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Basically you need router, switch, firewall, AP (Access Point) or router equipped with AP antennas to practice on. These equipments need not to be the latest or greatest. Even EOL (End Of Life) equipments such as 2500 router series, 2600 router series, Catalyst 2950 switches, PIX 501, AP 1230, and 851 router with wireless antennas are still sufficient to practice on. The advantage of using EOL equipment is that their prices are significantly low compared to non-EOL equipment yet you still learn the actual hands-on knowledge.
For most SOHO or Cisco beginners that are in process of learning networking and preparing CCNA, the 2514 should be more than enough. You may need a router with a Fast Ethernet Layer-3 interface to practise inter-VLAN routing. FYI, you may also use 2610, 2611, and 2612 that only has integrated Ethernet Layer-3 interface but capable of doing inter-VLAN routing.
When you feel you need more advanced scenario, you may consider getting your self Layer-3 switches such as Catalyst 3550 switch, newer firewall model such as ASA 5505, 3700 series router to get your hands on further of circuits such as DS-3 and ATM, traffic generator, and circuit simulators such as ISDN, T1, DS-3, and ATM simulator.
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