How to buy Cisco Smartnet
Recently I bought a 'real' router, for a small medical practice. I've had a number of fancy consumer/small business routers, and they all are varying levels of crappy.
Most recently a Linksys/Cisco small business router totally died on me and I had to run into the office in the middle of the night to replace.
Also, Mac/iPhone/iPad now support Cisco ipsec VPN as a base feature, so OpenSSL, which is a pain to maintain and support (and impossible to do so on iPhone) has no real future.
So I picked up a Cisco 1811 integrated services router which I think has everything I need. But you really kind of have to get SMARTnet, which is Cisco's software maintenance, if you want to get upgrades and have someone to call for help.
The problem is that it's very hard to figure out how to buy SMARTnet. You have to find a VAR, there's no simple signup on Cisco's site. Which is bizarre, since it's purely a software item.
I finally found this site, which looks promising, because they've done little more than make a shopping cart do you can buy the right thing.