How To Connect To Cisco Devices

One of the most interesting and challenging parts of Cisco networking is working with the networking devices.

It is interesting because you get a nice feeling working on the network using the CMD only.

You will understand that more if you have watched some hacking films in the past, where a less-techy person watches the hacker typing unceasingly on just a black screen with white texts.

The feeling is so nice that you wonder how little you know about the computer. However, most the movie scenes that have this act never used a real computer savvy guy for such things.


How cool will you feel if you can type on CMD so long while doing something meaningful?

That is why working on Cisco devices can be interesting.

On the other end, it can be very challenging too. Can you imagine messing up a network connection that comprises of hundreds of users in an organization?

It is a big challenge.

This post is an introduction to how you can connect Cisco devices, which is also an intro on how to make the whole connection more interesting and less challenging.

You should know what a router and a switch are, and you should be able to differentiate their roles.

When that is out of the way, let us delve into how to connect to Cisco devices.

We will look into the physical difference between a router and switch, and then we will discuss how to connect to these devices.


The Physical Difference Between A Router And A Switch.

Power switch

A router has a power switch at the back where you can put the router on and off.


That of a Switch is different.


The number of ports on a router is little compared to a switch.

Most routers usually have 2 Gigabit Ethernet ports, a console port, USB for console and, USB for IOS image.

A standard switch usually comes with 24 Ethernet ports. The main reason for this difference is because the work of a router is different from the work of a switch.

The router will just connect to the most important part of the network and a switch, on the other hand, connects to other devices on the network including computers.

And you can imagine the number of computers that can be connected to a big wired networking.


A router will have module spaces that will allow you to add any other port you might wish.

These modules are like sockets where you just plug in the intended port you want. Modules are not available on traditional switches but 3rd layer switch does have them.

You learn from above that routers usually have few ports, you can add more ports to the router by getting the right port module.

USB For IOS Image

IOS image is like the operating system on your Cisco networking devices. You can download and upload the ISO image through the USB port at the back of the device.

This is very common in routers.

That concludes the differences between a Cisco router and switch.


How To Configure A Cisco Networking Device

There are many ways you can configure a Cisco device however, most people prefer using putty to access the terminal.

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Others use telnet.

The good news is that all terminal configurations are the same.

So how do you access this terminal? Not hard. Just read on.

Connect To The Console Port Of The Device.

If you read the part on the differences between a Cisco router and switch, you will understand that there are many ways you can connect to the console of a networking device.

The first and most common way is to connect to the console port at the back of the device using a console cable.

Another way is to use a USB port, one end USB and the other end a mobile phone charger port.

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