Tags: ccna, mobile app
Following the success of the TranscenderFlash CompTIA A+ flash card app, we’ve rolled out our first Cisco CCNA flash card study app (640-822, ICND Part 1). For now the app is only available on the Android platform, but we’ll be rolling out an iTunes release next month. Update: you can download the app from the Android marketplace or iTunes.
The app is 100% free of cost and free of ads. Here’s what you get:
- Hundreds of questions covering all exam objectives for 640-822 CISCO ICND Part 1
- Ability to sort flash cards by exam objective
- Simple and intuitive flash card interface
- Easy self-grading, answer history tracking, and session saving
- Correctly answered flash cards are removed to focus on trouble areas
- Post your success to Facebook
To those of you who tried out and commented on our A+ app: we listened! We have completely redesigned the A+ flash card interface, and used the new interface for the CCNA app. Now both apps let you select which objective you’d like to study, rather than taking you through the entire pool of questions starting with the first objective. If you have the old A+ app, upload the revision now. Here’s some screen caps to show you how both apps behave:
Download the app today, and let us know what you think!
Tags: ccna, CCNA Simulator, Kaplan IT CCNA simulator
At Transcender, we sometimes get customer emails with a subject line that resembles the title of this blog post. These emails come from longtime customers who want to know what happened to the simulation items that “used to be” in our CCNA practice tests. Those items haven’t appeared in our products for some time, and we’ve blogged about this topic before, but since we’ve just released updates to our CCNA products, I thought this was the perfect time to revisit the topic.
First, you need to know that there are simulation items in Cisco’s CCNA exam(s). Let me say that again a little louder:
There are simulation items in the Cisco CCNA exams!
You will definitely have to know how to use the command line to get configuration information from a device and configure devices. But before I discuss the kinds of simulation items we include in our Transcender practice test, let’s define what is and is NOT a simulation item, and discuss how they show up on the live exam. Here’s a complete rundown of the item types you are told you may see in the CCNA exams (as per the CCNA web site): Continue Reading Hey! Who moved my CCNA simulations?…
Tags: ccna, CCNA Simulator, cloud computing
Our friends at Gambit Communications have released a cloud version of the MIMIC Virtual Lab. That means that you can now take advantage of the Kaplan IT CCNA Simulator – previously offered as a download product – at any time, from anywhere!
While our original CCNA Simulator product was successful in helping many of you prepare for the CCNA certification exam(s), the difficulties and limitations of the installation process and hardware requirements did not go unnoticed. So we’ve once again partnered with Gambit Communications to bring you an online CCNA lab. As before, our version of this product is unique in that it is paired with our own exam-focused set of scnenarios to provide the best real-world practice for preparing to take a CCNA exam.
The new CCNA Lab in Cloud product addresses all the previous Simulator product’s limitations regarding operating systems, single-machine install, license & activation issues – you know, like those times when you re-build your machine and weren’t allowed to re-install the Simulator. Unfortunately, these were issues beyond our control that were inherent in the original Gambit product offering, but with the new CCNA Lab in Cloud offering, all of these issues have been addressed and solved!
Tags: ccna, study tips
CatOS commands on the CCNA – Tell me it ain’t so!!
Several of the Transcender Cisco practice tests, including 640-802 and 642-812, include some Catalyst OS command questions as well as the standard Cisco IOS. At least once a week I get emails from customers taking me to task over this issue and asking why we have “deprecated commands” on our current tests. Many customers have the impression that because Cisco is phasing out the Catalyst operating system on its switches, there is no need to study CatOS commands for the exams. Adding fuel to this fire, many popular Cisco study guides omit any information on CatOS commands.
So I’d like to address this issue and explain the reasons why we have deliberately chosen to leave a small percentage of CatOS commands in our practice tests; yes, even the most recent practice tests:
- Out there in the real world, there are a lot of older switches still in production environments running the Catalyst OS, and you may well encounter them in your job.
- Cisco still supports the Catalyst OS, and will continue to support it until January 2013 (see this End-of-Sale and End-of-Life Announcement for the Cisco Catalyst OS Release 8.x).
- If you look at the stated objectives for the CCNA and CCNP exams, you will notice that it does not say “IOS only” anywhere. In fact, at the top of each list of exam objectives, you’ll see this disclaimer:
The following information provides general guidelines for the content likely to be included on the exam. However, other related topics may also appear on any specific delivery of the exam. In order to better reflect the contents of the exam and for clarity purposes the guidelines below may change at any time without notice.
Given that Cisco exams have a huge question pool, we think it may be possible to encounter a Catalyst OS-related question, or a question that includes a CatOS command as a distractor (wrong answer), on a current exam. Therefore we will continue to include some CatOS commands on the practice test until Cisco definitively says “No more.”
CatOS commands – all the info that you’re likely to need.
I’ll start with some information about the two OS systems.
Configuration changes in the CatOS software are written to NVRAM immediately after a change is made. No intervention by the user is required.
All configurations in CatOS are done via a set command sequence executed from the enabled-mode prompt. Issuing the clear command from the same prompt will erase a particular command.
In contrast, IOS does not save configuration changes to NVRAM unless the copy run start (or write memory) command is executed. If the configuration is not explicitly saved, any changes to the configuration will be lost should the system be reloaded.
All command-line configuration in IOS (whether on the Supervisor or the MSFC) is done from the configuration mode, commonly known as “config-t”.
Commands can be removed with the no or default form of the original command.
Below is a comparison of the common commands on user ports.
This list is provided just to give you a flavor for the differences in the two command sets. For more information use the links below:
Tags: ccna, study checklist
Thanks for returning for the final installment of my review checklist for the CCNA exam. In this session we will cover the topics included in Objective 8: Implement and Verify WAN links. Let’s get started!
You should be able to describe the differences between the categories of data transfer between physical locations. These include:
- Cell switching – Cell switching is a WAN switching technology that is used by ATM. ATM is an International Telecommunication Union-Telecommunications (ITU-T) standard for the transmission of data, voice, or video traffic. It uses a fixed size frame of 53 bytes, known as cells. Out of these 53 bytes, the initial five bytes are header information and the rest of the 48 bytes are the payload.
- Packet switching – Packet switching is popularly used for data transfer, as data is not delay-sensitive like voice traffic is, and it does not require real-time transfer from a sender to a receiver. With packet switching, the data is broken into labeled packets and transmitted using packet-switching networks.
- Circuit switching – Circuit switching dynamically establishes a virtual connection between a source and destination. The virtual connection cannot be used by other callers unless the circuit is released. Circuit switching is the most common method used by the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) to make phone calls. A dedicated circuit is temporarily established for the duration of call between caller and receiver. Once the caller or receiver hangs up the phone, the circuit is released and is available for other users.
You should how to configure a serial link for a WAN connection. Make sure that you know how to use these commands: Continue Reading Troy’s checklist for preparing for the CCNA: Objective 8…
Tags: ccna, study checklist, wildcard mask
I am just back from spending a week teaching security to our nation’s finest at an Air Force base in central Georgia, so I am all ready to dive into this week’s security-related objective for the CCNA exam. This week’s topic is Implement, verify, and troubleshoot NAT and ACLs in a medium-sized Enterprise branch office network.
(Here’s the previous coverage of Objective 1, Objective 2, Objective 3, Objective 4 Part 1, Objective 4 Part II, Objective 5, and Objective 6. The full list of CCNA objectives is at https://cisco.hosted.jivesoftware.com/community/certifications/ccna/ccna_exam?view=overview.)
To begin with, let’s make sure everyone knows what these two concepts are all about. Network Address Translation (NAT) is a service that can run on a server or on a router that converts private IP addresses to public IP addresses. This provides two advantages:
- It conserves address space on the Internet and allows an enterprise to use private IP addresses inside the network, instead of having to register public IP addresses for all computers that need Internet access.
- It ‘hides’ the real IP addresses of the internal computers , which makes the first step in the hacking process (discovery) more difficult.
Be able to identify the types of NAT:
- Static NAT – uses a one to one mapping from public to private. Doesn’t save any IP addresses, but does provide the security of hiding the private addresses.
- Dynamic – uses a pool of public addresses and dynamically uses the pool to create mappings. Same as static NAT, except that the address mappings keep changing.
- NAT overload – describes any situation where there are fewer public addresses than private addresses. In this case, the same public address(s) is used over and over and the NAT device identifies each computer by the port number it uses to connect to the router using port address translation (or PAT).
Be able to identify the most appropriate router in a diagram on which to configure NAT. This will usually be the last router before connecting to the Internet.
Understand which interface on the router to apply the following commands:
- ip nat inside – should be applied on the interface connected to the LAN
- ip nat outside – should be applied on the interface connected to the Internet
NOTE – You must be able to perform a complete NAT configuration, up to and including a static mapping and NAT overload. Don’t take the exam if you can’t do that!
Tags: ccna, study checklist
This week we cover Objective 6 of 640-802, Identify Security threats to a network and describe general methods to mitigate those threats. This objective, while a small part of the exam, is very important in the real world. First you should be familiar with all types of attacks that a network can experience, and second, you should know the security features or approaches that can mitigate theses attacks.
|DoS (Denial of Service) – floods the target system with unwanted requests, causing the loss of service to users.||Stateful packet filtering is the most common defense against a DoS attack.|
|DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) – occurs when multiple systems are used to flood the network and tax the resources of the target system.||Various intrusion detection systems, utilizing stateful packet filtering, can protect against DDoS attacks.|
|Spoofing – also known as masquerading, is a popular trick in which an attacker intercepts a network packet, replaces the source address of the packets header with the address of the authorized host, and reinserts fake information which is sent to the receiver. This type of attack involves modifying packet contents.||Message Authentication Code (MAC) can prevent this type of attack and ensure data integrity by ensuring that no data has changed. MAC also protects against frequency analysis, sequence manipulation, and ciphertext-only attacks (more concepts to be familiar with).|
|SYN floods – repeatedly bombards the target with spoofed IP packets and causes it to either freeze or crash. A SYN flood attack is a type of D0S attack that exploits the buffers of a device that accept incoming connections and therefore cannot be prevented by MAC.||Common defenses against a SYN flood attack include filtering, reducing the SYN-RECEIVED timer, and implementing SYN cache or SYN cookies.|
The above answers are general in nature. You also should know the specific Cisco feature that can be used to mitigate these attacks, such as: Continue Reading Troy’s checklist for preparing for the CCNA: Objective 6…
Tags: ccna, study checklist
Hello, intrepid CCNA seekers. I salute your persistence if you’ve stuck with me this far! This week we venture into the wild and woolly world of wireless. Specifically we cover the following: Objective 5 of 640-802, Explain and select the appropriate administrative tasks required for a WLAN. It’s a short and sweet objective, especially compared with the whopper that was Objective 4.
(Here’s the previous coverage of Objective 1, Objective 2, Objective 3, Objective 4 Part 1, and Objective 4 Part II. The full list of CCNA objectives is at https://cisco.hosted.jivesoftware.com/community/certifications/ccna/ccna_exam?view=overview.)
First you should know all of the major standard creating and regulatory bodies that influence 802.11 (WLAN) networking:
- Wi-Fi Alliance (no, they have nothing to do with your old record player, that’s Hi-Fi) – The Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi) Alliance is an organization formed to provide interoperability between different WLAN vendors.
- IEEE – the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) is a non-profit worldwide organization that creates standards for various industries, including information technology (IT) and telecommunications. 802.11 wireless networking standards are defined by the IEEE.
- FCC – the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is a U.S. government agency that regulates communication standards in the areas of wire, television, cable, and satellite communications. It also regulates the use of radio frequencies (RF) and power of transmitters.
Know all of the following terms and how the components make up a wireless network:
- Ad Hoc network
- Infrastructure network
- ESS, BSS, IBSS
Also, know how to create an ESS. (If you put the same SSID on each access point, they will all be in the same ESS while each maintains its own BSS.) If you need some background, here’s a good basic article from Cisco Press: Wireless LANs: Extending the Reach of a LAN
Before I continue, here’s a joke.
Q. What are the three most important things to understand about wireless networking?
A. Security, security, security, security, and security.
Seriously, folks, there is a lot of wireless security to know. If you only have room in your memory for a few key facts, then here’s where to focus. It might help to generate a timeline of each security technology and make a note of 1. what it features, 2. what it replaced or supplemented, and 3. where it’s currently implemented, if at all.
- Know the common wireless standards: 802.11, 802.11g, and 802.11b.
- Be familiar with the components of WEP, WPA, and WPA-2, including the differences between these technologies.
- WPA-2 operates in two modes: Enterprise and Personal. Know what encryption is used in each mode. In Enterprise it uses AES/CCMP. In Personal it uses a shared key.
- WPA (the older, less powerful technology) uses MIC/TKIP for encryption.
- WEP uses static shared secrets and is the weakest security listed here.
- IEEE 802.11i is an amendment to the 802.11 standard that is meant to address the weaknesses of WEP. WPA2 is an implementation of 802.11i.
- LEAP is a form of EAP that uses passwords and a RADIUS server. It can also dynamically change the WEP keys, if you are also using WEP.
- Be familiar with security concepts like MAC address filters, port-based access control, and wireless intrusion detection and prevention.
- Understand what is meant by wireless security terms like sniffing and war driving.
That’s pretty much it! Objective 5 is not a major part of the exam, so you can focus your study on these topics for good coverage.
Tags: ccna, study checklist
Welcome to Part 2 of Objective 4: Configure, verify, and troubleshoot basic router operation and routing on Cisco routers. Don’t forget Objective 4 – Part 1.
Be able to compare and contrast the capabilities and idiosyncrasies of common routing protocols, especially:
• RIPv1 and RIPv2
You should know details like:
• The metrics and routing algorithm that each protocol uses
• Which protocols are classless and which are classful
• How to enable each protocol globally and then how to enable each protocol on an interface
• Each protocol’s default administrative distance
For example, how does OSPF select the designated router on a segment? On a related note, what determines the OSPF router ID? Can you interpret the show ip ospf neighbor command output?
Quick tutorial. Here’s how to enable OSPF and assign the router to an area:
Router(config)#router ospf 1
Router(config-router)#network 192.168.5.0 0.0.0.255 area 0 (yes, you use wildcard mask here)
Here’s how to enable EIGRP globally and enable it on an interface:
router(config) # router eigrp [autonomous-system]
router (config-router) # network x.x.x.x
router (config-router) # network y.y.y.y
Know how to set up a hyperterminal connection to a router or a switch, and the required settings for the serial connection it uses. Hint: Continue Reading Troy’s checklist for preparing for the CCNA: Objective 4 – part 2…
Tags: ccna, study checklist
Welcome to to this week’s exciting double feature. Today we’ll dive into what you need to know in Objective 4: Configure, verify, and troubleshoot basic router operation and routing on Cisco routers. There’s so much material here that I’ve broken it up into two posts. Get off the Internet and let’s get started!
(Here’s the previous coverage of Objective 1, Objective 2 and Objective 3. The full list of CCNA objectives is at https://cisco.hosted.jivesoftware.com/community/certifications/ccna/ccna_exam?view=overview.)
For Objective 4, you need to know how routers handle and alter the packets they receive. Specifically, you should understand which addresses in the packet are changed by the router (MAC addresses), and which remain the same in the routing process (source and destination IP addresses).
You should be able to read a routing table and pull information out, such as:
- The meaning of the codes next to each entry (C, R, S, I, etc). These codes indicate the method by which the route was learned. When you run the command on a router, there is a legend (a key) at the beginning that explains the codes, but that legend may be truncated from the output shown on the exam (those sneaky rascals!)
- The meaning of all that stuff in brackets next to each route, i.e. [160/5]. Answer: the left side of the slash is the administrative distance (AD) and the right side is the route metric.
For a more in-depth review, study the Cisco command reference for show ip route and related commands.
You should know what a default route is and how to configure one. You also know when it is appropriate to use them (on edge routers or routers with only one connection to the rest of the network, and thus only one route to anything). You should also know that a default route’s main benefit is to reduce the number of routes in the routing table.
You should be familiar with the concept of route redistribution, its purpose, and how it is configured. You should also know how to alter the default behavior of route redistribution by using distribution lists. Make sure that you understand to use an access list to control the redistribution, but apply the list as a distribute list under the configuration of the routing protocol as shown below (taken from show run). In this example, we have instructed the router to only redistribute the network 0.0.0.0 and 10.108.0.0. and deny everything else:
access-list 10 permit 0.0.0.0
access-list 10 permit 10.108.0.0
access-list 10 deny 0.0.0.0 255.255.255.255
router eigrp 1
distribute-list 10 in
You should understand basic operation of the internals of the router. Specifically, you should know what the following terms and concepts mean, how they all work together, and what is stored in each location:
• Running configuration
• Startup configuration
You should be familiar with possible ports you might find on a router (Serial, BRI, FastEthernet, etc.), and what type of cable is required to connect various devices (straight-through, crossover, rollover/console). (This is also covered in Objective 2.)
Understand how the following mechanisms work:
• Split horizon
• Poison reverse
• Triggered updates
• Count to infinity
• Gateway of last resort
Know how to configure a router from start to finish. This topic is an excellent one to practice in real life. If you don’t have the gear to practice with, get a lab simulator – I personally recommend the Kaplan IT CCNA simulator.
Here are some good examples of basic router configurations:
• Set a Telnet password
• Set an encrypted password
• Configure an IP address on an interface and enable the interface
• Enable a routing protocol on an interface
Very Important: Know your command prompts and the commands for getting in and out of the various prompt levels. Know what commands and functions can be performed at the various prompts. Always check the command AND the prompt in output. Careless errors can cost you.
Practice, practice, practice!!! You will not have time to figure out how to do these operations on the exam; you only have time to do them. On the exam you will have about 1 to 2 minutes per question. That goes quick if you don’t quite know what you’re doing.
~~Continued in Part 2~~