Routers/Switches -- What series for the CCNA exams?

qsubqsub Member Posts: 303
What series switch/router would be enough for the CCNA/CCNP exams?

I'm currently looking at this model "CISCO SERIES 2820 WS-C2802"

Would that be good enough? Will I need two switches/routers? Or should one be enough.

Should I be looking for switches or routers?
World Cup 2006 - Zidane - Never Forget.


  • NoodsNoods Member Posts: 168
    2500 series routers and 2950 series switches are working great for me. Anything less wont have all the functionality.
  • johnnynodoughjohnnynodough Member Posts: 634
    You sould be looking for both switches and routers. Like Noods said, 2500 series routers (2 minimum, 3 would be best, 2501 is the best deal for an Ethernet router, dont waste your money on token ring) and 2950 switches (1 minimum) is what you need for a home lab CCNA. You can probably get away with any 2900 series switch (dont waste your money on any 1900 series switch), as long as you get the enterprise edition, denoted by an EN at the end of the model name. One of the most important things when buying cisco gear is the IOS version, if you get an old IOS (the router and switches operating system software) you can be in a world of hurt, IOS isnt free. This is just for CCNA. Before you buy, post the IOS version here in the forum. You want at least 12.0, 12.2 and 12.3 would be ideal. Also check out the DRAM and NVRAM amounts, although if its 12.1 and above it will have to be maxed out anyways.

    CCNP needs a considerably larger amount of devices, and building a fully adequate CCNP build can run you upwards of 10k.

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  • qsubqsub Member Posts: 303
    I'm going to assume a 2600 series router is alright since 2600 > 2500?
    World Cup 2006 - Zidane - Never Forget.
  • 2lazybutsmart2lazybutsmart Member Posts: 1,119
    ...and much more expensive ;)

    This is what I have for a lab:

    two 2520's (2 Serial, 2 Async Serial, 1 AIU, 1 10bt Ethernet, MEM:16/16, IOS: 12.3)
    one 2611 (1 Serial, 2 Ethernet MEM:32/8, IOS: 12.2)
    one 2924-EN Catalyst switch

    I don't think I got my lab for a cheap price, but it was definitley reasonable given that some of the equipment were actually in use for a couple of months.

    Just check out the integrity of users at eBay when you purchase things. Some of them have equipment that is almost as good as new.

    Best of Luck
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  • WebmasterWebmaster Admin Posts: 10,292 Admin
    spfdz wrote:
    I'm going to assume a 2600 series router is alright since 2600 > 2500?
    You are correct. 2600 series is the series for the ccna exam.
  • Fu LoserFu Loser Member Posts: 123
    Just post what you are thinking of buying here and everyone will tell you if its a good deadl or not.

    I'd reccommend

    They have the lowest prices I have seen
  • QUIX0TICQUIX0TIC Member Posts: 277 is good if you just want to get the whole thing in one shot. There are also a lot of kits out there on ebay that would help too. A 2800 series router is a bit too new and too pricey for a home kit. Dont get me wrong... if you can get it for a good price then I would get it but that is more for a CCIE lab than anything else. Plus, the 2800 series router is more for the power of the processing and not needed for a home lab. I dont think you will be sending that much traffic across your router to even make it get above 5% system usage.

    There are other links that people have made comments on regarding what to get for a starting lab. But, look for 2+ routers and possible 1+ switches for the same price as a single 2800 series router. Its worth it!
    "To realize one's destiny is a person's only obligation."
  • johnnynodoughjohnnynodough Member Posts: 634
    ciscokits is pretty good, they sell on ebay as well, but I think its the same price. And they all come fully upgraded with chips and IOS.

    An important thing to look for when buying Cisco gear on Ebay, especially 2500 series routers, is the amount of DRAM and Flash the have, the bootrom, and the IOS the is loaded. YOu can buy the DRAM/flash chips anytime on ebay, there always on there, the bootrom chips are a bit harder to find, and the IOS can be a pain to get. One of the 2501 i bought on ebay for 45 bucks had 8/8, the bootrom was 5, and the IOS was 9. Yes, I said 9. I spent about 40 bucks getting all the chips for it and got the IOS from CCO, but thats cause my company is a Cisco Channel Partner, and we sell tons of CIsco gear and do lots of consulting on their behalf, so we can download any version directly from CCO, if your not, you dont get them for free. Not all channel partners can download IOS from CCO.
    Go Hawks - 7 and 2

    2 games againts San Fran coming up, oh yeah baby, why even play? just put then in the win category and call it good :p
  • PremierCiscoPremierCisco Member Posts: 221
    Hi all,

    I was looking at a CCNA kit on ciscokits site and came across this one:

    Dual Cisco 2501 Router and 1924 Switch kit

    Tested and Guaranteed working!!
    16MB DRAM & 16MB Flash
    Cisco Back to Back Cable
    Power Cable
    Console cable
    Console cable adapter
    Two Transceivers
    30 Day Warranty!

    Additional Items Include:
    Enterprise 12.2 IPSEC/FW Plus IOS on CD
    Enterprise 9.00.07 Swutch IOS on CD
    TFTP Server
    50 Advanced Cisco Labs covering
    IP & IPX Routing
    Queueing, Multicast, DLSW
    Appletalk, IP Firewall, HSRP, NAT
    185 Cisco test review questions and tips
    List of all Cisco CCNA router commands
    IOS Upgrade Instructions
    Password Recovery Procedure
    CCIE tricks
    Cable modem configurations
    Connecting thru AUX ports

    Any thoughts would be most welcome

    Thanks :)
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  • WebmasterWebmaster Admin Posts: 10,292 Admin
    That's a typical example of the 'low-budget CCNA kit', but it has some nice 'Additional Items'. Whether it's a good deal depends on the price.
  • qsubqsub Member Posts: 303
    I was looking on ebay for the items because I'm located in Canada.

    If I buy something from, an amerian site I presume. I'm afraid I might get some insane duty charge.
    World Cup 2006 - Zidane - Never Forget.
  • UndertowUndertow Member Posts: 48 ■■□□□□□□□□
    The best choice for a CCNA lab would be some 2600 series routers and 2950 catalyst switches (not 1900 because these switches support some different commands).
  • ronorono GSEC, GCIH, GMON - Blue team Member Posts: 119 ■■□□□□□□□□

    I see you are working at CCSP...what your recomandation for a home lab if I'm studying for my CCNA and then ,shal i choose CCSP?

    Mess with the best,Die like the rest!
  • QUIX0TICQUIX0TIC Member Posts: 277
    Same as CCNP but also a PIX and IDS equipment of course.
    "To realize one's destiny is a person's only obligation."
  • HulkamaniacHulkamaniac Member Posts: 9 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Best bet:

    Routers: 2500 or 2600 series. IF you get 2500's make sure you get some transcievers to hook up for ethernet. They dont sell those at radioshack so make sure the guy you buy it from comes with it.
    Switches: 2950 series and 1900 series since 2950's dont use ISL and 1900's dont use dot1q

    Thanks for the correction.
  • johnnynodoughjohnnynodough Member Posts: 634
    2950s do use dot1q. I think you just typed it wrong though. Thnk you meant 1900 dont.
    Go Hawks - 7 and 2

    2 games againts San Fran coming up, oh yeah baby, why even play? just put then in the win category and call it good :p
  • johnnynodoughjohnnynodough Member Posts: 634
    Go middle of the road, the 2900 XL EN series support both 802.1Q and ISL.
    Go Hawks - 7 and 2

    2 games againts San Fran coming up, oh yeah baby, why even play? just put then in the win category and call it good :p
  • QUIX0TICQUIX0TIC Member Posts: 277
    Johnny is right on again. If you worried or want to express learning .1q and/ or ISL trunking... then the 2900-en switches will do and they are cheaper. Recommendation is to get two of them and that is all. If you plan or need to get another switch... stay with the 2950s afterwards.
    "To realize one's destiny is a person's only obligation."
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