Best CCNA Training Kit for Students
- 12th June 2017
- Posted by: Juan van Niekerk
- Category: Networking
Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) is an associate level certification for those who are interested in working with networks. However, if you are thinking about studying networking, you’ll need to get some practice on actual equipment. In order to pass the CCNA exams, it’s often advised that you purchase hardware or get access to a virtual lab. This allows you to gain practical experience on what it’s like to work with real routers and switches. If you want to find out more about Cisco CCNA, as well as what we consider to be the best CCNA training kit for students, then keep reading!
What do you mean by CCNA?
Cisco offers various courses for certified technicians at different levels. These levels range from entry level, associate level, professional level and finally expert level.
|Cisco Certification Tracks||Entry||Associate||Professional||Expert|
|Routing and Switching||CCENT||CCNA||CCNP||CCIE|
When we consider Cisco’s Routing and Switching track, the first level of certification includes CCENT, which stands for Cisco Certified Entry Network Technician. Most people may start with the Cisco CCENT certification as it is an entry level certification and gives a broad approach to routing and switching. CCENT prepares you for the next certification level, which is CCNA. The CCENT certification serves as a prerequisite to the CCNA certification.
The second level of certification, which consists of various courses, is the associate level. The Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) is a popular associate-level certification program in computer networking. Just like the CCENT certification, there are no pre-requisites and it can be completed by anyone who is interested in beginning a career in networking.
To obtain the CCNA certificate you need to pass two exams:
- 100-105 ICND1 Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 1 (ICND1)
- 200-105 ICND2 Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 2 (ICND2)
The first exam, 100-105 ICND1, is the CCENT exam while the second, 200-105 ICND2, is the CCNA exam. The CCENT exam, therefore, can be seen as a halfway point of becoming CCNA certified. As mentioned earlier, you don’t need to pass the CCENT exam to enter the CCNA exam, although, to receive the CCNA certification you need to pass the CCENT exam, 100-105 ICND1, or the 200-125 (CCNAX) exam and the 200-105 ICND2 exam.
After each exam that you pass, you will receive a CCNA certificate which is great for those who are entering the world of networking and need to bulk up their CV. These are internationally recognised certifications and any networking company will be familiar with them. Having certifications that are accredited is going to boost your career and will allow you to work in any part of the world, which is sure to open many doors for you.
CCNA Training Methods
In order to pass the CCNA exams you need to select an accredited method of training. There are different options available for training for the official exams and it’s up to you to select which one suits you best.
The options for training include:
- Signing up with an online training provider
- Participating in a classroom setting
- Purchasing the relevant literature for self-study
By selecting an online training provider, you get all the benefits that come with online learning. Some of these benefits are:
- Learning at your own pace
- Cost effectiveness
- Ability to stop, pause and rewind
- Access to online tutors
- Learning from anywhere
The Importance of Practical Experience
Once you have selected a training provider, it’s important to try and get some experience in what you are studying. To gain practical experience for CCNA’s Routing and Switching certifications, you would need to work on actual routers and switches. Obtaining experience not only helps you prepare for exams, but will assist you in preparing for working in the networking field as you will be able to confidently complete the tasks that are required. An added bonus of having real experience is that, when you are applying for a job or trying to land an interview, it will set you apart from other applicants who may not have any experience.
For some, however, obtaining this practical experience can be difficult. Whether it be the resources that are available or because of location, obtaining physical hardware can be difficult. Luckily, there is more than just one option for getting experience. There are currently many different training kits which help students gain practical experience. Again, you need to select which training kit suits you best to supplement what you have learned from your training.
What is a training kit?
The two kinds of training kits we will discuss are Live Labs and lab kits. For the purpose of this article, a training kit will refer to either a) purchasing physical hardware or b) accessing physical hardware through the browser.
A training kit that consists of physical hardware is often referred to as a lab kit and a training kit that consists of accessing physical hardware through a browser is called a Live Lab. These training kits serve the purpose of granting students access to routers and switches so that they may achieve real experience before they write their certification exam. Also, upon completion of their exams, they will then have the experience needed to gain employment.
A lab kit often comes in the form of a package which is sold to consumers, containing actual hardware components. This hardware is then used to build your own physical lab at home with real routers and switches.
Here is an example of what a CCNA lab kit might look like:
A Live Lab, also known as a Practice Lab, serves the same purpose as a lab kit, as it gives you experience with routers and switches. The difference is that these routers and switches are accessed through your internet browser and are available anywhere and at any time. A Live Lab is made up of real computer equipment networked together and then conveniently accessed using the internet on your computer. They give you access to the devices which will then allow you to carry out your own configurations or to follow the lab guides to configure that which is required for the Cisco exams.
Here is an example of what a Live Lab might look like:
A question that many people who are training for CCNA often ask is: “Which training kit is best for me?”. Although it may come down to personal choice or the amount of resources that are available to you, the next point aims to talk about what choice we think is the best CCNA training kit for students.
Physical vs Online
When you are signing up for CCNA training, the most cost effective method is online learning. In comparison to a classroom setting, where you may have to commute every day or purchase the relevant literature, online learning is the option that allows you to learn from the comfort of your home. Online learning provides the same amount of tutor-led guidance and can offer even more flexible learning times so that you can take charge of your educational needs.
In terms of the best CCNA training kit for students, Live Labs, which are accessible through online platforms, is therefore undeniably the most cost effective and efficient option for students.
Why it’s Better to go With Live Labs
- Cost effective
- No time involved with setting up
- No struggling to access appropriate physical lab gear
- Not responsible for the hardware set up
- Accessible anywhere, any time
- Option of system resets without repercussions
- No cost of running the routers and switches
- Not limited by the amount of routers
- Gives you access to the latest technology
Purchasing and setting up your own lab at home can be expensive and time consuming. There is also the risk of damage that can be done to your software as you may not always get the help you need, when you need it most. With Live Labs you get the opportunity to receive online tutor guidance to help you through this learning phase, every step of the way. A Live Lab is also considerably cheaper as there’s no need for you to hunt down the appropriate hardware or pay for hardware you may only use a few times for exam preparation. Also, if you need to hit the reset button on a Live Lab, you won’t have to deal with the repercussions that are often found by pressing the reset button on physical hardware.
As one of the leading online learning providers in the industry, ITonlinelearning offers students access to their Live Labs, which will give you the internationally recognised and accredited training you need to pass the CCNA exam. In addition to preparing you for your exam, access to our Live Labs will help you to prepare for real life by giving you the best foundation for the working world.
ITonlinelearning Live Labs
Live Labs Introduction Video
ITonlinelearning offers students access to our Live Labs, or Practice Labs, which are designed to help students gain practical experience. Our Live Labs are there to make learning easier for students, and are designed to work with CCNA equipment.
At ITonlinelearning you can receive up to 1 year of unlimited access to our Live Labs, which is sure to give you the CCNA training you need. We offer Live Labs not only for Cisco certifications, but also for CompTIA, Microsoft, VMware and other certifications. Concerning Cisco certifications, Live Labs cover a wide variety of topics, from basic configuration and troubleshooting to advanced topics like routing protocols.
ITonlinelearning Live Labs are, therefore, what we consider to be the best CCNA training kit for students. They are cost effective, tutor-led and give you the experience you need without the fuss of setting up your own lab.
So, whether you are preparing for your CCNA exam or other certifications, or looking to enrich your learning process by having the opportunity to exercise your skills and knowledge, then look no further than ITonlinelearning’s Live Labs. We consider them to be the best training kit for students.