Approach to CCENT, CCNA

nightelphnightelph Posts: 11Member ■□□□□□□□□□
Hey all. First off I'd like to thank the forum for guiding me on my route to get my Network+ exam in May. I'm continuing on to CCENT/CCNA and have a few questions. Self studying the N+ book worked really well for me, and I'm thinking I can get away with Wendell's new 100-101 CCENT book and some free sims. My reasoning is that the test should be somewhat on the same level as N+ but with the introduction of Cisco commands, which I'd like to practice.

For the second half, CCNA, I'm thinking of buying a lab kit to get some hands on experience, figuring its going to be more involved and very Cisco command heavy.

What are your thoughts?

Comments

  • Vask3nVask3n Posts: 517Member
    Hey there, to be quite honest there is very little comparison between N+ and CCENT. Yes, CCENT is entry level but it is not vendor-neutral in the way that N+ is. The types of questions on Cisco exams are nowhere near as straightforward as N+ questions. Very little is based on memorization but instead UNDERSTANDING the concepts that are on the test. On top of that the CCENT and above exams all have router and switch simulation questions which require experience with using commands.
    Working on MS-ISA at Western Governor's University
  • bbarrickbbarrick Posts: 241Member
    I'm on Chapter 10 in the 100-101 CCENT book, but I went ahead and bought a couple of switches/routers when I started. I don't know what the old CCENT looked like but this one goes into quite a few configuration commands. So far I was able to hook up one of my switches, downloaded Tera Term and Putty log in to console and make some minor changes to the running-config(password/hostname) and copy them to the startup config. When it becomes available I will probably purchase one of the courseware kits from Boson that comes with the examsim and netsim plus their book for CCENT and CCNA. I think the actual hardware is nice to get familiar with but for ease of use the simulators will come in handy as well.
  • nightelphnightelph Posts: 11Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Alrighty, thanks for the replies. Perhaps I'll see how far the book and simware gets me through CCENT, and if I need the hardware before I finish then I'll just buy it.
    I saw the three main lab kit links in the sticky, but I have no idea what models to get. I'm willing to spend a few hundred, and it seems a 3+3 setup is pretty robust for the CCNA. Thoughts?
  • bbarrickbbarrick Posts: 241Member
    Only problem I've ran into so far is my 2950's do not appear to support SSH with their version of IOS.

    This video may help when you get ready:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-CP6w6TAIc
  • nightelphnightelph Posts: 11Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Nice video, thanks for sharing, that certainly got me on a good track.
  • shellee1983shellee1983 Posts: 71Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    nightelph wrote: »
    Hey all. First off I'd like to thank the forum for guiding me on my route to get my Network+ exam in May. I'm continuing on to CCENT/CCNA and have a few questions. Self studying the N+ book worked really well for me, and I'm thinking I can get away with Wendell's new 100-101 CCENT book and some free sims. My reasoning is that the test should be somewhat on the same level as N+ but with the introduction of Cisco commands, which I'd like to practice.

    For the second half, CCNA, I'm thinking of buying a lab kit to get some hands on experience, figuring its going to be more involved and very Cisco command heavy.

    What are your thoughts?

    Trust me on this...the free sims do not help at all. I used what came with my CCENT book thinking I would do good, I failed it. After I failed I went and bought the Boson exsim and netsim, while this stuff maybe a bit expensive it is worth not having to go back. I'm retaking the exam in a couple weeks but I honestly do not think that the book and free sims will suffice, the free sims don't nearly cover the commands that you will need on the exam. Don't make the same mistake I did. Good luck on your studies.
  • NetworkVeteranNetworkVeteran Posts: 2,338Member
    Trust me on this...the free sims do not help at all. I used what came with my CCENT book thinking I would do good, I failed it. After I failed I went and bought the Boson exsim and netsim, while this stuff maybe a bit expensive it is worth not having to go back.
    I agree with shellee that the sims in the CCENT book do not sound impressive and that Boson Netsim is quite good!

    A couple other options to consider are Packet Tracer and GNS3. Packet Tracer is a simulator that many students have used successfully to pass their CCNA exams. GNS3 is an emulator--meaning it runs the real IOS--and that's good enough all the way through CCNA, CCNP, and CCIE. Both of them enjoy some advantages vs. real equipment. Food for thought as you prepare. :)
  • nightelphnightelph Posts: 11Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Okay cool. I didn't mean the simware in the text, I would expect that to be crap. I saw the link for http://netsimk.com/ via these forums. I just checked out Boson tho and it looks pretty competitively priced. So Packet Tracer is a Cisco product, is it free? Where does one procure labs?
    I've heard about GNS3 for awhile, but one also needs to buy an IOS image from.. somewhere. And still you need some kind of labs I would bet. I think I'm being swayed to software over hardware, I'm seeing a lot of advantages.
  • safari___safari___ Posts: 20Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Hello. First time posting :) nightelph Last week I purchased the Boson exsim and it is very informative.Well worth the money.In the same boat with you with the exception of having tested this week and scoring 775 icon_neutral.gif N+ shows you have an interest in Networking but Cisco takes it to a whole new level.
  • nightelphnightelph Posts: 11Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for the encouragement safari. I first took the ccent 2yrs ago and was woefully underprepared for the test. After getting my first cert I feel more confident in my dedication and time mgmt. I think now I'm leading towards: Book, sim software (not freebie) w/ some labs, and maybe a cheapo 1721 just to have a piece of hardware.
  • bbarrickbbarrick Posts: 241Member
    The free sim software that comes with the book is a demo and requires a purchase to experience the full features of the software. I'm not sure what the full version looks like, or how the full version stacks up to Boson, but it's not part of the book for you to practice on for the test it's there for you to try it before you buy it.
  • NetworkVeteranNetworkVeteran Posts: 2,338Member
    I just checked out Boson tho and it looks pretty competitively priced.
    It wins points for convenience. A simulator, plus labs, plus auto-grader in one. It's what I used for my latest CCNA attempt.
    So Packet Tracer is a Cisco product, is it free?
    Cisco provides it for free to Cisco Networking Academy students.
    I've heard about GNS3 for awhile, but one also needs to buy an IOS image from.. somewhere.
    Aye. GNS3 takes a bit more work to get up-and-running. Most people graduate to it for the certifications beyond the CCNA for two simple reasons: (a) simulators tend to implement a subset of all available IOS features and commands, which is okay for the limited core commands on the CCNA, but more problematic for other certifications, (b) simulators get the IOS behavior 95% correct, but from time-to-time their behavior is not faithful to the true IOS. For the CCNA, simulators are certainly enough.
    And still you need some kind of labs I would bet. Where does one procure labs?
    You can Google "CCNA Workbook" or "GNS3 Vault" to find plenty of labs to practice with.
  • Ltat42aLtat42a Posts: 585Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Check out this thread (Post #4), has some good info on home labs & equipment -

    http://www.techexams.net/forums/ccna-ccent/28660-ccna-ccent-home-lab-ideas.html

    hth
  • nightelphnightelph Posts: 11Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Excellent posts! Most helpful, thank you both. I think I'm in good shape, studying starts Monday!
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