CCNA Kit and Book Question

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Jan 3rd, 2008
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Would like some help please regarding what kit i need to get for CCENT leading onto CCNA! If i can use it for CCNP as well then even better! To be honest im not so sure what i will need (hardware and cable wise) so if you could give me as much detail as possible.

Another thing i would like to ask is what is the difference in the two ICND1 books? Im talking about the Self-Study series and the Certification Guide Series? Just a big difference in price?

Thanks in advance for the help


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Overall Rating: 4.8 (4 ratings)

Hi George

Well if you want to buy equipment that is future proof and will do you up to your CCNP and possibly beyond, here are my recommendations.

I have picked 26xx series routers as your main routers as these are modular so you can add interfaces to them as your requirements change. The 26xx routers can accommodate 64mb DRAM and 16mb Flash. These routers can run IOS 12.4. The 26xxXM routers can accommodate 128mb DRAM and 32mb Flash. These routers can run IOS 12.4 with all the features sets.

1 x 2520 (4 port)/2522(8 port) router --> Frame Relay switch

3 x 26xx or 26xxXm routers --> Hub (1) & Spoke (2) Frame Relay setup and also direct serial connections.

2 x 2950/2960 switches (12 or 24 port versions are more than sufficient)

Each of the 26xx routers will require 2 WIC-1T serial cards to cover the Frame Relay setup and direct serial connection. So

6 x WIC-1T serial interface cards

1 x 2509 (8 port) or 2511 (16 port) Access Server. This is a nice to have. It saves you from having to keep changing the console cable from router to router to switch... etc while working with your lab. You configure reverse telnet. Connect to the Access Server and from here you can connect to all other equipment in your lab. it really is a godsend.

You will need the following cables,

4 x DB60 DDB60 DCE/DTE back to back cables (go for at least 2m if possible)

4 x CAT5 network patch leads 2m (straight)

4 x CAT5 network patch leads 2m (crossover)

1 or 2 Cisco Octal cables for Access server if required (68 pin interface on 1 end breaking into 8 separate cables with rj45 connectors)

1 or 2 Cisco console cables (light blue in color, DB9 to RJ45) well it never hurts to have a spare ;)

This should be sufficient for your CCNA studies. You might want to add some more equipment when you start your CCNP study.

I have attached a diagram with a proposed setup for the equipment listed above in both .jpg and Visio format.

This is pretty much the setup I started with for my CCNP (I had one extra router) and if you want to see what my lab looks like today (studying for my CCNP) check out the link below.

Be aware that I probably have more equipment than I actually need for the CCNP studies, but I think that the more equipment I have the more complex and challenging lab scenarios I can create.

As for your question on the books. AFAIK the study guide teaches you all about the relevant technologies where the certification guides just concentrate on what is required for the exam to help sharpen your focus. My recommendation, start with the study guide and when you understand the technologies move on to the exam cert guide to get ready for the exam.

One other book I found useful when I started my CCNA studies was "Cisco Certified Network Associate" (Sybex) by Todd Lammle. I thought the way that he explains subnetting and the techniques he shows for subnetting in your head were the best I have come across.

Well apologies for such a long post, but you did ask for as much detail as possible :) I hope this gives you some ideas for setting up your home lab. Also I bought all my equipment on Ebay and you can usually get some great bargins there. If you should happen to be based in the UK/Europe I can point you to the person I dealt with for a lot of my equipment. I found him great to deal with and very helpful.

Good luck with the studies and if there you have any other questions just ask.

Best Regards & Best Wishes for 2008 and beyond,


grispos007 Fri, 01/04/2008 - 04:40
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Thanks very much for the post! Lots of useful information! Im based in cyprus so i would very much like to know the contact on ebay for equipment.

Thanks once again!

Hi There

I am not sure if posting the contact details from the person I used on Ebay would be ok, but send an email to the email address I use as my forum name and I will give you the details.

He is based in the UK, I live in Ireland and as I said, I found him helpful and great to deal with. Goods arrived in good condition, well packaged adn within about 5 days (if I remember correctly).

Best Regards,


grispos007 Sat, 01/05/2008 - 16:40
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Thanks i will email you! I checked some prices out on ebay and to be honest im a little short on the budget at the momment. I have all the time in the world to study for this so i was wondering because im going the two exam route - what would be the essential stuff to get first then later once i can add more stuff? Thanks again for all the help!

kad_nyarko Sun, 01/06/2008 - 04:09
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i am thinking of studying for CCNA and if posible beyond.

could you advice me as to the career prospects and the course outline and if posible the course materials.

can i do self study or i need to register with an institution.i know this question is relative but give a general opinion please.

thanks .


GoBucks82 Sun, 01/27/2008 - 18:57
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I have just a couple questions regarding the equipment you have suggested here.

Which 26xx router do you recommend?

Also, I don't understand why each 26xx router would need 2 WIC-1T serial interface cards, please explain.



gurkamal01 Mon, 02/25/2008 - 10:51
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If a buy a 2520 router what flash and dram should it have to be the best 16D/8F or 16D/16F and what IOS version

and what does AFAIK mean as it is a study guide so that i can buy it

I also wanted t0 know if i have all this equipment you mentioned above what can help me create different lab scenarios Is there any specific book i can buy or where can i get this information of lab scenarios to boost my skills the equipment

please let me know

i would really apreciate that


geoff.noden Sat, 03/01/2008 - 10:21
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AFAIK is an acronym for As Far As I Know.

I am also digging my heels into getting my CCNA. I took a break last year since work was pretty hectic. I'm trying to come up with a new study plan myself. I need to find some info on the changes from the 640-801 to the new 604-802 exams.

For my CCNA home lab, I picked up a 2620 with two WIC-1T's and a NM-4A/S board and two 2514's and I found a good deal on a 2950 switch that had a bad fan. I'm waffling on getting another switch so I can practice some of the inter-switch configurations.

Why two WIC-1T's? It just gives you more serial interfaces to work with. I wish I had been able to find a fast ethernet board for the 2620, but so far I haven't had much luck.

I have found a few practice labs just doing Google searches on CCNA Labs. Bob at Cisco Kits ( has some study resources including labs.

If you have the CCNA Intro/ICND books, try setting up the examples they have in each's good practice.


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