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Book Review - CCNA Study Guide #640-801

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2003 4:43 pm    Post subject: Book Review - CCNA Study Guide #640-801 Reply with quote

CCNA Study Guide #640-801
Author(s): Richard Deal CCNA,CCNP, CCDA, CCDP
Publisher: Osborne McGraw-Hill
Book Specifications: Soft-Cover, 804 Pages with CD
Category: Cisco Certification Aide
User Level: Intermediate (knowledge of networking principles required)
Suggested Publisher Price: $49.99 USA/ $74.95 CAN/ £41.11 Net UK (inc of VAT)
ISBN: 0-07-222934-9
Amazon.co.uk: CCNA Study Guide Exam #640-801
Amazon.com: CCNA Study Guide Exam #640-801

Info from Back: "Get the book that shows you not only what-but how-to study”
Covers all CCNA exam topics, including; Network topologies, OSI reference model, TCP/IP protocol stack, Switch and Router Configuration, Router Hardware Components, Bridges and Switches, VLAN Connections, Dynamic Routing Protocols, Distance Vector Protocols, OSPF and EIGRP, IP access lists, DHCP, WAN


With the not too distant dot com fizzle a great many companies have downsized. This has resulted in the network professional taking on other duties. Quite often area’s in which they have had little to no experience in. It has become a great advantage in this current job environment to become multi-facetted. It is no longer feasible to have only one particular, and very specific skill set. With competition for jobs becoming heated it is in our best interest to start earning some industry certifications. One of the most recognized one’s is the CCNA from Cisco. This CCNA certification provides tangible proof to your employer that you have proven skills in the configuration, and management of Cisco routers. Having this sought after certification makes you a valued employee, and raises your worth to other potential employers.


This book is laid out over 17 chapters, two appendixes, a glossary and an index. One of the first noticeable features of this book is the nicely detailed contents description. This is where the subject matter of each chapter is broken down into categories, and sub-categories. This is a very handy feature, as it will allow you to quickly find a particular subject of interest without having to scrabble about the appendix. Of particular note to those who are approaching this certification with little networking knowledge is the inclusion of networking concepts covered in both chapter two and three. All the various layers of the OSI reference model are covered, as is sub-netting which is a key topic for this certification.

Another area in this book that I find excellent is the inclusion of “Preparing Network Connections” covered in Chapter 4. I remember on my ICND course that I had trouble with the physical media at times. Having had a chance to read this chapter prior to taking this course would have been a great boon. A topic that many consider confusing, and difficult to comprehend is the writing of ACL’s. Access control list’s are covered in detail further on in the book. Probably realizing the complexity of this subject an entire chapter has been devoted to it, and rightly so.

Though as a technology Frame Relay is on it’s way out the book gives it a thorough treatment. One should be prepared for this topic, and not underestimate it’s complexities, which is probably why an entire chapter is devoted to it in this book. Following this chapter is one dealing with ISDN, and it’s many configuration issues. A nice treatment of all topics required for a successful challenge have been covered in a nice and clear fashion.

Style and Detail

The book takes a logical, and ordered approach to teaching the student all the requisite topics covered in the CCNA exam. It is done in a building block approach starting at the very beginning with the OSI reference model then progresses to the more advanced topics. Each chapter ends with a “Two-Minute Drill” which appropriately enough drills the information just covered back into you. Following this is the self-test section, and it’s answers immediately afterwards. Having this at the end of the chapter helps to reinforce lessons learned, and makes the most of your learning experience.


As evidenced by it’s attention to detail, and thoughtful approach to learning this area from the ground up make this a very thorough treatise. Not to be ignored either is the superlative Boson testing software included on the attached CD. It’s many questions, flash cards, and performance assessment tool make this book a must buy. If one takes the time to fully absorb this books contents then you will be fully prepared for a successful challenge of the demanding CCNA exam #640-801.

It's gets an SFDC 9/10 from me, this book is an impressive piece of writing.

Keywords for this post: CCNA study guide Exam #640-801

This review is copyright 2003 by the author and Security-Forums Dot Com, and may not be reproduced in any form in any media without the express permission of the author, or Security-Forums Dot Com.
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