Hi, I'm currently preparing for my CCNA (640-802) exam for which I'll probably appear in a couple of weeks or so. After that, I've been planning to get a CCNP and if time and money permits, a CCIE (Security track).
I'd like to know a few things before I spend money on equipment/courses, so I'll be glad if anyone can help me out.
> I've studied for the CCNA exam by myself and didn't face any problems (been referring to Todd Lammle's updated book, in case you're curious). Now I was wondering whether I would be able to study for the CCNP on my own, or should I be looking at training courses either online or offline.
> Will I absolutely _NEED_ to buy Cisco routers and switches to practise for CCNP? I've seen websites which offer online rentals of routers. Is there a difference between having the routers/switches physically next to you, as opposed to telnetting into them? What about router simulators, how do they compare against practising on real routers?
> As for CCIE (Security), is it possible to learn the stuff on my own? Or would I need someone to help me out? I'm generally comfortable with learning on my own unless it's something that absolutely requires an instructor. Even then, I'm sure the Internet would be a good place to ask for help. Just need someone to tell me that it's possible without an instructor.
Well, sorry for the long post and thanks for looking at it. :)