Mikrotik is very popular. Both the CCR line as well as the RB and X86 Virtual appliances that are really getting popular for many people these days.
You can get used Juniper and Cisco gear that is also pretty feature complete. Getting support/updates might be difficult so keep that in mind.
To make a decent recommendation it will help to know what exactly you are wanting to do.
- Do you expect this router to be a firewall as well? How complicated of a firewall are you wanting to run?
- Do you want the router do do NAT for you or are you not planning on using NAT?
- How are you getting your connectivity? Will the router need to do BGP?
- Will you be using your router for bandwidth limiting?
- What kind of routing are you running to your customer? Just want to do a Layer 2 connection? PPPoE? Something else?
- Are you familiar with Mikrotiks? Do you have familiarity with other router makers?
- Any other stuff you will want your router to do?
I don’t know the Juniper/Cisco lines nearly as well as I do Mikrotik, so I won’t make any broad recommendations here about them, but here are my thoughts that come to mind for what you have mentioned so far:
Familiarity is actually a pretty good question. It took me about 1 year of working with Mikrotiks and spending lots of my free time to really understand and be able to configure routing/firewall and bandwidth limiting on them. Their documenation is pretty good, but if you don’t have an underlying understanding of networking you are going to run into problems. Mikrotik will pretty much let you configure whatever you want, even if it’s super inefficient or breaks things. There are a lot of pitfalls with Mikrotik config that will put a sour taste in your mouth unless you have a really good test bench and time to learn. If you don’t have a lot of networking experience (like a couple Cisco/Juniper/other big name router/switch maker certifications and a few years experience) you will probably need to have a consultant at least get you started. You probably will want to get some Mikrotik training as well.
As far as Mikrotik hardware:
Probably the CCR1036 line will be overkill for your uses. It also has some limitations that make it a bit less then ideal. Primarily the cost, the 1036 is really meant for terminating a boatload of PPPoE connections while doing a half dozen different things. I would look at the CCR1009 for your situation right now, or something from the RB line, like the RB4011 or honestly the RB3011.
If your going to be running BGP, the CCR2004 would be a good place to start, but there are some bugs that are currently being worked out with it and the RB4011 which also has very good BGP performance. (I have not run into them, but there are wide spread reports of them, Mikrotik has been actively working on the issue and “may” have fixed it, I dunno)
I personally like the 1009s a lot if all you need to do is internal routing. They have enough cores for bandwidth limiting hundreds of customers and are stupid reliable. (I have a dozen out in the field and the only times they have gone down is because of misconfiguration on our part or we loose power.)
Note: I do consult as a side gig, if you want we can have a chat.