Cisco Packet Tracer 6.2 vs GNS3

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Introduction

Cisco Packet Tracer 6.2 and GNS3 are two major network simulation software used for certification exam training (Cisco CCNA and CCNP for example) or network feature test without having to buy expensive real world equipment. The two software have been designed to address different needs.

Packet Tracer is a network simulator and embeds only limited real equipment features. GNS3 is a network emulator based on Dynamips and QSEMU running real IOS images, virtual machines, ... The main limitation of GNS3 is the amount of ressources (CPU / memory) available on the PC for running the lab's emulated IOS images and virtual machines for clients & servers simulation.

 

Packet Tracer 6.2 and GNS3 feature comparison

General Cisco Packet Tracer 6.2
(simulated IOS features)
GNS3
(emulated real IOS features)
Free software
Open source
Publicly downloadable
Windows support
Linux support
     
Fully functional IOS
Simulated IOS. Partial features

Real IOS images run in virtual environment
Catalyst switches
NX-OS switches
ISR routers
ASR routers    
ASA firewall
ASA ASDM configuration support
     
WIFI
3G/4G
VOIP
     
RADIUS
Netflow agent
Netflow collector
     
SNMP agent
SNMP collector