What is Cisco Packet Tracer Software?

Cisco Packet Tracer (CPT) is a powerful network simulator program developed by Cisco. With this simulator program, you can prepare for Cisco exams by building complex networks and improve your network knowledge. The purpose of using this software is to prepare for Cisco CCNA or CCNP exams.

What is Cisco Packet Tracer Software?

What is Cisco Packet Tracer?

Cisco Router, Switch, Server, PC, Laptop is a free program that provides support for many more devices. And it is also very simple and easy to use. You can save the projects you have created and then open them again quickly. In addition, it is more convenient and faster than GNS3 because it does not force your computer over.

However, it is not enough to use Packet Tracer when preparing for CCNP exams. Therefore, you can choose GNS3 for more advanced IOS commands.

Who Can Use?

This network simulator program can be used mostly by students preparing for Cisco exams and anyone who wants to improve themselves in the field of networking.

Before developing a real network topology, you can make a design in Packet Tracer and create a more professional design. If you are an instructor, you can create network project activities for your students.

In short, if you want to improve yourself in the field of system and network, we recommend starting with this network simulator software.

General View

After installing the Packet Tracer simulator software, the first boot view is as follows.

Packet Tracer Interface

1. Menu Bar
2. Main Toolbar
3. Right Toolbar
4. Logical and Physical Study Area
5. Design Area
6. Realtime and Simulation Mode
7. Network Device Selection
8. Types of Network Device Selected Here.

Main Toolbar

Main Toolbar

 New: Creates a new project area.
 Open: Opens the previously saved project.
 Save: Saves the project.
 Print: Prints the current topology and configuration on the selected device and saves it as a PDF.
 Activity Wizard: Topology questions are created for students in educational institutions.
 Copy: Copies the selected device or any created object.
 Paste: Pastes the copied device or object.
 Undo: You can go back to the previous step.
 Redo: You can go to the next step.
 Zoom In: Zooms the workspace.
 Zoom Reset: Returns the workspace to the default.
 Zoom Out: Zooms the work area out.
 Drawing Palette: Creates square, rectangular, round, straight line, or random drawings.
 Custom Devices Dialog:  Configures a custom network device.

Right Toolbar

Right Toolbar

Select: Selects the device or any object on the workspace.
Place Note: Used to create descriptive notes in the workspace. For example; IP address.
Delete: Deletes the device or any object on the workspace.
İnspect: Shows the output of protocols such as ARP, Routing, NAT of a working network device.
Draw Tool: Drawing Palette tools are available here.
Resize Shape: Resizes shapes drawn with the Draw Tool on the workspace.
Add Simple PDU: In topology, it sends an ICMP Packet (Ping) between two devices. It can be used to test the connection.
Add Complex PDU: In topology, detailed packets can be sent between two devices, source, and destination.

Logical and Physical Workspace

Logical: The logical area is the main screen that you see when you first open Packet Tracer.
Physical: You can create a more detailed topology by switching to the physical field. For example; Main Building Connection.

Network Device Selection Area

Network Device Selection

Network Devices: This group includes Routers, Switches, Hubs, Wireless Devices, Security and WAN Emulation, which are commonly used in the network topology.
End Devices: In this group, there are Desktop, Server, Laptop, SmartPhone, Printer, VoIP, TV, Analog Phone, Tablet, and Wireless devices.
Components: Various components have added for detailed network design. These; Board (MCU and SBC Cards), Sensors, Alarm, LCD, Motor, Led are the components to be used in more smart home design.
Connections: Commonly used cable interfaces are available. To mention these;

Cable Types

Cable Types

1. Automatically Choose Connection Type Used for automatic cabling of network devices. You can use this option if you do not know which cable to connect a Cisco Router to.
2. Console Console Connection is the type of connection to the computer or laptop Serial/USB interface and to the Router or Switch console interface. The console connection is used for the initial configuration.
3. Copper Straight-Through Connects network devices that operate on different layers in OSI or TCP network models. For example; PC-Switch, Router-Switch.
4. Copper Cross-Over Connects network devices that operate on the same layers in OSI or TCP network models. For example; PC-PC, Switch-Switch, Router-Router, PC-Router.
5. Fiber Fiber Optic cables, which provide high speed in data transmission, transmit data as light. It can be used on connections that require high data transmission.
6. Phone It is used for the connection of Modem or Phone devices.
7. Coaxial It is the type of cable used in old network topologies. Nowadays it is used in Cable TV broadcasts.
8. Serial DCE DCE Serial Cable is used when configuring Cisco Routers with the Serial Interface. In this type of cable, the clock rate must be specified.
9. Serial DTE DTE Serial Cable is used for connecting devices such as Routers. The data rate is not required for this type of cable. T1/E1 uses standard speed for connections.
10. Octal Octal Cable is a 68pin connector at one end and 8 RJ-45 terminals at the other end. The task can be used to create a terminal or access server.
11. IoE Custom Cable This cable type, which comes with the CPT 7 release, was developed to develop smart home solutions.
12. USB It is a USB cable that connects devices with a USB interface.

How to Install It?

Packet Tracer is simple and easy to install on Windows, Linux, and even macOS. The .exe setup file is used for installation on Windows systems and the tar.gz file is used on Linux systems.

Cisco has created a GUI interface to simplify installation on Linux. The extension of this setup file is .run.

To install on Windows, Linux, and macOS, you can view our articles below;

Installation in Windows ⇒ Video

You can watch the video below to install PT on your Windows computer and also subscribe to our YouTube channel to support us!

   Final Word

In this article, we have made a general description of Cisco’s free network simulator program and explained the most frequently used tool menus in the workspace. Using this software, you can create complex network topologies and better analyze Switching and Routing operations. Thanks for following us!

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♦ Ubuntu Packet Tracer
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One Comment

  1. Avatar for Komu Geoffrey Komu Geoffrey 16 January 2019

    I downloaded packet tracer version 7.0,7.1 and now I have 7.2 but all of them keep crashing whenever I click pc after adding them into my network making me unable to ping, set dhcp test whether they are communicating ( crash only when i right click on pc).
    Please replay me via email I have provided.


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