Standard Router Ports - dummies

By Edward Tetz

One of your first tasks in enabling your standard router ports is identifying and classifying the ports available on your router. You may find several ports on your router; these ports include the ones described in this list:

  • Aux port: This auxiliary port is used to connect a modem to the router, which can then be used to remotely modify the configuration on the router.


  • Attachment Unit Interface (AUI) port: Before the WIC became a standard for providing expansion through an add-on port, the AUI allowed transceivers to be used, providing you with the ability to add various types of network connections, such as fiber or copper Ethernet connections.

    A transceiver is a small electronic device that converts electrical signals from the AUI specification on one side of the transceiver to that of the connection type on the other side of the transceiver. An AUI port is shown in the following figure.

  • Serial: Connects a modem or other serial device to allow a WAN network interface to be used on the router.


  • Ethernet/Fast Ethernet/Gigabit Ethernet: Standard network interfaces used to connect different network segments.

  • Console: Serial configuration port for command-line access to router management and configuration. Refer to Figure 3-1 to see the console port.

  • WAN Interface Card (WIC) port: Because a wide variety of WAN connectivity options are available (for example, T1, ISDN, ADSL), you can use this port to add different interfaces to a standard router.

  • Hardware WAN Interface Card (HWIC) port: With the integration of services into routers, the WIC interface became too limiting. The HWIC interface was created to support a wider variety of hardware expansion options, such as switches and service cards. This port is backward compatible with most older WIC hardware.