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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Format: Hardcover
When I passed the CCNA exam a year ago I used the CCNA Study Guide by Todd Lammle and passed the exam with a 924. Had I had this book I am positive I would have done even better. Lammle is the first name in Cisco Certification exam material and judging from the content of the book there is no doubt why.

Lammle approach to the exam is by far the best I know of and studying the book in the order presented gives you the best chance of passing the exam on the first try. With Internetworking basics like the OSI model and topologies like Ethernet are the very beginning to the CCNA certification.

From there Lammle has you working with switching, which I like because switching should come before routing. Then you move to the internet protocols, IOS, IP routing VLANs and router management. Lammle again makes sure that far more information than the exam requires is included.

After that you then start working with IPX, Access lists and then WAN protocols like HDLC, PPP, Frame Relay and ISDN. Each section has review questions, the new thing I am very happy to see is both written and hands-on labs.

The cd included has over 400 practice questions, over 300 flash cards for both the PC and the palm devices and entire e-book. Lammle again takes the opening and adds not 2 but 4 additional bonus exams.

Finally as part of the study process is the use of an actual router and since this can be an expensive investment, Lammle has given you a Router Fundamental Simulator and practice labs. All this in one book and at a price that should make everyone happy. Whether certified or not, whether looking to refresh you skills this book is a must have for every router technician.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Format: Hardcover
Last week I attended Todd Lammle's CCNA class, where I received a free copy of his 'CCNA: Cisco Certified Network Associate, Deluxe Edition (640-801), 4th Ed' (CCNADE4E). Todd's class was excellent, and his book is almost literally Todd in written form. There is hardly a wasted word in this book. If Todd mentions a detail concerning a protocol or a certain default value in a configuration parameter, it's important. If he calls out that same item in a 'Note', it's definitely important. This is not 'teaching to the test' -- it's ensuring students and readers are familiar with material Cisco considers relevant. Cisco started its certification program to ensure administrators could properly configure and deploy its gear. By reading CCNADE4E, you will gain that knowledge.

Prior to attending Todd's class and reading his book, I was familiar with networking and related topics. I did not realize that successfully passing the CCNA meant being able to answer questions rapidly, not just accurately. This is especially important when IP subnetting and Variable Length Subnet Masks are involved. Todd teaches a method based on 'block sizes,' or the ranges of IP addresses associated with various subnet masks. This technique is incredibly powerful. I used to need pencil, paper, and at least a minute to answer subnetting questions before I learned Todd's block size method. Now I can answer the same questions in ten seconds or less (honestly). This is not a trick; it's a different way of looking at the problem, combined with memorizing certain key information.

Beyond innovative approaches to learning certain topics, Todd's book is also exceptionally clear. I did not find myself wondering what he meant by a sentence, or questioning my understanding of his explanations. This is in stark contrast to a book on TCP/IP I read and reviewed five years ago. CCNADE4E is chock full of good diagrams, tables, and configuration and syntax examples.

You could read only the book's text, but you would do yourself a disservice if you seek CCNA certification. CCNADE4E provides readers with questions and labs to test their understanding. These help CCNA candidates understand Cisco's approach to certain issues. Some of these questions really test the reader's comprehension of internetworking.

I found the material to be overwhelmingly accurate. I found a few typos that I expect to see on the Sybex errata page shortly.

If you're looking for a reference book to guide you through the CCNA testing process, look no further than CCNADE4E. If you work through the examples, you'll also find yourself able to perform simple to moderate configuration of Cisco routers and switches. I blew away the configurations on the gear in my lab, then rebuilt and improved them, using the knowledge I gained from this book and Todd's class. Isn't that what certification should be about?
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on December 4, 2005
Format: Hardcover
For the last 3 years I would have sworn by Todd Lammle's CCNA Study Guides; mainly do to his free-hearted writing style that seem to add an element of humor to complex reads. However, this book has far too many errors and lacked technical intensity. In the past, I used Todd's 607 Study Guide to pass the archived 607 exam on the first try. Two and half years later, I purchased the 801 Study Guide with the same enthusiasm. After reading this book twice, taking all 8 bonus exams repeatedly, and exhausting the capabilities of the simulation software, I took the comprehensive 801 exam this weekend and did not pass! My exam had multiple questions that were not covered in Lammle's book. Not to mention the lack of coverage of NAT, that seems to magically show up on my exam. None of which was covered with enough detail within this book. Moreover, the Virtual Lab was not exhaustive and far too basic (No OSPF, EIGRP or NAT simulation capabilities). In my opinion, this is not acceptable. Especially when I was faced with these topics through out my exam. I wish this book did a better job of pinpointing the areas that were and would be crucial on the exam. Although Todd Lammle attempted to do place emphasis on certain points, none of those points showed up on test day. Obviously, Cisco has made the exam harder to achieve by reading materials alone (even there own text). Therefore, accurate and thought-provoking supplemental materials are a must!!The bonus questions simply repeat themselves over-and-over again. The book as a whole lacked coverage on crucial technologies and is filled with confusing statements and answers that turn out to be mistakes- Go figure! All of which, led me to give this book 3 stars (maybe closer to 2 1/2).
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on February 2, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Todd Lammle seems to be The Name in CCNA preparation. I bought this book after reading recommendations from other CCNAs at the forums on [...]

This book contains the complete guide to the curriculum as well as some very useful background material on the CCNA certification itself and the format of the exam.

The material is presented in a logical manner and consistent with the requirements for Cisco's exam. The style is readable and entertaining.

The material on the CDs is also very useful, particularly the virtual labs, for when you don't have access to real routers and switches.

Although I haven't yet completed my study I feel this book will prepare me well for the CCNA exam.

One thing potential buyers of this book should be aware of: the PDFs on this book are protected by the FileOpen DRM software. This precludes reading the PDFs on anything other than a Windows box, amongst other legitimate uses. In my humble opinion the presence of DRM software is a consumer rights issue and should be clearly indicated by the publisher, which in this case they do NOT.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on May 31, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Last week I successfully passed the exam with 912 out of 1000.
My only book was Todd Lammle's CCNA Study Guide. Starting from scratch, this book is really helpful, and you *should* learn it by heart. However, it's only one key to success, and you need a second one : sample tests, sample tests, sample tests ! Unless you're already a network admin with years of hands-on experience on various Cisco platforms, you gotta practice again and again the sample tests.
The exam is made of 50-60 questions, some of them NOT in the official scope of the exam , such as NAT or IPX. Sometimes you'll be asked for the BEST answer, not the RIGHT answer.
Anyway Lammle's CCNA study guide is what you need for the theory.
I would recommend 2 months studying the book , and 1 month practicing sample tests.
- 4 stars out of 5 -
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 5, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I prepared my CCNA exam with this book and I passed with 974 on 1000.
Very easy and pleasant to read.
Most of the book is clear and topics are explained indepth enough for you to pass the exam.
I really recommend this book as referene to prepare a CCNA because it cover exactly what you need to do it (and not more).
However I would recommend to keep concentrate during your reading because there are some mistakes (I would say something around 10 mistakes on the overall). Mistakes appear more and more as long as you reach the final chapters (8-10). (Beware the "Extended IP Access List Example" on page 461. Very confusing mistake regarding the swap of permit and deny commands).
Todd Lammle certainly should have had a deadline to write the book because the last chapter is written in a rush. And some topics would have require more details (such as Frame-Relay, ISDN, and DDR map command).
A last remark : Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) is poorly explained and difficult to understand from this book if you never read something about it.
I would recommend to learn about STP from a different source.
Personnaly I used the "CISCO certification, Bridges Routers and switches for CCIEs" book from Andrew Bruce Caslow & Valeriy Pavlichenko (Editor : PH PTR). I borrowed it from a colleague of mine, and it appeared to be a very detailed guide about anything regarding switching, though it was not as cool to read as Todd Lammle books.
Oh, btw. Don't miss at any cost to read the appendix B about Catalsyt 1900, or you could miss your exam !
Don't misunderstand me.
The perfect book dosen't exist. You will always find mistakes in book or unclear topics.
But this CCNA study guide from Todd Lammle was really enjoyable to read, clear on an overall point of view, and efficient (I did it with 974/1000 successfull.)
And the exam test provided and chapter review questions though different from the exam question were undoubtly very usefull to prepare the exam.
Good luck ! ;)
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on November 18, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Mr. Lammle is still an excellent teacher/writer (the best), but the omission of some crucial material is a setup for test disaster. In particular there is little information on NAT, and zero configuration examples. 4 months ago I recertified on the CCNA and one of the simulation questions was NAT configuration and at least 3 multiple choice were on NAT router commands. I am now tutoring 4 other engineers using this book and we've had to use Cisco Press books to cover NAT and other material that is missing. The Simulator in this book will not do OSPF and EIGRP (both crucial, so we bought Mr. Lammle's routersim from [...] this does allow these routing protocols, but VTP doesn't work correctly with the simulator switches. In hindsight I would definitely use Cisco Press now, it doesn't appear that Sybex is keeping up. The Cisco books aren't as well written or real world, but they have everything you need to pass the test.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on February 7, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I used this book ONLY and passed the CCNA test on the first try...that is what counts for me. I am a true 'newbie' and had NO experience with Cisco or routing. The book was well layed out, easy to read, and obviously gave me the right knowledge to pass the test the first time. I do ,however, think a bit more time should have been given to ISDN and Frame Relay...but that is really my only gripe.
The network simulator was invaluable, I don't think I would have passed without it. Not having access to a router, and no experience, the simulator really made the concepts in the book sink in for me. Plus, knowing the comands is a must, and using the simulator made that 100 times easier than just sitting there looking at them in a book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on June 27, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I absolutely agree with the other reviewers in that, given this book and basic networking knowledge, you do not need anything else to pass the CCNA. And for those of you who are worrying that this book is outdated because it covers the 640-507 test (not the 640-607, which Cisco released in March 2002), there is nothing to fear; I just passed the 640-607 using nothing more than this book to guide me!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 16, 2005
Format: Hardcover
After reading user reviews here on Amazon, I realized that this book, the 4th edition, was lacking in some areas...most notably, NAT. This deluxe edition though, included the virtual lab which I thought would be important since I do not have actual equipment to practice on.

I'm glad that I went this route. I passed the exam today using this book, the virtual labs, practice tests and bonus exams included on the two CDs. I took approximately 2.5 to 3 weeks to study. I enjoyed the way the book is written and layed out. At no time did I find myself falling asleep in material that was not presented well enough to keep me awake. I supplemented my education in the areas that others had complained about and past my 55 question test with room to spare.

If you do not need nor want the virtual lab, go with the later 5th edition of this book.
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