Connect A PC To A Cisco Router Or Switch

Published: 12th June 2009
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If you're following our study program on CD, many of the lessons assume that your PC and Cisco router are connected to a hub or switch. For those of you that don't know, the basic difference between a hub and a switch is that the switch is more efficient. A switch can "learn" where particular IP addresses are and allow most traffic to go only where it needs to go rather than every port.

Your Cisco router, on the other hand, can be programmed to understand, manipulate (possibly) and route data. Since, obviously, you'll need to be able to program the Cisco router for your CCNA exam, it's essential that you also know how to hook them up correctly.

Let's begin -

Use the supplied rollover cable and the DB-9 adapter to connect a PC to the Cisco console port. The PC or terminal must support VT100 terminal emulation. The terminal emulation software-frequently a PC application such as Microsoft Windows HyperTerminal or Symantec Procomm Plus-makes possible the communication between the switch and your PC or terminal during the setup program.

Follow these steps to connect the PC to the Cisco unit:

1. Connect the 9 pin to RJ-45 adapter to the console cable.(Depending on my source for the console kit, you may already have this step done for you as sometimes I get one piece console kits.)

2. Connect the 9 pin adapter to COM1 on your PC (If your PC only has USB ports and does not have a 9 pin serial port, you will need to purchase a USB to 9 pin serial converter).

3. With the supplied rollover cable, insert the RJ-45 connector into the console port.

4. Launch HyperTerminal and name the console session.

5. Make sure you connected the console cable to the COM1 port on your PC, and then select COM1 as your "Connect Using" port.

6. Configure the baud rate and character format of HyperTerminal to match these console port default characteristics:

o 9600 baud

o 8 data bits

o 1 stop bit

o No parity


7. Turn the Cisco unit on and now you should see the boot process in HyperTerminal of your unit.

8. Press ENTER to connect to your Cisco unit. This will bring you in User mode.

9. At the router prompt, type in a question mark (?). This will list all the User mode commands. Feel free to play with all the available commands. You are in a safe zone. Nothing will be damaged.

10. Press the Enter key to view the commands line by line.

11. Press the SPACEBAR to view the commands a full screen at a time.

12. Type enable or en, then press ENTER. This will put you in Privileged mode, where you can change and view the router configuration.

13. At the router# prompt, type a question mark (?). This will list all available commands in the Router Global configuration mode. Use these commands with caution.

14. Type config and ENTER.

15. Press ENTER to configure your router using your terminal.

16. At the router (config)# prompt, type another question mark (?). This will list all commands available in router configuration mode. Use these commands with caution.

17. Press the CONTROL key and the letter Z at the same time. Notice how this takes you out of Configuration mode and brings you back in Privileged mode.

18. Type disable. This will put you into where you began - the User mode.

19. Type exit, which will log you out of the unit.

Congratulations - you have just taken the first step to learning about Cisco routers. If you noticed, there are a few places in the instructions that mention, "Use these commands with caution". Please keep caution in mind and don't start throwing out commands in these areas just to "see what happens".

However, there are also places where you are free to play around with the commands. I suggest you do so to get comfortable with those commands, as well as with the idea of digging around in your router's backend. Now is the time to learn and practice, but be aware that somewhere along the line of learning and practicing for your exam, things will go wrong. Embrace this knowledge willingly; don't let it inhibit your learning.

When things do go wrong, don't panic, take your time, and if all else fails... start over from scratch!Cisco is a leading provider of CCNA and CCNP cisco training courses and equipment. Visit today for more information on certification or just furthering your education.

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