Cisco Packet Tracer 8.x new features

What's new in Packet Tracer 8.0.0 ?

Cisco Packet Tracer 8.1.1 build 0022 has been released !  Have a look at Cisco Packet Tracer 8.1.1 new features.

Packet Tracer 8.0.0 main new features are :

  • A new SDN network controller device emulating controllers like APIC-EM or Cisco DNA center
  • API programming capabilities which can be accessed from the host PC using real world programming tools (curl, Python 3, VS code, ....).
  • Changes and improvements for IoT and IOS15 devices
  • Improved support for IPv6
  • Added ability to make the application be the default for PTSA assessments

User interface improvements:

  • New user interface appearance
  • New Packet Tracer splash screen
  • Added new Window menu showing all top-level windows of the application
    • Lists configuration dialogs, activity window, etc.
    • Allows to enter/exit full screen mode.
  • Improved Accessibility of application GUI :
    • Better screen reader and tab order
    • New default color theme.

Physical view new features :

  • Cable Pegboards for cable inventory
  • Shelves for device inventory
  • Realistic interactive management and visualization of cabled connections
  • Ability to view the invisible side of a device in a rack (front or rear)
  • Interactive cabling on device ports located on the invisible side of the device (front or rear)
  • Ability to stack devices on tables
  • Device context menus

Cisco Packet Tracer 8.0.0 new splash screen

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What's new in Packet Tracer 8.0.1 ?

Cisco Packet Tracer 8.1.1 build 0022 has been released !  Have a look at Cisco Packet Tracer 8.1.1 new features.

Cisco Packet Tracer 8.0.1 build has been relaesed for download on Cisco Netacad website. This is a maintenance release of Packet Tracer 8.0.0 correcting various bugs  and removing guest login at startup.

Packet Tracer 8.0.0 main new features were:

  • An enhanced physical mode view which introduces a new virtual lab for a more realistic equipement cabling experience (racking, stacking, cable choice and cable management, ...). Experience is still far away from a real network room cabling experience ...
  • A new SDN network controller emulating real world Cisco controller such as APIC-EM or Cisco DNA center. The controller can be accessed from the real world network and programmed through it's web API using Python, Postman, ...

Cisco Packet Tracer 8.0.1 splash screen

As guest login option has now been removed by Cisco, a valid or a account is now require to use Packet Tracer 8.0.1

The “Keep me logged in” feature provides simplified login experience by giving you access to Cisco Packet Tracer 8.0.1 for 3 month without needing to re-enter your credentials each time. Using the “Keep me logged in” feature is only recommended for private computers.

Cisco Packet Tracer 8.0.1 Netacad and SkillsForAll login page

Packet Tracer 8.1.1 released for download !

Update 04/02/2022 : Cisco Packet Tracer 8.1.1 has just been released. Download Cisco Packet Tracer 8.1.1 on Netacad website !

Cisco Packet Tracer 8.1 has been released for download at the end of November 2021 on Cisco Netacad. Current build is Packet Tracer is a maintenance release of Packet Tracer 8.X family with bug fixing and improvements on accessibility, usability, and security.

Packet Tracer 8.1 is the first Packet Tracer version with official Windows 11 support.

Cisco Packet Tracer 8.1 splash screen


New features

Cisco Packet Tracer 8.1 adds a new Packet Tracer Tutored Activities (PTTA) engine to enhance network training experience.Compared with Packet Tracer Activities (.pka files) Cisco Packet Tracer Tutored Activities (PTTA, bundled in .pksz files) provide each learner with dynamic hints when needed.

Packet Tracer 8.1 features a new Marvel dialog box to help instructors to enhance trainees feedback in PKA activities.

Cisco Packet Tracer 8.1 PTTA Marvel interface

Cisco Packet Tracer 8.1 PTTA Marvel interface enable instructors to:

  1. Estimate the trainee preparedness for taking hand-on-skills exam questions
  2. Provide feedback on each networking skill (eg : dhcp configuratn, firewalling, ....)
  3. Provide the student with a lab summary sheet detailing teh lab scenario, the lab solution, and the instructor's feedback.

Warning : The "Introduction to Packet Tracer" Netacad course doesn't include the new PTTA functionality of Cisco Packet Tracer 8.1 The "Getting Started with Cisco Packet Tracer " course is the only one showing all the new features of Cisco Packet Tracer 8.x as well as the new user interface.

Packet Tracer 8.1 vs GNS3 2.2

Cisco Packet Tracer 8.1 and GNS3 v2.2.28 have been released a few days ago. GNS3 v2.2.28 provides a new HyperV GNS3 VM and link status detection on QEMU. Check download page !



Cisco Packet Tracer 8.1 and GNS3 v2.2 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 QEMU 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.

GNS3 v2.2 official release is now available for download on GNS3 website. This new version released on September 30, 2019 with hyperV virtual machine and link status detection on QEUM. GNS3 also introduced support of new L4 / L7 devices :

  • Cisco security devices  : this powerful network emulator now supports new Cisco security appliance to help network and security administrators to prepare security certification exams : Cisco Firepower Next-Generation IPS (NGIPS) threat appliances, Cisco Firepower Threat Defense Virtual NGFW appliances and Firepower Management Center Virtual.
  • Citrix ADC VPX load-balancer now available on GNS3 marketplace

Current GNS3 build is 2.2.28 as of December 15, 2021.



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What's new in Packet Tracer 7.3.1 ?

Cisco Packet Tracer 8.1 build 0722 has been released !  Have a look at Cisco Packet Tracer 8.1 new features.

What's new in Cisco Packet Tracer 7.3.1 ?

Cisco Packet Tracer 7.3 main new feature was the support of the CCNA 7 package which was not compatible with previous Cisco Packet Tracer versions. Cisco Packet Tracer 7.3.1 adds the long awaited "Keep me logged in" feature which removes the need to login to Cisco Netacad at each application launch.

Cisco Packet Tracer 7.3.1 supports activities authored in Cisco Packet Tracer 7.3.0, 7.1, 7.0, 6.3, 6.2, 6.1.1, 6.0.1 and 5.X. There is a small possibility you may encounter some warning messages. If so, you may disregard the message. It is simply a warning that scripts in this file need to be updated for Cisco Packet Tracer 7.3.1 compatibility.

Cisco Packet Tracer 7.3.1 splash screen

Cisco Packet Tracer 7.3 workspace improvements : 

  • “Keep Me Logged In” option that remembers Cisco Netacad authentication for 3 months
  • Changed install path on Mac to use Major.Minor version numbering change to allow for multiple versions of Packet Tracer to be installed at the same time
  • Updated high DPI support 

Protocol and software improvements :

  • Reworked IPv6 behavior
  • Various bug fixes

Cisco Packet Tracer 7.3 added support for Ubuntu 18.04.3 (Bionic Weaver). Previous Ubuntu 16.04 (Xenial) version which is no longer supported in Packet Tracer 7.3.1


Keep me logged in feature

The netacad login page of Cisco Packet Tracer 7.3.1 has been improved. When Cisco Packet Tracer 7.3.1 is started for the first time, the following screen is displayed. A new "Keep me logged in option" is displayed at the bottom left corner of the page. This new feature improves user experience and application launch time. Netacad login has to be renewed after 3 month.

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