Introduction to Packet Tracer

Packet Tracer is a protocol simulator developed at Cisco Systems. Packet Tracer (PT) is a powerful and dynamic tool that displays the various protocols used in networking, in either Real Time or Simulation mode. This includes layer 2 protocols such as Ethernet and PPP, layer 3 protocols such as IP, ICMP, and ARP, and layer 4 protocols such as TCP and UDP. Routing protocols can also be traced. Packet Tracer is a supplement to and not a replacement for experience with real equipment. Students are encouraged to compare the results obtained from Packet Tracer network models with the behavior of real equipment.

Creating a New Topology in Packet Tracer
Start Packet Tracer


Choosing Devices and Connections
We will begin building our network topology by selecting devices and the media in which to connect them. Several types of devices and network connections can be used. For this lab we will keep it simple by using End Devices, Switches, Hubs, and Connections.
Single click on each group of devices and connections to display the various choices. When we select a device in the left panel, in the right panel we see all the listed devices of that type.


Single click on the End Devices.

Single click on the Generic host.


Move the cursor into topology area. You will notice it turns into a plus “+” sign.

Single click in the topology area and it copies the device.

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Add three more hosts.

Adding a Hub

Select a hub, by clicking once on Hubs and once on a Generic hub.

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Add the hub by moving the plus sign “+” below PC0 and PC1 and click once.
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Connect PC0 to Hub0 by first choosing Connections.


Click once on the Copper Straight-through cable.


Perform the following steps to connect PC0 to Hub0:
  1. Click once on PC0
  2. Choose FastEthernet
  3. Drag the cursor to Hub0
  4. Click once on Hub0 and choose Port 0
  5. Notice the green link lights on both the PC0 Ethernet NIC and the Hub0 Port 0 showing that the link is active.
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Repeat the steps above for PC1 connecting it to Port 1 on Hub0. (The actual hub port you choose does not matter.

Adding a Switch

Select a switch, by clicking once on Switches and once on a 2950-24 switch.

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Add the switch by moving the plus sign “+” below PC2 and PC3 and click once.

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Connect PC2 to Hub0 by first choosing Connections.


Click once on the Copper Straight-through cable


Perform the following steps to connect PC2 to Switch0:
  1. Click once on PC2
  2. Choose FastEthernet
  3. Drag the cursor to Switch0
  4. Click once on Switch0 and choose FastEthernet0/1
  5. Notice the green link lights on PC2 Ethernet NIC and amber light Switch0 FastEthernet0/1 port. The switch port is temporarily not forwarding frames, while it goes through the stages for the Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) process.
  6. After a about 30 seconds the amber light will change to green indicating that the port has entered the forwarding stage. Frames can now forwarded out the switch port.
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Repeat the steps above for PC3 connecting it to Port 3 on Switch0 on port FastEtherent0/2. (The actual switch port you choose does not matter.)

Move the cursor over the link light to view the port number. Fa means FastEthernet, 100 Mbps Ethernet.

After you successfully create the topology like here,

Be sure you are in Realtime mode.
Select the Add Simple PDU tool used to ping devices.

Click once on PC0, then once on PC3.
The PDU Last Status should show as Successful.

For a detailed successful topology creation and traffic flow, click here.



  1. So, I normally don't comment on people's tutorials that are less than helpful however. Though,
    today I am. Let me bring a few things to your attention as I am a student who is trying her
    hardest to get how to do a packet tracker even on a simple network successful and your
    tutorial did not help.

    First please provide a overall view of what the Topography should appear at the end of the set
    up. You had us start with 4 hosts and then a generic hub. You had us connect host 1 and 2 to
    the generic hub. Then you had us add a 2950-24 Switch that you had us connect host pc2
    and pc3 to the switch. At this point you have one line of instruction that says Connect pc2 to
    Hub0 but then the next line of instruction you are giving step by step instructions on how to
    connect pc2 to the switch. At this point i'm confused are we suppose to have two setups
    one with two hosts for a generic hub and another with two hosts for a switch????? should there
    be a connection between the switch and hub? I DON"T KNOW CAUSE YOUR INSTRUCTIONS

    After this you have us try and send a simple PDU, however, between setting up the topography
    and sending a simple PDU between hosts you you give no other instructions. Though nothing
    can be sent between hosts i'm told by cisco's error message as no port is set up on either my
    switch or my hub and you can not send a packet of anything between hosts because you have
    to assign IP addresses. Though your less than helpful tutorial does not go into this so we are
    left with a lot of questions and even more frustrations.

    Please do the IT students a favor and provide through helpful tutorials.