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Routers to study and to build a small lab

I am looking to buy a used router to study and to build a small virtual lab. What router model/brand should I purchase?
2 Solutions
AkinsdNetwork AdministratorCommented:
See the ebay item below
It gives you basic ideas of what you need

1 x 2811 64F/256D with 15.1 IOS
2 x Cisco 2620 Fastethernet Router 16F/64D and latest 12.3 IOS
3 x Cisco WS-C2950-24 Advanced IOS 24 Port 10/100 Switch
2 x Cisco 1720 Fastethernet Router
8 x Cisco WIC-1DSU-T1 Interface Module Card
4 x Serial Cat5 Connection Cable
5 x Ethernet Cable
1 x Crossover Cable
1 x Console Cable
8 x Power Cable

You can use GNS3 http://www.gns3.com/ and/or Packet Tracer 6.1.1 for your virtual lab
bbaoIT ConsultantCommented:
instead of buying Cisco hardware, i would recommend you to use software simulators.

some commercial simulators are dedicated for Cisco certificates such as CCNP, CCNA and CCNET. e.g. NetSim is dedicated for Cisco routers and switches.

NetSim Network Simulator

some free, open source simulators are also available such as GN3 mentioned above.
Farooq HussainCommented:
GNS3 is best for Cisco Lab but for GNS3 you have to find Cisco router OS
Natty GregIn Theory (IT)Commented:
If you do not want to purchase what akind said then GNS3 is the best way to go. you will find my write up on install and configuration in the gns3 forum under nattygreg.
AkinsdNetwork AdministratorCommented:
Simulators are good but you'll eventually need real devices if you plan pursuing CCNP and even CCIE as there are some features you won't be able to practice with simulators. For such features, one robust router and switch may suffice just to see the configuration

By the way, I think you missed the bottom part of my post where I recommended GNS3 and Cisco Packet tracer
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