Struggling To Become a CCNA ? Pass Now
No need to worry, I'm here to guide you. I have gained my CCNA after going through a well organised study technique. I was able to score 986/1000 in my first attempt for which I studied hard for a month not more than that. I want you to go through the simple study plan which I'm suggesting for getting success in CCNA exam. The technique which I'm going to explain is also useful for pursuing your CCNP and higher certificatons. Post your queries and request and check my post regularly on this blog for your success.

I completed my CCNA, CCNP & CCIP (BGP+MPLS) and working towards CCIE.
Trust me, I will show you the right path. I started this blog in the year 2007, I could not post regularly since I was busy with my project. Now I have decided to help young people who are eager to succeed. I would be really happy to help anyone who is really interested in succeeding in career.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Cisco Simulator - Pros and Cons of Using a CCNA Virtual Lab to Prepare For Your CCNA Exam

Using a Cisco simulator is a popular way to prepare for the practical aspect of the CCNA. Having hands-on practical experience in the configuration of Cisco IOS is important both for passing the CCNA and for your CCNA career. The alternative to using a CCNA virtual lab is to purchase either new or used Cisco switches and routers and hook them up at home to use as a practice lab. Here are some pros and cons of using a Cisco simulator to prepare for your CCNA:


Cisco simulators are cheap - This is the number one reason why people turn to using CCNA virtual labs instead of the real thing. The cost of real Cisco switches and routers is extremely high, even if you buy them used. For a CCNA student on a budget, this is not a very feasible option. Cisco simulators can be purchased cheaply for $150 or below and are definitely a cost effective option.
Built in lab scenarios - The virtual labs comprise not only a simulation, but also training materials as well. The good CCNA virtual lab packages usually have built in scenarios which will guide you step by step through the commands you need to know. These scenarios are usually written by highly qualified instructors. This is a feature that you'll need to get separately via lab manuals if you buy a real lab.
Convenient - Unlike a home lab, you can install the Cisco simulator program on your laptop and bring it with you so you can get practice anywhere and anytime even if you aren't connected to the internet. Many CCNA students do not have that much time to study and this is a great way to maximize study time.


Not a complete simulation - Any CCNA virtual lab cannot possibly simulate all portions of Cisco IOS or support all the commands of the real IOS. Such CCNA simulators are simply a training aid. If you are using it for your CCNA, it is definitely more than sufficient. If you are intending to explore completely all the functions of the Cisco IOS router or switch, you'll probably want to look at using a home lab.
Not a real router - The Cisco simulator also cannot simulate the real routing of packets. For a real lab, you can integrate it with your home and office network to have a real feel of how packets and frames are switched and routed through the network. This is simply not possible with a mere simulation.

Despite all the cons, I still highly recommend using a CCNA simulator to get some needed hands-on practice on Cisco IOS. It is definitely the most cost effective way to do this for any new CCNA network engineer.

To find out more about how to choose the right Cisco simulator or what to consider when buying a CCNA virtual lab, mail to


Francis W Teo

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