What is Packet Tracer?
Packet tracer is a network simulation tool that is used for practising most of the network configurations. Before installing the router, switch, hub or any security devices in your network, the Packet Tracer serves as a powerful tool to configure the necessary configurations on these devices. To quote from Cisco’s official website, Packet tracer is: “A powerful network simulation program that allows students to experiment with network behaviour and ask ‘what if’ questions.”
It is a user-friendly simulation software used to practice lab scenarios of Cisco Certification like CCNA. You can build your topology, can use different practice scenarios and is used for testing purpose. It lets a user create a network with a nearly limitless number of devices, configure them and test them within the isolated environment. It can also serve as a simulation tool for network architecture before any upgrade or reorganising.
Below are the steps on how to Setup Packet Tracer in Windows OS
- First and foremost, download the latest packet tracer software from the Cisco Networking Academy official website.
- Once downloaded, double click on the downloaded exe file. Depending on the User Access Control (UAC), Windows may ask to confirm the installation. Click yes
- Next, you’ll see an installation wizard, click next to install or cancel to exit setup.
- On your next screen, click to accept the agreement.
- Select your destination folder on the next screen and click next making necessary adjustments.
- Click next on the setup screen, select any additional task you like to set up and click next.
- Since the Cisco Packet Tracer has limited features and functionality, the normal user account has only practice labs. To get full access what packet trace has to offer, you must create a Cisco ID or Cisco Network Academy credential.
- Once the ID has been created and after successful authentication, the Packet Tracer will be activated the software is ready to use.
How to use Packet Tracer for beginners?
Once the packet tracer has successfully been installed in your operating system, navigate to windows key → CiscoPacketTracer (folder) → Cisco Packet Tracer (App) (as shown in the figure below)
- Before you set up anything in the Packet Trace, familiarize yourself with the different icons and menu that Cisco Packet Tracer offers.
- To create a new file, simply click on the blank new document or you can start placing your devices on the empty whitespace as shown in the figure above.
- If you have a lab configured file that has already been created, you can simply import them to your workspace by clicking on file → open and select .pkt or .pka or .pkg format to load the lab files.
- While creating a new workspace, make sure to use logical mode using (shift + L) shortcut from the keyboard.
- To save any work you have created, click on file → save or save as → “Your FileName Here” → and hit save.
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