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Packet Tracer

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Cisco Packet Tracer
Developer(s)Cisco Systems
Stable release
8.2.2 Edit this on Wikidata
Operating systemLinux, Android 4.2+, iOS 8+, Microsoft Windows, macOS[1]
PlatformWindows, Linux, Android (operating system), iOS, macOS[1]
  • 305 MB (Linux)
  • 265 MB (Windows)
  • 856 MB (macOS)
Available inEnglish
TypeNetwork simulation
Websitewww.netacad.com/courses/packet-tracer Edit this on Wikidata

Packet Tracer is a cross-platform visual simulation tool designed by Cisco Systems that allows users to create network topologies and imitate modern computer networks. The software allows users to simulate the configuration of Cisco routers and switches using a simulated command line interface. Packet Tracer makes use of a drag and drop user interface, allowing users to add and remove simulated network devices as they see fit. The software is mainly focused towards Cisco Networking Academy students as an educational tool for helping them learn fundamental CCNA concepts. Previously students enrolled in a CCNA Academy program could freely download and use the tool free of charge for educational use.[1]


Packet Tracer can be run on Linux, Microsoft Windows, and macOS. Apps for mobile operating systems like Android[2] and iOS[3] were also available. Packet Tracer allows users to create simulated network topologies by dragging and dropping routers, switches and various other types of network devices. A physical connection between devices is represented by a 'cable' item. Packet Tracer supports an array of simulated Application Layer protocols, as well as basic routing with RIP, OSPF, EIGRP, BGP, to the extents required by the current CCNA curriculum. As of version 5.3, Packet Tracer also supports the Border Gateway Protocol.[4]

In addition to simulating certain aspects of computer networks, Packet Tracer can also be used for collaboration. As of Packet Tracer 5.0, Packet Tracer supports a multi-user system that enables multiple users to connect multiple topologies together over a computer network.[5] Packet Tracer also allows instructors to create activities that students have to complete.[citation needed] Packet Tracer is often used in educational settings as a learning aid.[6][7] Cisco Systems claims that Packet Tracer is useful for network experimentation.[8]

Role in Education[edit]

Packet Tracer allows students to design complex and large networks, which is often not feasible with physical hardware, due to costs.[6] Packet Tracer is commonly used by NetAcad students, since it is available to them for free.[citation needed] However, due to functional limitations, it is intended by Cisco to be used only as a learning aid, not a replacement for Cisco routers and switches.[8] The application itself only has a small number of features found within the actual hardware running a current Cisco IOS version. Thus, Packet Tracer is unsuitable for modelling production networks. It has a limited command set, meaning it is not possible to practice all of the IOS commands that might be required.[9] Packet Tracer can be useful for understanding abstract networking concepts, such as the Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol by animating these elements in a visual form.[6][9] Packet Tracer is also useful in education by providing additional components, including an authoring system, network protocol simulation and improving knowledge an assessment system.[8]

PTTP protocol and CSR compatibility[edit]

In 2019, Cisco registered a new URI scheme with the IANA called "pttp". This protocol is used as part of Packet Tracer 7.2.2 capabilities to transmit data between Packet Tracer and Cisco's CSR routing platform.[10][11] As of mid-2022, little is known about this protocol or its functionality.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Bakni, Michel; Cardinale, Yudith; Moreno, Luis Manuel (June 2018). "An Approach to Evaluate Network Simulators: An Experience with Packet Tracer". Revista Venezolana de Computación. 105: 98. ISSN 2244-7040.
  2. ^ Inc, Cisco Systems (2017-05-12), Cisco Packet Tracer Mobile, Cisco Systems, Inc., retrieved 2017-11-15 {{citation}}: |last= has generic name (help)
  3. ^ "Cisco Packet Tracer Mobile on the App Store". App Store. Retrieved 2017-11-15.
  4. ^ "Cisco Packet Tracer 5.3" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-09-14. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  5. ^ Andrew Smith (31 August 2011). "Development of a Simulated Internet for Education". Research in Learning Technology. Archived from the original on 2017-08-16.
  6. ^ a b c Dennis C. Frezzo; John T. Behrens; Robert J. Mislevy. "Simulation-Based Environment for a Community of Instructors: Design Patterns for Learning and Assessment" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-08-16. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  7. ^ Zhang, Yongbin; Liang, Ronghua; Ma, Huiling (2012). "Teaching Innovation in Computer Network Course for Undergraduate Students with Packet Tracer". IERI Procedia. 2: 504–510. doi:10.1016/j.ieri.2012.06.124.
  8. ^ a b c "Cisco Packet Tracer" (PDF). Cisco Networking Academy. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  9. ^ a b Expósito, Jesús; Trujillo, Valentina; Gamess, Eric (20–22 October 2010). Using Visual Educational Tools for the Teaching and Learning of EIGRP (PDF). Proceedings of the World Congress on Engineering and Computer Science 2010 Vol I. CiteSeerX ISBN 978-988-17012-0-6. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
  10. ^ Deng, Tony; Hoang, Tuan; Hinkle, Bob; Chen, Mark (24 June 2019). "pttp Resource Identifier Scheme". Internet Assigned Numbers Authority. Retrieved 24 May 2022.
  11. ^ "What's new in Packet Tracer 7.2.2 ?". Packet Tracer Network. Retrieved 24 May 2022.

External links[edit]