Mikrotik tutorial series #1: Buying and Naming Conventions.

In this Mikrotik Tutorial Series I’m hoping to help people that are new or interested in Mikrotik, if you’re experienced in this type of hardware/software then these posts won’t be of much help but you can definitely let me know if I miss something important (contactme @ dr0u.com).

Before starting, some disclaimers:

  • The site contains Adds, you may click on them and help me pay for hosting or you may choose your favorite add blocker if they annoy you.
  • I’m not a Mikrotik certified trainer…not even certified at all! I encourage you to look into format training at www.mikrotik.com/training
  • I’m in the US, some links are going to be for local US companies.

Step 0: Buying a Routerboard.

This obviously depends on your location, I’ve found some places only sell equipment to other companies or wisps. Regardless of where you live, the first place to look for should be Routerboard.com, there you can find pretty much all models currently available in the market as well as some archived and newly released products. Because I’m aiming for this series to be for a home user or even small office, I’ll stick to the ‘Wireless for home and office’ models.
Choosing the right one depends on lots of things, but due to the inexpensive nature of the product I would choose something on the upper range of that category. In my case I’ll be working with a RB951G-2HnD, which I consider more than enough for a home user. On the other hand, for a small business I would go for something like the  RB2011UiAS-2HnD-IN.

There are obviously more than those two models, specially if you have something a little bigger than a small business. I would consider something like 15 client machines to be a small business, if I were to choose something for a place with 25-50 clients, then I would probably choose one of their switches in addition to one of these.
I personally found Amazon to have way better prices than local businesses of wisps. Another way you can get your hands in one of these is by buying used equipment on eBay, there’s always the chance of somebody upgrading their equipment and putting the old one up for auction.
As you can see from the Amazon links, looking at eBay, and Routerboard.com, these equipments are not expensive at all! specially considered how feature-packed they are in comparison with your average consumer grade home wifi router.  I should point out that these equipment don’t have build-in Wireless AC, for that I would probably choose a Mikrotik board with no built-in wireless and use a Ubiquiti wifi.

Step 1: Mikrotik Naming convention
These is rather complicated to just discuss on half a page, for all the details on naming conventions please visit Mikrotik Wiki. I will just give you examples with one of the models I mentioned above.
First the RB951G-2HnD:
RB = is a RouterBoard
9 = 9th Series Board
5 = Number of Ethernet ports
1 = Number of Build-in Wireless
G = all Gigabite Ethernet ports
2 = The wireless is 2.4 Ghz
H = High (this could be High, High Power, Super High Power)
n = Supports 802.11n
D = Dual Chain
Definitely not that easy to remember, but once you browse Routerboard.com for a while you can just start telling without looking at the specifications.

Hopefully this can help some of you trying to choose a model or a place to buy. I will be editing this post with more links and descriptions as time allows, but for now I think this is a good starting point.
You can send comments, questions, to contactme @ dr0u.com (mind the space)

#beginner#configuration#home#how-to#initial#Mikrotik#setup#small office#tutorial