JackphomJackphom Member Posts: 3 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hi everyone,

Just discovered this amazing forum after searching high and low for something a bit better than the Reddit CCNA. I'm a Insurance Broker and have been for a very long time, decided to recently take the A+ and completed that cert.

Was going to move on and take the CompTIA Network + but decided that this would be more useful. I come from a no tech background so it'll be all self study from here.

Does anyone have any experience using JUST GSN3 while watching CBT Nuggets for ICND1? I would love to have a homelab but don't have the funds for that right now.

Thanks in advance!


  • Infosec_SamInfosec_Sam Admin Posts: 527 Admin
    Hi @Jackphom, and welcome to the community! Congrats on the A+, by the way! Just because it's an entry-level cert doesn't mean it's going to be easy, so there's definitely something to be said about that already. To answer your question about using GNS3/CBTNuggets to study for the ICND1 exam, you're going to run into a couple of issues. First, Cisco requires an active service contract in order to download their device OS images, so you'll have to find a different way to get your hands on an IOS image if you don't have an active contract. The second snag you might come across is that GNS3 only supports older versions of IOS, so you might run the risk of a new feature being on the exam that you were unable to study for. It's unlikely, but possible.

    If you're open to other learning platforms, I would encourage you to look into Infosec Skills! We have a Networking Fundamentals learning path that features 23 hours of video training and a cyber range with a ton of virtual labs that run on Cisco gear out in the cloud. I've been working my way through it as I start to study for the ICND2 exam, and I've really been liking it so far. Paired with Odom's official cert guide, I think this should be all I need to have a good shot at a pass. If you're interested, you can sign up for a 7-day free trial to give it a spin before committing to a monthly subscription.

    In case you weren't aware, though, Cisco will be changing the format of their entry- and mid-level certifications in February 2020, which will effectively eliminate the 2-exam CCNA. You still have more than enough time to take that route, and your CCNA will still be valid for the standard three years, but you might want to familiarize yourself with what's changing so you can decide if it's worth it to take it before or after the change.

    Whichever route you take, I wish you the best of luck! And if you have any questions along the way, feel free to ask them here on TechExams!
    Community Manager at Infosec!
    Who we are | What we do
  • JackphomJackphom Member Posts: 3 ■□□□□□□□□□
    edited July 2019
    Thank you very your awesome input and information. I've recently signed up for PacketTracer on Cisco's site as well, I appreciate you providing insight on GNS3. 

    EDIT-So it seems that I should build a basic home lab as finding IOS images seem to be either just as costly or hard to find.

    For PacketTracer, would that still be the same issue I'll run into? Would I need IOS images for the router/switch gear on Cisco's own site?
  • Infosec_SamInfosec_Sam Admin Posts: 527 Admin
    Packet Tracer should be okay for you to use. I had used that when I was in school, so I had an academic account with all the bells and whistles (pre-made labs, troubleshooting exercises, etc). The free account should give you access to everything you need, but I don't think they'll have any free labs for you to work through, so you'll need to build some of that structure yourself.
    Community Manager at Infosec!
    Who we are | What we do
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