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on February 19, 2009
I just got back from my exam and passed with an 850 (out of 900 I believe). I used no other study materials other than these books and CDs, although I had some prior knowledge in the area of penetration testing (though no job experience).

My approach was this:

Read each chapter of the study guide. Do the 10 questions at the end of the chapter. If there are areas you seem to be having trouble with, go back and review them.

Read the entire review guide.

Take the assessment tests on the CDs and review weak areas until you are getting scores in the 90s.

Right before the exam, read all the "exam objectives" in the review guide and make sure you understand them (takes a little over an hour).

I never opened the Street Smarts book.
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on January 30, 2013
I used these study materials and passed the test first try. The author does a good job relating theory to real life, providing situational examples whenever possible. The practice tests and questions contained really do mimic the questions you'll see on the test.
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on March 29, 2010
this Book Series was a great tool to study for the SY0-201 Certification test and its a valuable asset to use on a daily basis if you are in the IT field of security. I use it for just about everything around the office, i even use it to brush up on old tricks of the trade that i learned a long time ago that are now in the updated books. they are easy to read and well put together, i tend to loose interest in books after a while but i never got bored of this series. i would definately recomend this product for those trying to get into the IT field or just to brush up on security knowledge.
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on December 2, 2011
I read through all three of the books and found them to be quite useful both for the exam and real world scenarios. I really enjoyed the Security Administrator Street Smarts book and it is the only one I kept after receiving the certification. I used this material plus a paid for computer based practice exam to pass. I scored almost a 900 on the exam (much to my own surprise) with a good portion of that being credited to this package. The only downside is the test prep questions and exams that come with it I find nearly useless, and would be willing to pay more if it included much better practice tests. Overall I would recommend this as primary or supplemental material for taking the CompTIA security+ exam.
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on April 27, 2010
This is a great study resource that helped me prepare for the exam. I would also recommend looking at the flash card resources at Flash Card Certified. They really helped while reading this book. I passed the test the first shot around so the combination of the two must have worked. I would definitely recommend this product to a friend if they were thinking about taking the exam.
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on August 20, 2013
I'm not much of a computer person but I can say that my computer is still running strong partly because of the protection from this. It arrived very fast and it was reasonably priced. worth buying definitely.
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on June 23, 2011
within 2 weeks i used this package and several free online practice exams and passed the Security+ exam with an 817. Be sure this is NOT your only study material because you WILL FAIL the test. There is a plethora of information that is not included in this package and the best way to get that information is through the online free exams. They are what made the biggest difference for me but this provided a great foundation.
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on August 10, 2010
I bought this package as a starting place to pass my Security+ certification. I couldn't put the book down. It has amazing references, notes, and practice test in each chapter. I was able to read the entire book in 2 weeks. Now, i'm on to the CD-ROM to practice. Great product.
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I have a long history using Sybex textbooks, testing & certification kits and purchased the CompTIA Security+ Certification Kit (SY0-201) based on previous positive experiences with Sybex products. I'm happy to report that using this certification kit (and some additional resources) I was able to easily pass the exam scoring 880/900. Generally I would classify this kit as "excellent" though I did find some of the included material to be superfluous.

The meat of this kit is the CompTIA Sec+ Study Guide that is neatly organized and generally concise. Each chapter begins with an overview then dives into the topics in an intelligent and logical arrangement. The conclusion of each chapter features approximately 20 review questions that you should be able to answer. The study guide also includes a fantastic glossary and index that make looking up terms and chapters those terms are in an easy task. I read the study guide cover-to-cover twice. The first time through I concentrated on reading and highlighting what I felt were important topics. At the conclusion of each chapter I reviewed the questions at the end and pressed on to the next chapter. After completely reading the book once I then dived into the CD with flash-card like questions that pepper you with questions you're likely to see on the exam. After getting comfortable with the flash cards I read the study guide again, taking notes and focusing more on the review questions and topics covered in the flash cards. At this point I also used the included review guide which is equally well written and concise.

The Street Smarts Guide is something that I found altogether unnecessary and I only briefly looked over it before I abandoned it.

Ultimately I found this kit to be very helpful in learning a broad range of topics. Many of these topics I was intimately familiar with and some I was not. You're likely to encounter some information in this guide that doesn't appear on the test but it's good general knowledge and pertains to the overall topic of Computer Security. I used this kit in conjunction with a quick review guide that one of my coworkers put together. My advice is to focus keenly on topics like types of attacks/intrusions, infrastructure and connectivity, monitoring and intrusion detection systems, securing networks, cryptography basics and knowing pertinent port numbers by heart.

After taking the exam I realized that I had mentally hyped up the Security+ exam to be more than it actually is. If you're an IT professional you likely already know much of the material covered. Also many of the topics covered in the book only need to be known on a very broad level. The cryptography section for example can be a bit overwhelming but when taken with the realization that you don't need to know technical specifics it becomes very manageable.

This cert kit is well worth the money and recommended.
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on December 28, 2009
The Security+ Study Guide contains good material for this exam; as others have noted, alone it is not sufficient.

I used this book (did not open the included review guide or Street Smarts book), in conjunction with the Security+ All-In-One Exam Guide (ISN 0071601279) and Security+ 2008 In Depth (ISBN 1598638130). More detail than you need in the latter 2 volumes, but good background and a foundation for the next certs (CISSP, etc).

Study method was to read through each chapter, highlighting. Once through each book, return and re-read each chapter, typing notes on the topics while reading. Your mileage may vary.

Experience (15+ years as an analyst/programmer/Oracle-MySQL DBA) was definitely a factor in passing this exam, scored 855/900.
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