Introducing the new CCNA: ICNDv3 exams, 100-105 and 200-105

October 12, 2016 at 8:27 am | Posted in Certification Paths, Cisco | Leave a comment
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Cisco has officially retired the old CCNA exams (100-101 and 200-101, or the combined 220-120), so the opportunity to take the ICNDv2 has come and gone. The new path to Cisco’s flagship certification is the ICNDv3 path. As of October 2016, you need to pass one of these combinations to earn the CCNA Routing and Switching certification:

  • Exam 100-105: Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 1 (ICND1)
  • Exam 200-105: Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 2 (ICND2)


  • Exam 200-125: CCNA Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices: Accelerated (CCNAX)

Passing the 100-105 exam alone will also earn you the Cisco Certified Entry Network Technician (CCENT) certification.

How much change should I expect for the ICND1?

For the first exam, Cisco has rearranged the material and condensed the objectives from seven to five. Here’s a comparison of the old and new objectives:

OLD: 100-101 ICND1 v2.0
1.0 Operation of IP Data Networks
2.0 LAN Switching Technologies
3.0 IP Addressing
4.0 IP Routing Technologies
5.0 IP Services
6.0 Network Device Security
7.0 Troubleshooting

NEW: 100-105 ICND1 v3.0
1.0 Network Fundamentals
2.0 LAN Switching Technologies
3.0 Routing Technologies
4.0 Infrastructure Services
5.0 Infrastructure Management

While at first glance it might appear that the CCENT removed troubleshooting questions entirely, the new exam simply integrates troubleshooting into each objective. For example,  Objective 2.0: LAN Switching Technologies will have you troubleshoot interface and cable issues (collisions, errors, duplex, speed), while in Objective 1.0: Network Fundamentals, you’ll have to troubleshoot IPv4 and IPv6, as well as “apply troubleshooting methodologies to resolve problems:”

  • 1.7.a Perform fault isolation and document
  • 1.7.b Resolve or escalate
  • 1.7.c Verify and monitor resolution

The changes in the objectives typically just mean reorganization of the old material, but there have been a few additions and deletions of topics for this exam, which I’ll explain.

Key Topics Removed from ICND1 or Moved to ICND2 Exam:

OSPF (single area) and other OSPF topics were moved into ICND2. Instead, RIP is used to introduce CCENT candidates to IP routing protocols.

Dual Stack was removed from ICND1, since there are many different IPv4 to IPv6 transition technologies being used.

Cisco Express Forwarding (CEF) has been removed.

Key Topics Added:
  • High level knowledge of the impact and interactions of infrastructure components in an Enterprise network, specifically:
    • Firewalls
    • Access Points
    • Wireless Controllers
  • Awareness of the Collapsed Core architecture compared to traditional three-tier architectures. This option collapses the Distribution and Core into a single tier, with the Access as the second tier.
  • Configuring and verifying IPv6 Stateless Address Auto Configuration (SLAAC).
  • Coverage of anycast IPv6 addressing.
  • Knowledge of Link Layer Discovery Protocol (LLDP). An L2 discovery protocol is used in addition to Cisco Discovery Protocol.
  • Knowledge of RIPv2 for IPv4 as the primary focus for understanding of how routing protocols work.
  • DNS and DHCP related connectivity issues.
  • Syslog message logging for device monitoring.
  • Skills and knowledge of device management related to backup and restoring device configurations, IOS feature licensing, and configuring time zones.

How much change should I expect for the ICND2?

While the number of objective domains has remained 5 in the update of the 200-101 (ICND2)  to the 200-105 exam , those domain topics have changed and also the content. The comparison of the domain changes are as follows:

OLD 200-101 ICND2 v2.0:

1.0 LAN Switching Technologies
2.0 IP Routing Technologies
3.0 IP Services
4.0 Troubleshooting
5.0 WAN Technologies

NEW 200-105 ICND2 v3.0:

1.0 LAN Switching Technologies
2.0 Routing Technologies
3.0 WAN Technologies
4.0 Infrastructure Services
5.0 Infrastructure Maintenance

Topics have been both moved and deleted.

Key Topics Removed from ICND2:

Frame-Relay and Serial WAN technologies are no longer covered.

VRRP and GLBP have been removed from First Hop Redundancy Protocols. Only HSRP remains, since it is most commonly deployed.

Key Topics Added to ICND2:
  • Knowledge of dual-homed vs single-homed Intelligent WAN topology options.
  • Basic knowledge of external BGP (eBGP) used to connect Enterprise branches.
  • Expanded VPN topics to include DMVPN, Site-to-Site VPN, and Client VPN technologies commonly used by Enterprises.
  • Understanding of how Cloud resources are being used in Enterprise network architectures, including:
    • How cloud services will affect traffic paths and flows
    • Common virtualized services and how these coexist with a legacy infrastructure
    • Basics of virtual network infrastructure (Network Function Virtualization)
  • Awareness of Programmable Network (SDN) architectures including:
    • Separation of the control plane and data plane
    • How a controller functions and communicates northbound to network applications and southbound to the R&S infrastructure using APIs.
  • How to use the Path Trace application for ACLs which is a key new network application enabled by the Application Policy Infrastructure Controller – Enterprise Module (APIC-EM). This tool automates the troubleshooting and resolution of complex ACL deployments.
  • Understanding of QoS concepts related to marking, shaping, and policing mechanisms used to manage congestion of various types of traffic. The need for QoS and how it is used for prioritizing voice, video and data traffic. Plus an understanding of the automation

How much change should I expect for the combined exam?

The 200-125 exam, like its predecessor the 200-120, covers all topics from the 100-105 and 200-105. The content is organized in the following domains:

1.0 Network Fundamentals
2.0 LAN Switching Technologies
3.0 Routing Technologies
4.0 WAN Technologies
5.0 Infrastructure Services
6.0 Infrastructure Security
7.0 Infrastructure Management

Everything that has been written about the prior two exams applies to the 200-120.

What if I passed some of the old exams, but need the new certification – or to recertify?

Cisco has developed a handy tool, called the Associate-Level Certifications Exam Logic Tool, that lets you plug in your exact combination of exams to predict which ones you’ll require:

CCNA Routing and Switching is a three-year certification. When three years have passed, you must recertify. This page has the information you need to help you plan your recertification path.

And, finally, here are the links to the CCENT and CCNA Transcender practice exams. Keep your eyes peeled for special holiday exam pricing, and be sure to sign up for our mailing list if you aren’t receiving deal notifications!

Transcender Practice Exam for 100-105 NetCert: Interconnecting Cisco Network Devices Part 1 (ICND1) v3.0

Transcender Practice Exam for 200-105NetCert: Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 2 (ICND2) v3.0

Transcender Practice Exam for 200-125 Composite Cisco Certified Network Associate Exam

Until next time,

–Troy McMillan

Say goodbye to the OLD CCNA exams, and hello to the ICND series!

December 10, 2013 at 3:13 pm | Posted in Cisco | Leave a comment
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Say goodbye to the old CCNA exams and Version 1 of the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA).

It’s official; the deadline for achieving your CCNA by taking the exams 640-816 and 640-822 (or alternately the 640-802) has come and gone, and these exams are retired.  The new path to achieving Cisco’s flagship certification is  to take both exams 100-101 (ICND 1) and 200-101 (ICND 2), or to pass the composite exam 200-120 (CCNAX). Passing the 100-101 ICND1 earns you the next-generation CCENT certification; passing both ICND1 and ICND2 (or the single CCNAX) earns the CCNA: Routing and Switching certification.

A further change worth noting: as of October 2013, the CCENT is a prerequisite for the Cisco Certified Design Associate (CCDA) certification.

How much change should I expect?

When Cisco changes the numbering on an exam (as from 640 to 100), it typically indicates a change in the exam’s topic coverage. In some cases the changes are significant, and in others they are minor. In the case of the CCNA exams, the changes are not major overall; this is largely the same set of exam topics. However, some topics have been dropped completely, while others have shifted from the 200-101 exam to the 100-101, and other topics have been shifted from the CCNP-level exams to the 200-101.

The end result is a small increase in the level of difficulty for all three new exams as compared to their older counterparts. People who had been studying with version 1 materials may want to review version 2 before committing to take the exam.

Changes to topic coverage in ICND1 v2

With respect to the 100-101 ICND1 (formerly 640-822), the following topics have been eliminated from the exam:

  • RIP
  • WLAN
  • SDM

The following topics are new to this certification exam:

  • IPv6
  • OSPF
  • Static routing

The following topics used to be covered in ICND2, but are now included in ICND1 (100-101), which changes these topics from the CCNA level to the CCENT level:

  • VLSM and summarization
  • Port security
  • NAT
Changes to topic coverage in ICND2 v2

The following topics used to be covered in ICND1 (640-822) but are now included in the new ICND2 exam, 200-101:

  • Router hardware
  • IOS loading
  • WAN configuration

The following topics have been moved from the higher-level CCNP exams, and are new to ICND2:

  • First Hop Redundancy protocols (VRRP, HSRP etc.)
  • Syslog
  • Netflow

Here is a complete list of the exam topics:

What if I passed some of the old exams, but need the new certification – or to recertify?

Cisco has developed a handy tool, called the Associate-Level Certifications Exam Logic Tool, that lets you plug in your exact combination of exams to predict which ones you’ll require:

CCNA Routing and Switching is a three-year certification. When three years have passed, you must recertify. This page has the information you need to help you plan your recertification path.

And, finally, here are the links to the CCENT and CCNA Transcender practice exams. Keep your eyes peeled for special holiday exam pricing, and be sure to sign up for our mailing list if you aren’t receiving deal notifications!

Transcender Practice Exam for 100-101 NetCert: Interconnecting Cisco Network Devices Part 1 (ICND1) v2.0

Transcender Practice Exam for 200-101 NetCert: Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 2 (ICND2) v2.0

Transcender Practice Exam for 200-120 Composite Cisco Certified Network Associate Exam

Transcender’s Cisco CCNA Simulator for 100-101 NetCert: Interconnecting Cisco Network Devices Part 1 (ICND1) v2.0

–Troy McMillan

Cisco CCNA Flash Card mobile app released for Android; A+ app updated for all platforms

April 10, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Posted in Kaplan IT Training news, Study hints | 3 Comments
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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.


Amazon (Android):

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:

CCNA flash card objectives screen

CCNA individual flash card

Download the app today, and let us know what you think!

Hey! Who moved my CCNA simulations?

February 24, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Posted in Cisco | Leave a comment
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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?…

Our Cisco CCNA Simulator is Now in the Cloud

October 15, 2010 at 4:25 pm | Posted in Cisco, Kaplan IT Training news | Leave a comment
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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!

So whether you’re preparing for the 640-802, 640-816, or 640-822 exam, be sure to check out the CCNA Virtual Lab in Cloud product to help you in your study efforts.

Putting CatOS commands on our Cisco practice tests: the method to our madness

October 8, 2009 at 10:48 am | Posted in Cisco | 2 Comments
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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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.

OS Command Comparison Chart

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:

Happy CATting,

Troy McMillan

Troy’s checklist for preparing for the CCNA: Objective 8

July 31, 2009 at 2:09 pm | Posted in Cisco | 2 Comments
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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…

Troy’s checklist for preparing for the CCNA: Objective 7

July 21, 2009 at 3:50 pm | Posted in Cisco | 2 Comments
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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

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!

Continue Reading Troy’s checklist for preparing for the CCNA: Objective 7…

Troy’s checklist for preparing for the CCNA: Objective 6

July 17, 2009 at 7:57 am | Posted in Cisco | Leave a comment
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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.

Attack Defense
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…

Troy’s checklist for preparing for the CCNA: Objective 5

July 6, 2009 at 4:36 pm | Posted in Cisco | 1 Comment
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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

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
  • SSID

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.

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