What is a decent cheap router/switch that I should buy for self-study CCENT

spark2spark2 Posts: 21Member ■□□□□□□□□□
Something that I can buy used to practice the IOS commands icon_study.gif


  • veritas_libertasveritas_libertas CISSP, GIAC x5, CompTIA x5 Greenville, SC USAPosts: 5,735Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    This is Wendell Odom's recommendations:

    CCNA Build Lists

    You can search TechExams and there are many different recommendations/opinions.
    Currently working on: Linux and Python
  • KurokiKuroki Posts: 16Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    spark2 wrote: »
    Something that I can buy used to practice the IOS commands icon_study.gif

    Personally, I'd just recommend going for GNS3, it won't be detrimental.

    I personally have a dual monitor setup, got the books on a kindle reader app on one monitor, then GNS3 on the other.

    For layer 2 switching just use a router (c3700) and use a switch module on it (NM-16ESW) :)

    If you do buy then just go for 3 routers and 2 switches

    Switches: 2950 or above (with latest IOS)
    Routers: 2600/XM (With latest IOS)
  • theodoxatheodoxa Posts: 1,340Member
    1760 -- Cheapest viable physical router. Runs up to IOS 12.4T, which should cover CCENT and most of the CCNA topics.

    2600XM --
    These will run up to 12.4T, just like the 1760, but come with an NM slot and and depending on model an extra FastEthernet port. I would not suggest this option, because for not that much more you can get an 1841 (see below).

    1841 --
    These have come down in price recently and can run up to IOS 15.1M/T, which should cover all CCENT, CCNA, and CCNP topics with the right IOS. Only thing to watch for is that some early versions of the 1841 were not rack mountable (Cisco later added 4 screw holes on the side of the case to allow rack mounting) and will require a rack shelf to hold them.

    GNS3 -- You can emulate 1700, 2600, 2600XM, and 3725 routers in GNS3 if you can get your hands on the IOS software (technically, there is no legit way to obtain IOS for these older devices anymore as they are EOL). While I have had issues with stability in larger topologies, for CCENT you shouldn't need more than 3 or 4 devices in your topology.

    Packet Tracer -- Available only to Cisco NetAcademy students. Can simulate a handful of Cisco Routers and Switches. Because it is a simulator, the number of available commands is limited. It is probably OK for CCENT, but I found it unusable (due to limited commands and a bug which caused problems when using HSRP) by the time I started studying CCNP.
    Security: CCNA [ ]
    Virtualization: VCA-DCV [ ]
  • theodoxatheodoxa Posts: 1,340Member
    Devices Required

    EIGRP: 2 Routers

    Point-to-Point WANs: 2 Routers

    OSPF: 3 Routers. You need 3 routers to lab DR/BDR Elections.

    Frame Relay: 3-4 Routers. Can be done with 2, but that's a kludge. You'll need at least 2 WIC slots on at least one of the routers. 4 HWIC/WIC or 1 NM Slot would be even better.

    Spanning-Tree: 3-4 Switches. You can lab some STP with 2, but 3-4 is ideal.

    3-4 Routers and 3-4 Switches should be sufficient for most anything you want to lab.

    Slot Types

    WIC: WAN Interface Card. These are used to install modules with Serial, T1, or other ports.

    Voice Interface Card. Like a WIC, but used for Analog Voice Modules, such as FXS and FXO ports. Not relevant unless you decide to do Voice.

    NM: Network Module. Basically, a larger WIC. These are available in the 2600, 3600, 3700, and 2800 Series of Routers. Because of their larger size, you can find modules with more ports, such as the NM-8A/S (8 Serial Ports), making devices with an NM Slot good options for a Frame Relay switch.

    HWIC: Basically and newer WIC Slot. You can still use some WIC cards in them, such as the WIC-1T and WIC-1DSU-T1-V2 (The Non-V2 version won't work)
    Security: CCNA [ ]
    Virtualization: VCA-DCV [ ]
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