Packet Tracer is a very popular network simulator tool for certification exam preparation, particularly for CCENT and CCNA Routing and Switching students. The volume of inquiries for Packet Tracer on the Cisco Learning Network forums is astounding, and we appreciate this high level of interest.
Packet Tracer is available directly through the Cisco Networking Academy and it is absolutely free. You can download and install the free Packet Tracer software by signing up to the Packet Tracer 101 self-paced course which teaches you the basics of using the tool.
And while Packet Tracer is a robust simulator tool that complements your self-study networking learning experience and exam preparation, it does not constitute a complete study solution. However, the Cisco Networking Academy program offers course training to help individuals enhance their skills and grow in the IT world. To learn more about the program and course offerings, visit the Cisco Networking Academy website.
Cisco also offers the Cisco Learning Labs and CCIE Lab Builder for individuals looking for alternative practice lab solutions.
Features and Benefits
Reduces cost over physical equipment
No internet connection required
Create and configure your own labs
Guided labs with objectives and solutions
Track your progress
Minimal software download and installation
Access the actual lab exam environment
Real Cisco IOS
Full CLI commands
Layer 2 support
Cisco Learning Labs – Packet Tracer Alternative #1
The Cisco Learning Labs allow candidates to practice their Routing and Switching skills on virtual labs running real Cisco IOS software. These cloud-based labs allow users to get hands-on practice from anywhere they can access the internet. Guided exercises are provided with a variety of topologies and include Layer 2 core switching lab functionality. So students can follow along prescribed steps, or they can practice almost any command that is available in Cisco IOS software. Students can save config files for later, reset config files, and restart devices with the click of a button. This lab option is a perfect way to practice and prepare for the CCNA or CCNP Routing and Switching exams, without the hassle and expense of obtaining actual lab equipment.
For more information, visit the Cisco Learning Labs page on the Cisco Learning Network Store website.
Cisco CCIE Lab Builder – Packet Tracer Alternative #2
For individuals working on their Expert-level certification in Routing and Switching, Cisco offers another cloud-based preparation tool: Cisco CCIE Lab Builder.
With Cisco CCIE Lab Builder, you can create and configure your very own lab topologies in a drag-and-drop environment. You have the ability to save topologies and resume practice at a later time, giving you the flexibility to practice at your own pace and schedule. Additionally, this is the same virtual lab environment you'll be tested in during the actual CCIE Routing and Switching Version 5 Lab Exam.
For additional product details, visit the Cisco CCIE Lab Builder page on the Cisco Learning Network Store website.