February 1, 2019

Earning Your CCNA Without Going Broke

Nikita Golubets

Earning a certification can be an exciting, challenging, and rewarding aspect of a tech career. It can be a stepping stone that opens doors to many opportunities. It can also leave a giant dent in your wallet; especially the training material. Not everybody has the money to cover the cost of earning a certification and there may be training material out there that’s completely out of your budget; and if you are just starting your career; you most likely cannot afford to spend thousands of dollars on a home lab.

You can spend dozens of hours of personal time trying to find the right training material, practice exams, and browsing over boot camps that promise fast-paced 4-day classes that will guarantee that the test taker passes their exam. It can be troubling to find the right one; and to trust the validity of the content. There’s hardware to buy, practice exams to download, as well as training and lab material. Luckily, I have done all the searching for you. I’ve put together a list of resources that I have found helpful in studying for the CCNA exam on a budget:

Training Material:

  • https://www.udemy.com/
  • There is tons of material on Udemy that can be used to study for the CCNA; here are my favorite CCNA instructors:
  • Chris Bryant: CCNA 2018 200-125 Video Boot Camp With Chris Bryant
  • This course contains 62.5 hours of full course content that goes over the basics of the concepts described as well as follow through guides of the Cisco command-line interface.
  • David Bombal: Cisco CCNA/ ICND1 (100-105) Complete Course: Sims and GNS3
  • David Bombal: Cisco CCNA/ICND2 (200-105) Complete Course: Sims and GNS3
  • David Bombal is one of my favorite instructors that I’ve come across that offers superb content. The video quality is great and there’s tons of content offered throughout his course that touches on every exam objective.


  • David Bombal: Cisco CCNA Packet Tracer Ultimate labs: CCNA Exam prep labs
  • This is another course offered through the Udemy website that offers actual packet tracer files that are available to practice on, with live walkthroughs.


  • https://www.boson.com/default.aspx?r=1&st=1
  • A slightly pricier option is Boson. Their product offers Cisco labs that include instructions and walkthroughs on configuring network topologies. The individual is given a list of tasks to complete within their Network Simulator. This is better than having to purchase physical routers and switches and does a great job explaining various configuration options.

Cisco VIRL

  • Cisco VIRL is a Network Simulation environment offered by Cisco; completely free! This is very similar to Packet Tracer and GNS3; except run on Cisco instances. Users are able to remotely access the VIRL server and create tons of Network Topologies, all great practice for the CCNA exam.
  • More information can be found in this video
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0jfZLobFdU

If you would like to share any sources or connect with me; ping me on LinkedIn.

Nikita Golubets
Advisory Board Member