- Desktop software (downloadable)
- Primary Purpose: To enable learning
- CLI: a Simulator that acts like Cisco IOS CLI
- Scope: Primarily IOS routers and switches
- Lab exercises: None included, but Packet Tracer Activity (.PKA) files allow easy sharing of lab exercise + topology
- IOS Licensing: Does not use Cisco IOS
- Usable by: Any Cisco Academy student
Analysis of Cisco Packet Tracer
Analysis: Lab Exercises and Packet Tracer
Are Lab Exercises Included?
Are Labs Easily Available on the Net?
Trusted authors of CCENT/CCNA labs?
Overall Usefulness for Lab Learning
Analysis: Time and Dollar Costs
Time Overhead: Low
How much time does it take to learn the software, choose/buy/install the hardware, to be ready to learn CCENT and CCNA topics? Lower number, speedier start! Will need to search, find, and get lab exercises.
Initial Cost: Zero – Low
Packet Tracer is free. It requires no additional software, and as a desktop app it typically runs without need for more/better desktop hardware. You may want to purchase Cisco Press lab guides to get some lab exercises.
Annual Cost: Zero
Free to begin, and no annual charges.