BOSON CCENT/CCNA Network Simulator

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May 6th, 2008
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I was wondering if anyone has used the BOSON Network Simulators for CCENT or CCNA exams? I have read through the Wendel Odom CCENT/CCNA books but want some more practice before taking the exams.

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nicklauscombs Wed, 05/07/2008 - 06:02
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I have used them before, they will get you used to the command line and have plenty of labs to run through to help you pass the ccna

however with the price being $250, i personally think you're much better off spending a little more and building a home lab and getting real hands on experience with the routers and switches especially if you plan on moving to ccnp after the ccna not to mention for the real world

lancen1999 Wed, 05/07/2008 - 14:37
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Thanks I will check out this information, but where can you get the example labs to do? Also how can you grade your own work? I read that the BOSON will actually grade your labs for you and give feedback is this true?



nicklauscombs Thu, 05/08/2008 - 05:44
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the boson software will "grade" your labs however you miss out on learning how to figure out on your own if the network is functioning correctly which is a big part of troubleshooting.

Like i said before the software works and will enable you to get familiar with the CLI and help you pass the ccna but personally I would rather see you get the hands on experience especially if you want to move onto higher certifications.

nicklauscombs Thu, 05/08/2008 - 05:46
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for labs and both have lab books for you to walk through

sirdudesly Thu, 05/08/2008 - 02:31
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I've used it before and personally I find it to be pretty rubbish for anything more than a very basic setup, often things work when they shouldn't or don't work when they work properall y on routers. Some features are half there and others just not implemented at all....

If you're serious about getting some practice you can pick up second hand routers off ebay for dirt cheap (far cheaper than the cost of the boson set)

A project I think to look out for in the near future is the GNS3 project, which uses dynamips to run actual IOS images so everything in the image will be supported. At the momment it's not a perticularly mature project so performence is somewhat lacking (and you need to own your own copy of IOS) and whether decent can ever be acheived with it is anybodies guess (due to CISC and RISC processor models)

lancen1999 Thu, 05/08/2008 - 14:43
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Thanks for all the feedback everyone, I actually work for the government so I get a lot of hands on at work, but of course cannot make any changes. I also just got my company to fork out the money for the software so that will just be a bonus for me. So I can spend that money now on some used equipment. Thanks Again


celticfc2007 Sun, 05/11/2008 - 02:00
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I used the Boson Exam sim that came with my ICND1 book, as part of my study. I scored 948/1000.

What I'd recommend:

When you *feel* you've mastered the book, setup the exam sim for 60 questions, 90 minutes, and choose only ICND1 questions. Make sure the exam environment and test questions have the current update.

Take the test, don't guess on anything, if you're not clear on a question it means you need to read and practice more. At the end of the test you'll get a graph outlining your strengths and weaknesses. Work on the chapters you need improvement.

Now switch to study mode for the test, choose the sections from ICND1 that you need to review, don't set a limit on the number of questions or time. Make sure the answers do not have letters and are in a random order.

Take the test, skip any questions your even slightly unclear of. At the end of the test, choose review incorrect, and then show answer, but *don't look at the answer*, just click the link that shows you where to review in the book (it will open the pdf version of the book [if you have the cd image dumped on your pc or have it in your cd drive]).

Try to avoid memorizing answers. If there's a question on the exam sim you can't answer, then, in that case just read the answer and work through it.

This is part of my study process, it worked well for me.

Good luck!

zerogravity1968 Wed, 05/14/2008 - 11:41
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On monday, I failed the ICND1 exam.(1st attempt) I studied many many hours on the practice test questions (160 questions)from Odoms book, and read the book twice, but the exam was VERY different. I could have read Odoms book 200 times, I dont think it would have helped. For the exam, the only thing that would have helped me is real experience, or REALLY good simulations. I going to buy some cheap routers and make my own lab.......thats the only way to go!

suelange Wed, 05/14/2008 - 12:48
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  • Bronze, 100 points or more

that's one way or, if you don't have that much money, check out I faild the icnd the first time after using wendell's book (the exam engine in that version of book was fraught with errors, though the book itself was good); also I had purchased the full blown boson simulator. It was a waste of money I must say.

I was so depressed 'cause I'd studied 6 weeks solid. Like you, i could recite the tables in the book forward backward and upside wouldn't have mattered.

Then I found Chris's site with his pod rental time. His study guide is excellent especially if you've already beat the details into your head. But his labs are even better and it's very affordable. You get three days plus a lab work book. The first day I did the labs exactly as he showed. then, the next lab session I did them without the "spoon fed" commands. When I couldn't get it to work I just started doing shows and debugs until I could reason out why. On the third session I quickly did the lab and had tons of time to just play around. I set up all sorts of absurd scenarios and did all kinds of things, looking at output, breaking stuff, reloading it and starting again.

I took that ICND the second time and blew it away. If you can't afford the equipment go visit that web site. It's worth so much more than you pay.

schantze27 Thu, 05/15/2008 - 06:17
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I also passed the ICND1 with Odom's new book and the boson test software. Hammered over the simulation test, with the settings matching the 60 random question, 90 minute format again and again. Also did purchase a few dinosaur switches and routers from ciscokits just to play with the CLI and basic configurations at home. You really need the real devices to mess with since that is what you will be doing eventually anyway. I am no spring chicken so it took me a considerable amount of time to go through the book and then to review and practice (months). But I wanted to go into the exam having averaged well over 90 on the practice tests and know my way around the CLI without having to type ? all the time.

richlohman Wed, 05/27/2009 - 12:48
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Follow up question for you... The 948 on the boson exams - was that a first time, or having taken the test a few times, and practicing? TIA.



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