Low budget CCNA lab

notheorynotheory Member Posts: 31 ■■□□□□□□□□
Hi all,

I'm about to get serious icon_lol.gif. I want to get myself a CCNA study lab. Unfortunately I have a very limited budget.

Where do you guys get your equipment from? Ebay? I tend to not trust in Ebay.
Or even from sites like this?

I just don't have lots of many to spend and want to get the right parts without spending money on stuff I might not require or that might be outdated for the CCNA.

I want to go for CCNA Security after getting the CCNA, so would it even be more wise to not get any hardware for the CCNA but for the CCNA security after passing the CCNA?

Thank you,

Comments

  • mdominomdomino Member Posts: 81 ■■□□□□□□□□
    If you absolutely must have physical gear, cablesandkits.com has some great prices. I believe I found out about them from this site.

    I am almost ready to take my CCNA and I can safely say the Packet Tracer and GNS3 are more than enough for this test. I was planning on buying a ~500 lab from a guy on craigslist and couldn't be happier to have saved the money! I have my GNS3 simulated network with 6 routers and one router using PAT to access the internet through my computer. Every feature present in the IOS is present in GNS3 and they run very well on my (admittedly fast) computer. All of this is set up for free and could be a great way to save yourself a few hundred dollars.

    If you have any questions on using GNS3/PT to study I'll be glad to help, but if you are dead set on building a physical lab then someone else will have to chime in with suggestions.
  • alan2308alan2308 CISSP, MCSA 2008, MCSA 2012, CCNA R&S, CCNA Security Ann Arbor, MIMember Posts: 1,854 ■■■■■■■■□□
    +1 for cablesandkits if you dont want to use eBay or Craigslist.
  • gc8dc95gc8dc95 Member Posts: 206 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I have used ebay for my equipment. It is ok if you check the seller out and the deal seems legit. Sometimes things are really cheap for a reason. Also, check it out as soon as you receive it, so you can resolve any issues right away.
  • Ltat42aLtat42a Member Posts: 587 ■■■□□□□□□□
  • jsb515jsb515 Member Posts: 253
    I've bought most of mine stuff off eBay, got from work, and cableandkits.com best advice it to budget for it a piece at a time.
  • theodoxatheodoxa Member Posts: 1,340 ■■■■□□□□□□
    GNS3 and Packet Tracer are good free options. Though, both have their limitations. GNS3 doesn't do switches and requires you to provide your own copy of IOS, plus the only platform that supports IOS 15 on GNS3 is the 7200 and I have yet to find a copy of the image for it. Packet Tracer has some newer equipment (2960, 3560, 1841, etc...) It also uses - for better (less memory usage, simpler configuration) or worse (not a real OS) - simulated computers, whereas GNS3 allows you to use real Virtual Machines running under VirtualBox or QEMU. There are some *nix distros that don't use much memory.

    If you need real equipment (this is the only way to actually connect serial/T1 cables for WANs or crossover cables for trunking), Routers Wholesale has dirt cheap Catalyst 2950 Switches. The IOS on them does not support encryption, so no SSH. But, otherwise they seem to do what you will need (VLANs, Trunking, VTP, Spanning Tree, etc...) For routers, Cables and Kits seems to have good prices and even some newer Routers (1800, 2800 Series) and large selection of switches, including some Layer 3 Switches (3550, 3560, etc...) if you ever have some more money to spend. I haven't bought from them yet, so I can't say how good the service is.
    R&S: CCENT CCNA CCNP CCIE [ ]
    Security: CCNA [ ]
    Virtualization: VCA-DCV [ ]
  • d6bmgd6bmg Member Posts: 241
    Another software option that I should mention is Boson Netsim 8.0
    It's not free, but it does include almost all the necessary things..
    And with proper use of google nothing is impossible. ;)
    [ ]CCDA; [ ] CCNA Security
  • SomnipotentSomnipotent Member Posts: 384
    Ebay and their watchlists are your friend. Craigslist works too. 3 routers (1841s or 2600XMs), 3 switches, (2950s and/or 3550s/3560s) should be perfect.
    Reading: Internetworking with TCP/IP: Principles, Protocols, and Architecture (D. Comer)
  • pamccabepamccabe Member Posts: 315
    I've used certificationkits.com to purchase hardware and am VERY happy with them. The hardware was shipped fast and as advertised. I keep getting emails from them even a month afterwards asking me if I am happy with the hardware. I'm not sure how their prices compare to other sites, but can vouch for their goods.
  • PsychoCiscoPsychoCisco Member Posts: 44 ■■□□□□□□□□
    theodoxa wrote: »
    Routers Wholesale has dirt cheap Catalyst 2950 Switches. The IOS on them does not support encryption, so no SSH. But, otherwise they seem to do what you will need (VLANs, Trunking, VTP, Spanning Tree, etc...) .

    2950 does support SSH I have three 2950s and they all support ssh
  • Patel128Patel128 Member Posts: 339
    alan2308 wrote: »
    +1 for cablesandkits if you dont want to use eBay or Craigslist.

    Gotta love the M&M's! I have also used CablesandKits, and they have great service. Everything else I have gotten from eBay, I have yet to have a problem. When buying from eBay just know to check the seller rating/feedback score, and know how much ram/memory is installed.
    Studying For:
    B.S. in Computer Science at University of Memphis
    Network+
    Currently Reading:
    CompTIA Network+ Study Guide - Lammle
  • theodoxatheodoxa Member Posts: 1,340 ■■■■□□□□□□
    2950 does support SSH I have three 2950s and they all support ssh

    The IOS image they came with by default doesn't. You would have to upgrade the IOS.
    R&S: CCENT CCNA CCNP CCIE [ ]
    Security: CCNA [ ]
    Virtualization: VCA-DCV [ ]
  • notheorynotheory Member Posts: 31 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thank you very much!

    I found some real cheap Switches at Router wholesale, but not sure if they actually are useful. If they are, I'd immediately order 3 of them.
    Description:
    Cisco Catalyst 2950-12 Ethernet Switch - 12 x 10/100Base-TX LAN

    • Model: WS-C2950-12=
    • Manufactured by: CISCO
    • Cisco WS-C2950-12=, 12 x RJ-45 10/100Base-TX LAN Switch
    • 1 x RJ-45 Console Management Cable
    • 1 x AC Power Cord.
    For unbelievable $24.95 ???

    Can I get 3 of those without regretting it?

    If yes, wow.... I could mark the Switches off and would only have to find 2 more Routers for my lab.

    ***EDIT***
    I might as well order the 24P switches, not sure how big the power consumption difference is between 12P and 24P though?

    Thanks a million!
  • Patel128Patel128 Member Posts: 339
    Are those with or without shipping? A quick search on eBay, and I found this listing.
    Cisco WS C2950 12 Catalyst 2950 Series 12 10 100 Mbps Port Switch 0746320454504 | eBay
    Then if you wanted to go 24 port, and with the 2950T there is this listing for a little but more.
    Ethernet Switch Cisco 2950 WS C2950T 24 0007463205003 | eBay
    The amount of ports probably shouldn't be a big thing in an lab environment for CCNA. As far as my lab has gotten I do not think that i have more than 12 ports filled on my 2950's.
    Studying For:
    B.S. in Computer Science at University of Memphis
    Network+
    Currently Reading:
    CompTIA Network+ Study Guide - Lammle
  • HailHogwashHailHogwash Member Posts: 87 ■■■□□□□□□□
    notheory wrote: »
    Thank you very much!

    I found some real cheap Switches at Router wholesale, but not sure if they actually are useful. If they are, I'd immediately order 3 of them.
    Description:
    Cisco Catalyst 2950-12 Ethernet Switch - 12 x 10/100Base-TX LAN

    • Model: WS-C2950-12=
    • Manufactured by: CISCO
    • Cisco WS-C2950-12=, 12 x RJ-45 10/100Base-TX LAN Switch
    • 1 x RJ-45 Console Management Cable
    • 1 x AC Power Cord.
    For unbelievable $24.95 ???

    Can I get 3 of those without regretting it?

    If yes, wow.... I could mark the Switches off and would only have to find 2 more Routers for my lab.

    ***EDIT***
    I might as well order the 24P switches, not sure how big the power consumption difference is between 12P and 24P though?

    Thanks a million!

    12P = 12 ports
    24P = 24 Ports(Ethernet)
  • notheorynotheory Member Posts: 31 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Patel128 wrote: »
    Are those with or without shipping? A quick search on eBay, and I found this listing.
    Cisco WS C2950 12 Catalyst 2950 Series 12 10 100 Mbps Port Switch 0746320454504 | eBay
    Then if you wanted to go 24 port, and with the 2950T there is this listing for a little but more.
    Ethernet Switch Cisco 2950 WS C2950T 24 0007463205003 | eBay
    The amount of ports probably shouldn't be a big thing in an lab environment for CCNA. As far as my lab has gotten I do not think that i have more than 12 ports filled on my 2950's.

    3x 12Port WS-C2950 Switches with shipping : $122.48 on RoutersWholesale.

    I live in Canada, most of the Ebay items have ridicolous shipping costs to Canada...
  • JeanMJeanM Member Posts: 1,117
    Keep watching eBay as 2950s can usually be purchased for 25-35 shipped . Or look for local listings for pickup
    2015 goals - ccna voice / vmware vcp.
  • theodoxatheodoxa Member Posts: 1,340 ■■■■□□□□□□
    notheory wrote: »
    3x 12Port WS-C2950 Switches with shipping : $122.48 on RoutersWholesale.

    I live in Canada, most of the Ebay items have ridicolous shipping costs to Canada...

    Ouch! Unless Routers Wholesale has raised their prices...the 12 Ports were $25 and 24 Ports were $30 each. Plus, they were offering free shipping on orders over $50, but I presume that wouldn't apply outside the US. As for the switches, I bought the 24 Ports and they appear to be in working order. As I indicated, they do not come with [or at least the ones I got didn't come with] an IOS image that supports encryption. This is a minor issue for me. If you need SSH, you can always find an IOS image that includes encryption (one with a k in the filename, e.g. c2950-i6k2l2q4-mz.12.1-22.bin)

    Mine came with --

    c2950-i6q4l2-mz.121-22.EA4a
    c2950-i6q4l2-mz.121-22.EA6
    c2950-i6q4l2-mz.121-22.EA7
    R&S: CCENT CCNA CCNP CCIE [ ]
    Security: CCNA [ ]
    Virtualization: VCA-DCV [ ]
  • notheorynotheory Member Posts: 31 ■■□□□□□□□□
    JeanM wrote: »
    Keep watching eBay as 2950s can usually be purchased for 25-35 shipped . Or look for local listings for pickup

    I don't think this applies to Canadian. The lowest shipping costs on switche's I've ever seen on Ebay is $25 icon_sad.gif.

    Anyone of you guys have equipment you don't need anymore?
  • krjaykrjay Member Posts: 290
    notheory wrote: »
    Hi all,

    I'm about to get serious icon_lol.gif. I want to get myself a CCNA study lab. Unfortunately I have a very limited budget.

    Where do you guys get your equipment from? Ebay? I tend to not trust in Ebay.
    Or even from sites like this?

    I just don't have lots of many to spend and want to get the right parts without spending money on stuff I might not require or that might be outdated for the CCNA.

    I want to go for CCNA Security after getting the CCNA, so would it even be more wise to not get any hardware for the CCNA but for the CCNA security after passing the CCNA?

    Thank you,


    Might want to consider waiting to buy any equipment until after Cisco releases more information regarding the new version of CCNA next week. The minimum hardware required might change a bit if IOS 15 is required.
    2014 Certification Goals: 70-410 [ ] CCNA:S [ ] Linux+ [ ]
  • veritas_libertasveritas_libertas CISSP, GIAC x5, CompTIA x5 Greenville, SC USAMember Posts: 5,735 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I agree. Wait until next month to get a better idea of what is going as far the new CCNA exam. You may think you can knock this out by September, but life has a way of shaking things up.
    Currently working on: Linux and Python
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