What’s wrong with the old Cisco Console Cable?
As a long time Network Engineer I’ve used a fair share of Cisco console cables and various dongles. The regular generic Cisco Console cables (aka Rollover cable) that come with routers and switches these days still requires serial ports. As laptops these days don’t come with serial ports anymore, you often have to find yourself a USB to Serial Converter Dongle. These dongles are easy to lose, require additional drivers from installation discs, and not to mention they flake out from time to time! How often have you needed to reboot your PC because your serial port got locked up? Especially the prolific ones – I’d avoid them like a crime.
What about the CAB-CONSOLE-USB=?
Cisco realized this problem and came up with a modern version of their console cable. A USB type A to a mini USB Type B serial console cable. Cisco’s finally heading in the right direction, however, Cisco doesn’t ship these cables with most of their products. In fact, not all of their switches and routers has this port. The drivers are also a pain to find when you’re in need. So why do you want to carry an additional cable that doesn’t support all of their products?
The Best Cisco Console Cable – FTDI Chip
Finally a smart engineer came up with a perfect solution. An integrated USB Cisco Console Cable that uses the traditional RJ45 serial pin outs with a USB type A connector.
The cable definitely looks and feels well built with anti stress flaps on the USB connector end. It’s also made with the trademark Cisco console cable color which makes it easy to recognize. It is 1.8 meters long (6ft) and can be extended using any old RJ45 inline coupler.
This is by far the most reliable and convenient Cisco Console Cable I have used to date. The cable utilizes the FTDI chip (FT232 + ZT213) which uses signed Windows drivers that are automatically installed via Windows Update on all Windows 7 and Windows 10. I have tested this cable and used this for consecutive hours and days without experiencing any hiccups or lockups to the serial port. The connectivity is fairly stable.
These cables can be found readily on Amazon:
There are plenty of 5 star reviews on Amazon with all of them praising the convenience of the cable as well as it’s support for most modern operating systems.
Plug and Play Cable, Full Supported Operating System
- Windows 10
- Windows 8 x 32
- Windows 8 x 64
- Windows Server 2008 R2 x 64
- Windows 7 x 32
- Windows 7 x 64
- Windows Server 2008
- Windows Server 2008 x 64
- Windows Vista x 32
- Windows Vista x 64
- Windows Server 2003 x 32
- Windows Server 2003 x 64
- Windows XP x 32
- Windows XP x 64
- Windows ME
- Windows 98
- Mac OS X
- Mac OS 9
- Mac OS 8
- Windows CE.NET (Version 4.2 and greater)