Obtaining Cisco software and images


I am a 55 years retired person, who want to play and learn networking.
Something like a student.
How can I get Cisco Software?
I have a Cisco account, but can’t add software smart services.
What would you recommend?

Cheers, Hannes

Hello Johann

This is a question that comes up quite often. Unfortunately, the only way to legally obtain Cisco IOS images is to purchase the appropriate contract with Cisco to be able to download them. It’s not enough to have a Cisco account, you must also purchase a service agreement. You can find more info and links at this NetworkLessons Note.

An alternative is to use Cisco’s DEVNET sandboxes like the one below:

These are free to use, but not all programmability features are available on every platform.

Another alternative is to purchase a Cisco Modeling Labs (CML) one year subscription where you will have access to various devices, platforms, and IOS versions to create and experiment with topologies. The cost is relatively accessible. You can find out more info about that here:

I hope this has been helpful!


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This helps a lot!

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