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Basic questions about downloading updates and smartnet licensing

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I have been trying to get a definitive answer to these questions by browsing around cisco.com, but so far no luck.
1. I manage an ASA5510 for which there is no current smartnet contract.  It is running an outdated code version (8.2) of the Security Plus license.  Is it allowable to download the 8.4 image and upgrade the ASA as long as I stay within the Security Plus license, or would there be a fee?
2. Same question in general for routers without smartnet: If I have a router running old v12.x code is is permissible to upgrade to 15.x code as long as the featureset remains the same?
3. If I were to purchase a new ASA feature license (e.g. SSL VPN 50 users) and then install it on this ASA, would the license be recoverable if the ASA were to become unusable because of a hardware failure?
Help on any of these questions would be greatly appreciated.  All doc I have found so far either seems either contradictory or ambiguous.
Thanks,
-Mathew

Answers

Answer 1:
If you do not have a SMARTnet agreement for the device that you support, you will be unable to download updates for that device. You will need to have a CCO login with an active SMARTnet agreement for that device.
Answer 2:
Same answer to question 1 applies to routers. You will be unable to download updates if that device does not have an active SMARTnet agreement.
Answer 3:
If you add a feature, like updating the user license, you will be unable to transfer it to a new unit. This is because the license is bound to the device serial number. The new device will have a different serial number.
Just to mention also, If you add a feature and have an active agreement, you will need to purchase a new agreement to cover that feature. The original agreement only covers the original device. If it goes bad and needs replacing, you will receive a replacement like the original. It will not contain the added license and you will be unable to install the license on the replacement unit because the license is bound to the serial number. The replacement will have a different serial number.
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