6 Replies Latest reply: Aug 11, 2010 12:36 PM by mjones - CCNP RSS

    Recommended Routers?


      Hello all..


      So I've passed A+ and Network + and I'm on to the real thing now. I'm going to buy a few used routers and was wondering what is recommended for CCNA? I want to get as much hands on experience as possible.




      CCENT Day 1

        • 1. Re: Recommended Routers?
          mjones - CCNP

          Hi there,


          Look for two or three switches. 2950's or 2960's. Also 3 to 4 routers. 2600 series are pretty cheap, and lots available on auction sites. If you get a NM-4A/S module for one of the 2600's that would be a bonus. Its a 4 port serial interface and you can then configure one of the routers as a frame-relay switch.


          The above should be enough to keep you busy for a while and get to grips with the CCENT course content.





          • 2. Re: Recommended Routers?

            2600s would work depending on the size of memory, 2950s will work well for switches.


            I would also recommend looking for a copy of Packet Tracer online, that is a great alternative to the real hardware for the CCNA.

            • 3. Re: Recommended Routers?

              You may want to take look at GNS3 if you decide to contniue pass the ccna. It is an excellent tool once you get it working, and its free.



              • 4. Re: Recommended Routers?

                Thanks for the kind responses.. I have downloaded GSN3 but have no clue what I'm doing looking for good lab exercises and trying to get some IOSs through work. I appreciate the guidance on which routers and switches to hunt down too cause I'm going to do both.



                • 5. Re: Recommended Routers?
                  Wendell Odom


                  I've heard such "what to get for lab" questions in many other contexts, so I started writing down notes. They're collected in the lab gear section of my web site (www.certskills.com/labgear.aspx). There you'll find info on suggested lab topologies, lists of router and switch models that seem to be reasonable from the tradeoff of used market prices versus being too old to support the later IOS's, and other stuff. There's also links to some blog series about building CCNA labs. The last such CCNA blog series was a couple of years back, but the exam hasn't changed since that time.


                  The short answer is that for routers, 1720/1721 seems to be a reasonably good router in 2010, given those compromises. They support 12.4T (plenty recent, still some longevity/applicability to CCNP for a while if you go on), and are pretty cheap. Vs 2600 non-XM routers, it's better IOS support (12.3 mainline is the latest 2600 non-XM version, which is basically 2 major versions older than 12.4T). But 2600 non-XM's can be cheap, so they're reasonable, just not as good IOS version support. For example, you don't get IPv6 support in the 2600 non-XMs. The web site is there with all this info cause I would look it up, forget it, look it up again, etc, so I just wrote it all down and try to keep it updated.


                  2950's are a nice sweet spot for switches again comparing features to used prices, again in my opinion.




                  • 6. Re: Recommended Routers?
                    mjones - CCNP

                    Great info on the site Wendell, very useful.


                    Regarding GNS3 - check the documentation page on the GNS3 site, they have a good starter tutorial that should help to get going.  - http://www.gns3.net/documentation.