Hi, i would like to know what cisco routers and switches to buy for the purpose of:

a) Setting up a home lab. (This will allow me to get the hands on expierence that i need)

b) Helping pass the ccna exam. (hopefully with a high score)

c) and perhaps working for a company. (not sure what company yet)

I have been doing some research (mainly on this site) and have come to the conclusion that my options are not limited to a particular cisco router. Some routers are dated and some are just way to expensive. Passing the exam (ive been told) can be done without the lab, but that is not the route i want to take. As for working for a company, I really wont know if this will be even possible because most employers want expierence and it would be so sad to find out that no one is using the 25xx's anymore.

I have the want, the desire and now i need a good path to take.

If I were you, I would start with a basic cisco 2600 series router and a basic 18 to 24 port switch. These routers are not very expensive on eBay and you can one in the neighborhood of $100 - $200 if you use good bidding technique. You can start with a basic 2611 that offers two 10 meg Ethernet port and two slots for csu/dsu t1 or other configuration.

Also, I would try the CISCO PIX series firewalls. There are not too badly priced, an entrance price of about 3-$400, but the CISCO PIX fits most small business applications with 100 employees or less. You can do normal PAT and NAT, VPN with IPSec, firewall ruling, AAA, and basic routing.


I would agree but I don't recall answering too many question on security in the CCNA. Then again it has been a long time since I took that test.

commented: Thanks! +1