This paper examines the preferences of undergraduate students for two distinct laboratory formats in a computer networks course. The laboratory activities require students to construct various network scenarios to develop their abilities in designing, developing, and assessing computer networks. In each assignment, students construct and evaluate a specific network scenario using a simulation tool, Cisco Packet Tracer, followed by physically executing the same work with network equipment such as PCs, switches, and routers. Through a survey, this study evaluates the students' learning experiences and preferences for the two lab formats. The results indicate that computer simulations are as effective as hands-on work in comprehending the concepts taught in the course. Additionally, the students expressed no particular preference between the two lab formats and found that the formats complemented each other.