SNMP Versions

Three versions of SNMP have been standardized – SNMPv1, SNMPv2, and SNMPv3. While the versions all work in a similar manner, they are not directly compatible. Some of the differences between the versions include:

  • SNMPv2 and SNMPv3 include additional commands not available in SNMPv1.
  • In SNMPv1 and SNMPv2, security is based on a very simple administrative grouping known as a community. SNMPv3 is the most secure of the versions, including features that provide message integrity, authentication, and encryption.

Having said that, many vendors (including Cisco) have made their devices “multilingual”, meaning that they are capable of using SNMPv1, SNMPv2, SNMPv3, or even different versions concurrently. Along the same lines, most SNMP NMSs are also “multilingual”.

Author: Dan DiNicolo

Dan DiNicolo is a freelance author, consultant, trainer, and the managing editor of He is the author of the CCNA Study Guide found on this site, as well as many books including the PC Magazine titles Windows XP Security Solutions and Windows Vista Security Solutions. Click here to contact Dan.