Resuming CCNA Studies and Cisco Switch setup

Cisco certifications

I got very interested in learning more about Cisco equipment after talking to one of my colleagues from college. I had done some research and decided that learning about this technology would be very useful as well as exciting. I picked up a Udemy course in 2015, but didn’t decide to fully commit to it until this point. I’m going to get my CCNA this summer no matter what!

Basic Cisco setup v1

At this point, I’ve made a 20$ investment into a Cisco 2950 switch to be able to follow the course and practice on my own. It wasn’t too difficult to find pieces of information online on how to get online with the switch, but I wanted to make a quick tutorial for reference in case anyone else is looking for this information.


Unless you have a DB9 port on your computer (or laptop), you will need a USB to Serial converter. The one I purchased on Amazon can be found here:
– USB-to-Serial: Telnet TU-S9 Cable

You will also need a console cable which usually comes with the piece of Cisco equipment; unless you’ve purchased it used. The cable you will need can be found here:
– Telnet Cable: Cisco console Cable

Note: you can get a 2-in-1 cable instead of the two above, but there was no price difference, so I opted in for the authentic experience.

Software setup

You will need to install the driver for the USB-to-Serial cable unless you’ve used it before. I hadn’t, so I had to go to the manufacturer site to get that accomplished. The link below has all the necessary drivers including for different mac versions.
USB-to-Serial Driver: Trendnet TU-S9 Driver

Once you’ve installed the driver, you should be able to see it under System Preferences > Network. For me, it appears as the “USB-Serial Controller”

The final step in the setup is to get connectivity to the switch itself.

  1. Launch the Terminal from your mac. (Applications > Utilities > Terminal)
  2. Connect the switch through the USB-Serial-Console Cable & Power Up.
  3. Enter the following commands in your console:
    • cd /dev
    • ls -ltr /dev/*usb*
  4. One of the lines you will see, will have a reference to your serial adapter. You will need to use the following command with the correct “tty.usbmodem” setting for your machine:
    • screen /dev/tty.usbmodem1a21 9600
  5. At this point, you should be able to press ENTER in your keyboard to see a response from the switch.
  6. To stop, Press Ctrl+A, followed by Ctrl+\


This is only the beginning of my Cisco journey. More to follow…
– Vlad