Just starting w/ CCNA , need avice.

Unanswered Question
Jul 17th, 2007

Hi all.

Just need some quick advice before I embark on the CCNA route (self-study). From what i read, the best books to get are: 1) Interconnecting Cisco Network Devices (ICND)

and 2) Introduction to Cisco Networking Technologies (INTRO) by Odom.

Is this correct? Would anyone have any other suggestions for books or study guides?

cheers, J

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glengregory Tue, 07/17/2007 - 20:31


For CCNA, if you really want to get a firm grip of the CCNA contents, I recommend 2 study guides:-

1] Cisco Press (INTRO + ICND) by Wendell Odom

2] Sybex Press CCNA study guide by Todd Lammle

Each book does not cover certain topics completely. For e.g. Sybex does not show you NAT & does not give you a good explanation on VLANs, STP, etc. The Cisco book gives full NAT config, covers switching very well, but skimps on EIGRP & OSPF, which is very important. So if you use both, you benefit!

Note:- Before reading the books, please make sure you check the errata & any updates. There are a lot of errors.

Practicing on real cisco gear is very important (I'm a hands-on guy). But if for some reason you can't, then there are Emulators, simulators, etc. Try these:-

1] Cisco 7200 Simulator


2] Dynagen


3] Boson NetSim for CCNA 6.0


For practice exams, I have heard that Transcenders are very good, but expensive. Here are some others that I have compiled while studying for CCNA:-






And finally, practice, practice & practice!

Don't forget to take the exam by 16 Nov cause it's expiring!

Hope this helps...


delatobanoah Sun, 07/22/2007 - 00:44

I'd go with the Cisco Press books. I thought the SYBEX book was a waste of money. I'd only get that one if you have time and money to spare.

jfenton34 Sun, 07/22/2007 - 16:00

Thanks Glen for your detailed response. I have one quick question (before I make a complete clown out of myself); the Lemmle book, the version you're refering is for the exam 604-821 correct (even though my aim is for the 801)?

thanks again,

glengregory Sun, 07/22/2007 - 22:23

The lammle book is for 640-801. here's the link:-


Referring to a comment on the sybex book, it is definetely NOT a waste of time!

There are many topics & commands not covered properly in the Cisco press books e.g. OSPF & EIGRP. Ouch! that's too important to be ignored. Add to that, the confusion about frame-relay (refer to my posts on that one). The sybex book also is great for beginners as the style of explanation is step-by-step. Lammle shows you as if you were sitting in front of a terminal for configuration. Whereas the cisco press books explain & show you running configs & show commands (mostly; e.g. VTP, VLAN).

I highly recommend you read that book both from an exam & learning point-of-view.


jlhainy Tue, 07/24/2007 - 08:16

In my studies, I used the Lammle books and the odem wendal books. I think that Todd Lammle's book was far better with IP addressing and subnetting. I would suggest that for that topic alone.

The Cisco press books were great for NAT and other details. I used all 3 of them to pass my exam.

mark.j.hodge Sun, 07/22/2007 - 08:28

It depends upon your timescales, the current exams expire 6 Nov 2007. If you think you will be able to pass before this date then The CiscoPress books + Plus errata downloaded from the site would suit.

The new exams will be available 1 Aug 2007, but the CiscoPress study material is not due to be published at the end of August. If you are willing to wait untill then to start your study, you won't have such a fixed deadline to pass.

You can mix and match if you want. Unfortunately the CCNA exam is in a time of flux at the moment.

dragon919 Thu, 07/26/2007 - 08:58

the ciscopress books are fine. and you have 3 months before the exams expire, so it depends on how much time you can put into it.

jfenton34 Wed, 08/01/2007 - 08:21

Thanks everyone for your help, input and suggestions. the books (cisco library) arrived this morning. My goal is to read,study and practice 4-6 hours per day (exclusing weekends)and aim for the exam around oct 20th.

thanks again.



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