If you are building a lab for your next Cisco certification, I suggest you download GNS3 instead of buying equipment. GNS3 is a network simulator that you can use to prepare for your Cisco certifications labs. It is open source software which you can download for free.  There are plenty of forums for support and you can always send me questions.  You will have to upload your own IOS that is compatible with the models in the topology. However, this gives you the freedom to focus on the technology of your choice (IP Routing, Security or Voice) based on the IOS you upload. Since GNS3 is a simulator, you have access to all of the commands the IOS offers, not just specific commands to complete a task as an emulator would provide.

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