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Becoming Ccna Certified.


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I let my CCNA expire which is a long story in itself. I looked at a lot of programs most of them are online. They have no actual lab experience. Does this make it harder to get certified? When I got certified in 2000 I used the cisco neyworking academy at a comunity college. Share your experiences with each thanks.

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You can still practice, all of what you learned in the LAB from your own PC. Of course, having all those Cisco gear gives you that hands on experience, but you can accomplish the same with Packet Tracer or GNS3.

They are virtual network software, that allows you to create your own network environment and practice, as if you were doing with the real stuff.

Once you have, all the nodes, routers and switches configured, you can then use them to simulate a real network. You can also configure the routers and switches via a terminal, just like how you would with a real Cisco router or switch.

The only difference is that, you don't use a serial cable to connect your PC to the router or switch, it's all done via the console.

In case you are wondering, I've also done my CCNA but it's been a while, I am planning on doing Network+, once I finish studying for my security+.

Edited by Infiltrator
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Packet tracer is nice, but by no means a replacement for actual hardware and with respect to loading actual bin files, doing recovery, knowing how to do all of the serial port hookups and break sequences to mod and recover systems, I don't think packet tracer had that capability the last time I used it. I had tried the GNS3 stuff a few years ago, but didn't have a whole lot of luck with it. It did have one nice feature though, the ability to load actual ios bin files from the cisco site or other sites you can find them on, so you cna virtualize the use of the command shell from each version of the ios file you loaded.

One of the things I used for studying though, was TestOUT, which is expensive, but one of the top e-learning sites out there for cisco stuff. YouTube is also a great resource as well as the Cisco site, but TestOUT was by far one of the best sources I found in getting me started with Cisco. At one time, they used to sell all of their training on cd-roms, but they moved away from that model, and now just do everything via their website, which kind of sucks, if you have a slow connection, but the materials and instructors on most of their courses are top notch. Their Security+ traiuning, the guy put me to sleep and I couldn't make it through the first few chapters, but their A+, Network+ and Cisco stuff had different instructors and I throughly enjoyed it. I spent a good year on the test out stuff before actually going to school for it, and much of it was review for me in the classroom, while having that ability to ask a real person questions I couldn't to a video training course, and we also got hands on.

If anything, look up the latest traning classes, and what books they require, get some of them and re-read all the new stuff, then if you have the money, take one of those 6 week refresher classes that also do cert testing. They cost a lot, but nothing like hands on in the classroom, and tech schools dedicated to specific courses, like CCNA, CCNP, Network+, MCSE, etc, I found to be better than having to try the community college route, which wants you to take all the extra curriculum, like math, english, history, etc, and takes 10 times as long to finish school. No one who hasn't worked in tech can do a 6 week course and expect to be an expert, but if you have a background in it already, I would just invest in looking for traning in yoru area that offers a CCNA class for under 3-4grand. I think mine cost me about 2500 back in 2008 to take the class, and the cisco stuff was actually my favorite of all the courses I took, which were Comptia's A+, Network+, Microsoft MCSE and then Cisco CCNA classes.Having never touched any of that stuff before the class though, I still need to go back and take it again. Just too much info to cram into 4 or 6 week classes to become an expert, but they will definitely help you pass the certification. Whether or not they actually make you better is how hard you apply yourself after certified, which means investing in equipment off ebay and setting up a real home lab, something I couldn't afford, not have the space for in an apartment with 2 kids and a wife.

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  • 1 month later...

I'm sorry for the bump, but I have one more resource I'd like to throw out there in regards to CCNA. Right now, I'm also in the process of trying to get a CCNA. My main tool is Packet Tracer, kind of. Packet Tracer is nice because of it's built in examples. However, it tends to crash and take the file down with it, meaning all that time you spent working on your network is irreplacable. In addition, Packet Tracer is a simulator, so some functions that you have in real life on the actual devices won't work, like point-to-multipoint tunnels, just as an example. As for GNS3, the only thing I can say about it is that as far as I can tell, it WON'T work without IOS files. However, GNS3 is a full emulator. All the functions you have on a real device you will have in GNS3. In addition, it's not restricted just to Cisco. You have the ability to use Juniper devices on it as well.

For my final point, I'd like to point out the ICND I & II books, as well as the CCNA books, are available in most places. For someone who knows a lot about Cisco and Networking, you may not need or like it. For someone starting out, or even a bit rusty, it may help.

Good luck getting your certs!

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+1 on GNS3, especially if you can "acquire" the full cisco IOS pack. haha.

Thank you! As for IOS files, that's too easy. You make an account with Cisco, and download IOS files. Because of my job, I'm able to get them at no cost. No, I won't share specifics.

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