Wednesday, 18 February 2015

How to revise Cisco CCNA for free


By Sarah Morgan


Studying quality revision resources is crucial – when preparing for your CCNA exams. You can’t afford to waste time trawling the web for revision material.

It can be hard to find quality resources that you don’t have to pay for. We’ve previously discussed our top 5 paid CCNA revision books – now it’s time for our top free resources.


Free CCNA video tutorials & guides


High quality video content is an invaluable tool during self-study. Written revision resources are great, but things can get dull (especially after your third cup of coffee!). Video content can provide a welcome respite – you’ll still be learning about CCNA, but in a more passive way.

Plus, you’ll find variety CCNA topics easier to memorise better when accompanied by screen captures and live demonstrations.

There are plenty of quality free guides, how-to’s and tutorials available online. Here’s our pick of the bunch:


Dans Courses 

Dan Alberghetti has been teaching CCNA certification courses through the Cisco Academy for the past 11 years and it shows. You’ll find an abundance of quality video content on Dan’s YouTube channel – just make sure you check the upload date, some videos are now up to five years old! And remember, the new CCNA exam was introduced in 2014 – take a look at most recent updates.





NetworKing 

Though not as comprehensive as Dans Courses, NetworKing provides a series of compelling introductory CCNA videos. You’ll be guided through ten 20 minute videos by the concise and affable Imran Rafal – covering topics from Network fundamentals to Real World Switching.

This is a great resource. However, as many have pointed out, these videos should only be used as a supplementary resource. Relying on just these videos will not give you the breadth of knowledge you need to pass.





ShrikeCast with Andrew Crouthamel

This mammoth series of 84 videos is another brilliant resource for anyone embarking on CCNA self-study. The videos range in length from 5 – 25 minutes and provide an introduction to networking and the CCNA syllabus.






Free CCNA study guides


To supplement your revision, you should be regularly referring to a variety of study guides. By using these you’ll start to build the base of knowledge you need to take on the CCNA exams. These study guides are typically large and unexciting, but provide an invaluable source of information.


Free CCNA Study Guide

This massive online directory covers topics found within both the ICND1 and ICND2 exams. Each in-depth chapter covers a huge range of CCNA topics with accompanying diagrams and illustrations. Despite not yet being updated for IPv6, Free CCNA Study Guide remains a fantastic revision resource.

Access it here.


Omnisecu

Omnisecu provides a staggering 159 well-illustrated CCNA lessons. These lessons cover a massive breadth of topics (including IPv6) that can be studied in sequence. It’s simple, informative and robust.  

Plus, Omnisecu also covers Basic Networking and TCP/IP – topics you’ll be expected to understand before you start revising the CCNA.


CCNA Help – CCNA eBook

This eBook covers almost all important topics found within the CCNA exams and also includes some sample questions & answers.

Despite being visually unappealing, with a noticeable lack of diagrams, this resource retains its place as a useful source of quality CCNA information.  Find it here.


Free Cisco Routing Simulators


Routing simulators are invaluable tools for anyone studying networking. Applying the knowledge and skills you’ve been learning should be an integral part of your CCNA study. To help you do just that we recommend you take a look at NetSimK, LammleSim and GNS3.


Free Practice exams


The penultimate test – can you achieve a passing score on a practice exam? There’s only one way to find out. The below practice exams and questions will help you gauge you readiness for the real thing.


Test Clues

You’ll have to submit your email to sign up to Test Clues, but it’s well worth the effort. Inside you’ll find fully functional exams for both ICND1 and ICND2. Sign up here.



Go Certify

A minimalistic set of CCNA exam questions provided hosted on Go Certify and provided by ccprep. Find it here.


Are you ready for the CCNA exam?

This short 10 question quiz tests your knowledge on a variety of Cisco exam topics. Questions and detailed answers are taken from the book CCNA Exam Cram, Second Edition. Take the quiz.


Cert Exams

Certexams.com features a series of practice questions as well as a free downloadable exam simulator that includes testlets, simlets and router simulations. Take a look at the practice exam questions and download the exam simulator.


MeasureUp

The demo version of MeasureUp still provides some great practice exam experience. You’ll find shortened versions of both the ICND1 and ICND2 exams, though you’ll need to reach for your wallet to access the full tests.



Bonuses include two distinct testing modes - Study mode and Certification mode – as well as extensive customisable test options.


Firebrand Learn

We’ve uploaded our ICND1 & ICND2 lab guides to Firebrand Learn.  Get started on these two comprehensive lab guides right away – they’re totally free and there’s no need to sign up.

Found any hidden gems during your CCNA revision? Comment below and we’ll add them to the guide.


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About the Author:        
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry.