VLAN Access Ports – Cisco CCNA Tutorial

VLAN Access Ports - Cisco CCNA Tutorial

In this Cisco CCNA training tutorial, you’ll learn about VLAN Access ports and how to configure them. Access ports are configured on switch interfaces where end hosts such as desktop PCs are plugged in. Scroll down for the video and also text tutorial.

VLAN Access Ports Video Tutorial

YouTube video

Makhu Padmanabhi

Makhu Padmanabhi

I have subscribed to >30 best seller courses on various areas of IT/Software and Neil is by far the BEST instructor of all. His response rate to questions is unbeatable, answers are always to the maximum depth with lot of real-world examples. Networking is one of the toughest areas of IT and Neil makes it sound very easy because of his expertise in subject and friendly teaching habits. Do not even think twice for signing up to any of his courses, worth the money.

Makhu Padmanabhi

An access port carries traffic for one specific VLAN. For example, when an Engineering PC is plugged in to a switch, the port where it is connected to will be configured as an access port for the Engineering VLAN.


The configuration is all on the switch. The end host doesn't need to know anything about VLANs.


You can pass your CCNA exam at the first attempt by taking my Cisco CCNA Complete course in conjunction with the AlphaPrep test engine.


VLANs segment the Campus LAN into smaller broadcast segments by only allowing traffic within the same VLAN. Traffic between VLANs must go via a router.


Unicast Traffic within the Same IP Subnet

VLAN access ports - Cisco CCNA training tutorial


We have an Engineering VLAN and a Sales VLAN in the example above.


There is usually a one-to-one relationship between an IP subnet and a VLAN. In our example the Engineering PCs are in IP subnet and the Eng VLAN, and the Sales PCs are in IP subnet and the Sales VLAN.


All Engineering PCs and the router interface in the Engineering IP subnet (‘ENG Default Gateway’) go into the Engineering VLAN. All Sales PCs and the router interface for the Sales subnet (‘SALES Default Gateway’) go into the Sales VLAN.


Whenever a host sends traffic, the switch will learn the host’s MAC address and the port that MAC address is reachable through. For example if Sales PC1 has MAC address 1111.2222.3333 and is connected to interface FastEthernet 0/6, as soon as it sends any traffic the switch will learn that 1111.2222.3333 is reachable via FastEthernet 0/6.


Whenever unicast traffic is sent within the same IP subnet and VLAN, the switch will send it out only the port which the destination host is connected to. For example when Sales PC2 sends to Sales PC1, the switch will forward it out only port FastEthernet 0/6 if it has already learned the MAC address of Sales PC1.


Misconfigured VLAN Example


If we misconfigured VLANs, for example if we accidentally put Sales PC1 in the Engineering VLAN instead of the Sales VLAN, the other PCs won’t be able to communicate with it, even if they’re in the same IP subnet. The switch doesn’t forward traffic between different VLANs. So if Sales PC2 at sends traffic to Sales PC1 at but they’re in different VLANs, it won’t make it to the destination.


You have to be careful when configuring VLANs. Remember, hosts which are in the same IP subnet should be in the same VLAN.


The Default VLAN – VLAN 1


VLAN1 is the default VLAN, all ports on the switch are in this VLAN by default. Until you manually configure VLANs, your Campus LAN is one big broadcast domain.


This isn’t a good idea as it affects performance and security, so you should configure specific VLANs.


VLAN Access Ports Configuration Example


Using the same example above, the Engineering PCs are connected to interfaces FastEthernet 0/3, 0/4 and 0/5, and 0/6. We also need to put the router interfaces in the correct VLAN, so FastEthernet 0/1 goes in the Engineering VLAN too.


Interfaces FastEthernet 0/2, 0/6 and 0/7 go in the Sales VLAN.


VLAN Access Port Configuration – Eng VLAN

Let’s configure the Engineering VLAN first. First off, we have to create the VLAN and to do that, the command is simply ‘VLAN’ and then the number you want to use for this VLAN. You do not need to number your VLANs sequentially 1,2,3 etc. You can give them any number you like so it’s common to relate the VLAN number to the IP subnet somehow, for example using VLAN 10 for IP subnet and VLAN 20 for IP subnet


At global config, type VLAN 10. That gets us into the VLAN sub-configuration. Optionally, you can give it a name and it’s a good idea to give it a descriptive name here. Here we've called it Eng, type ‘name ENG’.


Next, we need to configure our switch ports as access ports in the correct VLAN. Type interface FastEthernet 0/1, then switchport mode access and switchport access vlan 10.


If you are wondering about the other types of ports, aside from access ports we have trunk ports. We will cover those in the next post.


Next we need to put interfaces FastEthernet 0/3 - 0/5 in to the Eng VLAN. Rather than having to do these same commands over and over again for each individual port, we can configure a range of ports. Type interface range FastEthernet 0/3 – 5. You have to do this in exactly this syntax or you will receive an error message.


Then we type switchport mode access and switchport access vlan 10 again. Now we have completed configuring our Engineering VLAN.


VLAN Access Port Configuration – Sales VLAN

Now let’s configure the Sales VLAN using vlan 20. Just like we did with Engineering VLAN, we will name our VLAN to Sales. So at the global config, type vlan 20 then name Sales.


Next type interface FastEthernet 0/2 then switchport mode access and switchport access vlan 20.


To configure the range, type interface range FastEthernet 0/6 – 7 then switchport mode access and switchport access vlan 20 again.


VLAN Access Port Verification Commands – Show VLAN Brief

To verify your configuration, type show vlan brief. It will show all the VLANs available on the switch along with the ports associated with each VLAN. So you will see interfaces FastEthernet 0/1, 0/3, 0/4 and 0/5 are in the Eng VLAN 10 and FastEthernet 0/2, 0/6 and 0/7 are in the Sales VLAN 20.


All of the other ports are in the default VLAN 1.


VLAN Access Port Verification Commands – Show Interface Switchport

‘Show VLAN Brief’ shows you global information about all your VLANs and all of your ports. If you want to see information specific to an individual port, type show interface FastEthernet 0/1 switchport, referencing the port you’re interested in. In the example above, you can see that it's an access port in VLAN 10, which is the Engineering VLAN.


Additional Resources

Why we have VLANs

VLAN Trunk Ports

Understanding and Configuring VLANs from Cisco


Want to practice Cisco VLANs on your laptop? Download my complete 350-page Cisco CCNA Lab Guide for free.


Click Here to get my Cisco CCNA Gold Bootcamp, the highest rated CCNA course online with a 4.8 star rating from over 20,000 public reviews.