Building lab equipment

I’m new to networking and would like to get my equipment setup before I get to labs. I have a Catalyst 3550 switch and two 2960 switches. The 3550 has two Intergrted GBIC slots with fiber modules already inside.

Can someone let me know if I need a fiber to Ethernet media converter to connect these switches? Or do I just plug the Eth0/1 port for the 2960 into port 1 of the 2960?

Hey Rafael,

you don’t need the GBIC modules for the 3550’s or spf’s for the 2960. The regular ports will work great. The fiber is used for going beyond the 100m or 300 feet limit on the twisted pair cabling. I would also say stay away from media converters as they add an extra step in troubleshooting. They get hung up at times and need to be reset (powered off and on). I had issues with them before and for lab purpose just use the regular fa or ge ports.

I would suggest getting a set of cisco 2811 router to learn routing principals on and can you them as you advance in your studies

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Like Rafael explained, it’s best to stick to regular UTP cabling. There’s nothing the fiber links have to offer that you need in your lab.

For a bit more background info about what routers/switches/emulators to use: