Network Fundamentals: CCNA Exploration Companion Guide / Edition 1

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Each new purchase of an Exploration Companion guide comes with an exclusive coupon code that can be used to Save 65% on these two additional study resources:

1. CCENT 640-822 Network Simulator: Software Download (

2. Network Fundamentals Companion Guide eBook (

Network Fundamentals, CCNA Exploration Companion Guide
is the official supplemental textbook for the Network Fundamentals course in the Cisco® Networking Academy® CCNA® Exploration curriculum version 4. The course, the first of four in the new curriculum, is based on a top-down approach to networking. The Companion Guide, written and edited by Networking Academy instructors, is designed as a portable desk reference to use anytime, anywhere. The book’s features reinforce the material in the course to help you focus on important concepts and organize your study time for exams.

New and improved features help you study and succeed in this course:

  • Chapter objectives—Review core concepts by answering the focus questions listed at the beginning of each chapter.
  • Key terms—Refer to the updated lists of networking vocabulary introduced and highlighted in context in each chapter.
  • Glossary—Consult the comprehensive glossary with more than 250 terms.
  • Check Your Understanding questions and answer key—Evaluate your readiness with the updated end-of-chapter questions that match the style of questions you see on the online course quizzes. The answer key explains each answer.
  • Challenge questions and activities—Strive to ace more challenging review questions and activities designed to prepare you for the complex styles of questions you might see on the CCNA exam. The answer key explains each answer.

How To—Look for this icon to study the steps you need to learn to perform certain tasks.

Packet Tracer Activities— Explore networking concepts in activities interspersed throughout some chapters using

Packet Tracer v4.1 developed by Cisco. The files for these activities are on the accompanying CD-ROM.

Also available for the Network Fundamentals Course

Network Fundamentals, CCNA Exploration Labs and Study Guide

ISBN-10: 1-58713-203-6

ISBN-13: 978-1-58713-203-2

Companion CD-ROM

The CD-ROM provides many useful tools and information to support your education:

  • Packet Tracer Activity exercise files v4.1
  • VLSM Subnetting Chart
  • Structured Cabling Exploration Supplement
  • Taking Notes: a .txt file of the chapter objectives
  • A Guide to Using a Networker’s Journal booklet
  • IT Career Information
  • Tips on Lifelong Learning in Networking

This book is part of the Cisco Networking Academy Series from Cisco Press®. The products in this series support and complement the Cisco Networking Academy online curriculum.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781587133480
  • Publisher: Cisco Press
  • Publication date: 1/13/2012
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 560
  • Sales rank: 1,012,358
  • Product dimensions: 8.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark A. Dyewas the technology manager and training manager for the Bevill Center at Gadsden State Community College, where he also managed and taught in the Cisco Academy program. He now works full time as an assessment and curriculum developer with Cisco. Mark also has maintained a private information technology consulting business since 1985. Mark’s 30+-year career has included roles as biomedical instrumentation technician, field service engineer, customer service supervisor, network engineer, and instructor.

Rick McDonald teaches computer and networking courses at the University of Alaska Southeast in Ketchikan, Alaska. He is developing methods for delivering hands-on training via distance in Alaska using web-conferencing and NETLAB tools. Rick worked in the airline industry for several years before returning to full-time teaching. He taught CCNA and CCNP courses in the Cisco Networking Academy in North Carolina and was a CCNA instructor trainer.

Antoon “Tony”W. Rufi currently is the associate dean of computer and information science for all the ECPI College of Technology campuses. He also teaches the Cisco Networking Academy CCNA, CCNP, Network Security, Fundamentals of Wireless LAN, and IP Telephony curricula. Before becoming an instructor for ECPI, he spent almost 30 years in the United States Air Force, working on numerous electronic projects and computer programs.

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Table of Contents


Chapter 1 Living in a Network-Centric World


Key Terms

Communicating in a Network-Centric World

Networks Supporting the Way We Live

Examples of Today’s Popular Communication Tools

Networks Supporting the Way We Learn

Networks Supporting the Way We Work

Networks Supporting the Way We Play

Communication: An Essential Part of Our Lives

What Is Communication?

Quality of Communication

The Network as a Platform

Communicating over Networks

Elements of a Network

Converged Networks

The Architecture of the Internet

The Network Architecture

Fault-Tolerant Network Architecture

Scalable Network Architecture

Providing Quality of Service

Providing Network Security

Trends in Networking

Where Is It All Going?

Networking Career Opportunities


Activities and Labs

Check Your Understanding

Challenge Questions and Activities

To Learn More

Chapter 2 Communicating over the Network


Key Terms

The Platform for Communications

The Elements of Communication

Communicating the Messages

Components of the Network

End Devices and Their Role on the Network

Intermediary Devices and Their Role on the Network

Network Media

LANs, WANs, and Internetworks

Local-Area Networks

Wide-Area Networks

The Internet: A Network of Networks

Network Representations


Rules That Govern Communications

Network Protocols

Protocol Suites and Industry Standards

Interaction of Protocols

Technology-Independent Protocols

Using Layered Models

The Benefits of a Layered Model

Protocol and Reference Models

TCP/IP Model

Communication Process

Protocol Data Units and Encapsulation

Sending and Receiving Process

OSI Model

Comparing the OSI Model to the TCP/IP Model

Network Addressing

Addressing in the Network

Getting Data to the End Device

Getting Data Through the Internetwork

Getting Data to the Right Application


Activities and Labs

Check Your Understanding

Challenge Questions and Activities

To Learn More

Chapter 3 Application Layer Functionality and Protocols


Key Terms

Applications: The Interface Between the Networks

OSI and TCP/IP Model

Application Layer Software

User Applications, Services, and Application Layer Protocols

Application Layer Protocol Functions

Making Provisions for Applications and Services

Client/Server Model


Application Layer Services and Protocols

Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Networking and Applications

Application Layer Protocols and Services Examples

DNS Services and Protocol

WWW Service and HTTP

E-Mail Services and SMTP/POP Protocols

E-Mail Server Processes: MTA and MDA



File-Sharing Services and SMB Protocol

P2P Services and Gnutella Protocol

Telnet Services and Protocol


Activities and Labs

Check Your Understanding

Challenge Questions and Activities

To Learn More

Chapter 4 OSI Transport Layer


Key Terms

Roles of the Transport Layer

Purpose of the Transport Layer

Supporting Reliable Communication


Port Addressing

Segmentation and Reassembly: Divide and Conquer

TCP: Communicating with Reliability

Making Conversations Reliable

TCP Server Processes

TCP Connection Establishment and Termination

TCP Three-Way Handshake

TCP Session Termination

TCP Acknowledgment with Windowing

TCP Retransmission

TCP Congestion Control: Minimizing Segment Loss

UDP: Communicating with Low Overhead

UDP: Low Overhead Versus Reliability

UDP Datagram Reassembly

UDP Server Processes and Requests

UDP Client Processes



Check Your Understanding

Challenge Questions and Activities

To Learn More

Chapter 5 OSI Network Layer


Key Terms


Network Layer: Communication from Host to Host

IPv4: Example Network Layer Protocol

IPv4 Packet: Packaging the Transport Layer PDU

IPv4 Packet Header

Networks: Dividing Hosts into Groups

Creating Common Groups

Why Separate Hosts into Networks?

Dividing Networks from Networks

Routing: How Data Packets Are Handled

Device Parameters: Supporting Communication Outside the Network

IP Packets: Carrying Data End to End

Gateway: The Way Out of the Network

Route: A Path to a Network

Destination Network

Next Hop: Where the Packet Goes Next

Packet Forwarding: Moving the Packet Toward Its Destination

Routing Processes: How Routes Are Learned

Static Routing

Dynamic Routing

Routing Protocols



Check Your Understanding

Challenge Questions and Activities

To Learn More

Chapter 6 Addressing the Network: IPv4


Key Terms

IPv4 Addresses

Anatomy of an IPv4 Address

Binary-to-Decimal Conversion

Decimal-to-Binary Conversions

Addressing Types of Communication: Unicast, Broadcast, Multicast

IPv4 Addresses for Different Purposes

Types of Addresses in an IPv4 Network Range

Subnet Mask: Defining the Network and Host Portions of the Address

Public and Private Addresses

Special Unicast IPv4 Addresses

Legacy IPv4 Addressing

Assigning Addresses

Planning to Address the Network

Static or Dynamic Addressing for End-User Devices

Selecting Device Addresses

Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA)


Calculating Addresses

Is the Host on My Network?

Calculating Network, Hosts, and Broadcast Addresses

Basic Subnetting

Subnetting: Dividing Networks into Right Sizes

Subnetting a Subnet

Testing the Network Layer

Ping Testing the Local Stack

Ping Gateway: Testing Connectivity to the Local LAN

Ping Remote Host: Testing Connectivity to Remote LAN

Traceroute (tracert): Testing the Path

ICMPv4: The Protocol Supporting Testing and Messaging

Overview of IPv6



Check Your Understanding

Challenge Questions and Activities

To Learn More

Chapter 7 OSI Data Link Layer


Key Terms

Data Link Layer: Accessing the Media

Supporting and Connecting to Upper-Layer Services

Controlling Transfer Across Local Media

Creating a Frame

Connecting Upper-Layer Services to the Media


MAC Techniques: Placing Data on the Media

MAC for Shared Media

MAC for Nonshared Media

Logical Topology Versus Physical Topology

MAC: Addressing and Framing Data

Data Link Layer Protocols: The Frame

Framing: Role of the Header

Addressing: Where the Frame Goes

Framing: Role of the Trailer

Sample Data Link Layer Frames

Putting It All Together: Following Data Through an Internetwork



Check Your Understanding

Challenge Questions and Activities

To Learn More

Chapter 8 OSI Physical Layer


Key Terms

Physical Layer: Communication Signals

Purpose of the Physical Layer

Physical Layer Operation

Physical Layer Standards

Physical Layer Fundamental Principles

Physical Signaling and Encoding: Representing Bits

Signaling Bits for the Media

Encoding: Grouping Bits

Data-Carrying Capacity

Physical Media: Connecting Communication

Types of Physical Media

Copper Media

Media Connectors



Check Your Understanding

Challenge Questions and Activities

To Learn More

Chapter 9 Ethernet


Key Terms

Overview of Ethernet

Ethernet: Standards and Implementation

Ethernet: Layer 1 and Layer 2

Logical Link Control: Connecting to the Upper Layers

MAC: Getting Data to the Media

Physical Implementations of Ethernet

Ethernet: Communication Through the LAN

Historic Ethernet

Legacy Ethernet

Current Ethernet

Moving to 1 Gbps and Beyond

Ethernet Frame

Frame: Encapsulating the Packet

Ethernet MAC Address

Hexadecimal Numbering and Addressing

Another Layer of Addressing

Ethernet Unicast, Multicast, and Broadcast

Ethernet MAC

MAC in Ethernet

CSMA/CD: The Process

Ethernet Timing

Interframe Spacing and Backoff

Ethernet Physical Layer

10- and 100-Mbps Ethernet

1000-Mbps Ethernet

Ethernet: Future Options

Hubs and Switches

Legacy Ethernet: Using Hubs

Ethernet: Using Switches

Switches: Selective Forwarding

Address Resolution Protocol (ARP)

Resolving IPv4 Addresses to MAC Addresses

Maintaining a Cache of Mappings

ARP Broadcast Issues



Check Your Understanding

Challenge Questions and Activities

To Learn More

Chapter 10 Planning and Cabling Networks


Key Terms

LANs: Making the Physical Connection

Choosing the Appropriate LAN Device

Device Selection Factors

Device Interconnections

LAN and WAN: Getting Connected

Making LAN Connections

Making WAN Connections

Developing an Addressing Scheme

How Many Hosts in the Network?

How Many Networks?

Designing the Address Standard for Your Internetwork

Calculating the Subnets

Calculating Addresses: Case 1

Calculating Addresses: Case 2

Device Interconnections

Device Interfaces

Making the Device Management Connection



Check Your Understanding

Challenge Questions and Activities

To Learn More

Chapter 11 Configuring and Testing Your Network


Key Terms

Configuring Cisco Devices: IOS Basics

Cisco IOS

Access Methods

Configuration Files

Introducing Cisco IOS Modes

Basic IOS Command Structure

Using CLI Help

IOS Examination Commands

IOS Configuration Modes

Applying a Basic Configuration Using Cisco IOS

Naming Devices

Limiting Device Access: Configuring Passwords and Banners

Managing Configuration Files

Configuring Interfaces

Verifying Connectivity

Test the Stack

Testing the Interface

Testing the Local Network

Testing Gateway and Remote Connectivity

Tracing and Interpreting Trace Results

Monitoring and Documenting Networks

Basic Network Baselines

Capturing and Interpreting Trace Information

Learning About the Nodes on the Network



Check Your Understanding

Challenge Questions and Activities

To Learn More

Appendix Check Your Understanding and Challenge Questions Answer Key


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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 29, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Dye, McDonald and Rufi explain well the basics of how the Intern

    Dye, McDonald and Rufi explain well the basics of how the Internet works. The book is directed at a reader aiming to be a networking system administrator. So it goes beyond the level of understanding needed by the average user, who, for example, does not usually have to contend explicitly with a server daemon in a client server model.

    Likewise, users just use email, right? But you need to comprehend the distinction between a Mail Transfer Agent and a Mail Delivery Agent. Now the text does say that matters like virus and spam filtering occur in the MDA. But more generally, be aware that the MTA can also run these. And in fact probably should, to prevent propagation of malware to other processes or machines.

    Fittingly, an entire chapter is devoted to the transport layer of TCP/IP. This layer is what often gives a pragmatic reliability to much Internet traffic, with its built in methods like congestion control by adjusting the flow rate and possibly also the packet [window] sizes.

    However, remember that the book is put out by Cisco. The next chapter takes us to the network layer. It is here that you encounter routing algorithms, gateways and firewalls. Essentially, Cisco makes its dime at the network layer, as does every other hardware network provider. So for the novice network sysadmin, this chapter is totally mandatory. You must comprehend and fully internalise its contents.

    The authors later treat IPv4 in its own chapter. Tellingly, IPv6 gets no such treatment. It gets barely 2 pages! Around 1995, when IPv6 was being formulated, it was expected that by 2010 we'd all be on it. Instead here we are in 2012 with the reality that IPv4 is still prevalent. The authors go so far as to suggest "IPv6 might [sic] eventually [sic] replace IPv4 as the dominant Internet protocol". Gee. What it tells you is that job prospect wise, study v4 while keeping an eye on v6 in the background.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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