Want to Learn - What to buy first?

Discussion in 'Other Cisco Equipment' started by Disman_ca, Nov 30, 2006.

  1. Disman_ca

    Disman_ca Super Moderator Staff Member Member

    I've been pondering this question for a while and figure why not post it in the new Cisco Devices forum. I work with Nortel equipment at work and do not have any exposure to Cisco, aside from looking at the routers which are managed by another group. I've been considering going down the Cisco learning road. I know there are lab kits and "student" type routers but the question is what model/specs should I consider. For a price range between $100-200 I see a wide range of options but I'm having a hard time distinguishing good from bad. Can anyone offer a rough spec for starting off on the path of learning Cisco equipment?
  2. ifican

    ifican Network Guru Member

    Well that is a good but very open question. This is going to be dependent on what you want to learn. Most of the 2500 models though obsolete still function and will give you a good understanding, however the code they are capable of running has not been updated in quite sometime, but they are cheap, under $50 including shipping most of the time. In the 100-200 range you can pick up 2600's that should be capable of running very close to the latest code as long as they have enough memory. Where 2600's are going to start to get pricey is if they come with network modules or WIC's, and there are versions of both for just about anything you want to learn. Your basic 2600 with no module or wic will generally have 2 ethernet ports built in which will route like any L3 interface.

    Now my personal opinion is dont waste your money on any of the lab setups unless you have money to burn, with a little thinking, research and patience you can find really good deals on ebay. I put together a pretty good lab for about 1800 total that includes a pix, 3 3600's, 3 2600's and 4 2500's with several different WIC's and network modules that do everything i want them too. Yes it took about 12 months total time of looking just about everyday but if you price a lab that comes with all i have i saved quite a bundle.

    If you have any specific questions about what you are seeing please post and I know someone will be happy to give you some input.
  3. DocLarge

    DocLarge Super Moderator Staff Member Member

    Speaking from my side of the table, I've purchased the following at prices sometimes up to 90% of the original cost or more for some items:

    Pix 501 - $275
    CISCO 2610 Rtr with IOS 12.3 - $153
    CISCO 1912 Switch with Enterprise IOS - $85
    WIC-1ENET Card - $95

    I'm still building my lab up at the moment but just can't bite the habit of trying new SOHO gear :) .

    Here's where I get my CISCO gear from:


  4. kspare

    kspare Computer Guy Staff Member Member

    If you are looking for gear, I have 2 pix 501's, 1 2514 and about 5 2501 routers just sitting here that I could sell. I think I even have a 2820 Switch and maybe a 1924 switch I could sell as well.
  5. arSouth

    arSouth LI Guru Member

    you can Get a Cisco 831 from Ebay around $120
    or a Cisco 871 for $200(if you know where to go and have access to) otherwise it's around $300-$400

    they both are intergrated service routers, they are small in size and lightweight.
    have fully functional Cisco IOS. supports from basic Routing to VPN, IPS SPI firewall and etc.....
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