DJ94DJ94 Registered Users Posts: 3 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hello all, im new here. Ive been researching what i can on acquiring a CCENT. Ive been a bit tossed between a CCENT or CCNA. I don't have any experience. But i have always been fascinated with Networking and I know what i would be getting myself into. I understand ill have to more than likely start at a help desk which is fine because it would build a solid foundation for me into my networking career.

But my question is what type of set up would be recommended for self study?

I have been looking at different PC's to find which would be efficient at what i would be using it for. But i have also came across All in one PC's. Is there a particular set up any of you would recommend?


  • paranoidparanoid Member Posts: 19 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Hello and welcome!

    The PC setup is not very much a concern just for studying, so the system requirements for any software related to study are quite moderate, and the power of todays (all-in-one) machines is enough for most every-days tasks (office, mail, internet, network simulators for doing labs, practice exams), and if you dont want to use it for high-end applications such as gaming, video-apps, rendering or compute-intensive applications, almost any recent pc will do it for your study....if mobility is a concern, you may take a look at a laptop computer, (which are a bit more expensive as desktop machines).

    Having no experience in networking, you should prepare yourself to learn a lot of new stuff, considering to read a foundation network book first before taking CCENT / CCNA exam preparation, so you should have at least basic TCP / IP knowledge. Further, any hardware knowledge is helpful. But keep beeing fascinated by the "Networking world", it will help you through your journey toward your certification! Good luck!

    Greets, Peter
  • Fulcrum45Fulcrum45 Member Posts: 620 ■■■■■□□□□□
    To build on what Paranoid said the Cisco Network Academy is a decent place to start learning for your CCENT/ CCNA: Sure, some courses make you go through a college or university but there are some in there that are free for self paced learners. The primary reason for joining however is that you will get free access to PacketTracer software. I used that software for 95% of my CCENT/ CCNA studies (I did both). You can most likley find PacketTracer floating around the internet but I believe the latest version wants you to log in with your Network Academy credentials before you can use it.
  • IsmaeljrpIsmaeljrp Member Posts: 480 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Packet tracer is surely enough, and the requirements to run it aren't a big deal.

    The PC building enthusiast in me says build a PC with specs to last years and possibly do some nice virtualization labs. But I wouldn't recommend that to anyone with no experience doing so.
  • koz24koz24 Member Posts: 766 ■■■■□□□□□□
    CCENT is just the first half of CCNA R&S so no need to be conflicted there. A lot of people take CCENT first and then they take the 2nd half to complete their CCNA, others just take 1 exam as a whole.

    You don't really need a monster PC for CCNA unless you plan on running 20-30 node topologies in VIRL or something. You could get CCNA on a $200 PC if you wanted to.
  • DJ94DJ94 Registered Users Posts: 3 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thank you all for the info. I know there are a lot of new concepts ill have to learn. Ive been researching this path for the past 4 months. I understand, as I've read on other forums, it helps to be proficient in Microsoft OS. Is there a way to study to learn more about that? I wouldnt want to just put a CCENT/CCNA on a resume.
  • koz24koz24 Member Posts: 766 ■■■■□□□□□□
    If you want to be a network engineer then you really need to just focus on the network side. Doesn't really matter what you use for your desktop whether its Microsoft, Macintosh, or Linux. If you have access to a terminal editor for CLI and a browser for GUI then you're good. If you're talking about server technology, sure it goes pretty deep in Microsoft land but I don't see how that would help an aspiring CCNA/Network Engineer.

    Unless of course you want to be a jack of all trades, then you could make a case for knowing a whole set of technologies. I just think it's better to specialize and go deep in one realm.

    You can get CCNA and MCSA, one won't hurt the other. But they are really point-in-time certs and unless you're applying the knowledge on a daily basis, you will lose it over time. I think it all comes down to figuring out where you want to be in say a couple of years and go from there.
  • mbarrettmbarrett Member Posts: 397 ■■■□□□□□□□
    The CCENT is like the first half of a CCNA. You can take the whole CCNA test, or break it into two parts (the first part being the CCENT) - I would definitely recommend this for anyone just getting into the field - the CCENT and CCNA are more in-depth than they were (even a couple years ago) and the full CCNA test is a significant challenge to anyone who doesn't have some solid experience under their belt and works with the stuff regularly.
    You can start with the Cisco Learning Network - and find more study materials+information from there. Safari is also a great resource. Just remember to make sure any study materials are recent, they have updated the CCENT/CCNA quite a bit over the last couple years. Studying newer material is a good way to make sure you are getting information that is relevant to the actual test today.
  • DJ94DJ94 Registered Users Posts: 3 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Okay. I have been looking up the recent info and guides i can find for it all. Starting at a help desk, would ccent or ccna be more of something an employer would look for? Not saying i think ill get hired on the spot but just asking out of curiosity.

    On top of the simulators i did want to purchase equipment to set up a simple home lab, would an all in one pc be able to do that? My goal is to get into CCNA Security. If there is any equipment to practice with on that
  • LordQarlynLordQarlyn Member Posts: 684 ■■■■■■□□□□
    I'm a freshly minted CCNA myself, failed the first time, passed the second time. My mistake was focusing too much on practical experience, and not enough on the theoretical concepts of IOS and Cisco. I glossed over practice exams, instead using packet tracer to set up networks, to set up routing using RIP, EIGRP, and OSFP, setting up VLANs, routing between VLANs, setting up ACLs, I had some pretty complex topologies running. Furthermore, with guidance from my IT supervisor, I configured and troubleshooted switches in our production network. (We only have a single non-Cisco router that serves to connect to our ISP and as a firewall so no real world routing practice).
    So why wasn't this helpful to me? When I got to the exam, I only had two practical exercises, one only using show commands, the other config an extended ACL, a few questions asking about commands and troubleshooting, the most questions asking detailed and overview technical questions about TCP/IP IPv6, something I didn't use much in real world. Many of these questions were "select three answers", and if my results on practice tests are any indication, I tend to get two out of three correct, which of course means I get the question wrong. My second attempt I focused less on practical (though still involved myself in our production network over my supervisor's objections but hey I am his boss lol) and more learning "the basics". I passed my second attempt, it was only 820, but still passing and I just got my e-certificate.
    I often heard Packet Tracer is not good for the CCNA, but my only experience in configuring, troubleshooting, and testing routers came from Packet Tracer, and according to the results of both exams, my highest scoring category was in routing, so take that for what it is worth.
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