REVIEW: TrainSignal's Wireless Networking CBT for the CWNA

JDMurrayJDMurray Certification InvigilatorSurf City, USAPosts: 11,030Admin Admin
Thanks to our dear Webmaster, I had an opportunity to review the Certified Wireless Network Administration (CWNA) certification training CDs by Train Signal (http://www.trainsignal.com/). This is a two-CD set containing 13 videos with over 10 hours of presentation and instruction, a 140-page wireless networking lab book (PDF file), and a 100-question practice exam. This CD series is designed to train the user on the setup, troubleshooting, and administration of 802.11 wireless networks based on the material covered by the CWNA certification exam by the CWNP.

The videos are AVI movies played using the Camtasia Media Player or Windows Media Player, and require the TechSmith Screen Capture Codec (TSCC) to be installed. The only interaction you need with the videos are the standard play, stop, pause, and mute buttons and the seek slider control. The videos run directly from the CDs, and there is no complex installation, activation, or registration necessary; just insert and autorun the CDs in your workstation or laptop and select the lesson you want to view from the windowed menu. The practice exams do require installation, but it is quick and easy to perform.

The presentation of the information in the videos is very clear and thorough, using many pictures, diagrams, and narrated procedures. The content of the videos is very broad for an 802.11 network training series. This is because the CWNA exam requires knowledge of related subjects, such as enterprise wireless devices, administering RADIUS authentication, cracking WEP and WPA, wardriving, and Bluetooth networks. The examples are presented using Microsoft Windows, Linksys wireless equipment, and utilities such as airodump. The presenter also makes the material engaging to listen to, and is neither annoying nor boring. The information may seem overwhelming if you do not already have experience with 802.11 wireless networking, but you can easily watch and listen to the material again and again.

The wireless networking lab book describes the eight labs presented in the videos, allowing you to perform the labs with your own equipment as you watch them as they are demonstrated by the presenter. The labs give you hands-on experience performing a variety of wireless network and administration activities, including administrating an ad hoc network, configuring wireless security, setting up a RADIUS server, troubleshooting wireless connectivity problems, updating an access point with 3rd-party firmware, and performing a basic site survey. The equipment required for the labs include two or three networked PCs, basic Linksys wireless networking devices, and Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 (120-day eval CD is OK).

The practice exams included on the CDs contains a total of 100 questions used to test how well you know the terms and concepts found on the CWNA exam. The questions themselves are only for self-study, and are not meant to represent the the actual style and content of the questions found on the CWNA exam itself. I found the questions challenging enough to be a good indication of what 802.11 concepts I still need to better learn.

In summary, this set of computer-based training materials by Train Signal is not only an excellent way to prepare for the CWNA (and CWSP) exams, but also provides an excellent foundation for anyone needing to gain understanding and experience setting up and administering an 802.11 wireless network. If you find yourself having problem learning wirelss networking only from reading books and Web pages, I highly recommend you try this audio-visual self-study course in conjunction with reading the CWNA Exam Study Guide book from the CWNP, or the CWNA Study Guide from Sybex by Coleman and Westcott. Even if you do not perform the hands-on labs (which I highly recommend that you do), these videos should prove invaluable for your study and understanding of 802.11 wireless networking.

For more information on this computer-based training series, including a six-minute demo video of an actual lesson, visit the product's page at http://www.trainsignal.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=36.

Comments

  • sprkymrksprkymrk Posts: 4,884Member
    Thanks JD. Sounds like a 5/5 stars?
    All things are possible, only believe.
  • jkstechjkstech Posts: 330Member
    thanks!!

    I was curious about this training, i've got their videos for windows server 2003 and was VERY impressed, however, I didn't know if they would be enough for the CWNA, thank you for the review, I am thinking this, plus the official study guides would be a great combo....


    are they using the basic linksys wireless access point/router devices?
    get back to studying!!!
  • TheShadowTheShadow Posts: 1,057Member
    Nice review JD, Thanks for the time. I have their all in one 80 Gig drive at work but have not taken the time to watch this one. Sounds like something to do over the coming holidays.
    Who knows what evil lurks in the heart of technology?... The Shadow DO
  • JDMurrayJDMurray Certification Invigilator Surf City, USAPosts: 11,030Admin Admin
    sprkymrk wrote:
    Thanks JD. Sounds like a 5/5 stars?
    This is the first CBT I've reviewed for the CWNA exam, so I've really no other competing products to compare it to. However, if TrainSignal were to release a CBT series for the CWSP exam, I'd buy it immediately to prep for my CWSP cert renewal next year. I really think TrainSignal's material is excellent.
  • keatronkeatron Posts: 1,208Member ■■■■■■□□□□
    JD, I've look at Learnkey's and also looked at CBT Nuggets. While they were both decent, they were both also out of date. There were too many objectives not even touched on. However, for someone looking to gain a little 802.11 knowlege, they are excellent, but not so much for preparing for the exam. It's good to hear someone has made something to address that.
  • sean2k7sean2k7 Posts: 5Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    So Trainsignal wins out compared to CBT Nuggets?
    I went to Learnkey site but they didn't seem to have anything on CWNA.

    Thanks,
    Sean
    No kind of sensation is keener and more active than that of pain... its impressions are unmistakable.
  • JDMurrayJDMurray Certification Invigilator Surf City, USAPosts: 11,030Admin Admin
    For some reason, Learnkey does not have "CWNA" in it's Web site's search index, but "wireless network" is there. They have training kits for both the CWNA and CWSP exams, but they don't indicate if their material covers the latest release of the exams.
  • rcooprcoop Posts: 183Member
    It doesn't appear that the material has been updated (or even rebranded) for the newer CWNA exams.

    JD, or anyone else that may have taken the newer exams, would you still recommend using these training materials if you were going to take the PW0-104 exam? At $297, the TrainSignal stuff seems to be a pretty decent deal, especially with the Transcender practice exams, but if it leaves a portion of the current test material out, I don't think I would be interested even at half that cost.

    Thanks for the great review... here's to hoping you get more test prep items to review.

    Take Care,
    --RCoop
    Working on MCTS:SQL Server 2005 (70-431) & Server+
  • bubble2005bubble2005 Posts: 208Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    rcoop wrote: »
    It doesn't appear that the material has been updated (or even rebranded) for the newer CWNA exams.

    JD, or anyone else that may have taken the newer exams, would you still recommend using these training materials if you were going to take the PW0-104 exam? At $297, the TrainSignal stuff seems to be a pretty decent deal, especially with the Transcender practice exams, but if it leaves a portion of the current test material out, I don't think I would be interested even at half that cost.

    Thanks for the great review... here's to hoping you get more test prep items to review.

    Take Care,
    --RCoop

    You would normally use the Trainsignal videos in combination with the New CWNA book from the CWNP site. This way, what train signal excludes, the selected text icon_lol.gifwill cover.
    Think Big Stay Focus: In the midst of all situations, think positive.:thumbup:
  • BiopharmBiopharm Posts: 1Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    I have found Trainsignal to be a great learning and preparation tool. Everything is there. Bw.gif
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