Preface - Packet Tracer Network Simulator (2014)

Packet Tracer Network Simulator (2014)


Cisco Packet Tracer is a network simulator that can be used not just by students but also by instructors and network administrators. This software provides a wide range of Cisco switches and routers running on IOS 12 and IOS 15, wireless devices from Linksys, and several end devices such as PCs and servers with a command line. It is more than just a simulator and provides physical simulation as well as an assessment tool. The assessment tool can be used to create practical networking questions with a complex scoring model. The physical workspace provided can be used to determine the range of wireless devices.

This book serves as a guide to those using Packet Tracer, be it students, instructors, or administrators. This book differs from others by providing more information on the how-tos of Packet Tracer rather than computer networking. You'll learn how to efficiently use Packet Tracer to learn and understand packet flows in a topology.

What this book covers

Chapter 1, Getting Started with Packet Tracer, starts with a short introduction of Packet Tracer, protocols supported by it, and explains its installation on Windows and Linux. After reading this chapter, users should understand the use cases and limitations of Packet Tracer and be familiar with the Packet Tracer interface.

Chapter 2, Network Devices, covers Cisco network devices such as routers, switches, and other generic devices such as bridges, hubs, repeaters, and WAN emulators. Network devices enable the end devices to communicate with each other. Configuring these devices from the config tab will also be explained. By the end of this chapter, readers will be able to understand and customize network devices with modules, and save these under Custom Made Devices. Readers will also be able to configure routers and switches using the config tab without using Cisco commands.

Chapter 3, Generic IP End Devices, explains PCs, laptops, and servers at large with a brief description on other end devices such as tablets and televisions. End devices are the ones used by end users, with desktops and laptops being the most common ones.

Chapter 4, Creating a Network Topology, explains different connectors, creating network topologies, and configuring them with Cisco commands. After testing the connectivity with complex PDUs, users will also use the simulation mode to analyze the packet flow.

Chapter 5, Navigating and Modifying the Physical Workspace, introduces the physical workspace in Packet Tracer. After reading this chapter, users will understand the physical limitations of wired and wireless devices. Physical workspaces are a great way to make topologies more realistic.

Chapter 6, Configuring Routing with the CLI, guides the users to configure static and dynamic routing. A router's job is to route traffic between different networks.

Chapter 7, Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), begins with a short introduction of BGP, explains the differences between BGP and other Dynamic Routing protocols, and ends with configuring BGP in Packet Tracer. BGP is a routing protocol synonymous with ISPs.

Chapter 8, IPv6 on Packet Tracer, explains using IPv6 with Packet Tracer. IPv4 has exhausted itself and the whole world is now migrating to IPv6. By the end of this chapter, the user will be able to assign IPv6 addresses to network and end devices, configure routing between IPv6 networks, and also configure a topology with both IPv4 and IPv6.

Chapter 9, Setting Up a Wireless Network, explains the wireless devices available in Packet Tracer and makes use of the physical workspace to demonstrate the range of wireless devices. Wireless networking is being implemented everywhere.

Chapter 10, Configuring VLANs and Trunks, explains how the user will be able to create VLANs, modify trunk links between switches, configure VTP to advertise VLANs, and use simulation mode to understand broadcasts ina VLAN environment. A VLAN is used to segment a broadcast domain.

Chapter 11, Creating Packet Tracer Assessments, covers the Activity Wizard available in Packet Tracer. Wouldn't it be great to create practical questions rather than the mundane "Choose the best/correct answer" ones? By the end of this chapter, users will be able to create timed networking scenario assessments.

What you need for this book

This book is about the software called Packet Tracer that is available for download from the Cisco Networking Academy website. This software is available for both Windows and Linux operating systems.

As of the release date of this book, the latest version of Packet Tracer is Version 6. You can always find the latest version at

Who this book is for

This book is aimed at students, instructors, and network administrators who wish to use a simulator to learn networking instead of investing in real hardware. This book assumes that the reader has a good amount of Cisco networking knowledge and will focus more on the Packet Tracer software rather than networking.

Once you've finished reading the book, you'll have a good understanding of how to use Packet Tracer to build complex topologies and also how to bring your simulations closer to reality.


In this book, you will find a number of styles of text that distinguish between different kinds of information. Here are some examples of these styles, and an explanation of their meaning.

Any command-line input or output is written as follows:

chmod +x PacketTracer601_i386_installer-rpm.bin

New terms and important words are shown in bold. Words that you see on the screen, in menus or dialog boxes for example, appear in the text like this: "Click on Switches from the device-type selection box and insert any switch (except Switch-PT-Empty) into the workspace."