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LAN Switching and Wireless, CCNA Exploration Companion Guide

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2008

    A reviewer

    This book mainly focuses on the Switching and Wireless concepts of the CCNA Exam. As a CCNA you will be expected to know how VLANs work, the different types of VLANs, configuring VLANs, inter-vlan routing, VTP, STP, and wireless concepts. This book does a nice job explaining all of these concepts and making them easy to understand! The diagrams/pictures in each chapter were really explained well and helped me understand the concepts. The summary at the end of each chapter helped me review all that I had read in the chapter. The quizzes at the end of each chapter also helped me go back and review the concepts that I didn't understand. There were also challenging questions and activities at the end of each chapter that really tested my understanding of the concepts that I learned. The key terms were listed on the front of each chapter, and I found it convenient because I could flip back to the glossary and look up whatever definition I was unfamiliar with. After studying the chapters through this book, I now have the knowledge of all the CCNA level switching concepts and the basic wireless concepts. The activities in each chapter helped me learn how to configure VLANs, VTP, STP, and inter-vlan routing. You must purchase the LAN Switching Wireless Labs to go with it! It gives you the hands on experience that you need.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 29, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    The book is meant to let you pass the corresponding Cisco switch

    The book is meant to let you pass the corresponding Cisco switching exam. For this ends, it furnishes a good and comprehensive discussion of the subject. The equipment covered is naturally Cisco's. Typically the text describes steps you take at the command terminal hooked up to a switch. Ah, but one very important case emphasised is the remote access of the switch, using a virtual terminal (vty). Naturally, a cracker could break in across the network. So you need to secure all the vty lines.

    A key idea is the privileged EXEC mode. Once a user gets that, she can configure anything on the switch. It seems that earlier verions of the switch stored the password to EXEC in a readable text string inside a startup configuration file. So someone who could read that file could ascend to EXEC at a later time. Hmm! While the book does not outright admit it, this was a flaw in those earlier operating systems. To anyone experienced with computers, and not necessarily with switches in particular, this part of the text comes across clearly. Anyway, Cisco upped its game. Now there is an option to encrypt the password. Wonder why it took so long?

    Another major idea in the book is the virtual LAN [VLAN]. You can have multiple IP networks on the same switching network. It gives tremendous flexibility when your company or organisation has disparate subgroups with different needs. This is one of the important sections of the text. Because regardless of passing the exam, if you have to administer a real world network, being able to make VLANs can greatly improve the performance and security of your overall network.

    The text goes on to show how to perform routing between 2 or more VLANs. More complex administration but the task will be inevitable if you have to set up several VLANs.

    Separate from all the above is the last section of the book, on running a wireless LAN. The discussion here is quite good, with well drawn diagrams that illustrate frequent geographical or topological issues when deploying a wireless access point or router. You can also anticipate that maintaining such a router will be a common chore. The book cautions that the intrinsic wireless nature of the LAN means that it can be more vulnerable to attacks, since the attacker does not need to physically attach to a wired network. In turn, the latter means that the attacker can be outside a home or office or coffeehouse, within which the only access to that LAN is meant to occur.

    From the text, it appears that the administrative tasks for a wireless LAN are simpler than running a VLAN on a wired network.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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