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Cisco Vs Juniper Router Comparison: Which Is Better In 2021?

Wireless is no longer optional in the modern day. Broadband routers are in almost every home or business, restaurant, shop, etc., for us to log into. And some places will have wireless extenders to reach further points or increase signal.  

Are you looking to extend your broadband? Two different router brands, Cisco and Juniper, both can provide you with high-quality routers. But when it comes to a Cisco vs Juniper router comparison, which one would be better suited for your needs? Follow this guide as we explore what router will fit your home or business best.  

Cisco was founded in 1984 by two Stanford University students, who had connected computers in Stanford for the systems to communicate. Their routers are seen in many worldwide wireless ports and cover most of the United Kingdom. Their routers for personal and business use are suited for smaller businesses, branch offices, or service providers.  

Their routers range from 1 Rack Unit (1RU = 1 ¾ inch) to a full-size RU (42RU frame), and models such as the ASR 9000 series have fully customizable frames. It is versatile, with the ability to be set up anywhere it is needed. They can be easily set up with good firewalls and VPN security.  

The connections on Cisco routers have been reported as fast, with little buffering and quick download times. The hardware is sturdy and is built to last, but customers report the setup time is very slow and requires time before it’s fully functional. The security has been reported as lacking, too, and should be preinstalled with a better security system.  

What We Like 
  • Customizable frames 
  • Stable hardware 
  • Fast connections 
  • Easy to set up firewalls and VPN 
  • Excellent performance 
What We Don’t Like 
  • Needs stronger security 
  • Slow setup time 
  • Requires additional LAN ports 
ethernet cable plugged into the back of a router

What Is A Juniper Router? (Overview + Pros & Cons) 

Juniper Networks was founded in 1996 in Sunnyvale, California. Their routers mostly fall under their MX series (MX2008, MX2010, MX2020) and mainly supply enterprise style businesses, data centers, or service providers.  

The higher end models support industrial settings and can reach up to 100G ethernet. Their frames are 1RU – full size (1 ¾ inch – 42RU) and are fully customizable from the chassis.

They are better designed for places with high demand and can withstand high traffic volumes. Additionally, users can test certain features before permanently adding them to check their functionality.  

Users have mentioned their high performance; Juniper routers provide a very stable and fast connection and can be altered with simple data addition. It comes with a standard routing protocol that is simple and efficient so that it can be used quickly.  

While the routers have an excellent firewall system, a lot of users note that their routers can be susceptible to distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks and can disrupt daily operations. 

Users have also commented that a VPN between Juniper and Cisco routers has been unstable and requires improvement. There was also note that the web interface is lacking and needs a more intuitive system.  

What We Like 
  • High-end fully customizable 
  • Up to 100GB ethernet 
  • Excellent firewall 
  • Simple and efficient 
  • Very stable connections 
What We Don’t Like 
  • More vulnerable to DDoS attacks 
  • Not an intuitive web interface 
  • Juniper to Cisco VPN connections are bad 
server rack with ethernet cables

Cisco Vs Juniper Routers: Which Is Better In 2021? 

If you’re considering a Cisco or Juniper router, it’s good to know what the best option is for your needs. Below is a comparison of both to help with what best suits you.  

Market Share 

It’s no secret that Cisco dominates the market; they control more of the network configurations than Juniper, which means they’re much more accessible. This also means there are more certified Cisco engineers and more resources. If you’re running into problems, you’ll have a quicker fix with Cisco.  

Modular Configuration 

Both have modular customization but work in different ways. Cisco uses line cards that are inserted directly into the router chassis. There isn't much more you can add past the given amount.

Juniper uses a multi-layered system, which has Modular Port Concentrators (MPC) inserted into the chassis, which then has Modular Interface Cards (MIC) inserted into the MPC. It's much more versatile.  

Command Line Interface (CLI) 

The CLI has merits in both a Juniper and Cisco system. In terms of ease of use, though, Cisco takes the prize. Their CLI is simple and easy to master; it doesn't take much to learn the ins and outs.

Juniper is much more complex and could take the average user a while to perfect. Of course, this is in part also due to Cisco's dominance of the market share.  

Operating System (OS) 

Cisco uses an Internetwork OS (IOS) and is a monolithic system. It can only run one operation at a time and uses a shared memory space. It’s not capable of running while you install additional features, so it requires switching off.  

Juniper uses JUNOS, which is modular. The OS is segregated into exclusive memory spaces and can run multiple operations at once, giving you the freedom to upgrade while running.  

User Interface 

The interface Cisco uses is consistent and intelligent. The system is user-friendly and is simple to use for anyone. The variants of Cisco IOS also come with modular systems, meaning you can upgrade your IOS.  

Juniper’s interface uses a single cohesive system and has common modular architecture on all platforms. In terms of which is easier to use, Cisco wins, but Juniper will offer more diversity, just harder to master.  

Network Configuration 

As mentioned above, Cisco has more certified engineers and better troubleshooting, so Cisco Systems have engineer-friendly configurations; you can configure all your system in one place. 

Juniper has a developer-friendly configuration, and you can configure it in both protocol and configuration interfaces. The Juniper system wins with its diverse ability to configure the network.  

Price

It's not surprising that, in terms of Cisco vs Juniper, Cisco is the more expensive choice. Their hold of the market share gives them the option to charge higher, and ease of use on their machines requires more pre-configuration. 

Juniper is the cheaper router option, and it seems from its complexity, it could be a valuable investment if just to learn its workings.  

white router with ethernet cables connected

People Also Ask (FAQs)

Who founded Juniper Networks? 

Juniper was founded by Pradeep Sindhu in 1996, who noticed there was a way to better control the use of internet traffic, which at the time was also in use with telephone lines and circuits had to switch between the two.  

Who founded Cisco? 

Cisco was founded by Sandy Lerner and her husband Leonard Bosack, in 1984. They had used their 'Blue Box' method in Stanford University to allow the computers to connect with one another.  

Which router is best for home usage? 

For your home, a Cisco router is better. It has more dedicated engineers for the routers, as well as better troubleshooting options. Juniper could be better for greater speeds, but you may find yourself with problems in troubleshooting.  

Which router brand is better for larger networks?  

Both routers are suited for larger business networks and can both receive and send high amounts of wireless to large locations. In terms of switches, Cisco’s Nexus 9000 are designed for large-scale data and provide better services but tend to be much pricier than Juniper’s QFX series. 


Conclusion

Whether you're looking for better broadband strength or a wider wireless range, the Cisco or Juniper systems will both provide you with excellent and speedy connections.

If you're on a budget, we recommend a Juniper system to save on prices, and they have been gaining traction in recent years. But if you're looking for a simpler system, Cisco is your better answer, as their interfaces are simple to master.