Download Cisco Packet Tracer: Learn How to Use It for Free

If you are looking to learn about downloading and using the Packet Tracer tool by Cisco, this post is specially written to help you. Here, I will guide you on how to download and use the Cisco Packet Tracer. It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner. Just go through this post and you’ll learn everything about the impressive networking simulation tool.

Networking aspirants must know about this tool properly or else they’ll miss some crucial opportunities in their respective careers. This post will help you get to know about this excellent tool briefly.

Beginner’s Guide to Download and Use Cisco Packet Tracer

If you are planning to have a career in networking, then you’d definitely need to know what is Cisco Packet Tracer, and how to download and use it. That’s why I’m writing this guide for beginners as well as people who have some knowledge about the network simulator software. You will learn everything required about it here. We’ll begin with an introduction, and then we’ll proceed with about downloading and using the tool.

What is Cisco Packet Tracer?

Basically, Packet Tracer is a visual network simulator software developed and owned by Cisco Systems. It allows users to create network topologies and imitate modern computer networks. You can use it to simulate the configuration of Cisco routers and switches using a simulated command-line interface. The user interface is based on the drag-and-drop concept. You need to add and remove simulated network devices according to the need. This tool is mainly focused on the students enrolled under CCNA (Certified Cisco Network Associate) Academy. It helps them learn fundamental CCNA concepts.

This software is available to use on Windows, macOS, Linux, and on Android and iOS as well. You can also use the Packet Tracer for collaboration. It supports a multi-user system that enables users to connect multiple topologies together over a PC network. Students can find special activities created by instructors on this software. It is really an essential learning-aid for networking enthusiasts.

Why do you need to use Cisco Packet Tracer?

There are multiple purposes of using the Packet Tracer by Cisco. Let’s take a look at the major ones here.

  • Students enrolled under CCNA Academy use it as an educational tool.
  • They also use it for practicing labs for Cisco exams.
  • It is also used to build your own network topology and practice various scenarios.
  • One more use of the Cisco packet tracer is to test the changes that you are going to make.

What does Cisco say about the Packet Tracer?

Cisco introduces the Packet Tracer as a self-learning program for CCNA.  Anyone can use it to study and practice the fundamentals in the comfort of their homes. Cisco’s official website says that the packet tracer is a powerful network simulation program that allows students to experiment with network behavior and practice the ‘what if’ questions. This simulation-based learning helps the students to develop modern skills. And, it helps the instructors to easily teach and demonstrate even the toughest technical concepts and networking systems.

How to Download Cisco Packet Tracer?

The Cisco Packet Tracer is available to use for free on multiple platforms. However, you will need to be a member of the Cisco Networking Academy for that. The membership could be any, as the instructor, administrator, or students. If you have the membership, then follow the instructions below to download the Packet Tracer on your PC:

  • Firstly, go to your browser and visit this link.
  • Now scroll down and click on ‘Enroll to Download Packet Tracer.’
  • Next, enroll in the ‘Introduction to Packet Tracer‘ course.
  • Complete the registration for the Networking academy.
  • Now start the course you selected earlier.
  • Finally, follow the download instructions appearing on the screen.

After a couple of minutes, complete the setup wizard properly. Then, you’ll have the Packet Tracer live and working on your PC.

Note: You can access the updates to the software by visiting this link.

Direct Download Links of Cisco Packet Tracer

How to Use Cisco Packet Tracer?

Using the Packet Tracer properly will take a good amount of practice and learning. After installing the tool, you should give an hour or two just to understand the UI. Then, you can begin with the operations. We’ll take a look at some of the basic operations here.

Configure a Router using the Packet Tracer

  • Open the Packet Tracer.
  • Select the router from the bottom-left corner.
  • Drag the router into the middle of the screen.
  • Set up a basic network between two computers to communicate.
  • Select end devices from the bottom-left corner and drag the PC icon into the middle.
  • Add the two computers and position them below the router.
  • Now connect the devices with cables. Use a crossover cable for that.
  • Select connections from the bottom-left corner.
  • Switch to the second menu and choose copper cross-over cable.
  • Next, click on Router0 and connect the cable through FastEthernet0/0.
  • Click on PC0 and choose FastEthernet. This will establish a link between the devices.
  • Finally, link PC1 and connect the cable to FastEthernet0/1.

You have now successfully configured the router. Now, you only need to turn on and set up the router. You can do that by clicking the router icon and then going through the configuration menu.

Steps to perform in the configuration menu
  • Click on the Router icon.
  • Verify that the router is turned on.
  • Click on the CLI tab to open the configuration menu.
  • Now click on Return to begin the session.
  • Next, type enable to activate the privileged mode. Then, type config t or config terminal to access the menu.
  • Next, type interface fastethernet0/0 to access Ethernet0/0. Then, type IP address to assign an IP address.
  • Finally, type no shutdown to complete the procedure.
  • Repeat the same procedure for fastethernet0/1. Make sure you enter a different IP  address.
  • Just press Ctrl + Z key to switch back to the previous mode.
  • Now type interface fastethernet0/1.
  • Next, type IP address
  • Finally, type no shutdown and complete the process.

That’s it. You can now see that the router is configured. In the same manner, you can also configure the gateway. However, that will need some changes to the steps mentioned above. After that, the two computers will be able to communicate.

Final Words

That’s all for this post. Now you know what the Cisco Packet Tracer is, how to download it, and how to use it. You can also download and go through this PDF file by Cisco that helps in understanding the Packet Tracer. For any queries, or suggestions regarding anything written here, feel free to use the comment box. I’ll be glad to listen.

If you want me to add something else or some other Cisco tutorials to this post, let me know in the comments section, I’ll be eager to help you further.