How to Use Cisco Packet Tracer Step by Step

Using Packet Tracer, you can create detailed projects by creating Network topologies or create a virtual environment of your existing network with this software. Or if you are preparing for Cisco exams, you can work with this simulator software on all topics covered by exam content such as routing protocols, VLANs.

How to Use Cisco Packet Tracer Step by Step

How to Use Cisco Packet Tracer for Beginners

After installing Packet Tracer on Windows, Linux or Apple’s Mac computers, you can start preparing for Cisco exams by creating a network topology. However, as you prepare for your exams, you need to know the tools and devices menus of this software and the drawing tools to create a more descriptive project.

Adding only one Router, Switch to the network topology makes the project difficult to read. Therefore, adding notes for settings of devices you add, such as IP addresses, will help someone else understand your project better.

You can add network devices such as desktop computers, laptops, servers to the workspace and create a network connection between them.

Now, to start using the Cisco Packet Tracer for beginners, please follow the steps below.

   Step 1: How to Add a PC

The simplest and most basic task in Packet Tracer is to add a PC to the workspace. To add a PC, click the [End Devices] section below.

Adding Computers

Drag and drop the device with the desktop view into the workspace in the right section.

Adding PC

After adding a PC, you can open the corresponding hardware settings window by double-clicking on it. In this window, you can add modules to the PC from the area on the left, as in the image below. You can also turn the PC on or off from the section shown in the illustration.

Reviewing Computer Hardware

   Step 2: How to Assign IP Addresses to Computers

You must assign IP addresses, subnet masks, and default gateway addresses to the PCs you add. For example, click to configure the TCP/IP settings of PC0, click the Desktop tab in the window that opens, and then click IP Configuration.

Granting IP Addresses to Computers

In the IP Configuration window, if you have a DHCP Server in your network topology, simply enable the DHCP option. If you do not have a server, you must select Static to manually assign an IP address and configure the IP settings as follows.

Configure the IP address settings for PC0 as follows.

IP Configuration of PC

You do not need to save your settings, because as soon as you click the X button, your settings will be saved.

Turning Off IP Configuration

Now, from the PC0 properties, click on Command Prompt.

Opening a Command Prompt on a PC

When you execute the ipconfig command on the CMD, you can see the IP settings of PC0.

Using ipconfig in CMD

   Step 3: How to Add a Cisco Switch

To add a Cisco Switch to the workspace, click (Network Devices) and click Switches from the options listed.

Adding Cisco Switch

Under Network devices, click Switches.

Network Devices Tool

After clicking the switches, the device models will be listed in the middle pane. Drag and drop the relevant Switch model from the workspace to your network.

Drag and Drop a Network Device to the Workspace

Once you have added the key to the workspace, click once to open its properties.

Viewing Switch Properties

You can examine the physical appearance of the Switch in the Properties window.

Physical Appearance of Switch

After clicking the Config in the Switch0 properties, you will see some settings related to the device. From here you can change the name and hostname of the Switch in the workspace. In addition, you can delete, save and export Startup-Config and Running-Config files.

Reviewing Switch's FastEthernet Interfaces

If you want to configure the Switch using commands, you can use the IOS Command Interface.

CLI Command Prompt

   Step 4: How to Cable Network Devices

After adding a PC and Switch to the workspace, you must connect these devices with a network cable. To cabling network devices in Packet Tracer, list the cable types that the program supports by clicking 1 and then 2 as shown in the image below.

From the network cable types, select the straight-through cable type and click PC0.

Cabling Network Devices

Select the FastEthernet0 network card on PC0.

Selecting FastEthernet0 Interface

Now click Switch0 to connect the PC to the Switch and select any of the free ports listed.

Selecting FastEthernet0/1 Interface

After connecting the network cable, the port status color between PC and Switch will be green as in the following image. If the port is green, it means that the cable type is correct and working.

Connection of Computer to Switch

Add one laptop to the network topology and click the wiring option in the same way to connect it to the Switch. Then plug the network cable into the FastEthernet0 interface of the Laptop.

Adding Laptop

Also, plug the other end of the cable into an empty port on the Switch.

Connecting the Laptop to the Switch

Configure the IP settings of Laptop0 as Static as follows.

Configuring the Laptop's TCP/IP Settings

   Step 5: How to Test Ping Between Computers

To use ping in PT, you must open the properties of the client device and run the command prompt. Now, to ping from Laptop0 to PC0, execute the ping 192.168.10.10 command on the CMD.

Ping Test Between Computers

Pinging from Laptop0 to PC0 will be successful as follows.

Ping Successful

When you ping from PC0 to Laptop0, ping will also be successful.

Ping from PC0 to Laptop

You can also use Realtime to Ping in the PT. Open Realtime by clicking the left arrow as you see below.

Opening the Packet Tracer Realtime Menu

Then click Add Simple PDU in the right pane.

Add Simple PDU

After clicking ADD Simple PDU, you will see an envelope shape. Using this shape, you must select the source and destination client that you want to ping.

Click on PC0 once and then click on Laptop0 to start the Ping process by identifying the source and destination devices.

Send a PDU Pack from PC to Laptop

As soon as you leave the envelope on Laptop0, you will see a message on the Realtime tab that Ping is successful.

ICMP Package Review

   Step 6: How to Add a Wireless Router

In Packet Tracer, you must click Wireless devices to add a Wireless Router to the workspace. From the listed wireless devices, click the WRT300N wireless modem.

Adding a Wireless Router in Packet Tracer

When the Wireless Router is active, click the empty area to add it to the workspace.

Add the Wireless Modem to the Workspace

Once the WRT300N Router has been added to the workspace, click once.

Configuring the WRT300N Wireless Modem

To connect the wireless modem to Switch0, first, click on the cabling tool at the bottom and then connect it to the GigabitEthernet0/1 interface.

Connecting the WRT300N Wireless Modem to the Switch

Then, select the Ethernet1 port by clicking on the wireless modem.

Selecting Ethernet 1 Port

After you have done the wiring between the wireless modem and Switch0, click the GUI tab of the device’s properties.

Opening the Wireless Router's GUI Interface

To configure the LAN settings of the Wireless Router, enter the local network IP address from the Network Setup option in the GUI interface and enable DHCP.

Ping the Wireless Router

After configuring the device, do not press X and slide the GUI interface down.

Scrolling down the GUI Interface

Save your settings by clicking the Save Settings button.

Saving Settings

Check that the connection is OK when you ping the wireless modem from PC0.

Pinging from PC to Modem

To add one SmartPhone to the topology, follow the path shown in the illustration. After listing the devices, click the Smart Device Phone.

Adding a Smart-Phone in the Packet Tracer

After selecting the smartphone, click where you want to add it.

Adding a Smartphone to the Workspace

As soon as the smartphone added to the workspace, it will connect to the wireless modem. This is because the DHCP service enabled on the wireless modem.

Smartphone Received an IP Address from DHCP

Click on the Desktop tab of the smartphone properties.

Viewing Phone Settings

After clicking the IP configuration, you can see that the phone receives TCP/IP information from the DHCP server.

Phone IP Configuration

Pinging from the smartphone to the wireless modem is successful!

Ping Test from Phone to Wireless Router

   Step 7: How to Add Comments/Notes to the Workspace

When using the CPT, you can add comments/notes to the workspace to provide a more detailed network design. For example, you can note the IP address of each PC or specify the segments connected to the Router.

To add a description, click (Place Note) as below and then click on the workspace.

Adding Comments/Notes to the Project

After clicking the workspace, the text box will appear.

Adding Comments

You can add comments to network devices as in the image below.

Note IP Address Information for Clients

   Step 8: How to Add Shapes

The use of shapes in the PT makes the topology created more descriptive. To work with shapes, you can select the shape you want to draw from the pop-up window by clicking the down arrow next to the red circle on the right of the program.

Using Shapes

Once you have clicked on the red circle, the Palette Dialog window will open. In this window, select the shape you want to draw and then color the shape with the Color buttons.

1. No Fill

This option does not fill color in the drawn shape.

2. Fill Color

This option applies the selected color to the shape.

Palette Dialog

For example, select a circle shape as in the image below.

Color Selection

Now draw the shape on the workspace.

Drawing Circle Shape

As another example, you can add a colorless rectangle and group the comments.

Insert a Rectangle

   Step 9: How to Size Shapes

Once you have created the shapes, you can use the Resize Shape feature on the right if you want to resize it.

Resizing Shapes

After clicking Resize Shape, a red dot will appear on the edges of the shapes. You can resize shapes by holding down the red dots.

Selection of Shape to Resize

After resizing the shapes, press the Select tool or the ESC key.

Shape Resized

The shape was resized after pressing ESC.

Creating an understandable network design

   Step 10: How to Delete Objects in the Workspace

Click on the X tool from the tools on the right to delete all the devices and shapes you added to your project.

Deleting Objects in the Workspace

Then, point to the device or figure you want to delete and click once with the left mouse button.

Selecting a Shape to Delete

The rectangular shape in the workspace has been deleted. Do the same for the circle shape.

Deleting a Rectangular Shape

Remove the smartphone connected to the wireless modem from the workspace.

Deleting a Smartphone

The smartphone has also been successfully deleted from the workspace!

Added Devices Deleted

   Video

To better understand how to use the Cisco simulator software, you can watch the video below and also subscribe to our YouTube channel to support us!

   Final Word


In this article, we have examined how to create a basic network with Cisco’s network simulator and how to use the simulator software. Thanks for following us!

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