CCNA through CCNP equipment kit reccomendations

Unanswered Question
Apr 21st, 2008

Hi all.

I'm looking to work on obtaining a CCNA, and have decided to take it pretty seriously.

I'm not looking for cheap or inexpensive, I care more about the services and support (if defective) and expandability to the CCNP exams than the pricing.

I've been looking at getting a 2 router/1 switch kit from for about $460 shipped (100mb router and switch), but I'm looking for unbiased answers. I don't have any experience with Cisco at all, so I'm not afraid to proclaim my ignorance.

Let me explain my current pre-cisco computer (home) lab setup. I have one desktop, one server, and four PC's. I can borrow two laptops to mess with wireless conectivity if needed. I may use a virtual environment for some testing, but I should be able to perform most labs in an actual environment.

I'm looking for advice and equipment suggestions. I don't really want to spend more than $600 at this point. Any assistance will be appreciated!!

I have this problem too.
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jrensink78 Tue, 04/22/2008 - 06:21

If you plan on buying equipment for your CCNA with the CCNP in mind, here is what I would recommend for minimum model versions.

For your routers, either get a 3640 or a 2610XM or better model. These are capable of running current OS revs and should be able to do most everything for the CCNP level tests. For your switch, get at least a 2950 model. These should be able to handle most layer-2 topics for the CCNP.

You will probably need to budget around $700 for 2 routers, 1 switch, and needed cabling that are CCNP grade.

I would also check out the Candela Network and TNET Technology EBay stores. They have good prices, and are rated highly. They also have warranties on their products.

adamba7897 Sun, 04/27/2008 - 16:22

I have the same goal in mind, but I was wondering what everyone thought about the Cisco 851W instead of the 3640 or the 2610XM. It includes a wireless connection which might help for that aspect of the test. Would the 851W be a viable candidate for the router? Please let me know.

rajibchicago Mon, 04/28/2008 - 17:36

what i understand is 851w is not a modular router, it does not have any slot for serial interfaces. So you wont be able to simulate wan cloud (frame relay switching).

for any purchase for ccna and ccnp lab, i think atleast 2600 series router is highly recommended. 2600 series or upper routers will let you practice any scenario.

celticfc2007 Tue, 04/29/2008 - 00:11

"TNET Technology"


I do not recommend them. After negotiating a price and requesting an invoice, they sent me an invoice $200 above what was agreed.

I saved about $450, about 30% by not using them. I really wanted to get all my gear from one place, but after finally agreeing to terms and price, they tried to burn me on $200. My last email to them, was left unanswered.

I DO NOT RECOMMEND: TNET Technology (ebay store).

celticfc2007 Mon, 04/28/2008 - 23:59


A few weeks back, someone posted about a 1 router option for the CCNA. I recommended the 851w but stated to practice frame-relay etc, you'll want to pick up some cheap 2500 series routers etc.

The ideal setup would be 3 routers and 3 switches. My own setup, which was fine for the ICND1:

2507 (x2)

2504 (x1)

2924XL (x2)

You can spend a huge sum of money getting the "perfect setup". It boils down to how much your willing to spend, to practice most or all the features.

I just ordered new equipment, with the CCNP in mind:

2611xm x2

2950 (EI image) x3

Serial WICs, cables etc

Total cost under $1100.

I got a good deal on the switches, and a fair deal on the routers. Shop around, and you'll get a better deal.

Take a look at the cost of the Network Academy, or a boot camp--investing in something I have unlimited use and access to is a bargain, not to mention I can likely sell it for near what I paid for it, if I choose to.

With a budget of $600, I would get:

26**xm (x1)

25** (x2)

2950 (x3)

You'll probably have change, save it for u/g's down the road.

If you want the bigger picture on lab gear for CCNA and CCNP, check out:


Good luck!

nicklauscombs Tue, 04/29/2008 - 05:58

if you have the budget and are looking to move onto ccnp right after your ccna i would also suggest looking into 2950 enhanced image switches, 3640 routers, 2611xm routers.

punkascii Sat, 05/10/2008 - 18:30

Also, you can get fairly cheap L3 switches these days (3550, 5500 with RSM).

Good Luck! :)

sirdudesly Sat, 05/10/2008 - 19:16

on ebay australia there has been 4000 series switches popping up for a about AU$350 (some even have gigabit cards installed)

So there are certainatly deals out there to be had.

Don't bother with really old stuff like a early 2600 series, i've got one (2611 and only enough memory for the IP IOS image) and it's pretty much useless for anything above your basic configurations.

Anyone want to donate a used router to me here in Melbourne :P


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