What is Cisco Packet Tracer ?

Cisco Packet Tracer is a powerful network simulator that can be utilized in training for CCNA TM and CCNP TM certification exam by allowing students to create networks with an almost unlimited number of devices and to experience troubleshooting without having to buy real CiscoTM routers or switches.

Cisco Packet Tracer features an array of simulated Application layer protocols (HTTP, DNS, …), as well as basic routing with RIP, OSPF, and EIGRP, to the extent required by the current CCNA TM curriculum. It also includes Cisco IOS 15 with licence features which was introduced in the CCNA exam in 2013.

Cisco Packet Tracer 6.2 has been released in two versions by Cisco in February 2015  : "Cisco Packet Tracer Student" and "Cisco Packet Tracer Instructor". Cisco Packet Tracer 6.2 includes an ASA 5505 firewall with command line configuration (but no Adaptive Security Device Manageror CCP tools). It also includes a netflow collector as a Desktop application in the server device, routing protocols for IPv6 (OSPFv3, EIGRPv6 , RIPNg), DHCP snooping commands, IPv6 CEF, IPSEC ...

Packet Tracer 6.2 introduced 3G/4G telephony support as well as a new Cisco 819 ISR router with a embedded wireless Access Point. OSPF and EIGRP enhancements were also added in this new version.


Update 27/05/2015 : Packet Tracer 7.0 is under development and could include new IoE (Internet Of Everything) items and an IoE registration server. Last known build is Packet Tracer 7.0 build 71 as of 2015-03-11.

Update 17/06/2015: The new Packet Tracer Community forum has been launched a few days ago. This forum is the first one fully dedicated to Cisco Packet Tracer to help users sharing knowledge, labs, bug reports about this application.

Download Cisco Packet Tracer 6.2

Cisco Packet Tracer is created by Cisco SystemsTM and provided for free distribution to faculty, students, and alumni who are or have participated in the Networking AcademyTM program. Self-learners are not allowed to download Packet Tracer.

Cisco Packet Tracer 6.2 instructor and student versions are currently available for download for Cisco Netacad Alumni from the Packet Tracer resource page on Cisco Networking AcademyTM website.
Log in to Cisco CCNA Netspace (NetacadTM website) and select Cisco Packet Tracer in the menu to access the download page.

Download TSHOOT topology for Packet Tracer

CCNP TSHOOT is a qualifying exam for the CCNP certification. It differs from the other CCNP exams (SWITCH & ROUTE) by requesting the exam candidate to work on simulated Trouble Tickets. The network topology of the tickets is publicly available on Cisco website.

CCNP TSHOOT topology lab for Cisco Packet Tracer 6.1

This CCNP TSHOOT lab is now available in Cisco Packet Tracer 6.1 to help students to prepare the exam by beeing comfortable with the exam network topology and concepts before taking the exam.

Download Packet Tracer 6.1 TSHOOT lab

Cisco Packet Tracer 6.1 ASA support

Cisco Packet Tracer 6.1.1 has been released !! This new Packet Tracer version includes an Cisco ASA 5505 firewall .

ASA 5505 in Cisco Packet Tracer 6.1 preview

Discover how to configure clientless SSL VPN on ASA 5505 firewall and to setup a DMZ using this new Packet Tracer 6.1.1 version.

PTBridge : Connect Cisco Packet Tracer to real network

Since Cisco Packet Tracer 5.3.3, it has been possible to connect Cisco Packet Tracer simulated environment to real world networks using PTBridge which is an external java application (PT533-Bridge-1.0.11.jar for Cisco Packet Tracer 5.3.3) working with the following components :

  • Java JRE > 6
  • WinPcap v4.1.2 (captures the packets)
  • JnetPcap v1.3.0 (decodes the captured packets)
  • Packet Tracer multiuser cloud configured on TCP 38000 port.


PTBridge : Connect Packet Tracer with real world networks

Cisco Packet Tracer Mobile 2.0 for Android

Cisco Packet Tracer Mobile 2.0 is the second Packet Tracer version released by Cisco for android tablets. Cisco Packet Tracer Mobile 2.0 is not available for windows 8 or ipad devices.

Cisco Packet Tracer Mobile LAN lab example with simulated traffic

This mobile version is based on the Cisco Packet Tracer 6.2 simulation engine and is thus compatible with Cisco Packet Tracer 6.2 labs. Limitations and differences with Cisco Packet Tracer 6.2 desktop version can be found in the release notes available on Cisco netacad website. A Cisco Networking Academy Netspace account is required to use the full features of the simulation software.

Packet Tracer mobile 2.0 requires Android > 4.2 on ARMv7 CPU tablets. User interface is optimized for screens with a minimum size of 7 inches and is as such difficultly usable on a phone.


CCNP training : Cisco CSR1000v

With the introduction of Cisco Packet Tracer 5.3 and 6.0, several new features were added, including BGP, HSRP, which are part of the CCNP TM curriculum. Despite some feature limitations, students preparing CCNP Route and CCNP Switch exams are able to simulate basic IP telephony with Cisco Call Manager Express and IPSEC VPN using Cisco 2811 routers. However, while Cisco Packet Tracer aims to provide a realistic simulation of functional networks, the application itself utilizes only a small number of features found within the actual hardware running a current Cisco IOS TM and focuses on CCENT / CCNA preparation.

Cisco CSR 1000v

In april 2013, Cisco released a virtual router named CSR1000v. This virtual router is provided for free on Cisco website as a Vmware virtual machine embeding IOS XE. CSR1000v runs on VMware ESXi and requires 4 virtual cpus & 4 GB ram per VM.

Multiple virtual routers can run on a single ESXi server to buid a CCNP or CCIE lab and learn MPLS, BGP, LISP, OTV, ... on real IOS-XE software.