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Without configuration Routing device is a driverless car.

It is expensive, adorable but without

driver it is useless. Think configuration as driver of Routing device. Configuration guides it to
take proper action. Routing device does not have any display interface. You have to connect it
with PC, tablet, laptop or other device in order to configure it.

Connecting cisco devices

Cisco makes a lot of devices, from those in this article we will discuss only the devices which
are covered in CCNA exam. Whenever we will use word "Cisco device" in this article, take that
for router, switch and PC collectively.

A router supports many interface among those Serial, Ethernet and console are the must have
interface. Every router has at least these interfaces.

Serial interface

Serial interface connects router with wan network. In wan network, communication takes place
between two types of device DTE and DCE.


DTE is an end device. It stands for Data Terminal Equipment. It ends communication line. It
converts data in signal and vice versa.


DCE stands for Data Communication Equipment. It provides a path for communication.

For example you want to access a website. For it you have to connect the computer with
Internet through the modem. Modem will connect PC with ISP. ISP will make connection with
hosting server.

 In this example PC and Server are the DTE, as both ends communication line.
 Two modems (yours and providers) are DCEs, as they make the communication
between you and provider

The COM port on a PC is a DTE port.

The COM ports on modems are configured as DCE port.
Any device that connects to a computer’s COM port using a straight through serial cable is a
DCE device.

 DCE: Provides clock rate

 DTE: Receives the clock rate
 Clock Rate: Speed of data transmission

In job environment, when you connect serial cable to the serial interface of router, most
probably other end of cable would be connected to CSU/DSU device. A CSU/DSU (Channel
Service Unit/Data Service Unit) device connects router with digital circuit (Wan Network). By
default all Cisco routers work as DTE. In this situation clocking is provided by CSU/DSU

In lab environment, we usually connect two routers back to back using serial interface. As we
know that all routers are configured by default as DTE device. We have to change one serial
interface as DCE. Serial cable decides which end would be DCE or DTE. It is usually marked on
the cable.
Some time it is not marked on cable, still you can determine the interface. For that you have to
use "show controller" command from privilege exec mode.

Third line of output will tell us whether connected side of cable is DCE or DTE.

Ethernet interface
Ethernet interface is used to connect local network to router, PC to switch, switch to switch,
switch to router. Ethernet interface uses UTP cable for connection. UTP (Unshielded twisted
pair) cable has four pairs of wires twisted inside it.

UTP cable used for

 Ethernet connections
 Serial connections
 Console connections
 ISDN (Integrated Service Digital Network) connections
 Modular and fixed interface connections

Different type of connections need different type of configuration including

 Straight-through
 Crossover
 Rollover

Straight-Through Cable

Straight-through cable is used to connect DTE to DCE devices. It has same pin assignments on
each end.

Side A Side B
Green White Green White
Green Green
Orange White Orange White
Blue Blue
Blue White Blue White
Orange Orange
Brown White Brown White
Brown Brown
A straight-through cable connects

PC to Switch
PC to Hub
Router to Switch
Switch to Server
Hub to Server
Crossover Cable

In crossover cable, TX and RX wires are cross connected. TX and RX wires are connected at
opposite position on the end of cable.

Side A Side B
Green White Orange White
Green Orange
Orange White Green White
Blue Blue
Blue White Blue White
Orange Green
Brown White Brown White
Brown Brown

Crossover cable is used to connects

 Two computers
 Two hubs
 A hub to a switch
 A cable modem to a router
 Two router interfaces
Console interface
All interfaces except console are by default administratively down on router and switch. You
have to connect with device (router or switch) via console interface, form where you can
configure other interfaces and make them active to accept connection. Rollover (also known as
Console) cable is used to connect console interface with PC. In rollover cable all wires have
opposite position on each end.

RJ-45 (Registered Jack) is a connector used to make straight-through, crossover, rollover cables.

While connecting cable in RJ-45 connector keep the clip in opposite direction.

Device A Device B Interface Cable
Router Router Serial Serial Cable
Router Router Ethernet Crossover Cable
Router Switch Ethernet Straight-through Cable
Switch Switch Ethernet Crossover Cable
Switch Hub Ethernet Crossover Cable
Switch PC Ethernet Straight-through Cable
Hub PC Ethernet Straight-through Cable
Router PC Console Rollover Cable
Switch PC Console Rollover cable
Modem Router Ethernet Crossover cable

That's all for this article.

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