I am going to buy a used managed Cisco switch from eBay. I will be using it for learning and practicing, using putty and other management programs. I have found managed switches from $10 and up, and anywhere from 8 to 48 ports. I have found Catalyst switches, layer 3 switches, srw208P small business switch. Could you recommend somthing that would be good for this purpose.
Buying a Cisco Switch for Practicing.
The key here is to understand the purpose of what you're buying. Now, I know that sounds strange but let me explain. If you're only studying for the CCNA R+S you can get away with just a L2 switching (2950,2960). I would recommend you buy two If know you're going to pursue CCNP R+S, then you might want to consider at least one if not 2 L3 switches (e.g. 3550 or above).
Also you need make sure that the IOS supports crypto as well. (look for k9 in the name of the IOS) if you're talking about supporting encrypted connections.
The problem with these purchases, is they stackup. And once you get them, they are never worth as much to anyone else.
If you don't want the hassle of managing the physical equipment and just need access to the equipment, you may want to consider some of the online rack rentals. The nice thing with them is that they normally have latest equipment stipulated by exam guides for pursuing the ccna, ccnp and even the ccie.
Thank you for the response. I think I will check on a couple of L3 switches, maybe that will cover my bases. However I will look into the online rack rentals.
I really enjoy all the shows on Itpro, and I have learned so much.
I think going virtual with tools like VIRL is a better investment than physical hardware. For the price of all that hardware you can buy a poweredge off of ebay and a year of VIRL.
You can do so much with a set up like that. it will take you well into your CCIE studies.