CCNA Test Prep resources and book recommendations?

35 pts.
Tags:
CCNA
CCNA Certification
CCNA exam
CCNA Network Simulator
I am so glad I found this site. here's my situation: I am a service technician for a local telcom provider, on the business applications side, and have had been working with basic installation and troubleshooting of DSL service and simple modem/router configuration for very small networks. Now, our company is changing focus to include actual installation and administration of LAN,PTP, VoIP and VLAN applications, and they want the techs trained ASAP. So, at the end of this month, I am being sent to a 1 week CCNA bootcamp with cert test at the end. I understand that most people with my level of experience usually start out taking the actual prep courses, but, well, this is pretty much a ,"suprise we want you to attend this class and pass the exam," type of thing. So, I have been searching Amazon.com for the best books to get, and a co-worker who has actually been taking the prep courses has given me his copy of "CCNA Fast Pass"(3rd edition) to study, and he also recommended getting a copy of "Exam Cram-CCNA". Would you also recommend these books? I'm starting from the beginning on this. I want to learn as much as I can. Also, what hands on experience should I be looking for to help me see what I am learning about in action(I comprehend more when I can see it working)? Are there any free labs or simulators available anywhere(free because I really can't afford to pay for them, and it is doubtful that my company would reimburse me for any money I spend getting ready for this.) Please, can you point me to the best resources(i-net/books/video) to help me at least prepare for this boot camp? Thanks in advance for your help.
ASKED: January 2, 2010  12:46 AM
UPDATED: August 15, 2013  6:58 AM

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well, i understand that being a tech.support prespective it’s like your company tossed you on a war with a low ammo..getting back to the main issue..1 week is not enough to grasp the whole thing revolving with networking…i give you the lowdowns at CCNA,’s are broken into 4 parts..CCNA 1 covers the basic of TCP/IP, CCNA2 – protocols used on network CNNA3 – WAN (wide area network) and then CNNA4 – its like combination of all things you learned and putting into actual work (configuring cisco routers)…in terms freeware virtual labs theres is but still nothing beats the old school approach..lets say you finish it the 4 courses still you still need to pass the certification part just to be an associate.since where talking about your actual work gonna be..you know the basics configuring the DSL and router thing for the LAN part will be easier for you..mosty an SOHO (small office/home office network) works on a DSL line (its either a dedicated one/residential) with routers that are hook-up to facilitate the traffic on the network there you a got LAN already, while for VoIP technology thing pretty much the same thing but this it has dedicated DSL/highspeed connection and with added extra hardware which they call “smart devices” pretty much works like a router but the main job of this device is to convert analog signal into digital signal and in vice versa when placing a phone call, then the router reroute the traffic coming the said device and typical VOIP technology to really work there should be at 700Mbps (minimum…ideally a ADSL-2 service type) so that the quality of voice/call wont be that bad..i hope i answered your question and gives you and heads up on the technology that you’ll be tackling in the near future.

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  • JennyMack
    Just my two cents -- since they are paying for you to spend a week at "boot camp" (they are paying for it, right?) wouldn't they want to ensure that you make the best of their investment by passing the exam? I'd ask about additional book reimbursement; if they want you to pass the exam (and be good at your new role) they should not take issue with you wanting to prepare.
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  • Nu2tech
    Thank you for your answer, R3boot. Your assesment of my situation is right on. I have disussed the nature of CCNA with my supervisor and I believe I have shed some light for him on the broad scope of material and information they are expecting us to absorb in only 4 to 5 days. Also, thank you for taking time to break down the aspects of CCNA and and the characteristics of VoIP v/s basic DSL for internet. I suggested to my boss that he might want to try to obtain a Cisco router(s) and basic switch(s), in order to set up a mini lab environment for me to practice what I am learning as I study. This would also include possibly a working data trunk to simulate a PTP, EIA, and/or LAN/WAN environment. He has agreed to see what he can do. Only 2 weeks left until class starts, so I hope this can happen in the next few days. I agree that the tried and true method of real working experience is the best teacher, but unfortunately, I just don;t have that at my disposal. You mentioned that there are some free virtual labs. I would like to have something at my disposal for home study, so do you have any recommendations as far as those go? Thanks againfor your time. Take care.
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  • Nu2tech
    JennyMack. Yes, they are paying for the bootcamp, and since I'm local, there is no travel expense forme. I have asked my supervisor about the book reimbursement(at your suggestion) and he said he has to llok into it. Honestly, I just don't think that whoever set this deal up had a good understanding of what this will be. I checked out our company's intranet and under the same heading that offers informationabout this boot camp, there is also information about the ICND1&2 courses. I have suggested that thaose would have been the better way to go, rather than shelling out the money and time for 12 telecom techs to attend with "high hopes" that all of us are smart enough to pass the cert exam at the end of the week. Oh well. It is what it is. All I can do is cram for the next 2 weeks, and seee what I can retain to try and make the class intelligible for me.
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  • r3boot
    Nu2tech, regarding about the virtual labs that you can use as at home..one is boson network simulator, checked the website (www.boson.com) im not quite sure if they still have a free download of the simulators that you can use..i bet you need to purchased it too fully utilized the software simulation capablities.
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  • Nu2tech
    Thank you, R3boot. I will check that out this weekend. I really appreciate the help.
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  • ciscohite
    Just official CCNA study guide and these free exam simulators should be enough to preapre for your certifications... http://www.ebrahma.com/practice-exam/
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  • ciscohite
    obviously in addition to your training....
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