Switches and Routers to purchase for CCNA, CCNP

Unanswered Question
Nov 7th, 2007

I'm planning to take CCNA and CCNP and want to purchase the hardware to make a lab at home for testing and preparation. I found some kits on eBay but feel it would be cheaper if I buy the individual switches and routers than buying a kit.

Please recommend switches and routers with model numbers with necessary cables/connections and if you know of good sources where to purchase these products such as eBay, Amazon etc.

Thank you,


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Overall Rating: 5 (4 ratings)
pipemajor Wed, 11/07/2007 - 08:10

The minimum you'd need are the 2500 series routers running IOS 12.2. The 2501 comes with 2 serial ports but only a 10BaseT AUI port for Ethernet. You'll need a transciever to convert to an RJ-45 jack.

I'd personally go for a 2620 router which comes with 10/100 FastEthernet port and 2 serial ports. Then you can create a trunk for your VLANS.

Switches on the exam are virtually all 2950 or above. Stay away from the 1900 series switch if that is your only switch. Ideal is a pair of 2950s.

I've found dumb hubs are useful just to plug into an active Ethernet port to have the line in an active status.

For CCNP you'll probably need a layer 3 switch. The 2950 is only layer 2.

masiddiqui1 Wed, 11/07/2007 - 08:26

Can you please let me know what I would need for CCNP?

Since these will cost me some money I would rather buy switches and routers that I could use for both CCNA and CCNP.



Terrence Battlehunt Wed, 11/07/2007 - 10:13

for CCNP you can get by with 2 3640's with 12.4 and some of the older 2500 or 2600 for your routing. You do need a layer 3 switch for CCNP, but I would just have a few 2950's and do the layer 3 switching with online racks or sims. 3550's are very expensive and unless you have access to them at work, I would pass. Honestly if I was starting completely over again, I would get a basic CCNA lab, 3 2610's and 2 2924xl's and 1 frame switch, learn all my basics of having actual gear there, and then do my CCNP on Dynamips.

RamyElSisy Wed, 11/07/2007 - 10:42


I believe you do not have to get any Cisco Equipments for CCNA and almost all CCNP labs.

Read below links and try to invest more time to build your own Dynamips.

Www.securityIE.com go for Franken Forums





Dynamips (the actual emulator): http://www.ipflow.utc.fr/index.php/Cisco_7200_Simulator

Dynamips Blog (where most of the action is): http://www.ipflow.utc.fr/blog/

Dynagen (a front-end to the emulator): http://dyna-gen.sourceforge.net/

Dynagui: http://dynagui.sourceforge.net/

Dynamips / Dynagen Bug tracking: http://www.ipflow.utc.fr/bts/

Hacki's Dynamips / Dynagen / Dynagui Forum: http://hacki.at/7200emu/index.php


Ramy Sisy

CCIE#17321 (Security), CCSI#30417, CCNP, C|EH, C|HFI, ISS-CA, MCSE, MCT

CCIE Security Content Manager/

Technical Instructor

Network Learning Inc - A Cisco Sponsored Organization (SO) YES! We take Cisco Learning credits!

wbohsainmnet Wed, 11/07/2007 - 20:23

Hi ramy but for BCMSN i guess dynagen can't do it because doesn't have switches only routers with a card that doesn't support all the commands of a real switch.

Could you suggest something for BCMSN exam

RamyElSisy Wed, 11/07/2007 - 22:10

Yes you are right; Dynamips has limited functionality to simulate Cisco switches.

"Although Dynamips provides a simple virtual switch, it does not emulate Catalyst switches (although it does emulate the NM-16ESW)."

You can go and access Cisco BCMSN labs if you have access to Cisco Partner eLearning Connection.



Ramy Sisy

CCIE#17321 (Security), CCSI#30417, CCNP, C|EH, C|HFI, ISS-CA, MCSE, MCT

CCIE Security Content Manager/

Technical Instructor

Network Learning Inc - A Cisco Sponsored Organization (SO) YES! We take Cisco Learning credits!

Hi There

Just my 2cents worth.

As good as dynamips is and is is pretty good I would go for real Cisco hardware every time. It's not that expensive and there are some really good bargains to be found on Ebay.

This is a link to the seller I purchased from and my initial CCNA Lab


and this is a link to my Current home lab for my CCNP studies


IMHO there really is no substitute for working with real hardware. I reckon I have spent around $1800 so far, but I see this as an investment in my future.

Best Regards,


mackelbeast Wed, 11/07/2007 - 20:20

It looks like you are doing an ISDN point-to-point from your lab drawing. Is that correct?

ocicat002 Wed, 11/07/2007 - 22:35

Out of curiosity, what software did you use to create the network diagram?


Hi There

Mackelbeast: Yes. I have 2 ISDN simulators. A 2 port version and a 4 port version. When I was studying for my CCNA ISDN was included and also I support ISDN on Cisco where I work.

ocicat002: I used Visio to create the network diagram. I always create lab diagrams for my studies as I find it a great help to be able to visualize the network I am working on. At a glance I can see which routers are conencted and by what interfaces, the IP addressing scheme I have in place etc.

Best Regards,



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