Cisco Router

I was recently given a cisco router, and a network monitor. I want to pick up a CCENT or CCNA cert, but I'm not entirely sure where I should be starting for study material. I know having a router or three will help get me going, but software, and study material I'm still not sure whats best to start with. Any help getting me in the right direction would be great!


  • TectonTecton The Garden of the Gods
    Take a look on amazon for ICND1/2 or CCNA books - you can usually pick them up used pretty cheap. If you want even cheaper, most public libraries have the books in their collection, so pop in and see if they have a copy you can borrow.
  • TectonTecton The Garden of the Gods
    Also, try picking up a book that has a simulator included, you'll find it a lot easier for testing network configurations if you don't have things like a switch and/or multiple computers.
  • JonathinJonathin Retired in a hole.
    I used to have a program called packet tracer. My version (if I can even find it anymore) is wildly out of date at this point, but I'm p sure that they've updated it since 2006 and it really helped me wrap my head around how networks work.
    I am retired and log into the forums maybe once every 2 months. It was a good 20 years, live your best lives, friends.
  • Packet Tracer is great, but it is more focused on switching. For routing simulation software take a look at GNS3. You will need to make a copy of your Router's IOS and load it into the simulation but then you can replicate it for testing and tinkering.

    Material you can find secondhand for cheap and you can find some good tutorials and whitepapers on the internet and Cisco's website.

    Under no circumstance should you download one of the millions of copies of pirated full courseware and lecture videos found on any torrent website. That would be wrong.

  • Packet Tracer got me through the CCNA as you can still do plenty of OSPF configuration, vlans, etc

    Also, you MUST be able to calculate subnets in your head, and fast. It was a huge section of ICND1 and worth a fair few marks on ICND2 too. Find a decent method and learn these until you can do it in your sleep. In reality we all use subnet calculators to confirm these, but Cisco want you to learn them to pass the exam.

    Also, CBT nuggets is pretty good although expensive. If you put some dedicated time aside, you can always make use of their free 7day trial

    (Party): Mezghar says, "Stop."
  • Yeah speed is essential. Knowing these things makes up one part but the most crucial is that they become almost second nature since you won't have enough time in the exam to calculate them by hand.

    The combined exam was 52 questions in 60 minutes when I wrote mine.

  • MorkadoMorkado Seattle, WA
    I usually just tell people they are going to fail. I say that because it generally accurate. Calculating subnets -- as others have mentioned -- is definitely something you should spend a lot of time practicing. I would run through any and all practice tests and simulations over and over again, until you make zero mistakes.

    CBT nuggets isn't a bad route. Honestly, I would be prepared to invest quite heavily in study materials when preparing for these types of exams. I typically pick up three different textbooks and work through them simultaneously. Generally, they will cover the same subject matter in roughly the same order, but they will contain subtle differences in hypothetical scenarios and perspectives. The importance of recognizing this cannot be overstated, as questions on the exams frequently have TWO correct answers, but one that will earn you points because it addresses the more subtle nuances of the given context. This might not be as true for the CCNA as it is for other exams, but I still found this study approach to be beneficial.
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