Did I get my money's worth?

hiddenknight821hiddenknight821 Posts: 1,209Member ■■■■■□□□□□
It was a spur of the moment purchase since I never actually own a kit, and I bought myself a kit from ebay, which was pretty scary for a first-timer like me. I thought what I bought was good enough from what I saw in the picture and the price wasn't so bad for what I thought I would expect to get. It turned out that I need to slow down and pay close attention to what I'm paying for next time.

Here's the link to the item I bought on ebay for $210 plus $30 for ship: GARBAGE

First, I did not expect my router to have TI interfaces in place of serial interfaces. I have to use 2 pairs crossover twisted cables instead (which I haven't tested to see if it can function as the serial cable). On each routers, there are two T1 interfaces and 1 Ethernet interface (not even FastEthernet icon_mad.gif )

Second, I pulled out the switches from the box, but I thought the seller must have gave away 2 extra switches or routers by accident, but then I figured it was a hideous, bulky, noisy 2900 XL switch. I didn't bother seeing if the interface is FastEthernet or not.

So, I tried to keep my head up and see if the IOS is really gonna change my mood. When I read Odom's book, I reminded myself to be sure to practice more on [transport input telnet ssh] command, since I did bad on the security area on my first try. I tried the command on the router and switch, and the ssh feature is not there. I tried upgrading the IOS, but due to the memory size, it's stuck at where it is now.


So my question is... Did I get my money's worth?

lol, seriously. Inputs would be appreciated. I want to know if I can still knock down some certs beyond CCNA with this kit. I also use GNS3, but haven't hooked my lab to it yet. Switches are the reasons why I decided to buy the kit this time.
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Comments

  • mikej412mikej412 Posts: 10,090Member
    --- No ---
    :mike: Cisco Certifications -- Collect the Entire Set!
  • HeeroHeero Posts: 486Member
    Unfortunately, it can be very hard to really know what to buy when you are first getting into Cisco. There are so many platforms, model numbers, IOS image types, and so on. My suggestion is that if you buy gear, ask people who know their stuff before you make the purchase.
  • jovan88jovan88 Posts: 393Member
    ahh the 2900XLs! Those use the 'ye olde' vlan configuration so it will be different than the exam. Apart from that those switches are missing a lot of features you should watch out for in the future.

    As far as your routers go, you can link it up to your GNS3 box and do some cool stuff. Its always good to have some physical experience rather than just GNS3.

    I started with almost the exact same lab as you, now I'm rocking this: http://www.techexams.net/forums/ccnp/55179-physical-tshoot-lab-up-running.html
    The 2600 as a Frame Relay Switch and the 2900XL as a doorstop ;)
  • PhildoBagginsPhildoBaggins Posts: 276Member
    to put this into perspective
    I pieced together 8 usable routers and 3 usable switches for 350.
  • NetwurkNetwurk Posts: 1,155Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Hopefully the OP at least got a T1 crossover cable with the deal, as regular crossover cables won't work. As others have said, post your link before you buy, then we can help.
  • hiddenknight821hiddenknight821 Posts: 1,209Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    Thanks everyone. I know I should have came here, but like I said my decision was impulsive. Cheap kit = BUY IT NOW BEFORE OTHER PEOPLE CLAIM IT.

    Anyway, I didn't do the feedback yet on the seller's item. He was honest, but is there anything he said that was suggesting he was dishonest? Because he actually think I can get my CCNP with this garbage, and I'm like that's one fat lie already. I can give him a lower rating for that. So far, he has 100% positive feedback.
  • jamesleecolemanjamesleecoleman Posts: 1,899Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    Yea give him the lower rating. Atleast you have actual hardware and can practice some commands until you get updated gear.
    Booya!!
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  • down77down77 Posts: 1,009Member
    Give him a lower rating if and only if the items that you received weren't as described from the auction. You had admitted that it was a spur of the moment purchase which infers that you may have needed a little more research before making your decision.

    The gear is still useable for some of the commands and concepts needed to pass the CCNA, but for the CCNP you would need devices that support the newer features contained in the IOS.
    CCIE Sec: Starting Nov 11
  • miller811miller811 Posts: 897Member
    There was nothing dishonest in the auction.
    You got what you paid for....to bad it was not really what you wanted or needed.... but it is a learning process, that is why you are here.

    Remember its not the deal you got.... it the deal you thought you got icon_redface.gif
    I don't claim to be an expert, but I sure would like to become one someday.

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  • SomnipotentSomnipotent Posts: 384Member
    down77 wrote: »
    Give him a lower rating if and only if the items that you received weren't as described from the auction. You had admitted that it was a spur of the moment purchase which infers that you may have needed a little more research before making your decision.

    The gear is still useable for some of the commands and concepts needed to pass the CCNA, but for the CCNP you would need devices that support the newer features contained in the IOS.

    As described in the product listing, a lower rating is meritied. Seller falsely states that this setup will aid in passing the CCNP level tests. With this old ass gear, there is no way possible. The 2610 non-XM model with probably base D/F and only comes with 1x 10mb Ethernet= $10 per router. Not to mention this you need IOS version 12.4T for CCNP. Good luck understanding multipoint FR configs with just with just two routers. I won't even get into the switches. You need 3+ switches for the CCNP, not to mention at least one of those has to be an L3. He's not even listing the true IOS version. You should have at least 12.2. Total cost of set up doesn't even break $50.
    Reading: Internetworking with TCP/IP: Principles, Protocols, and Architecture (D. Comer)
  • hiddenknight821hiddenknight821 Posts: 1,209Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    As described in the product listing, a lower rating is meritied. Seller falsely states that this setup will aid in passing the CCNP level tests. With this old ass gear, there is no way possible. The 2610 non-XM model with probably base D/F and only comes with 1x 10mb Ethernet= $10 per router. Not to mention this you need IOS version 12.4T for CCNP. Good luck understanding multipoint FR configs with just with just two routers. I won't even get into the switches. You need 3+ switches for the CCNP, not to mention at least one of those has to be an L3. He's not even listing the true IOS version. You should have at least 12.2. Total cost of set up doesn't even break $50.

    Thanks for pointing that out. That's what I thought. I feel bad for all of the people that recently bought his items for merely nothing. (I know I should be ashamed as well icon_redface.gif). That's why I have a part-time job to make up the loss I made. Should be getting my money "back" in no time. Losing $250 isn't so bad, right? It's like failing the Security+ exam.
  • PlantwizPlantwiz Posts: 5,057Mod Mod
    When the question "Did I get my money's worth?" needs to be asked it usually is an indicated one did not get their' money's worth.


    And...I would not have invested in this from [email protected]


    But in life, we all pay 'stupid tax' at some point (that tax we pay as our money somewhat knowing leaves our figners...and usually under our own power). So, lesson learned, and yes, you'll make that back.

    Just take note to not repeat this event ;)
    Plantwiz
    _____
    "Grammar and spelling aren't everything, but this is a forum, not a chat room. You have plenty of time to spell out the word "you", and look just a little bit smarter." by Phaideaux

    ***I'll add you can Capitalize the word 'I' to show a little respect for yourself too.

    'i' before 'e' except after 'c'.... weird?
  • tierstentiersten Posts: 4,505Member
    As described in the product listing, a lower rating is meritied. Seller falsely states that this setup will aid in passing the CCNP level tests.
    By that logic then everybody who sells Cisco hardware on eBay would get a lower rating. Everybody advertises it as being CCNA, CCNP, CCIE and beyond capable. Its just how it is. I wouldn't single out this single auction and say that they're being dishonest. With eBay, if everybody else is doing it then you unfortunately have to follow suit.

    There is nothing wrong with WIC-1DSU-T1s either. People like using them instead of WIC-1Ts because of the more neat cabling.

    The 2610s whilst slow and old can be made to run 12.4 if you max out the RAM and flash on them.
  • hypnotoadhypnotoad Posts: 915Banned
    It's ok man. I did the same thing (well, not a lab but some routers) a long time ago with 3500XL's and 2610's instead of 2610XM's. A lot of it is similar, but there are some differences that become apparent. VLANs are one, router on a stick im not sure if the 2610 does but the 2610xm does.
  • NetwurkNetwurk Posts: 1,155Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Has the OP asked the seller if he can return? Or maybe exchange? That seller has a lot of Cisco equipment.
  • Paul BozPaul Boz Posts: 2,621Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    you got hosed, but not too badly. The devices you bought probably don't have any value to your studies but as you said, at least it was only $250 and not far more. I paid that much for a dead 3550 (advertised as working fine) and never got my money back. I'd rather get burned on a stack of devices than one..
    CCNP | CCIP | CCDP | CCNA, CCDA
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  • proleonkproleonk Posts: 6Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    I was afraid something similar would happen to me, getting some outdated stuff on eBay that wouldn't help me much for my Cisco studies.
    I found this post, by Odom himself describing what equipment you should get and avoid and also talks about budgets. Building a CCNA lab, Part 1 | NetworkWorld.com Community
    In the end I realized that getting a simulator fits my budget better, and I went with that. Otherwise it would have cost me quite some money, but it would have gotten me further then just the CCNA.
    Working on...
    MCSA 70-290 (50%) 70-291 (5%)
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  • tha_dubtha_dub Posts: 262Member
    You just have to be patient and wait for good deals... I picked up a 2950c 24 port for 45 delivered and a 1760 with no cards in it for 35 delivered.... The routers will be okay but you are going to need at least one newer router with fast Ethernet interfaces.... An XM possibly and one 2950 switch. That should be good enough for CCNA study. Just make sure you remember the commands from the 2950 and not the 2900's.
  • NetwurkNetwurk Posts: 1,155Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Best deal I got recently was $200 for a Cisco 3550 PoE switch. Needed it to replace a dead switch but then got a PS for $90 and repaired the dead one. So now I have 3 3550's which is overkill as I've already passed the switch test (BCMSN in July). Might come in handy for TSHOOT studies.

    Paul, what are the symptoms on your dead 3550? With any luck it's just the power supply.
  • hiddenknight821hiddenknight821 Posts: 1,209Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    tiersten wrote: »
    By that logic then everybody who sells Cisco hardware on eBay would get a lower rating. Everybody advertises it as being CCNA, CCNP, CCIE and beyond capable. Its just how it is. I wouldn't single out this single auction and say that they're being dishonest. With eBay, if everybody else is doing it then you unfortunately have to follow suit.

    There is nothing wrong with WIC-1DSU-T1s either. People like using them instead of WIC-1Ts because of the more neat cabling.

    The 2610s whilst slow and old can be made to run 12.4 if you max out the RAM and flash on them.

    Still, one can stand out and make a difference for us. This is my first time buying from ebay. He was still being dishonest. It's just as bad if most of the restaurants businesses in the same area use leftover food again the next day, and if you happen to be a competitor, trying to thrive in the competition, then you would tempt yourself to do the same. That's not good for business if someone gets food poisoning and sue your business, and the other businesses get away with it.

    I feel like I'm being attacked because of how ignorance I was. It's like buying a bogus car that will stop in two weeks after you buy it. What if I never knew about this forum? What if my first approach was to ask the seller directly some questions on his items and consider his recommendation? Of course, he would "lie" because he claimed that the kit is doable for CCNA/CCNP. That would have been true probably 6 years ago.

    Yesterday, I didn't get a chance to test it out thoroughly. Now I just realized I can't do more commands that I thought would be included. ip address dhcp vlan interface subcommand, interface range subcommand, and most importantly (the number one reason why I stopped studying for a while) switch port-security subcommand is not even on the switches. Now, my entire kit is useless. I bought it because I just need switches that are good enough for my labs since GNS3 don't have Catalyst switch. So, with no guilt or remorse, I would have to give him a negative feedback. I suggest you all to do the same if you feel that your sellers are somewhat dishonest like mine. It's time to make a difference now and teach them a lesson icon_evil.gif. My kit should have been donated in the first place since it's pretty worthless.
  • tierstentiersten Posts: 4,505Member
    Still, one can stand out and make a difference for us. This is my first time buying from ebay. He was still being dishonest.
    You're doing a lab on a budget. The items in the lab are still usable if you work around the differences or just remember that it doesn't quite work that way on later hardware.

    If you want to then you can buy what Cisco recommend but you're going to be spending thousands as that'll be 1841 routers and 2960 switches which are both current items still on the product lists.

    The eBay vendor didn't try to sell you 1600 routers or a CatOS switch. He sold you old but still usable Cisco hardware. You could have bought 2500 routers and still passed the tests. Plenty of people have done so.
    I feel like I'm being attacked because of how ignorance I was.
    You're not being attacked. Just reminded that as with every other big purchase that you should do your research before buying.
    ip address dhcp
    You trying this on the switch? Fixed config switches generally won't have it.
    vlan interface subcommand
    It is "vlan database" on a 2900XL.
    switch port-security
    It is "port security" on a 2900XL.
    My kit should have been donated in the first place since it's pretty worthless.
    It isn't worthless. I said that you can run 12.4 on the 2610s. The 2900XL switch is usable as a 3rd switch in your lab if you don't want to deal with the differences. If you can handle the differences then it is perfectly usable. People have passed the CCNA exams with significantly older hardware even with the current syllabus.

    The 2900XLs aren't ideal for CCNA but if you remember the differences e.g. VLAN and port security then you'll be able to do everything you need.

    Again, the 2600 routers aren't ideal but you can put 12.4 on them and they can do 802.1q if you have IP Plus.

    You might feel angry that you've been "ripped off" and that the lab is useless but it isn't useless despite what you think.

    You paid more than what the items are worth but that comes with buying a prebuilt lab kit. You pay for the convenience of buying from a single vendor. The fact it is all packaged up for you and tested. The misc cables that come with it. If you want to do the cheaper option then you watch eBay or whatever your favourite secondhand hardware auctionhouse is and buy it a piece at a time.
  • NetwurkNetwurk Posts: 1,155Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    My kit should have been donated in the first place since it's pretty worthless.

    It's far from worthless. It's just not worth what you paid for it. Get some more up-to-date equipment and link it up with your kit. Knowing the old models isn't the worst thing in the world, there are a lot of companies who have old equipment due to the "if it ain't broke don't fix it" mantra.

    For the tests, you need to know the new commands. But adding just one 2950 will have you close to the new command set. For CCNA/CCENT, using routers with 12.3 is not much different than using a router that can do 12.4

    The guy listed his equipment. Yeah, his writeup sounds like it was written by a slick used car salesman. But you got what you ordered.

    If he listed a switch as a 2950 and sent you a 2924 then you could raise hell. But this is a case of someone ordering the wrong product.

    I don't like sellers who claim 1900's, 2900's, and 3500's are state of the art switches. So I really don't care if you ruin his 100% rating. The important thing here is that folks research what they are buying before they jump in. You need to factor in lots of stuff.

    How much memory does the model have? How much flash? What IOS is on it? Do I need extras like specials cables or a transceiver?

    Most of us tell folks to start off small. Buy a $10 2500 and play around with it. Expand from there. And if you wind up deciding you don't like configuring Cisco equipment, then you're only out ten bucks.

    Anyhow, good luck with your lab and QYB

    :)
  • hiddenknight821hiddenknight821 Posts: 1,209Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    tiersten wrote: »
    It is "port security" on a 2900XL.

    Do you mind if I can borrow you for like a day? Because you know I don't roll with the dinosaurs icon_lol.gif (no pun intended). Gosh, I'm so embarrassed and I sound so ignorant right now icon_redface.gif It's like not truly understanding why my great, great grandfather was so racist (I never actually met him, lol) Since I don't even have the old manual with commands that maps with the modern commands, I would need some helps while I try to hang in there with my $200.
    tiersten wrote: »
    It isn't worthless. I said that you can run 12.4 on the 2610s. The 2900XL switch is usable as a 3rd switch in your lab if you don't want to deal with the differences. If you can handle the differences then it is perfectly usable. People have passed the CCNA exams with significantly older hardware even with the current syllabus.
    Please tell me how I can get the upgrade done on my router. Here's the show version:

    (by the way, I upgraded the IOS yesterday from c2600-i-mz.123-26.bin to the one you see down below. Is that good?)
    Router#show version
    Cisco Internetwork Operating System Software
    IOS (tm) C2600 Software (C2600-IO3-M), Version 12.3(6b), RELEASE SOFTWARE (fc1)
    Copyright (c) 1986-2004 by cisco Systems, Inc.
    Compiled Wed 19-May-04 23:04 by dchih
    Image text-base: 0x80008098, data-base: 0x80CFE6C8

    ROM: System Bootstrap, Version 11.3(2)XA4, RELEASE SOFTWARE (fc1)

    Router uptime is 1 minute
    System returned to ROM by power-on
    System image file is "flash:c2600-io3-mz.123-6b.bin"

    cisco 2610 (MPC860) processor (revision 0x203) with 28672K/4096K bytes of memory.
    Processor board ID JAD042000PA (2344187323)
    M860 processor: part number 0, mask 49
    Bridging software.
    X.25 software, Version 3.0.0.
    1 Ethernet/IEEE 802.3 interface(s)
    2 Serial network interface(s)
    32K bytes of non-volatile configuration memory.
    8192K bytes of processor board System flash (Read/Write)

    Configuration register is 0x2102
    Router#show file system
    File Systems:

    Size(b) Free(b) Type Flags Prefixes
    29688 27588 nvram rw nvram:
    - - opaque rw system:
    - - opaque rw null:
    - - opaque ro xmodem:
    - - opaque ro ymodem:
    - - network rw tftp:
    * 7864320 7856 flash rw flash:
    - - network rw rcp:
    - - network rw ftp:
    - - opaque ro cns:

    Router#
    tiersten, you're now my only hope (maybe I'm exaggerating a bit). Sorry if I was being too defensive earlier. I have a friend who can get me the IOS I need. I hope you can help me and I will get the IOS if I can.
  • tierstentiersten Posts: 4,505Member
    IOS (tm) C2600 Software (C2600-IO3-M), Version 12.3(6b), RELEASE SOFTWARE (fc1)
    This is the mainline train of IOS. The older versions of IOS used a letter code to tell you what feature set you've got. In your case, IO3 stands for IP FW/IDS. The I stands for IP Routing i.e. the base as everything gets this. The O3 stands for firewall/IDS. The version of IOS that came with the router is 12.3.26 IP Routing also generally known as IP Base which is the smallest feature set.

    You ideally want something that has an "S" in the code as well since that means IP Plus so you can get 802.1q trunking support for ROAS. You'll be glad to hear that Cisco threw out this confusing system for later devices and IOS versions but unfortunately for you, you'll have to deal with it.

    You want something like c2600-is-mz.123-26.bin at a minimum which is 12.3.26 for a 2600 and it is IP Plus. The only issue is that you need 64MB RAM and 32MB flash but your router only comes with 32MB RAM and 8MB Flash. It definitely won't fit in flash as it is around 17MB but you might be able to get it into 32MB RAM. I'm unsure as it may or may not work. If you want one that is IP Plus + FW/IDS then c2600-ik9o3s3-mz.123-26.bin. I'm not actually sure what the significance of S3 is as thats just listed as basic IP routing by Cisco. I don't know what its taken out of the regular IOS.

    I linked to the guide above that tells you what is in each feature set and how to decode the feature code letters. It is part of the Cisco Portable Product Datasheets which contain other useful information like rated throughput for a router and various other items.

    What you've got will work but ideally you'd get more RAM and flash so you can run a version of IOS with a bigger feature set.

    InternetworkExpert/INE have a guide to how to get a 2600XM IOS running on a 2600. They've also got other useful information for free.
  • bermovickbermovick Posts: 1,134Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    My lab started with a pair of 2610's, so you're really not too badly off there. I don't even have max ram in them; I think I have 32/8. I've since nabbed a 2610XM, but that's probably all I'll get. I'll use GNS3 for anything further routing-wise.

    2924 switches are pretty old, but consider that with the addition of 1 2950, you can build the triangle used in most of the STP examples in the study guides I've read, while having 'current' commands available by doing most of your work on the 2950.

    Yeah, that was a bit of a pricey mistake, but the hardware's not completely useless. If you need help on squeezing stuff onto a non-max-memory 2610, let me know and I'll try to help :)
    Latest Completed: CISSP

    Current goal: Dunno
  • SomnipotentSomnipotent Posts: 384Member
    Still, one can stand out and make a difference for us. This is my first time buying from ebay. He was still being dishonest. It's just as bad if most of the restaurants businesses in the same area use leftover food again the next day, and if you happen to be a competitor, trying to thrive in the competition, then you would tempt yourself to do the same. That's not good for business if someone gets food poisoning and sue your business, and the other businesses get away with it.

    I feel like I'm being attacked because of how ignorance I was. It's like buying a bogus car that will stop in two weeks after you buy it. What if I never knew about this forum? What if my first approach was to ask the seller directly some questions on his items and consider his recommendation? Of course, he would "lie" because he claimed that the kit is doable for CCNA/CCNP. That would have been true probably 6 years ago.

    Yesterday, I didn't get a chance to test it out thoroughly. Now I just realized I can't do more commands that I thought would be included. ip address dhcp vlan interface subcommand, interface range subcommand, and most importantly (the number one reason why I stopped studying for a while) switch port-security subcommand is not even on the switches. Now, my entire kit is useless. I bought it because I just need switches that are good enough for my labs since GNS3 don't have Catalyst switch. So, with no guilt or remorse, I would have to give him a negative feedback. I suggest you all to do the same if you feel that your sellers are somewhat dishonest like mine. It's time to make a difference now and teach them a lesson icon_evil.gif. My kit should have been donated in the first place since it's pretty worthless.

    not attacking your brother... just trying to help by advising you on your purchase, even though it's too late to change it. make do with what you have and build upon that. GNS3 will help with your routers, and needless to say, get yourself two more switches... 2950s or 3550s if you can afford it.
    Reading: Internetworking with TCP/IP: Principles, Protocols, and Architecture (D. Comer)
  • hypnotoadhypnotoad Posts: 915Banned
    Well, you need 2950 (not anything XL) switches to do things like VLANs, STP, and port security (CCNA topics) and you need at least 2610XM or better for routing (XM is a must in the 26xx series). The 1700 routers are good for CCNA and cheap. So is the 3640 and the 3620 -- those routers were designed to be really expandable, so a lot of people use those in the lab for various things. For the CCNA, some people also use the 3700 series.

    Also, consider how much noise this stuff is going to make. You'll soon end up keeping your rack in the basement or something instead of next to your workstation.
  • tierstentiersten Posts: 4,505Member
    hypnotoad wrote: »
    So is the 3640 and the 3620
    Yes to 3640. No to 3620. The 3620s were odd and not very well supported by Cisco. You can't get the later versions of IOS for them unlike the 3640s and 3660s.

    For the 3640 and 3620, you need to get NMs (Network Modules. They're expansion modules that fit into the large bay in a 2600/3600 and newer routers) as they come with no interfaces at all including Ethernet so factor in the price of an Ethernet NM and a NM that lets you plug in WICs (WAN Interface Cards. They're cards that fit into the small slots on various routers that add a WAN interface like serial or T1). The 3660 does come with built in Ethernet but still has no WIC slots.

    Don't buy any HWICs and make sure that the WICs and plain NMs you do buy are actually compatible with your router. Not all of them will be and some depend on a very specific version of IOS to operate.
  • hiddenknight821hiddenknight821 Posts: 1,209Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    Thanks to every one of you replying to this thread.

    I will take some of your recommendations in consideration. I'm thinking about getting rid of the switches I have now (or maybe keep at least one for the purpose of STP). Should I keep both switches, and buy me a 2950 switch with all the features I wanted?

    I want to be able to do telnet, SSH, switchport port-security, and modern vlan configuration commands. From now on, I'm buying my kit from Ciscokits.com. A friend told me that it's more reliable. Is that true? If yes, then please reply to my post with a link to redirect me to the right switch that has all the features I'm looking for. Please feel free to throw in other places where I can get the switches for cheap.

    But do I really need to get new routers? I thought my routers are good enough, but hey, don't forget I can run few good routers in GNS3.

    However, I would need to buy PCI NICs for my PC. I don't care what you guys think, but I do need two of them. Do you know where I can get them for cheap online? I heard some of them are glitchy. I hope you can help me find the one with the generic driver that can work with my Ubuntu 10.04 (32-bits) and Windows 7 (64-bits).
  • alan2308alan2308 CISSP, MCSA 2008, MCSA 2012, CCNA R&S, CCNA Security Ann Arbor, MIPosts: 1,854Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Thanks to every one of you replying to this thread.

    I will take some of your recommendations in consideration. I'm thinking about getting rid of the switches I have now (or maybe keep at least one for the purpose of STP). Should I keep both switches, and buy me a 2950 switch with all the features I wanted?

    You might as well hold on to them, I doubt you'd get enough to make it worth the trouble. Add a 2950 or two and you're good on switches for now.
    I want to be able to do telnet, SSH, switchport port-security, and modern vlan configuration commands. From now on, I'm buying my kit from Ciscokits.com. A friend told me that it's more reliable. Is that true? If yes, then please reply to my post with a link to redirect me to the right switch that has all the features I'm looking for. Please feel free to throw in other places where I can get the switches for cheap.

    Ciscokits is fine, but it's pretty pricey. I'd just watch ebay or craigslist for good deals. Just be patient and do you're homework next time. icon_mrgreen.gif
    But do I really need to get new routers? I thought my routers are good enough, but hey, don't forget I can run few good routers in GNS3.

    There will be a lot of benefit from adding a third router, but what you have now will get you through the CCNA. I've got a few 2600's and I have no complaints. Again, watch ebay, theres deals to be had if you're patient.
    However, I would need to buy PCI NICs for my PC. I don't care what you guys think, but I do need two of them. Do you know where I can get them for cheap online? I heard some of them are glitchy. I hope you can help me find the one with the generic driver that can work with my Ubuntu 10.04 (32-bits) and Windows 7 (64-bits).

    A lot of people like these in their Dynamips/GNS3 rigs.
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