When studying for the CCNA, CCNP, or CCIE, choosing the right network simulator or emulator can be a tough decision. (Yes, despite the title, we’ll cover both.) And there’s no best way to go about making your selection. Realistically, it’s not feasible to test each program individually. After all, you’ve got an exam coming up. So, you’ll probably rely on recommendations — and everyone has an opinion.
Whether you’ve been advised by a coworker, supervisor, or a thread on Reddit, everyone has their favorite simulator or emulator. Someone who primarily uses GNS3 will always claim that it’s superior to VIRL, and vice-versa. Similarly, there are camps staked out on the simulator side, too. That doesn’t make the decision any easier.
Objectively, each piece of software has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. That’s exactly what we’re going to look at. Let’s take a step back and look at the software itself — and drop the horse race. Also, check out the courses offered at the SPOTO Club, to understand other concepts of the Cisco Certifications Exam in more detail.
Well, a simulator only simulates or ‘tries to’ simulates a definite feature or set of features as close to the real product as it can. But, still, as it is not ’emulating’, so that might eliminate the keyword ‘Best’ in your question.
These are the most popular software for gaining hands-on Cisco lab experience for the routing and switching track certifications. We would be discussing some of them below.
- Cisco Packet Tracer
- Boson NetSim
As of my knowledge, one would never say that ‘this’ network simulator would be the best or is better than others. It is going to be depending on the scenario you want to put it through. Having said that, when it comes to CCNA/CCNP you can have two ways to go
- Cisco’s Packet Tracer (that simulates )
- GNS3 (that actually runs the Cisco IoS)
But, there’s a catch to it. If you have Cisco’s Packet Tracer, it’s pretty straight forward to make a topology on it and configure it in either GUI or CLI mode. You can also try to simulate packets and another set of features in a real-time environment. Packet Tracer would be working well for CCNA and I don’t know any particular lab of CCNA curriculum that you couldn’t perform on it.
When it comes to GNS3, it’s a little tricky. first off, you have to have Cisco’s IoS that you want to hypervise in GNS3 (we will not be discussing ‘how to get IoS’ here). But, assuming that you have everything ready, GNS3 kind of gives you a great feel to the actual network. You would be able to drag/drop routers as well as network devices on its interface and from there onwards, it’s pure CLI.
Also, as far as I know, everyone at CCNP or higher level is going to prefer utilizing the GNS3 if they do not have actual equipment. When it comes to CCIE, it is going to be a completely different story. Back, in distant past, there were no emulators or simulators for advanced CCIE labs and you either had to rent or buy the equipment.
Currently, you can ‘try to’ emulate a lot of that.
Hence, you would have now acquired the knowledge regarding some of the best Network Simulators, which you could use for the CCNA, CCNP as well as CCIE Examination. If you need more guidance about the same or, if you wish to have a good and reliable study dumps provider, do check out the SPOTO Club. When it comes to Cisco Certification, SPOTO Club is the name which you’ll see on the top.