Cisco Packet Tracer Online Simulator

Francis Kagai
3 min readMay 15, 2021

In this article, I will explain how you can get started with the Cisco Online Simulator or the Cisco DevNet labs. This is a complement to my Courses on CCT Routing and Switching and on Network Automation and Programmability, so, every step is important.

Cisco DevNet Labs

The Cisco Online Simulator is a product of Cisco’s 2020 comprehensive renovation of their certification exams that brought about a range of beneficial changes. Prior to the update, learners had to pay an annual subscription fee for access to Cisco IOS through Virl software, which was required to operate advanced Cisco equipment that could not be simulated on the Packet Tracer. Nevertheless, in May 2020, Cisco launched the innovative online Cisco DevNet Labs, which are similar to virtual packet tracer simulation labs, and they can be accessed from any location worldwide using registration credentials.

The Cisco Certified DevNet Associate

Cisco made several changes but the most conspicuous one was the introduction of the Cisco Certified DevNet Associate certification. This was a much-needed course that equips students with software development, network automation, and programmability skills. Students learn python programming, Linux Os, Virtual Machines, Container Technology, API’s Git, Jenkins, and Kubernetes among others.

Get Today with the Cisco Certified DevNet Associate.

Now let’s look at the cisco modeling labs, which is an online alternative to the conventional packet tracer.

The Cisco Modelling Labs

Distinct from the Packet Tracer simulation environment, the Cisco Modeling Labs offer a practical experience by enabling learners to operate actual devices via remote SSH access software tools such as Tera term or putty. The credentials to gain access to the labs are provided after the reservation of online labs through a process that is detailed below, and can also be obtained through video demonstrations available on Udemy and YouTube.

These labs can be reserved for free, and used for private sessions that last for a maximum of four hours. To extend the session or reserve again, learners must follow a set of steps that are dependent on the method they prefer to use. Moreover, these labs can be accessed through a browser or via another preferred method. Here are the detailed steps that learners can follow to gain access to the Cisco Online labs, which offer an innovative alternative to the conventional Packet Tracer labs.

Cisco Online Modelling Labs — Part 1

Cisco Online Modelling Labs — Part 2

Cisco Online Modelling Labs — Part 3

Here is an additional graphical guide on how you can use the Cisco Online Simulator

Step 1: Register for Cisco DevNet Account

cisco packet tracer online simulator

Step 2: Reserve and Online Lab

Reserving Cisco Omline Lab for Practice

Step 3: Installing Cisco Any Connect VPN Software to Access the Lab

AnyConnect VPN software to access Cisco Online Packet Tracer Simulator

Step 4: Using SSH via Putty, Tera Term, or web Browser to Access CML (Cisco packet Tracer online simulator)

cisco packet tracer online simulator for practice


We have demonstrated how you can access an equivalent of Cisco Packet Tracer online for lab simulation and practice. If you would like to follow this demonstration on video.



Francis Kagai

is a researcher in telecoms, data security & privacy. Interests in IoT & DLT in Emergency systems and elections data security.