How to Configure OSPF Routing on a Cisco Router using Cisco Packet Tracer

As computer networks get more complicated, it’s crucial to test them first before setting them up for real. Cisco’s Packet Tracer helps with this. It lets you make virtual networks on your computer to see if they work right. One standard protocol for networks is called Open Shortest Path First (OSPF).

In this article, we’ll teach you how to configure OSPF on a Cisco router using Packet Tracer. This way, you can test and fix your network before using it for real.

Configuring OSPF in Cisco Packet Tracer

Credit: Freepik

Understanding Cisco’s Packet Tracer and OSPF Networks

Packet Tracer is a program made by Cisco that sets up virtual computer networks. This means you can create a LAN on your computer to see if it works before setting it up for real.

You can divide an OSPF network into smaller parts called areas. The backbone area is the central part where everything connects. Paths between different areas go through the backbone, so they all need to be linked to it. If they can’t connect directly, they can make a virtual link.

Routers in the same group or at the end of a direct connection make connections when they find each other. In an Ethernet LAN, devices pick a main router called a DR and a backup called a BDR to help manage traffic.

OSPF uses different ways to send messages about the network, like multicast and unicast. It uses particular addresses, like and, to send these messages. Unlike other protocols, OSPF doesn’t need TCP or UDP. It uses the IP protocol directly, marked with “89” in the field.

OSPF organizes a structure into areas within an autonomous system (AS). These areas group routers, so they all know the same stuff about the LAN.

A domain is a part of the network where all the routers have the same map of the LAN.

How to Enable OSPF on Cisco Router

If you have Cisco’s Packet Tracer software, that would be great! We’ve got you covered with a helpful YouTube tutorial video on setting up OSPF on a Router. You can either watch that or follow the simple instructions below.

  1. If you still need to install Packet Tracer on your computer, don’t worry. You can find instructions on my website for installing it on Windows, Linux, and macOS.
  2. To begin, after you’ve installed the simulator program, open it up. Once it’s open, the next thing to do is add two Cisco Routers to the workspace.
  3. To add a Serial Interface to the Routers you’ve put in, click on them and go to the left side of the window. Then, you can add the HWIC-2T module to turn on the Serial Interface on the Router.
  4. To grow the LAN, add two Cisco Switches to what you already have. Make sure to connect the switches properly to the devices so all the devices can talk to each other easily.
  5. To link two routers together, grab a serial cable. First, pick the Serial cable option from the cable types. Then, connect it to the free ports on both devices by clicking on the ports. This sets up a connection between them so they can swap data and do what they need to do.
  6. Put four PCs in the project and set up their TCP/IP settings.
  7. To set up the LAN between routers, give an IP block to use. Also, two separate parts can be made by setting an IP block for each Router’s subnets connected to the GigabitEthernet interfaces.
  8. After setting up the network’s IP, run these commands on R1 and R2 to turn on OSPF Routing on the Router at the Packet Tracer.
    R1# conf t
    R1(config)# router ospf 10
    R1(config-router)# network area 0
    R1(config-router)# network area 0
    R1(config-router)# end
    R2# conf t
    R2(config)# router ospf 10
    R2(config-router)# network area 0
    R2(config-router)# network area 0
    R2(config-router)# end
  9. After setting up OSPF Protocol on the routers using Cisco’s simulator software, it’s essential to check if all the devices can connect. This ensures that the LAN works as it should and that data can move between devices. You can use mechanisms like ping and traceroute to test the LAN. Doing this step helps avoid problems such as devices being set up wrong or connections needing to be fixed.


To sum up, testing your network before you set it up for real is essential to make sure it works right. By following the steps in this article, you can set up OSPF on a Cisco router using Packet Tracer and test your project to make sure it’s working right.

Make sure all devices can connect and use tools like ping and traceroute to test. Doing these steps helps avoid problems and makes sure your LAN works well.

If you want to learn more about setting up routing rules, you might like our guide on configuring EIGRP in Packet Tracer. It’s a method for making data move quickly around a local area. Knowing how to use it well can be really useful if you’re working with PC networks.

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