CCNA Netsim

Share CCNA Netsim has been developed in an attempt to provide a stable and independent platform for learning basic networking design and configuration for budding networking engineers. A brief review of the features compared with similar netsim products is given below:

Characteristic/Make CertExams Netsim GNS Packet Tracer
1Stand alone software Yes No Yes
2Require Subscription to Programs
No No Yes
3Example labs provided Yes

(See available CCNA labs)

Yes* By subscription
4Provides list of commands available Yes

(See available IOS commands)

Requires IOS NA
Specifically developed with CCNA topic in mind Yes No, it’s generic in nature. NA
GUI Network Designer Available Yes Yes Yes
Supports both router and switch commands Yes Yes Yes
Installs on Windows computer Yes Yes Yes, works on Windows computer
Support Available NA On subscription.
Demo mode Available free Free Subscription based

Note 1: The Certexams Netsim doesn’t require IOS software as in case of GNS. It is a stand alone software and uses it’s own routing engine simulator.

Note 2: In case of Cisco Packet Tracer software, you need to subscribe for the learning program offered by Cisco.

Note 3: Several labs are provided for thorough preparation. See available CCNA labs

Note 4: All available commands are listed on this page. Just check it out. IOS commands

Please visit the Certexams, GSN and Packet tracer websites for most up to date information. As of now, one major dis-advantage of GNS is that it requires Cisco IOS and it’s not offered (pay or free) by Cisco® for use with GNS.

Software based virtual network simulators vs. hardware lab: Most people ask whether they should go for a CCNA virtual lab or buy hardware from ebay or other stores. If you are preparing for CCENT or CCNA, usually, virtual networking software is sufficient for preparation. However, if you are preparing for CCNP, it’s recommended to go for a practice lab with hardware components. Note that virtual software requires no hardware and one need not deal with procuring hardware, cables, and connectors.. which are usually expensive and takes time to setup. Further, you may have to design your own labs from scratch with may be time consuming for a beginner. On the other hand, if you are already into networking and intend to go for CCNP or CCIE, it is recommended to go for real hardware and lab setup.

One question frequenty asked is whether the labs cover 100% of the syllabus. Though some vendors claim to be meeting the requirement, it’s hard to comply as the syllabus changes from time to time and new topics are introduced. However, the labs and designer provide hands on experience and one can visualize labs that are not yet implemented with the netsim.

Lastly, the CCNA Netsim may be used by anybody who is interested in learning Cisco networking using routers, switches, and other networking components. It’s a good starting platform for learning along with study guides available from Cisco and other reputed vendors.

Disclaimer: is not associated with Cisco® Systems. CCNA® and CCNP® are registered trademarks of Cisco® and duly acknowledged.