Top critical review
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Readable, but annoying
on May 30, 2012
I've read a little over two-thirds of this book in preparation for the test, and the thing that annoys me the most is that it's poorly written. It seems Mr. Lammle knows his subject matter, but he presents it poorly and makes mistakes. There are numerous typos and strangly worded sentences.
For example, he comes off as condescending in some paragraphs, using terms like "obviously". His explanation of IPSec transport and tunneling modes is confusing and seems to be explaining the same thing: "transport mode creates a secure tunnel between two devices end to end", and "in tunnel mode, the tunnel is created between two endpoints".
In the chapter on wireless, he promises to explain modulation techniques such as OFDM and DSSS, but doesn't. He makes crucial mistakes in the chapter on "Authentication and Access Control" by confusing symmetrical and asymmetrical public keys. On page 387 he writes: "When the keys at each end are different, it is called symmetrical or public key." That is wrong. It is asymmetrical keying if the keys at each end are different.
The early chapters don't offer much in the way of definition or context. Terms like "contention media-access" and "ethernet segment" will be thrown at you without any explanation.
Some of the review questions don't make any sense. For example, one of the answers for a chapter 5 question reads: "Any two or more devices the switch connects have are capable of causing a collision with each other." Another question refers to Hubs, Repeaters, NIC's, and Switches as "terms", rather than devices or equipment.
Overall, if you are bright enough, or experienced enough, you'll be able to overlook some of these problems and the book will teach you something. Otherwise, I'd recommend other Network+ study guides.