Routers for CCNA and CCNP

MBHawksMBHawks Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hello all,
I am currently enrolled in the CNAP through a local community college and I'm looking to buy a few 2500 routers on ebay so that I can practice configuration at home. My question is this: Should I worry about getting models with ISDN ports, or is ISDN configuration only covered briefly on the exam? There are a few sets of 2500's with ISDN ports and a few without the ports on ebay. Do any of the CCNP exams cover ISDN configuration in depth? Also, would three routers and a 1900 switch be sufficient to set up a home lab for the CCNP cert? I think three is enough for CCNA practice but I'm not sure for the CCNP.


  • viper75viper75 Member Posts: 726 ■■■■□□□□□□
    You may want to look at the Sybex Routersim. Platinum Edition. You can create your own network with virtual routers, switches, and nodes. The router they have is a Cisco 2600, switches are 1900 and 2950. I think 95 or even 100% of all the commands are available. Not sure, I use it myself. Good stuff!!!

    Could save you some $$$ icon_wink.gif
    CCNP Security - DONE!
    CCNP R&S - In Progress...
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  • MBHawksMBHawks Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I thought about getting a router sim but I really want a few routers because I think they would be more valuable in the long run due to the fact that I am going to go for the CCNP cert after I get the CCNA. I'm just not sure what one needs in order to build a sufficient home lab for CCNP practice.
  • WebmasterWebmaster Admin Posts: 10,292 Admin
    As you can see at it is a good and extensive product. However it hardly supports that many commands. It does support all the basic command, just not all command options ;)

    And although a router simulator is great for practice, it does measure up to a real home lab. Besides having it for study, it is pretty much mandatory if you are going to configure a lot of routers and switches on the job. It is a great thing to be able to try out some configs before implementing it in a real life network.

    Three routers is the bare minimum for CCNP, and so are 2 switches. On is just not enough, you will want to configure trunking and intervlan routing as basic practice for the switching exam. ISDN is only useful if you have 2 routers with an ISDN connection and a ISDN sim (kinda like a box that simulates the ISDN network), this is for the BCRAN exam, for CCNA an ISDN connection and 1 router with a bri interface is more than sufficient. If you don't have an ISDN connection you can use, I would worry too much about it. It nice to be able to practice the ISDN related commands and ppp/multilink but not a primary reason for buying the routers.

    Although the new CCNA and CCNP exams are based on newer routers and switches (ie 2600 instead of 2500), a couple fo 2500 will usually do just fine for practice. Just make sure that have at least IOS 12 and sufficient RAM and FLASH (both 8MB or better 16). Also make sure all cables are included.

    There are a couple of posts in this forum with more useful information about home labs. Also check out this page:

    Good luck and have fun!
  • MBHawksMBHawks Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for the info. I just purchased three 2500 routers and a 1900 switch off of eBay. Two of the 2500's have an ISDN BRI port. I'm sure that this would be sufficient for CCNA practice and I hope it will be a good base for any type of lab I need to build for CCNP. The community college I attend has an extensive Cisco lab including 2500 and 2600 series routers along with 1900 and 2950 series switches. Being that I have almost finished semester 3 in the CNAP, I have already logged at least 100 hours configuring both following the academy labs. I'm just getting to the point that I would like to have the equipment at home so that I can practice more often.
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