Recommended hardware for CCNA test lab


Can anyone give me an idea of what Cisco hardware would be best to buy to set up a home lab for the e CCNA course.

I have heard that 1x Cisco 2520, 2x Cisco 2504 and

1x Cisco 1603R with 4MB Flash Card and Power Supply Unit would be sufficient. Do you think that will be enough?

I would rather buy the hardware than use a simulator.


Jon Duffy

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Well you got the routers just need a switch now really, make sure you got one that is capable of doing VLAN's

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That looks very good mate Only a switch would make it perfect (to do VLAN stuff and trunking to the router) Remember that to do trunking (router on a stick) you will need 1 100Mb ethernet on both sides router and switch

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I didn't think the 2504 is any good for CCNA?

My lab is thus;

2x 2501, 2503, 2514, 2523, 2x 1912, 2950 - 24, J3188A (HP/Cisco Hub - not necessary but was going for £5 on eBay!)

Make sure you have at least IOS version 11 for the Routers, preferably

12, and make sure you have the version 9 Enterprise IOS on any 1900's, and version 12 on a 2950.

The 2523 was part of a job lot of the five Routers I bought, and maybe of more use on CCNP.

It is always best to use the equipment hands on, but you still need to use a simulator to practice for the exam, since the exam uses simulator questions.

Beware of eBay items having 3x 2504's, which is pretty useless for building a CCNA Lab (apologies to anyone on this NG that is trying to shift these, lol).


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what you are best to do is look at the labs and work out from there what or how many routers / switches you need.

most of the labs in sem2 you can get away with 2/3 routers 2501 / 2503`s and a switch eg the 1900 model. The reason i say this is because apart from the

1600`s they are the cheapest to get on places like ebay.

But watch out for labs like 11.2.2b in sem2 you will need a router with 2 ethernet ports.

I agree with using actual routers. I Cannot stand the simulators and actually find it easier to set things up with actual routers / switches.

All the Best

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