Unanswered Question
Sep 6th, 2010

Hey guys,

I recently started going to classes for CCNA but think the practicals that we get to do arent enough so i would like to build a lab at home and practice using that. I would like to know what are the equipment that I would have to buy for CCNA first and after that to continue to CCNP as well. Please be kind enough to point out places to buy the stuff as well. I am living in Sri Lanka and I can spend up to $800. Thanks

I have this problem too.
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Reza Sharifi Mon, 09/06/2010 - 12:42

Hi Eranda,

The best place to get used routers is Ebay.  You can get a 2621 for about $100.  So with you budget, you can get 6 or 7 and practice for your CCNA/CCNP.  Now, this may not be a prefect lab and not support all the IOS features but you can practice most commands.



eindragith Mon, 09/06/2010 - 18:28

Thanks for the reply Reza.

So 2621 would be one one router that I can buy .I would require some switches as well isnt it ?

Reza Sharifi Mon, 09/06/2010 - 18:33

It would be nice to have a switch (24 port 2900 or 3500), so you can practice the switch commands, but if you don't have the budget for it, you can get a small hub or connect the 2600s back-to-back using copper cable



eindragith Tue, 09/07/2010 - 01:11

I can spend pretty close to $800 actually how much would the cost be if I want a decent lab with routers and switches both if you give me the models and the stuff I maybe able to look them up on ebay or somewhere else . I found this as well on Certificationkits website

wouldnt something like that be good ?

bargerjc8 Tue, 09/14/2010 - 14:42

Save your $800.  You can build an emulation lab for free using GNS3 open source software!

I'm studying for the CCNP and using GNS3 for my EIGRP, OSPF and BGP labs and it works great.  There should be no problem building a lab
for your CCNA.

These are simulation labs not emulation labs.  That means you get access to the full IOS instead of just what is required to complete a specific task.

Download GNS3 from

Follow the documentation on that site to get it setup.

You will need to obtain an IOS image for your router model.

There are two other things that will make the experience much faster.  Once you've built your topology, use idle-pc to take the load off of your PC's processor when the router's are idle.  Also, on the GNS3 downloads page, get the unpacker.  Unpack the binary IOS image file and load that instead of booting your routers with the .bin file.  The routers will boot faster.

These tips will make more sense as you go through the setup documentation.

henrygrant Thu, 09/23/2010 - 06:20


I've been following your discussion regarding the CCNA/CCNP lab - your purchase is a very smart decision. I did the same thing about 5 years ago when I got my CCNA. I sold the equipment and recovered some of the cost after passing the CCNA. However my certification has since expired and I must re-ceritify - so I'm doing the exact same thing again - purchasing equipment for a home lab. You will be happy that you purchased your own equipment - there is nothing like actual hands-on experience - it's the best way to go. You might also supplement your setup with a virtual network simulator and some of the Cisco test simulation software. Also download "Wireshark" the network protocol analyzer. This will allow you to monitor and sniff the packets so you can really "see" what is going on at a packet leve. Have fun and good luck.



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