Network+ All-in-One Certification: Exam Guide

Overview

Network+ is CompTIA's new and highly coveted certification credential that's designed test the skills of basic, vendor-neutral network technicians. Network+ is vital whether want to use it to establish yourself as a nuts-and-bolts tech, now very much in demand, or as a springboard to the MCSE and CNE certifications.

Written by the founder of the training powerhouse Total Seminars, who also wrote McGraw-Hill's hugely popular guide to the A+ certification exam, this ...

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Overview

Network+ is CompTIA's new and highly coveted certification credential that's designed test the skills of basic, vendor-neutral network technicians. Network+ is vital whether want to use it to establish yourself as a nuts-and-bolts tech, now very much in demand, or as a springboard to the MCSE and CNE certifications.

Written by the founder of the training powerhouse Total Seminars, who also wrote McGraw-Hill's hugely popular guide to the A+ certification exam, this first-of-its-kind book/CD-ROM package gives you the total coverage you need to pass the career-enhancing Network+ exam. Focusing strictly on the domains of the Network+ exam, this essential resource includes all the fundamental networking information you need to know to support networks In the real world, Including:

  • Practical insights into the basic tools and goals of networking
  • Complete descriptions of the most commonly used topologies
  • Key coverage of the components of structured cabling systems
  • Essential overviews of Windows 95, Windows NT, and Novell NetWare
  • Full information on TCP/IP and the Internet, including IP addressing
  • How-to guidance on troubleshooting common network problems

Featuring a CD-ROM loaded with test prep questions and a challenging self-study test program, Network+ All-in-One Certification Exam Guide helps ensure you ace this demanding test.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780071345637
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne
  • Publication date: 9/1/2003
  • Series: All in One Certification Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 457
  • Product dimensions: 7.60 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 1.64 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Meyers is the founder of Total Seminars, Inc., which provides practical PC and network training, seminar books, and videos to thousands of organizations and individuals. His company is a member and strong ally of CompTIA, the originators of the Network+ and A+ Certifications. Mr. Meyers is the author of McGraw-Hill's best-selling A+ All-in-One Certification Exam Guide and many other hands-on training resources.

Brian Schwarz is a trainer for Total Seminars and the author of MCSE AT 4.0 All-in-One Certification Exam Guide.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 4: The OSI Model

The Open Systems Interconnect (OSI) model provides a precise terminology for discussing networks. Chapters 1-3 discussed two important networking technologies, Ethernet and Token Ring, and included a discussion of the jargon used with each technology. Unfortunately, the designers of Ethernet and Token Ring did not talk with one another when deciding what terms to use. An Ethernet hub and a Token Ring MAU, for example, perform roughly the same function, but the terms have no obvious similarity. As you delve deeper into networking, the jargon only gets worse. Terms such as protocol, gateway, and switch, for example, can have vastly different meanings depending on the context of the conversation. To prevent confusion, the international Organization for Standardization, known as the ISO, proposed the OSI 7-layer model.

Protocols

The word protocol serves as a good example of this terminology confusion. In normal English, the term protocol usually refers to a formal procedure for doing something. A specific protocol, for example, exists for a meeting between two heads of state. if the President of Mexico comes to the United States to visit the US President, many issues have to be decided in advance. Does the US president meet the Mexican president at the airport or wait for him at the White House? Who walks into a joint press conference first? Who gets to make the announcement about a new agreement? Protocols supply the answers in advance. Networking protocols work the same way, setting the rules for communication in advance.

Even a simple exchange of data between two computers involves many distinct protocols. In computer networking, the term protocol describes any predetermined set of rules that define how two devices or pieces of software should communicate with each other. A single act on the part of a user actually involves multiple protocols. When Bobbie uploads a file from her computer to a server on the Internet, she thinks that she does a single thing. In reality, lots of things are happening behind the scenes. Assuming that she uses an FTP utility program like CuteFTP or WS-FTP32 to transfer the file, numerous protocols come into play The File Transfer Protocol (FTP) describes how two programs running on different computers can exchange a file, while Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) describes how two computers can break that file up into smaller pieces on the sending machine and reassemble it on the receiving end. Internet Protocol (IP) determines the proper routing of the data across multiple routers, and Ethernet (or Token Ring) handles the actual delivery of the data packets (See Chapters 1-3 for more information about Ethernet and Token Ring). The OSI model provides a more precise terminology that clarifies the relationships between the various protocols used.

The Seven Layers

Most network documentation uses the OSI 7-layer model to define more precisely the role played by each protocol. OSI provides a common jargon that network techs can use to describe the function of any network protocol. The OSI model breaks up the task of networking computers into seven distinct layers, with each layer addressing some essential task:
  • Layer 1: Physical
  • Layer 2: Data Link
  • Layer 3: Network
  • Layer 4: Transport
  • Layer 5: Session
  • Layer 6: Presentation
  • Layer 7: Application

Each layer defines a challenge in computer networking and the protocols that operate at that layer offer solutions to those challenges. The OSI model encourages a modular design to networking, meaning that each protocol should deal with a specific layer and have as little as possible to do with the operation of other layers. Each protocol should know the protocol handling the layer above it and the layer below it, but should be oblivious of the protocols handling the other layers. Keep in mind that these layers are not laws of physics-anybody who wants to design a network can do it in any way While many protocols fit neatly into one of the seven layers, others do not.

Layer 1: What do these electrical signals mean? The Physical Layer

Layer 1, the physical layer, defines the physical form taken by data that travel across a cable. While the other layers will deal with ones and zeros, the physical layer defines the rules for turning those ones and zeros into electrical signals going out over a copper cable (or light going out over a fiber optic cable, or radio waves generated by a wireless network, etc.). Figure 4.1 shows the process by which the sending NIC turns a string of ones and zeros into an electrical signal, and the receiving NIC turns it back into the same string of ones and zeros. Both ends of the transmission must agree in advance on the physical-layer rules or communication is not possible. The physical layer adds no additional information to the data packet-it simply transmits the data provided by the layers above it.
Figure 4.1: The physical layer turns binary code into a physical signal and back again.

Repeaters, discussed in Chapters I and 2, operate purely at layer I in the OSI model. The repeater takes the electrical signal received from one segment of cable, converts it into binary code, and then converts the binary code back into a physical signal on the other segment. Because a standard Ethernet hub is nothing more than a multi-port Ethernet repeater, it also functions as a layer-1 device.

Layer 2: How do devices use the wire? The Data Link Layer

The data link layer, layer 2, defines the rules for accessing and using the physical layer. It provides a way to identify devices on the network, to determine which machine should use the network at a given moment, and to check for errors in the data received from the physical layer.

Ethernet and Token Ring protocols deal with issues at both the physical and data link layers. Ethernet, for example, uses MAC addresses to identify machines on the network, CSMA/CD to determine which machine should send its packet at a given time, and the CRC code to check for errors. Token Ring resolves the same issues using MAC addresses, token passing, and FCS code.

The separation between the physical and data link layers explains how Ethernet and Token Ring can run on so many different types of physical cabling. When devising a new cabling system, network engineers can make changes at the physical layer without altering the data link layer. In Token Ring, for example, the token-passing system remains the same whether the network uses UTP or STP cabling. In Ethernet, CSMA/CD controls access to the cable whether the network uses 10BaseT, 10Base5, or 10Base2. Provided some combination of hardware and software can be designed to take the binary data generated by the data link layer and transmit it using the physical layer, the use of any type of cabling imaginable becomes possible.

Protocols that operate at the physical and data link layers do not concern themselves with the meaning of the data they carry in the data field of their packets. Chapters 1-3 discussed the packets created by Ethernet and Token Ring networks, but left the field defined as "data" intentionally vague. Ethernet and Token Ring function like the truck drivers employed by UPS or, the Post Office. As long as the box doesn't tick, the truck driver could not care less about the contents of the box. The driver simply moves the box from point A to point B. Similarly, an Ethernet or Token Ring device pays no attention to the contents of the data field, whether it contains a print job, a file being saved, or some-thing really important like a game of hearts. The job of "filling the boxes" falls to the protocols operating at layers 3 through 7....

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Table of Contents

Introduction
Ch. 1 Bus Topologies and Ethernet 1
Ch. 2 Ethernet: Bigger, Faster, Stronger than Before 47
Ch. 3 Ring Topologies and Token Ring 87
Ch. 4 The OSI Model 103
Ch. 5 Protocol Suites 125
Ch. 6 Tcp/Ip 147
Ch. 7 Network Operating Systems 197
Ch. 8 The Complete Network PC 221
Ch. 9 Connectivity Hardware 283
Ch. 10 Remote Connectivity 325
Ch. 11 Maintain and Troubleshoot the Network 347
App. A Network+ Exam Quick Reference Section 385
App. B: Glossary 393
Index 441
What's on the CD? 469
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2000

    If you want the Network+ certification you want this book

    I had a little basic knowledge of networking but this book was all I needed to pass my Network+ Certification. And I find myslef calling back on it with my CCNA studying.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2000

    Good, but where was the editor!!

    I use this book to teach a seminar to prepare students for the exam. On the whole a very good book well illustrated and easy to read. The problem was and is the numerous typos in the book. Most of the errors are in the questions at the end of the chapters, but there are some glaring errors in the text also. Hopefully the second edition will be released soon with those typos fixed or I will have to choose another book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2000

    Wait for the second edition!

    I passed the Network + test using this book and my years of networking experience. The book has many errors. In my opinion enough errors to fail with if you are new to networking. Besides the proofreading errors there seems to me to be an assumption that I have a small network at home or a large network to play with connected to a router. I don't...If you buy this book, explore every file or topic mentioned that you may have doubts on very thoroughly with other sources of information as a cross reference and you'll be okay.

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