Update: SPOTO now offers online training for both CCENT/CCNA ICDN1100-105 and ICDN2200-105. Good luck and happy training!
It can be difficult to build a CCNA home laboratory. What gear is best? Is GNS3 and VIRL worth it? My CCNA lab will be useful for CCNP preparation. Jeremy Cioara, Cisco trainer and guru, recently shared some of his tried-and true solutions in his latest webinar “Building a CCNA Home Lab.”
Below are Jeremy’s suggestions and answers to your questions.
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Start trainingDo you need GNS3? Although it’s a great tool for learning, you must see networking in action. This is the purpose of setting up a lab at home.
What do I need? Get a cheap router These routers can be used to convert your home network into a Cisco-based network and gain valuable experience.
All of the routers below are affordable and can help with the material.
Cisco 2611(xm) / 2621(xm) ($10-$50)
Cisco 1721 w/WIC-1ENET ($10-$50)
Cisco 871(w) ($10-$50)

Which switch do you need? These are all 100-megabit switches. Layer 3 switches such as the Cisco 3550 and 3750 are available for a few dollars more. These switches will be helpful for your CCNP and CCIE certification journey.
Cisco 2950 ($10-20)
Cisco 3550 ($20-$50)
Cisco 3750 ($50-$150)

What is the ideal CCNA lab setup Three routers, three switches and two laptops are the ideal CCNA lab setup. Cisco only requires three routers, three switches, and two laptops to set up a network in order to pass the CCNA. You can use the same equipment for both the CCNP or CCIE and you only need to add one or two routers. This topology will not work for certain things, such as private VLANS or IPv6.
Any other information I might need? A mission! A plan and steps are essential to reach your goals. Establish a home network. This is a great place to begin, all you need are a router and a switch. Another great goal is watching SPOTO training and completing the labs exactly like in the videos.
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