cisco, or that I missed something and there is a way to obtain them. – Massimo Jul 3 '11 at 20:23
I'd contact Cisco. Tell them your situation and they will provide an answer. Cisco also has a support site here My opinion is that you will have to pay for the firmware... – dbasnett Jul 3 '11 at 20:30
up vote 14 down vote accepted

Cisco IOS upgrades that include security fixes are available publicly regardless of support contract, it's just a major pain to get them. If the version you want contains a security fix, you're in luck.

Enter your version of IOS here, and the list of patched vulnerabilities will come up. Select one (for example), and under "Obtaining Fixed Software", there's instructions on putting in a TAC ticket to get the firmware that's fixed the vulnerability.

Customers should have their product serial number available and be prepared to give the URL of this notice as evidence of entitlement to a free upgrade. Free upgrades for non-contract customers must be requested through the TAC.

They aren't kidding about this part; last time I needed to do this, I had to quote that line twice to technicians who wanted to close to ticket due to lack of support contract.

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This is correct. I used to work for Cisco doing customer entitlement, and unless you have a service contract, you won't get any firmware upgrades. They even used to do this for their 802.11 cards, although I believe they now release them publically. Once you get up to the top level of entitlement checking (where I used to work), they really will go out of their way to try and find you support, but if that's the only device you have then you're probably not going to have any luck. There's a standard wizard they work their way through answering yes/no questions, with little room for deviation. – Mark Henderson Jul 3 '11 at 21:44

As far as I know you need a Cisco support contract to download firmware from Cisco. Any firmware you find outside the Cisco support pages is most likely not distributed according to the EULA of the firmware.

Welcome to the world of industrial class hardware. The service agreement is usually more expensive than the hardware.

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Thats why I will never ever buy a Cisco device again. It's rediculous that you have to pay for fixes for mistakes Cisco's R&D have made.

There are many competitors (especially in the small-router-market-segmet) which have a much more customer-friendly policy.

And, to speak it ou loud: Cisco Routers (even the smaller ones like 870-Series) are very complicated and time-consuming to configure.... and Ciscos IOS-software has a lot of security flaws...

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I totally agree with your angst, I've been struggling with buggy IOSes for my 877 router for couple of weeks, and it's a real pain: each release fixes someting and break something else. The hardware is good, and IOS really is powerful (although not simple)... but they must have some really lousy developers there. In my opinion Cisco still makes great products, but they should really do a lot more debugging. And don't make you pay to get a fix for their bugs. – Massimo Jul 15 '11 at 11:37
popular saying : No one was ever fired for buying Cisco. – petrus Jul 15 '11 at 11:51
@Petrus: agreed, but this doesn't mean they can do whatever they want. They should at least make their customers think they know what they're doing. – Massimo Jul 16 '11 at 3:33

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