Home Lab setup: Recommendations for router + PIX

Unanswered Question
Feb 11th, 2007

Hello everyone.

Wanted to get some suggestions for a home lab setup as I am preparing for my CCNA and CCDA. Future learning will probably include PIX/ASA as well.

Here is my question.

I just bought a PIX 501 off ebay for a good price. I am going to use this at home to learn and practice on.

I wanted to get some recommendations on a router to look for to hook up for my home connection as well.

I am a hands on type of guy, so I figure if I can setup a mini-cisco network at home (have to get some approval from the wife :) hehe ), that would go to great lengths in getting hands on experience. I know it is not the same as being in a larger environment, but still helps. Plus it is fun.

With that, what are some recommended routers to take a look at? Models?

I have a cable modem connection with a 12mb download and 1mb upload.

Just wanted to get started here. Once I get this in place, we shall see what happens next.

Thanks everyone.


I have this problem too.
0 votes
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Overall Rating: 0 (0 ratings)
daviddtran Fri, 02/16/2007 - 05:59

instead of purchasing a pix501, you can

purchase an ISA flash card for less than the

price of a pix501 and build yourself a "franken"

pix that will run exactly the same code as

pix501, 506E or 520. Even better, you can

do 802.1Q on the franken pix and actually have

DMZ interfaces on the franken pix which you do

not have on Pix501.

For IDS, you can get a recovery CD from Cisco

and build yourself a franken IDS version 4.1 and learn more about IDS.

For Cisco ACS, download the 90 days version

and install it on your PC so you can learn

how tacacs and radius works.

Once you learned how these things work, go

to an interview and the employers will offer

you a job on the spot.

My home lab has both franken pix and franken

IDS and that's how it help me prepared for the

security lab.


thecoffeeguy Fri, 02/16/2007 - 08:18


Just a couple of questions.

Where can I purchase a ISA flash card? I saw one some place, a 16mb card that was $700!

For IDS, where can I get a recovery CD?

ACS, is that downloadable from Cisco's website?


daviddtran Fri, 02/16/2007 - 09:44

you can find ISA card via auction. $700 is quite expensive. $300 sound reasonable. To build a franken Pix 520, you need ISA flash

card, Intel EtherExpress Fast Ethernet cards

i825759, 440BX-SE-2, floppy drive, 128MB PC-100 RAM. You then have a franken Pix capable of running version 6.3(5). Keep in mind that the 440BX-SE-2 can only have 4 PCI slots so you can only have a maximum of 4 physical NICs but you can have a lot of logical interfaces due to 802.1Q capabilities available in version 6.3(5).

As far as the IDS goes, you can look online

for the 4.1 recovery CD. Again, to have the

Franken IDS to work properly, you need to have

the same NICs for the Franken IDS as the

franken Pix.

ACS version 4.1 is downloadable from cisco

website if you have a valid CCO account.

Good luck to you.

CCIE Security


This Discussion