Image of Jeremy L. Gaddis, CCNA, CCNP (and Cortney, in case you were wondering)

CCNA Sites and Tools

by Jeremy L. Gaddis

Fortunately for those pursuing the CCNA certification, the barriers to entry are relatively low and the examination isn’t a difficult one to pass. Besides a CCNA study guide or two, there are lots of absolutely free resources online to help you reach your goal.

Once you get the theory down and you’re ready to get some “hands on”, you can fire up your lab equipment to try out the labs here on the site. If you don’t have your own gear, though, there are a number of CCNA simulators, such as Dynamips, available — enough that they get their own pages.

When you make the decision to become CCNA certified, you’re joining a huge community of people with similar interests who want to see you succeed. That’s why so many of us devote our own time, money, and effort to creating online resources to help you out.

CCNA Flash Cards

A set of CCNA flash cards is available to help quiz you on CCNA topics to help ensure you’re ready to pass the exam. There’s even a printer-friendly version so that you can print them out on index cards (if you’re printer can do that).

Exam Objectives

Cisco posts the “exam objectives” for the CCNA exams on their on web site. These list the actual topics covered on the exams, straight from the source. You’ll want to become familiar with these and refer to them often during your study to make sure you have all the areas covered.

Lammle’s Forum

Todd Lammle, the guy who writes an extremely popular CCNA study guide, also runs an online forum about CCNA certification (and the book, of course). Lammle himself is often active on the site, answering questions and providing clarification. If you pick up his book, you’ll definitely want to check out the forum too.

Networking Forum

If you had only one forum to turn to for assistance, it should be this Cisco Certifications forum. You may also want to read scottsee’s CCNA journey for inspiration or motivation.

IP Subnet Calculator

Once you get into subnetting, it’s important that you completely nail the topic. You want to have common netmasks memorized and be able to convert those between binary and decimal in your head. Getting there can be a battle for some people, though. Luckily for them, there’s the IP Subnet Calculator. I recommend only using it for verification or “checking your work”. You must understand subnetting if you want to pass the CCNA exams — I cannot stress that enough.