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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Seventy thousand professionals have achieved CompTIA Network+ certification, and 4,000 more sit for the exam every month. That's 120 percent growth in the past year. And now that Network+ can be used in partial fulfillment of Microsoft's MCSA elective exam requirement, the exam's popularity is likely to grow even further.
In Network+ N10-002, the latest version of the exam, CompTIA has tweaked its objectives to call for greater hands-on experience in network support and administration. Whatever experience you actually have, Network+ Exam Cram 2 will build on it to help you pass your Network+ exam far more quickly. And if you don't have much experience, it'll help you start preparing as well as any book we've seen.
This isn't a gigantic tome that covers everything about networking, from string and paper cups onward. Rather, it's an extremely well-focused study resource you can actually carry (along with a complete PDF copy on CD-ROM so you don't have to). At just 444 downsized pages, it's handy, concise, and very readable.
It also offers all the features technical professionals have come to expect from the ExamCram series, starting with a practical self-assessment to see how close you are to being ready. Throughout the book, you'll find loads of tables, tips, and alerts. There's an excellent and fairly detailed glossary.
You'll find ten-question miniature practice exams at the end of every chapter, complete with answers and clear explanations. There are also two complete practice exams at the end of the book, also thoroughly annotated with intelligent explanations. The accompanying CD-ROM contains PrepLogic software with even more practice questions. Que even provides a cardboard fold-out study sheet you can carry with you on your way to the exam.
If that's not enough, the entire package is edited and supervised by Ed Tittel, the certification field's No. 1 expert. (Tittel practically invented modern certification exam preparation.)
Network+ Exam Cram 2 starts with a beginner's introduction to networking: LANs and WANs, peer-to-peer and server-centered networking, the leading network topologies; and the menagerie of 802.x standards. Next, author and long-time network manager Mike Harwood walks through the fundamentals of cabling and connecting your network, from 10BaseT through Gigabit Ethernet, ancient BNC connectors to wireless media.
You'll learn how to identify and discuss hubs, switches, bridges, routers, gateways, CSU/DSUs, network interface cards, ISDN adapters, modems, wireless access points, even System Area Network cards designed to support high-performance clustered servers.
Inevitably, Harwood walks you through the OSI model (as long as they keep asking about it, you're gonna have to keep learning about it). That leads into a brief and easy introduction to the legacy protocols you might still find in networks you have to administer (IPX/SPX, NetBeui, AppleTalk). Next, you'll find a concise chapter-length review of TCP/IP essentials, from network services like DHCP and DNS to IP addressing in IPv4 and IPv6, subnetting, and more.
From there, you're on to WAN technologies like frame relay, SONET/SDH, and ATM; remote access protocols such as PPP and PPTP; and basic security protocols (IPSec, L2TP, SSL, and Kerberos).
Harwood next covers exam objectives related to networked operating systems, including Windows servers and clients (through Win2K and Windows XP Professional); NetWare (including NDS); and Linux. You'll walk through physically connecting a PC to your network and testing/troubleshooting Ethernet cards; then move on to more advanced networking topics -- including fault tolerance, disaster recovery, Virtual LANs, and network-attached storage.
In a chapter-length introduction to network security, Harwood introduces each important category of firewall and proxy server; as well as port blocking, encryption, auditing, authentication, and password policies. The book ends with two practical chapters on troubleshooting, covering everything from diagnostic utilities (e.g., tracert, ping, netstat) to uncovering problems with cable/DSL modems. We're not saying Network+ Exam Cram 2 will substitute for a career's worth of experience, but as high-speed, high-quality preparation for your Network+ exam, this book excels. Bill Camarda
Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2000 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks For Dummies®, Second Edition.