Users of Packet Tracer 3.2 and 4.0 will note a variety of new features in Packet Tracer 5.0.
Packet Tracer 5.0 models protocols not included in earlier versions. These protocols include models of IPv6 Routing, IPv6 and IPv4 Dual Stack, IPv6 ND, IPv6 Routing Protocols, DHCPv6, NATv6, Multi-Area OSPF, Redistribution, RSTP, SSH, Multilayer Switching, and EtherChannel. Also, a model of the Cisco Catalyst 3560-24PS Multilayer Switch has been added.
Packet Tracer is designed in a modular fashion for future expansion and the Packet Tracer team is interested in learning what new features would be most useful to the community.
Packet Tracer 5.0 retains the logical topology as the primary workspace but adds additional physical representations of devices, Realtime and Simulation modes, and a wide variety of views and windows. The GUI supports multiple languages so the application may be locally translated. New features included in Packet Tracer 5.0 are the following: Multiuser, ACL Filters, user profile, improved print functuality, the ability to toggle toolbars in the main interface, Desktop tab for the Server including IP Configuration and Command Prompt dialogs, and various Activity Wizard improvements including additional locking items, the ability to import/export activity instructions, assign point values and component categories to assessment items, lock the user profile, toggle the Dynamic Percentage Feedback, and the ability to test an activity without restarting from beginning.
Representation and Visualization Tools
An Event List, a form of global network sniffer, is included in Packet Tracer 5.0. This allows the display of the majority of simulated PDUs as events. For detailed protocol analysis, these events may be played in a continuous animation mode, forward, backward or in a stepped through process. Powerful OSI Layer view and PDU view, and more sophisticated custom PDUs, are also supported.
Annotation and Authoring Capabilities
Packet Tracer 5.0 improves upon the Activity Wizard of versions 3.2 and 4.0. It also includes templates, or “design patterns,” for four different types of problem-solving activities: concept builders (network modeling problems), skill builders (pre-lab and post-lab implementation and practice activities), design problems, and troubleshooting problems.
Uses for Packet Tracer 5.0
Welcome to the world of computer networking. Packet Tracer 5.0 can be a fun, take-home, flexible piece of software to help with your CCNA studies, allowing you to experiment with network behavior and ask “what if” questions. We hope that Packet Tracer 5.0 will be useful to you whatever your goals are in networking, be they further education, certification, employment, or personal fulfillment.
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Packet Tracer 5.0 allows students to construct their own model or virtual networks, obtain access to important graphical representations of those networks, animate those networks by adding their own data packets, ask questions about those networks, and finally annotate and save their creations. The term “packet tracing” describes an animated movie mode where the learner can step through simulated networking events, one at a time, to investigate the microgenesis of complex networking phenomena normally occurring at rates in the thousands and millions of events per second.
A typical instructional event might begin with an instructor posing a networking problem to the student. Students can use Packet Tracer to drag and drop networking devices (nodes) such as routers, switches, and workstations into logical topology space (the Logical Workspace). They can then specify the types of interconnections between these devices (links) and configure the devices they created. Once they have designed and configured a network of nodes and links, they can then launch sample data packets into the network, either in real time, or in a user-controlled simulation mode. The packets are displayed graphically. The student can step the packet through the network, examining the processing decisions made by networking devices as they switch and route the packet to its destination. The networks, packet scenarios, and resulting animations can be annotated, saved, and shared. Many important networking domain knowledge representations are available for the student to pursue various modes of inquiry. Of particular interest to instructors is the Activity Wizard, which allows the authoring of answer networks to which students can compare their progress.
Packet Tracer 5.0 is based on three learning principles: learning is active, learning is social, and learning is contextual. Hence, it is meant to facilitate the creation of engaging, collaborative, and localized instructional materials. Packet Tracer may be used in a variety of ways:
Hands-on lab reinforcement
Modeling and visualization of networking device algorithms and networking protocols
Problem-solving activities in concept-building, skill-building, design, and troubleshooting
Four problem types are well-supported by Packet Tracer 5.0:
Concept-builders (model-building inquiries leading to student-created explications and animations of networking concepts)
Skill-builders (algorithmic problem solving in support of the development of networking procedural knowledge)
Design challenges (constraint-based problems with multiple correct solutions)
Troubleshooting challenges (diagnosing, isolating, and fixing the simulated network from a previously bugged network file)
Packet Tracer 5.0 allows activity authoring for approximately 75% of the topics and skills required for CCNA Certification. Although the program includes some activities, we strongly encourage you to share activities that you create with others in the CCNA teaching and learning community.