Hello I'm extremely new to networking and I have a quick question. Can I access linksys (or any home routers) with software like putty? Do I have to have an enterprise level router in order to configure and/or practice with? Thank you for taking the time to read my question.
Typically a home router will be interfaced by a web browser using http. I don't know that Putty will do you any good for your Linksys router.
If you want to practice configuration you do have to have a switch or router with the IOS on it or a virtual network simulator like Cisco's Packet Tracer to use. When I studied for my CCNA, I used Packet Tracer a lot. It was fantastic, but I also got two 871 Cisco routers so I could have real equipment. You can get used ones fairly cheap and they have a full IOS loaded on them.
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a lot of soho modem routers can be configured with a CLI and so can be accessed via telnet but I highly discourage you to do it unless you really know what you're doing.
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look on ebay, you can get some really cheap used equitment there, when I was studied I used at first Packet Tracer, but it didin't take long before I bought some cisco routers and switches from uk on ebay,
try to search on ebay for cisco equitment, there are also people that sells cisco labs, that contains x amount routers and switch's and all you neeed to study to cisco certification
you typically get a low price because they usally are only 100mbit used switch that someone sells because they can't use it longer in the production network and have upgraded to 1gbit or more, but they have all the features you need and more