Basic Cisco Router Configuration – Step By Step

The basic router configuration tasks such as configuring hostname, banner, and IP address are some of the common tasks that every network engineer should know. In this post, we will discuss how to perform basic router configuration tasks on a Cisco router or switch.

Configuring Hostname

Configuring hostname is one of the most basic router configuration tasks. A hostname is used to define the name of a device. Each device on a network should have a unique hostname. To configure the hostname of a router, execute the following commands.

Router#config t
Router(config)#hostname Router1

The preceding commands will change the current hostname to Router1.

Configuring Banner

Banner is used to displaying a short message when a user login to a device. There are various types of banners. The mostly used banners on a Cisco router are Message-Of-The-Day (MOTD), Login, and User EXEC.

  1. MOTD: This banner is used to display a temporary short message to users.
  2. Login: This banner is displayed after the MOTD banner but before logging into the system. Generally, it is used to display a permanent message to the users.
  3. Exec: This banner is displayed when a user enters into the User EXEC mode.

The most commonly used banner is the Message-Of-The-Day (MOTD) banner. To configure the MOTD banner, execute the following commands.

Router1(config)#banner motd #
This device is only for simulation purpose.

The following figure displays how to configure the hostname and MOTD banner on a Cisco router.

Configure Hostname and Banner to perform basic router configuration

Configuring Console Password

To configure the console password on a router, execute the following commands in the global configuration mode.

Router1(config)#line console 0
Router1(config-line)#password 123456

To verify the banner and console passwords, type exit in the privilege mode, and then press Enter. The banner, which you have set in the previous step, should be displayed. Notice the banner and type your password at the Password: prompt.

Configuring Telnet Password

Telnet is a remote administration tool. It allows you to manage a device using the Command Line Interface (CLI) interface from a remote location. To prevent the unauthorized users from misusing a device, it is recommended to configure a strong password for the Telnet program. To configure a password for the Telnet program, execute the following commands in the global configuration mode.

Router1(config)#line vty 0 4
Router1(config-line)#password telnet123

The following figure displays how to configure the console and telnet passwords on a router.Basic Router Configuration Passwords Tasks

You can also set the timeout interval for the Telnet program. To set the timeout interval, you can use the exec-timeout line configuration command. The syntax of this command as follows.

Router(config-line)#exec-timeout minutes [seconds]

Configuring User Authentication on Cisco Router

User authentication allows you to define a username that is authorized to use a Cisco router. To configure the user authentication, execute the following commands.

Router1#config t
Router1(config)#line console 0
Router1(config-line)#login local
Router1(config)#username cisco password ccna123

The following figure displays how to configure user authentication on a Cisco router.

Configuring User Authentication on a Cisco Router

To verify the user authentication, exit from the User EXEC mode, and press Enter. You will be prompted for entering the username and password. Use the username and password that you have defined in the previous step.

Configuring IP Addresses on Cisco Routers

Configuring appropriate IP addresses on a network is one of the frequently required basic router configuration tasks. Communication devices on a network require a unique identification address called IP address to communicate to each other. After configuring hostname, banner, and passwords on a router, now its time to configure the appropriate IP addresses on the routers. For example, let’s complete the following IP address configuration tasks on a router named Router1.

  • Configure IP address on the FastEthernet interface.
  • Configure IP address on the Serial 1/0 interface
  • Set the 64000 clock rate value on the Serial 1/0 interface.

To configure the IP address on the FastEthernett interface, execute the following commands.

Router1(config)#interface fastethernet 0/0
Router1(config-if)#ip address
Router1(config-if)#no shutdown

To configure IP address on the Serial 1/0 interface with the clock rate as 64000, execute the following commands.

Router1(config)#interface serial 1/0
Router1(config-if)#ip address
Router1(config-if)#clock rate 64000
Router1(config-if)#no shutdown

The following figure displays how to configure IP addresses on a router.

Basic Router Configuration Tasks, Configuring IP Addresses on Cisco Router

Saving the Configuration Permanently

The configuration done by a user is saved in the running-config (RAM) file on a router. If the power supply cuts off due to any reason, the configurations that are not saved on the startup-config (NVRAM) file would be lost. Hence, it is important to save your router’s configuration to startup-config. To do this, execute the following command.

Router#copy running-config startup-config

When the Destination filename [startup-config]? message appears, assign a file name or press Enter to accept the default file name.

Note: You don’t always need to spell a complete option for a command. For example, you can use either of the following command to save the configuration on a router.

Router#copy running-config startup-config

Router#copy run start

To verify the configuration, execute the show run command.

Configuring TCP/IP Settings on PCs

After configuring the IP addresses on a router, now, we will discuss how to configure the TCP/IP settings on the PCs in Cisco Packet Tracer.

For example, let’s configure the following TCP/IP settings on a PC named PC0.

  • IP address:
  • Subnet mask:
  • Default gateway:

To configure the preceding TCP/IP settings on a PC, you need to perform the following steps.

  1. Double-click PC0, on the PC0 properties dialog box, click the Desktop tab, and then click the IP Configuration option.
  2. On the IP Configuration dialog box, configure the following TCP/IP settings:
  • Type in the IP Address field.
  • Type in the Subnet Mask field.
  • Type in the Default Gateway field.

The following figure displays the IP Configuration dialog box in Cisco Packet Tracer.
Configure TCP/IP Settings on PCs

Close the PC0 properties dialog box, once you configured the TCP/IP settings.

In this post, we have performed the basic router configuration on a Cisco router. We would love to hear you. You are always welcome to provide your valuable suggestions in the comment box.

What’s next?

Configure static routing.


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One comment on “Basic Cisco Router Configuration – Step By Step
  1. Caleb says:

    Hey, your blog is really unique and definitely standout in separate queue than others hats off.