How to access Cisco Routers and Switches in real world?

by | Oct 15, 2015 | Events and Workshops | 4 comments

In our previous post, we learned the basics of Cisco Packet Tracer. Today we will take a look at how you can access Cisco routers or switches in real world. For this we need a router, a console cable, one PC and terminal software.

How to access Cisco routers or Switches?

Before understanding the commands by which we can configure a router or switch, you must understand how can you access the routers or switches. Cisco packet tracer provides a graphical user interface for configuring the IOS of router or switch but in real devices you will not see that. For that, you have to use a console cable and plug its’ one end to console port of router and other end to serial port of your PC (RS-232). If you don’t have a RS-232 port on PC then you can use a Serial to USB Converter like I’ve done in the image above.

Once you have connected a serial cable to router and PC, go to desktop of your PC. Right Click on My Computer or This PC icon and click manage. Then click on Device Manager and check to what port your serial cable is connected? In my case it is COM4.

access Cisco routers in real world.

How To Check Ports on desktop to access Cisco routers and switches.

Power on the router or switch and now you have to use a terminal software like PuTTY, Secure CRT or Hyper Terminal. Terminal software provides you a lot of ways to access the IOS for example using telnet, SSH or serial. Here we are connected using a serial cable and using PuTTY to access the router. So click on Serial, enter the COM port from which you are connected to router and click Open.

Using putty to access Cisco routers console

Using putty to access Cisco Routers console

Next you will see a Command Prompt like window as shown in following image. You can see router is booting up.

access Cisco routers

Cisco Router starts booting process

Once booting is done, you can access Router and configure it as per need.

access Cisco routers

Now, you have access to console of Router.

That is how you can access router or switch. Problem arises when you have a lot of devices and you have to configure all of them. It’s hard to plug console cable in each device again and again. Well, for that we use an Access Server in our network. With the help of Access Server we can access multiple devices with single console cable. We don’t have to plug-In and remove condole cable from devices again and again.

 Visit our YouTube channel to learn more in details.


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