Henry Dalziel | Network+ | July 9, 2015
If you’re reading this post, then you’re probably already convinced that Network+ certification will help you in your quest to get a job such as a network administrator, help desk technician etc.
And that the importance of Network+ certification is further validated by several companies such as HP and Xerox, as well as the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security requiring their technicians to get Network+ certified.
So our focus here is on guiding you to the “The Quickest & Easiest Way To Get Network+ Certified”.
Let’s face it: with so many Network+ study guides out there, choosing the right one can be daunting.
However, I’ve discovered that five Network+ study guides are particularly useful:
1. Ucertify’s Network+ Pack (which includes a 30 Day Free Trial)
2. Coriolis’ Network+ Exam Cram
3. Microsoft Press’ Network+ Certification Training Kit
4. New Riders’ Network+ Certification Training Guide
5. Sybex’s Network+ Study Guide
These choices where made based on the quality of the following elements: content; graphics/ diagrams; practice exams and study questions.
Ucertifys’ Network+ Pack (which includes a 30 Day Free Trial)
uCertify brings all your Network+ learning resources into one place so that you can learn efficiently without going to multiple places. We particularly like the challenging questions that are embedded in the chapters. This awesome package also includes Flashcards, Exercises, Quizzes and Labs related to each chapter. Oh, and you can try it out for free!
Coriolis’ Network+ Exam Cram
This popular Exam Cram line lives up to expectations when it comes to Network+. You’ll find several Exam Crams, in fact, dedicated to the Net+ exam.
One follows the traditional Exam Cram format, while another title, Network+ Practice Test Exam Cram, consists entirely of sample exams. My preference is to work with electronic simulations only. Thus, the Network+ Exam Cram (non-Adaptive version) is the title to get if you go the Exam Cram route.
This title is like most in the Exam Cram series. You’ll find the nuts-and-bolts exam content covered, helpful exam alerts, average graphics and diagrams, and a collection of sample questions at the end of each chapter. There’s also a sample test at the end. Add in the fact it’s got the best removable cram sheet of the group, and it’s a book well worth its price. But alas, there’s no CD-ROM.
Microsoft Press’ Network+ Certification Training Kit
The Microsoft Press selection is similar to the Sybex text below in that both offer a more well-rounded experience. Neither of these two titles focuses on just the knowledge required to get you through the exam. The benefit of this is that the Microsoft Press and Sybex books will serve you long after your paper certification yellows on the wall, because they both make great reference books too.
Microsoft Press’ Network+ Certification Training Kit covers all the material you’ll likely find on the exam, and then some. Graphics, diagrams, and illustrations are a step above Coriolis’, and the included lessons and exercises make you stop and apply the topics you’ve just read about.
Like the Sybex and New Riders books, the Microsoft Press version includes the entire contents of the book in electronic format on an accompanying CD-ROM. Unlike the New Riders and Sybex texts, Redmond’s Network+ guide doesn’t include practice questions, electronic flashcards, or a simulation exam. You will find video demonstrations and an eBook copy of Microsoft’s Encyclopedia of Networking though. Not a bad trade-off on the reference front.
New Riders’ Network+ Certification Training Guide
For some reason, I usually don’t jump at New Riders’ books when selecting an exam aid. That’s changing. I found much to like in the Network+ Certification Training Guide.
New Riders uses notes in page margins to solidify concepts and to remind you of important clarifications. I found numerous sidebars that proved helpful.
Most every exam topic is covered. However, it’s best if you’ve spent a few years working in the industry, as this book quickly passes over some issues, such as Novell administration, UNIX operation, and subnetting.
You’ll be greeted by sections that encourage you to “apply your knowledge” at the end of every chapter. Such exercises are a necessity in an exam prep book.
It’s clear that New Riders’ illustrators worked overtime. You’ll find no better diagrams, drawings, and graphics than those included in the New Riders text. The UTP connector drawing in the first chapter and the frame format diagram in the third chapter are just two examples. Most important, don’t underestimate the value of these graphic aids, especially when preparing for an exam that tests your networking and hardware expertise!
The New Riders book boasts a CD-ROM that includes electronic flashcards and study cards, an exam simulation with 150 questions, the entire book’s contents, and more. It’s a solid buy.
Sybex’s Network+ Study Guide
The Sybex Network+ Study Guide could pass as CompTIA courseware. It’s that thorough. Each chapter ends with a collection of decent test questions. Plus, you’ll find a list of keywords you can scan quickly. Doing so helps ensure that you remember and understand the important terms you just covered without having to flip back through numerous pages.
The accompanying CD-ROM includes the entire book text, hundreds of practice questions, flashcards, and more. It’s a valuable resource that you won’t want to leave sealed.
Like the Coriolis and New Riders products, the Sybex book includes a tear-out sheet. Only, the Sybex version lists the exam’s objectives. That’s not real helpful. I would prefer a cram sheet I can study from. My only other complaint with the Network+ Study Guide is that the graphic elements aren’t as well developed as those you’ll find in the New Riders text.
You should also check out Professor Messer’s CompTIA Network+ Training Course. All of his training videos are completely free, and we are also fans of Eli The Computer Guy.
What do you think? How valuable a cert is Network+? Did it help you with your career? Drop a comment below, we’d love to hear from you.