Dec 222017 released a thorough update to their flagship software, Network Simulator with Designer for CCNA® , to include functionality for the following:

  • Site to Site VPN configuration between routers
  • FHRP configuration

VPN (Virtual Private Network) is widely used these days for security and confidentiality of communication between hosts. The two main types of VPN are Site-to-site VPN and Remote-to-Site VPN. In Site-to-site VPN, a secure tunnel is formed between two peers within the communication channel. An example configuration scenario is shown in the figure below:

Photo Courtesy:, a leading networking equipment manufacturer.

As may seen in the exhibit, the VPN is configured between two routers. A site-to-site VPN is also called router-to-router VPN. The hosts on LAN are unaware of the VPN between routers V1 and V2. However, all the communication between routers V1 and V2 moves securely over OpenVPN tunnel. You typically need a NAT (Network Address Translation) to translate internal IP address to external IP address and vice versa (for incoming traffic). The same thing is done at router V2 also. The word “tunnel” may be a bit misleading some times. Note that there is no route and bandwidth allocated between the routers when a tunnel is formed. A VPN typically secures the communication channel but not the route or bandwidth. A VPN connections use 1) Encapsulation 2) Authentication, and 3) Data encryption.

In Encapsulation, user data (i.e. TCP/IP packets) is wrapped around by using encapsulation protocol such as GRE, IPsec, L2F, PPTP,  or L2TP. The encapsulated data packets are again wrapped inside carrier protocol packet, and then routed across the public network.

For site-to-site VPNs, the encapsulating protocol is usually IPsec or GRE (Generic Routing Encapsulation).  For remote-access VPNs, tunneling normally takes place using PPP (Point-to-Point Protocol). PPP tunneling will use one of PPTP, L2TP or L2F.

When using site-to-site VPN, any user can access remote site from any of the computers inside the firewall (local network). For this purpose, one needs to configure AAA (Authentication, Authorization, and Accounting), so that one needs to authenticate to access any resources at the other end of the VPN tunnel to restrict user access.

Remote access VPN is typically used with home and mobile users to connect to the corporate office. For example, a mobile traveler can connect to the Corporate head quarters using his laptop computer securely using a public Wi-Fi connection. Please see the figure below:

Photo courtesy:, a leading networking equipment manufacturer.

As seen in the figure, a remote user communicates with the sever securely over VPN tunnel. All the user information, login credentials, etc. are encrypted when using VPN tunnel. In remote access VPN, usually, a client is installed on the remote user’s computer. Alternatively, the remote user uses SSL enabled browser session to communicate with the corporate network (shown as Private Network in the figure)

FHRP (First Hop Redundancy Protocol): Usually, when a subscriber connects to an ISP using Wi-Fi router, he will have single point of failure. i.e. if the router fails, the connection to the Internet fails. FHRP allows redundancy or a fail over mechanism, thus ensuring that there is no single point of failure for a subscriber to the Internet. There are several  protocol defined for FHRP, popular among these are: HSRP, VRRP, and GLBP.

HSRP, short for Hot Standby Router Protocol, is a Cisco proprietary protocol, and supported by most of the Cisco routers.

A simple HSRP configuration is shown in the figure. In HSRP, one router acts as an Active router and the other as Standby router. There can be more than two routers in HSRP configuration, however, only one router is put in Standby state using a selection criteria. HSRP routers may be assigned “Priority” so that a network admin can choose which router has be in HSRP Active state and which has to be in Standby state.

VRRP, short for Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, is a standards based protocol. It is quite similar to HSRP in configuration and functionality.

GLBP, short for Gateway Load Balancing Protocol, is slightly advanced, in the sense, that it supports load balancing by default. Otherwise, it is similar to other two redundancy protocols. CCNA Netsim, offers a virtual networking environment, where in, one can create a network with Cisco(R) routers, switches, and other networking elements and experiment. The software has a GUI based designer that allows drag-n-drop functionality for designing one’s own network. Several labs on HSRP, and site-to-site VPN have been added for hands-on practice. The software is intended for learning purpose with limited set of commands support.

List of available CCNA labs may be viewed by going to the product page. You may download the free demo version of the software by going to the product download page.

Disclaimer: is not associated nor affiliated with Cisco Systems, or Brocade. Cisco®, CCNA® are registered trademarks of Cisco Systems, and Brocade® is trademark of Brocade/Broadcom Limited and duly recognized. Netsim for CCNA Update

 Network Simulators  Comments Off on Netsim for CCNA Update
Mar 132017 updated netsim for ccna with the following:
1. Book marking of labs
2. Color coding labs so that a candidate would be able to identify labs that had been completed, under progress, and to be completed.
3. Progress indicator for a lab, which enables a user to view how much of the lab exercise has been completed and what is remaining.

Download the limited version of the netsim here:
CCNA Labsim

The labsim consists of dozens of exercises that provide handson experience in designing and configuring networks using Cisco routers and switches. Commands like ping, trace route and ipconfig are also supported.

Anand software and training releases update on CCNA NETSIM.

 Network Simulators  Comments Off on Anand software and training releases update on CCNA NETSIM.
Feb 212017

Anand software and training is releasing CCNA network simulator with designer with enhanced usability very shortly. The new features include the following :

  1. Ability to bookmark the labs so that a user would be able to return to the lab at a later time easily.
  2. Ability to mark the labs as 1) in progress,  2) yet to be completed,  and 3)Completed. A user would be able to readily identity the lab status by looking at the colour coding.
  3. In addition, a progress score has been implemented that indicates the extent of lab that has been completed.
  4. It is possible to save the configuration and return at a later time to complete the rest of the lab.

CCheck out the software here :


CCNA NetSim Updated to Provide Cisco CCP (GUI) Simulator

 Network Simulators  Comments Off on CCNA NetSim Updated to Provide Cisco CCP (GUI) Simulator
Dec 112015 CCNA Netsim has been updated to simulate Cisco Configuration Professional (CCP) Graphical User Interface (GUI). The advantage of using CCP is that a user may configure a router or a switch by using graphical interface. A screenshot of the same is given below:

Cisco CCP Sim

A GUI quickens the learning curve required by a network administrator by providing easy to configure graphical options (such as drop-down menu, etc), and one need not remember the conventional CLI commands. The GUI closely mimics the Cisco Configuration Professional (CCP) providing a simulated environment. It also enables a user to get hands-on experience in using Cisco’s most recent CCP graphical interface.
You may download the product here:

Download CCNA NetSim. Try the software free.

Upcoming: We are now working on code signing our software products to ensure that the software is delivered to the user without being tampered, thus providing 100% virus free, and fully trusted software products.

CCNA NetSim Graphical User Interface

 Network Simulators  Comments Off on CCNA NetSim Graphical User Interface
Jul 032015

certexams-logo-small CCNA Network Simulator has been updated to include Graphical User Interface (GUI). Conventionally, a network administrator needs to configure a router or a switch using CLI (Command Line Interface), with the exception of some Wi-Fi routers that allowed GUI configuration. Cisco, as part of its product enhancements, has been working on improving the user interface, and have come up with Cisco Configuration Professional, a GUI tool that allows network administrators to configure and troubleshoot Cisco network devices using a visual GUI interface. Certexams has introduced a limited version of the GUI based Network Configurator that allows users to do mundane tasks such as assigning IP addressses and subnet masks,  setting up DHCP, assigning host name, etc. The GUI is intended to provide some hands-on experience of working with CCP (Cisco Configuration Professional) and simulates the CCP navigation.



A typical screenshot of the feature may be seen the figure. As seen in the figure, the GUI consists of a left pane that outlines the configuration tasks, and when selected, the right pane provides the work area, where the user may select or type-in appropriate configuration. Several labs have been given to familiarize the user to configuring the network using GUI. However, this being the first release, more enhancements may be expected to Network Configurator. More configuration tasks, as well as new labs will be added in due course of time.

Available labs may be viewed here:

The free demo software may be downloaded, and installed using the link given below:

Other important features of the netsim software are:

  • The software is completely stand alone, and there is no need for any other software.
  • Hundreds of lab exercises to get familiarized with concepts of routing, NAT, Access lists, subnet masking, etc.
  • Configure and troubleshoot VLANs, VTP, and other switch related tasks
  • There is no hardware required, it s completely software based too.

Please visit the product home page for more information, and free demo download. CCNA NetSim Update

 Network Simulators  Comments Off on CCNA NetSim Update
Dec 182014


MPLS has become very popular during recent years to accommodate gigabit switching speeds over wide area networks. Traditional IP routing uses enormous processing overhead and slows down packet switching speeds. MPLS allows packets to be forwarded by looking at the label (Just like switch looks at Layer 2) rather than having to be passed up to Layer 3 (the IP header). Each packet gets labeled on entry into the service provider’s MPLS network by the ingress router. All the subsequent routing between nodes is based only on the MPLS label that was attached by the previous MPLS enabled router. The router doesn’t have to look at IP header, thus saving enormous processing load. Alter the packet traverses though the MPLS network, the egress router removes the label(s) and forwards the original IP packet toward its final destination.

Network Simulator with Designer for CCNA has been updated to include MPLS commands and several MPLS labs. For complete list of labs included, please visit the page here:

For list of MPLS commands available, please visit here:

The software consists of hundreds of labs for hands-on practice. The simulator is intended for beginners who desires to have hands-on experience in designing and implementing router/switch network in a simulated environment.

You may download the software here: CCNA NetSim Update

 Network Simulators  Comments Off on CCNA NetSim Update
Oct 252014

certexams-logo-small has recently updated its Network Simulator with Designer for CCNA (CCNA NetDSim). The product is useful for students and IT professionals preparing for CCENT/ICND2/CCNA certification.

The updated version includes

1. .NET  conversion – The existing VB6 version has been updated to .NET platform, resulting in lessor footprint (smaller file size), and better compatibility with Win 7 and Win 8 OSes.
2. Bug fixes, a few known bugs have been fixed.

Product download and information page:

You may also be interested in: CCNA Practice Tests 200-120 CCNA Network Simulator

 Network Simulators  Comments Off on CCNA Network Simulator
Sep 222011

We have recently released a revised version of Cisco CCNA NetSim. CCNA Network Simulator provides a simulated network environment for hands-on practice using virtual routers and switches. The recent revision includes support for Do command, and some debug commands. The “do” command allows running a privileged level command from configuration modes such as interface and global.
The advantages of using CCNA network simulator include the following:

– Lab exercises for hands-on practice.
– Router and switch simulator.
– Simulate Cisco® IOS routers (805, 806, 17xx series, 25xx series, 26xx series, and 36xx series) or switches ( 19xx, 29xx ).
– Connectors available are Serial, Ethernet, IsdnBri, Frame Relay, Fast Ethernet.
– Extensive Lab Manual is provided.
– Support for 300+ router and switch commands.
– Network designer that provides drag and drop feature for inserting devices and connectors. GUI based device configurator.

You can type short form commands in IOS simulator for router/switch commands just like in actual router/switch.

About CCNA Certification:
CCNA Certification is awarded by Cisco Systems on successful completion of qualifying exam(s). CCNA is intended for candidates who have just started working on Cisco ruoters and switches.
The exam objectives covered by CCNA certification include the following:

1. Describe how a network works
2. Configure, verify and troubleshoot a switch with VLANs and interswitch communications
3. Implement an IP addressing scheme and IP Services to meet network requirements in a medium-size Enterprise branch office network.
4. Configure, verify, and troubleshoot basic router operation and routing on Cisco devices
5. Explain and select the appropriate administrative tasks required for a WLAN
6. Identify security threats to a network and describe general methods to mitigate those threats
7. Implement, verify, and troubleshoot NAT and ACLs in a medium-size Enterprise branch office network.
8. Implement and verify WAN links
Other products offered by include the following:

1. CCNA Exam Simulator: The only practice exam that provides complete range of CCNA question types including simlets and simulations.
2. Juniper Junos Simulator for JNCIA

Checkout available labs here:

Checkout available router/switch commands here:

Note: These will be updated from time to time.