Cisco Packet Tracer

I downloaded this software for free from Cisco. From the name "Packet Tracer", you would think this is some type of packet capture/analysis tool similar to Wireshark. Nope. This is actually a network simulator and trainer. Of course all the components will be Cisco devices. But hey. It is free.

I went through an exercise in this tracer. My head is still reeling from all the terms. Basically I was setting up a virtual security appliance called the Cisco ASA 5505. Sure I could buy a physical box for $250 used. But this simulation made learning a lot easier. Plus the module gave me hints all throughout.

So far I configured some network interfaces, address translation, a DHCP server, authentication, a DMZ, static NAT to my server, and some ACLs. And that was just in the first hour. My head is definitely still spinning. This tool can definitely help you learn the Cisco operating system command line, as well as network security topics in general.