Upon completing a class that used this book as a text book and studying through it for the Network+ certification test, I’ve had a lengthy time with Sybex’s Network+ book to prepare for the N10-003 exam.
This book covers all of the topics of the Network+ exam, such as:
The OSI Model, TCP/IP Fundamentals, TCP/IP Utilities, Network Operating Systems, Wired and Wireless Networks, WAN and Remote Access Technologies, Network Access an Security, Fault Tolerance and Disaster Recovery, and Network Troubleshooting.
There are some good explanations of technologies that prove entertaining as well.
Traditional name resolution works much like asking the host at a party to introduce you to the people in the party you don’t know. Let’s say you wanted to know which person in the room was named John. With the traditional DNS model, you would ask the party host (the “DNS server” in our scenario). If you were to use Multicast DNS in the same scenario, you would simply shout in the room, “Hey, is there a John in here?”
Carrier Sense/Multiple Access with Collission Avoidance (CSMA/CA)
The difference between CSMA/CD and CSMA/CA has been described like this: Say you want to cross a busy street and you want to use one of these protocols to cross it. If you are using CSMA/CD, you just cross the street. If you get hit, you go back to the curb and try again. If you’re using CSMA/CA, you send your little brother across. If he makes it, it’s probably OK for you to go.
Sacrificial little brothers aside, I found skimming the book to be the best path to getting the most out of it. Every so often key terms would be italicized, defining these terms by making my own glossary was enough and the greatest thing of substance from this book. In between these terms was a lot of fluff that held very little valuable information for anybody with decent networking experience already, and the test is recommended for those who have at least 9 months of experience. Along with an evident bias, particularly in the Network Operating System chapter, the book offered little value beyond the basics.
All that said and done, I do not recommend this book as a resource when studying for the Network+ exam. Not only is it targeted toward meeting the 2005 exam objectives, of which the 2007 Network+ exam is the current version, but I found two better books for your money which provided greater depth and actual content between the network terminology. Alternatively, I would recommend these books:
Highly recommended: Network+ Certification All-in-One Exam Guide, Third Edition (All-in-One)
Recommended if the other certifications are in your future: A+, Network+, Security+ Exams in a Nutshell: A Desktop Quick Reference (In a Nutshell (O’Reilly))
The Network+ exam, N10-003, is currently at the 2007 edition. It is a 90 minute exam with 90 multiple-choice questions to determine a standard of computer networking knowledge established by CompTIA.