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  1. Senior Member
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    #1

    Default CCENT Equipment for newbie

    Hi guys,

    I'm just starting with my CCENT studies and have no experience with routers or switches whatsoever. I was wondering if anyone could suggest me some equipment I could buy on a budget to setup at home to practice as I prepare for the exams.

    Thank you!
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  3. Senior Member billscott92787's Avatar
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    #2
    Good luck on your studies, please check out **CCNA FAQ** - Please read before posting. There are some good answers already posted throughout there.
    Last edited by billscott92787; 09-05-2009 at 04:24 PM.
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  4. Cisco Moderator mikej412's Avatar
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    #3
    Here's a couple more threads that haven't made it into the CCNA FAQ yet

    questions about different routers for home lab

    Advice for buying Cisco equipment from ebay?

    For routers you can start cheap for the CCNA and then buy better routers later for your CCNP studies when that CCNA knowledge earns you a better job and bigger pay check. Or you can spend some more money now -- with an eye on future certifications -- and get what you think will be useful down the road for the CCXP & CCIE Certifications.

    But for switches for the CCNA all you can do is try to get by with 2 switches instead of 3 and get one 2924-XL-EN instead of a 3rd 2950....

    This is about all there is that you need to know for "switch shopping"
    Quote Originally Posted by tiersten View Post
    1900 = Boat anchor or door stop.
    2900XL = 3rd L2 switch in your lab. Not to be used as your main 2 switches. Not ideal for CCNA.
    3500XL = 3rd L2 switch in your lab. Not to be used as your main 2 switches. Not ideal for CCNA.
    2950 = Cheapest good L2 switch for CCNA. Not actually sold any more.
    2960 = Current model L2 switch for CCNA. A 2950 will be enough for CCNA however.
    3550 = Cheapest good L3 switch for CCNP. Not actually sold any more.
    3560 = Current model L3 switch for CCNP. A 3550 will be enough for CCNP however.
    The only real excitement shopping for 2950 switches is to see if you can get one for a good price that has the EI image
    Catalyst 2950 Series Software Feature Comparison--SI and EI [Cisco Catalyst 2950 Series Switches] - Cisco Systems

    You'll learn a lot by researching to build a good and cheap home CCNA lab.
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  5. Member
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    #4
    Quote Originally Posted by mikej412 View Post

    But for switches for the CCNA all you can do is try to get by with 2 switches instead of 3 and get one 2924-XL-EN instead of a 3rd 2950....
    Hey mike, question for ya... why a 2924-XL-EN instead of a 3rd 2950........?

    Thought the 2950 was better....
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    #5
    cos the OP was asking for a setup for slim wallets.
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  7. Cisco Moderator mikej412's Avatar
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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by new2net View Post
    Thought the 2950 was better....
    It is -- but if you're on a tight budget that's why we say the 2924-XL-EN makes a good 3rd switch. Don't spend more than $20 on a 2924-XL-EN (or $1 on a 1900 which is okay as a 4th switch).

    While I still suggest the 2924-XL-EN as a 3rd switch, I wouldn't have a problem if you decided to get a 3550 instead as a 3rd switch for a CCNA lab. If some of the "old stuff" comes up in real life (or the exam) it's nice to have that old 2924-XL-EN for some practice. The 2950 doesn't do ISL trunking, only 802.1Q.
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    B.S. in Engineering, 10 Years in I.T., Working on CCNA--Need to find the $$ for the exam, lol
    #7
    Just use GNS3 at this point. No reason for expensive equipment. I have a lot of money in equipment and still use GNS3 for the convenient aspect sometimes. it's easier to use that anywhere I have my computer than it is to be sitting in front of my rack at home. and the configs are limitless.
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  9. Senior Member billscott92787's Avatar
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    #8
    It all depends on personal preference really. I got my gear off of ebay. You can find good deals there for cheap. If you have the money and you really want to get some "hands on" with routers and switches, then that's what I would recommend. That's honestly the reason why I bought mine. I was like a kid in a candy store the day they came and I got to take them apart and put in my WIC-1T's. My one router I had to replace the power supply. My 5-year old son was sitting there helping me the whole time. When I got another WIC-1T to install in another switch, and then an NM-4A/s, he took the screws out of the router LOL. I thought it was awesome.
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  10. Cisco Moderator mikej412's Avatar
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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by mikej412 View Post
    I wouldn't have a problem if you decided to get a 3550 instead as a 3rd switch for a CCNA lab.
    Oh yeah!! Definitely not a problem to add a 3550 as a 3rd switch

    But if your budget doesn't allow for a Layer 3 switch (which you don't need for the CCNA Lab - yet), the the 3500XL-EN is also okay for a 3rd switch in place of the 2924XL-EN.
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