Any person who is into internet and networks will have heard about network simulation tools. There are many such utilities out there, and any common engineering student wouldâ€™ve used at least one of them during his degree, whether they like it or not.
Even a complete stranger to networks technology like me have used a simple tool such as NCTU network simulator. Sure, it is outdated by a couple of years (and versions), but it is cool to actually build a network that simulates what it would produce in real life without having actually to build one in real life. So, in case you were wondering which one is a great tool to start with, which has all the advanced features but is not extremely complicated to use, Cisco Packet Tracer might be the one you want.
This tool is from a very well-known telecommunications and networking giant, Cisco. If you donâ€™t know anything about this awesome tool of theirs, you have come to (or stumbled upon) the right site. In this article, we will go through all the key aspects that make the Cisco packet tracer great. If still, youâ€™re not having this then, first of all, download Cisco packet tracerÂ & then just stick around this guide. Assuming that you havenâ€™t fallen asleep at this point, here is everything you need to know about Cisco Packet Tracer.
What are the Upsides of Cisco Packet Tracer?
So, considering that you already have another network simulator, and youâ€™re just curious as to what else is available in the market, here is a brief justification as to why you should consider checking out the Cisco Packet Tracer.
It has a feature-rich, yet easy to use graphical user interface consisting of straightforward buttons and drop-down menus. Sure, that is a common characteristic feature across all network simulators of recent times, but thereâ€™s a touch of symmetry to it. Small conveniences like automatically selecting the right mobile node when selecting between two or more different types to add to a moving host unit reduce a lot of irritation for rookies, which may arise at later stages (I remember the struggle of not getting proper signal output because I used the wrong mobile node).
Even if you are a pro, and are unlikely to commit these beginner-level mistakes, it is always nice to have some added stability through onboard hardware optimizations in a network simulator, so that does not randomly crash on you while you are still in the debug mode (damn you, NCTUns!).
So, the bottom line is, if you are looking for a reliable, professional grade network simulator, you need to give Cisco Packet Tracer a try. But then again, if you were in the market for a professional tool, you mightâ€™ve already heard of this, which defeats the entire point of me having to type this entire four-paragraph section in this post. Well, Iâ€™ll just leave it in here anyway. Sorry for your 2 minutes, Mr. Professional! Scroll down for download links.
System Requirements –
OS: Windows XP and above
Processor: Intel Pentium 4 dual-core & above, 3+ GHz recommended
Memory: 500 MB RAM and above
Storage: 1 (or more) GB of HDD/SSD capacity is recommended
Now, this is a bit of disclaimer. I have not used this tool extensively, and therefore, I am not going to comment in detail about how the experience of using the tool itself has improved over the updates. But I can give you the list of the new features added over time.
The Cisco packet tracer has a bunch of new devices supported now, like the Cisco Aironet 3702 lightweight access point (wireless), Generic WLC, 2504 WLC, Generic Light Weight Access Point, and more.
This has been around for a while, but in case you were wondering, Cisco packet tracer supports file formats such as MQTT protocol based .pkp files. You can natively import your projects in the pkp format. If you have decided that you are going to switch to this tool, feel free to download it from the above links.
If you are a beginner, (even one as hopeless as me), you need to check out the tutorials on this tool available over at sites like Net Academy. Just head over to this URL and enroll, if you want. https://www.netacad.com/courses/intro-packet-tracer. Alternatively, you can cheap out and learn it from YouTube for free! Enjoy!