need some help with home lab

Unanswered Question
Apr 15th, 2008


Im interested in starting a home lab (have also checked out the networkworld blogs on home kits) and was looking at for options

in particular their advanced ccna/ccnp kits as I will be taking my ccna very soon and want to start on ccnp right after

between the three they offer which one would hold most value when moving onto ccnp? or should i go another route?


I have this problem too.
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nicklauscombs Tue, 04/15/2008 - 06:50

id also like to add all three are within my budget so money doesnt factor in here necessarily

Hi There

Of the 3 setups listed the best one IMHO is the 3rd one as this includes 2 x 2950 switches. The first two have 1 2924XL and some 1900 switches and honestly in this day and age 1900 switches are pretty useless.

I would also like to point out that for the cost of the 3rd setup $1349, I think you could get much better value shopping on Ebay and buying the kit individually if necessary. I think you could get more equipment for your money that way.

Just my 2 cents worth.

Best Regards,


nicklauscombs Tue, 04/15/2008 - 07:58

excellent thanks for advice

ill definitely start seeing what options are available on ebay

MarcVanderhaegen Sun, 04/20/2008 - 23:14


I am also trying to have a lab at home for learning CCNA (and more after that).

I had to avoid labs from due to taxes to import them in Belgium.

So, I have found this two labs on eBay (UK seller) :

Can you please give me some advice if these labs are 'good' ?

Hi Marc

If you have the budget I would reccommend the first option, the lab for £695 GBP. However the one thing that this lab lacks is a router to be used as a frame relay switch. The 2611Xm and the 2610's have sufficient serial intrfaces to fulfill the role of a frame switch, however IMHO these routres are much too good to be used in this way.

I would reccommend contacting the seller and asking if he could swap one of the 2501's for a 2520 or 2522. This could be used as a frame switch, leaving you with 4 other routers which would make up the main part of your lab.

I can also reccommend this seller as this is who I purchased quite a lot of my own lab equipment from. I have always found him friendly and helpful to deal with and the goods I ordered from him arrived promptly and well packaged.


Best Regards,


MarcVanderhaegen Mon, 04/21/2008 - 21:28


Many thanks Michael for your advice :)

I will go for the first lab and ask the seller if a swap is possible.

@postrj123 : I am also looking for some documentation about exercises.

I have already found some books :

- this one is in french :

- this one seems interesting but don't know if it is legal to download it :

- CCNA Lab Manual : but the customer reviews are very low

You might also take a look there, it seems to have a lot of informations :

I hope this will help you.

postrj123 Mon, 04/21/2008 - 11:27

After you build a lab where do you get the network set up to practice?

celticfc2007 Wed, 04/23/2008 - 00:08


My 2 cents:

You pay a premium for service with Also you may be able to get a custom kit for your lab requirements. They are not cheaper than ebay-But you are dealing with a company that wants to maintain its reputation, they're listed high on google search (depending on what your searching for), and they're endorsed (officially/unofficially) by well known instructors like Chris Bryant.

My own personal experience with ciscokits-The quality of packing routers/switches compared with other companies I've used is almost an afterthought… Having said that, upon receiving DOA device (because of poor packaging), it was quickly replaced at zero cost to me. Draw your own conclusions, price versus service.

Not my favorite CCNA book, but has plenty labs is the Sybex CCNA study guide. Chris Bryant also has some labs in his material. The Cisco books ICND1 and 2 have some scenario/labs. You'll find some stuff on the web.

IMO, you don't *need* a lab-book for the CCNA. The important thing is knowing the command syntax and how to configure/implement a given setting. Any of the CCNA books I've looked at have diagrams. All you have to do, is create as close as possible with your own lab a setup like shown in the diagram, that's where you can build the bulk of your lab experience. Personally, if there was an out-and-out lab book, like the ones available for the CCIE, I'd get it myself, but its not really *needed* at the CCNA level.


nicklauscombs Thu, 04/24/2008 - 12:22

here's an update to what i choose:

since ill be heading onto ccnp right after ccna i decided to spend a little more money and got

1 x 3640

2 x 2611xm

1 x 3550

2 x 2950

and an access server


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