As a networking student, you will have to do most of your assignments and coursework with the help of network simulation tools. You should know how to use these tools and create effective and efficient computer networks to score well. Most professors don’t specify a certain software for students to use. They believe that students can use whichever tool they’re comfortable with. In this post, we will discuss twelve amazing tools you can use to simulate computer networks of different scales:
1. Cisco Packet Tracer
Cisco Packet Tracer is one of the most commonly used network simulation tools by students and professionals. If you are studying for the Cisco CCNA certification, you should have command of multiple Cisco networking tools, including the Packet Tracer. This tool is extremely easy to use. If you are new to networking, you can also access the guide, which will help you create a simple computer network. This network simulation software is super easy-to-use. You just have to drag and drop network components and connections. Changing configurations of the components is quite simple as well. You can build a network by using components like servers, switches, routers, computers, etc.
GNS3 is not the perfect alternative to Cisco Packet Tracer. However, if you are a student or a professional who wants more functionality and flexibility from a network simulator, you can’t go wrong with GNS3. The best thing about GNS3 is that it is open-source and offers support for more device options. While you can create networks by dragging and dropping components, if you want to get into the technical side of things, you can also access the source code of your network. This will help you to customize your network the way you want.
EVE-NG has both free and paid versions available. However, if you are a networking student, you can work with the free version as it provides all the basic functions. But, if you require features like Docker container support, Wireshark integrations, or NAT clouds, you will have to go with the paid version of this network simulation tool. A unique feature of EVE-NG is that you can deploy a server via a virtual machine. You can also visualize and connect network devices without installing separate tools. You can also modify topologies during the compilation and running of your network.
4. Boson Net Slim
If you are preparing for your Cisco CCNA exam and are looking for a perfect alternative to the Packet Tracer, you can try Net Slim out. The benefit of subscribing to this tool is that every subscription covers one exam. However, Net Slim is a bit more complicated than Cisco Packet Tracer. Therefore, we will only recommend this tool to professionals. You can align network elements, create topologies, and spot inactive and active connections. You can also share your network topologies, labs, and lab packs with your fellow students/colleagues.
5. Mini Net
If you are a Linux user, Mini Net is the best network simulation software for you. This open-source tool works so well with Linux because it can be installed natively without virtual machines. You will have to install a virtual machine software like VMWare or Virtual Box if you want to work on Mini Net on a Mac or Windows computer. However, to use Mini Net, having adequate technical knowledge is necessary. It is not as easily usable as some other tools in this list. However, it is a great tool for testing and learning complex technical concepts regarding network engineering.
Common Open Research Emulator (CORE) is an advanced network simulator developed by a group of Boeing Research and Technology researchers. As the US Navy is responsible for this software’s maintenance, this open-source simulation tool is highly versatile and customizable. You can explore this tool if you are a student or professional who is interested in learning about large scale computer networks.
Cloonix is another network simulation tool which deals with distant server control. It has many advanced features and network solutions. Coolnix also allows you to use three different types of cables in your network – vhost-ovs, dpdk-ovs, and socket. You can also easily access other virtual machines (clients) and modify their configurations. Cloonix provided network designers complete freedom to design different sizes of networks with custom and advanced configurations.
NS-3 is an advanced network simulation software used by PhD students, researchers, and network designers. It is licensed under GNU GPLv2. You can find many networking research papers in which the authors have used NS-3 for experimentation. You can create extremely complex and advanced networks on this software. Because this is a highly advanced network simulation tool, you will have to go through its Wiki documentation before using it. If you are still having issues understanding its functioning, you should opt for our networking coursework help online. Also, you should have adequate technical knowledge regarding data communication and networking.
If you are a sucker for Python, then you should use Kathara. It is a completely Python-based network simulation tool. It is almost ten times faster than its counterpart, i.e., Net kit. You can deploy arbitrary network topologies compatible with BGP, NFV, SND, and OSPF. Because Python is not a language that engineers like to use for designing networks, Kathara is not very popular among professionals, students, and researchers. However, Kathara is a very useful tool, and many authors are also using it to extract findings for their papers.
OPNET is one of the best network simulation tools for research. It is being used by many authors who are writing papers on future networking technologies like B5G and 6G. You can create different types of networks between distant servers. You can also use it to create different networking projects. The user interface of OPNET is not very difficult, and it is easy to understand the functionality of different features.
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