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CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-301 Study Guide
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114 of 117 people found the following review helpful
on December 6, 2011
I just passed the new Security+ test with a score of 871. My entire preparation consisted of reading "Security+ Get Certified Get Ahead" and doing the included review questions. I saw absolutely nothing on the test that wasn't thoroughly covered in the book. It is straightforward, easy to read, and does an excellent job of explaining some complex topics. I see no reason to invest in any other prep materials. The plan is pretty simple, buy this book, read it, do the practice questions, pass the test.

Update as of 2/17/2012: I just finished instructing a 5 day Security+ Boot Camp using this book as the only text for the class. We spent 4 days covering the material, reviewed for 2 hours Friday morning then the students took the test. All 13 passed and are now Security+ certified. Note that although some in the class had some cyber security experience most were new to the field and none were familiar with all of the topics.
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63 of 63 people found the following review helpful
on December 13, 2009
perfect! i love this book. i had the original microsoft security+ book for class, and this book covered WAY more than what that book did, and alot less pages. i'm going to take my security+ certification exam on the 18th of December. i'm feeling very confident, as this book says it covers 100% of the exam. i'm just hoping there's no scenarios on the test =p, just questions about what i learned in the book, lol.

EDIT: Passed my exam with a 865/900 with this book! About 2-3 tricky questions throughout the entire test but it was ALL familiar. There was absolutely NOTHING unfamiliar on this test that the book didn't cover! Thank you :)
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on August 16, 2013
You don't need to pay thousands for in class test prep to pass the Security+ exam. Follow these three steps and you can pass your test and pay only $55ish in test prep.

If you are in an IT field, or you went to school for IT, you've already got a great head start. The Security+ exam assumes you've taken the Network+ exam. You don't need to take the Network+ exam to be prepared for Security+, just as long as you have a background in IT which includes how servers, firewalls, routers and switches work. CompTIA isn't know for advanced certifications, but there tests do show that you have a very good understanding of the subject and that it will be easy for you to learn as your career moves forward.

How to pass the Security+ exam in 3 easy steps, should only take you a month.

1. Go to YouTube. Search for "Professor Messer", head to his YouTube page and watch all 185 videos for the Security+ exam. each video is only 5 to 8 min long and gives you a very good head start to the exam. He is easy to listen to, and covers everything.

2. Read this book. Take the practice exams. The pre test in the beginning of the book will show you what you know from the videos. I got a 75% when I took it. Read each chapter, and take the chapter tests. The book is easy to read, just like watching the videos. It covers a lot of the same stuff but goes into more detail. You already have an idea of everything, this just takes it one step further. It will also help you study to remember all the important port numbers along with all the acronyms you'll need to know. This test is FULL of acronyms.

3. Take practice tests.
(Update 4/14/14) Check out quizlet.com, search Security+. Good exams to test your knowledge and see how far along you are. All free!

Now go pass your test! You will be more then well prepared.

UPDATE 9/14
As a reference point, I have a bachelors degree IT Networking which included a lot of security classes. I currently work for a large company in governance and compliance. With that background, I studied for 3 weeks before taking the test. The test will feel harder then you expected, it did for me, but I still passed just fine. I had 7 simulations questions, I know I got at least one wrong because I couldn't remember the port numbers. Other than that they are pretty easy. Take extra time to memorize port numbers and acronyms, I wish I had, but I got threw it just fine.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on January 20, 2010
The best thing I like about this book is that it talks to you instead of technically instructing you and it makes for a comfortable read while riding the bus or in bed. Another good feature is the text size is exceptionally larger than Sybex books, which again makes it easier to read. You will pass with book read it cover to cover and once over any areas you dont understand and take all the practice questions(seriously like the real exam).
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on October 21, 2009
This book is excellent for both real world techniques for employing best practices for security as well as for passing the CompTia SYO-201 Security + Exam. It gets to the main points very quickly and actually is a very easy read...despite the fairly complex subject matter. The author doesn't preach to the choir, nor does he talk down to his audience...but it's almost as if he is engaging the reader in a discussion about various security related topics. The book is very well laid out and has lots of important points pulled out and highlighted in 'Remember' bubbles. Add to the excellent content a liberal sprinkling of Practice Exam questions thoughout the book and you have the perfect blend of study guide and reference book!

This is THE BOOK for nailing the Security + exam!
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on January 7, 2012
First a bit of background, I'm not an IT professional but a software engineer responsible for cyber security. In the last 4 years out of my 11 years of product development work experience, I have been involved in software security and cyber security in critical infrastructure sector. I took my mentor's recommendation on starting with a foundational security certification - Security+ and started self studying back in November 2011. Between work and two kids (age 2 yrs and 6 months), I would say that Gibson's material is solid. I took my exam today 1/6/12 and passed with a score of 871 out of 900 (yay!). Don't let CompTIA's sample web based practice questions scare you, the 301 exam is almost exactly as Gibson described minus a few poorly written questions. My recommendation, get Gibson's study guide and test books and keep telling yourself, you can do it!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on August 12, 2010
I just passed the exam with an 868/900 (96%) and I used this book almost solely. I will throw in the disclaimer that I'm a CCNA, MCSA, and VCP (VMWare Certified Professional) with 15 years experience and the real-world experience was actually tested pretty effectively at times. I feel bad for young bucks that have lived in the world of prolific anti-virus software on workstations, servers, and email relays.

I downloaded the Security+ 2008 Exam Objectives directly from the CompTia website and double checked that this book hit on every topic and ever acronym. I'd recommend hitting this same list before, after, and during to make sure you didn't skim or miss anything. If you're very solid on the content in this book and everything on the objective list then you should call yourself "ready for this exam".

I also bought the Sybex CompTIA Security+ Study Guide for the CD with electronic flashcards and a practive exam but the Sybex book and Sybex CD were 70% garbage. I did refer to Sybex in a few cases to get details on IPSec and some encryption algorithms but Wikipedia would have done just the same thing.

Where the book lacked: beware the epic fail on their port/protocol definitions of L2TP and PPTP which is flat-out embarrassing (see errata sheet on website), their mistakenly listing WEP as Wireless Equivalent Privacy in the index which is silly (it is Wired), missing details about the Blowfish algorithm (oddly not on the Exam Objectives list but brought up twice on my exam), the book's website is ugly and worthless aside from the Errata sheet (I had really hoped for new information or sample quesitons), and finally the synonymns of the authenitcation methods aren't all covered (they were mostly common sense on the exam, but not in all cases). That list actually looks more brutal typed out than it should.

The good: the book hit 98% of the questions on the exam, was clear and easy to understand, has terrific font size and spacing for readability, the author has a good non-condescending tone and excellent real world examples (this book reads the way that a good classroom instructor sounds), the acronym list at the end of the book is almost a perfect match to those listed on the exam objective doc on the CompTia website, the practice questions are decent match to the real exam.

For n00bies you should have excellent problem-solving skills, a ridiculously good grasp on security topics (many university courses would meet this criteria), and many hours on exam engines in addition to this book. Seasoned vets should have a big leg up and for sure don't need to drop the insane coin that all these "online training" places want (CompTia being one of them) and they'll be fine with this book.

You won't go wrong with this book if you just read the errata sheet and drill yourself forwards and backwards on it then sprinkle in a little real-world experience and a practice deciphering the hidden meaning in exam questions. I'd recommend it above any other Security+ material out there.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on March 15, 2012
I purchased Darril Gibson's previous Security+ book for the SY0-201 exam, but I never got around to taking the test. Well after months of procrastination on my part, I finally paid for the exam. One small problem: there was a newer version of the test: SY0-301. I ordered his latest book and it worked wonders. If you aren't familiar with Darril Gibson's books, they're easy to read, the content headers and "remember this sections" highlight key exam topics that one should pay attention to. There are review questions after each of the 11 chapters and a pre and post assessment, not to mention detailed explanations for why each answer is the correct answer. The book recommends that a potential SY0-301 test taker have at least 2 years of networking experience, but I don't have that. Actually outside of my own wireless network, I have no networking experience, and I passed the test: 821/900. My score won't turn any heads, but there was NOTHING on the test that was not covered in Darril's book. The material in the book is organized in a way that allows a person to build on each chapter. Darril's professional experience and personality come out during his anecdotes, which provide a break from the text while presenting real security incidents, ways to prevent the incidents,and links to websites that provide best practices and security tools. This book is also devoid of many of the spelling errors and incorrect answers that I found in the SY0-201 version. I recommend this book to anyone looking to cutout the esoteric gibberish and get straight to the study materials that will be on the test. Great book. Checkout Darril's website: [...]

Disclaimer: I am a college student majoring in Information Technology Security Systems. I was not paid by Comptia or Darril to endorse this product.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on November 30, 2011
This book is awesome. I used it and the practice test question book to pass the Security+ within a 10 day span of receiving the book.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on May 3, 2012
I took the Security+ exam at the end of April 2012. I have no previous networking or security work experience. All I did was read this book and I passed with a score over 800. If you read each chapter understanding the concepts and making sure to complete the chapter end tests then passing the exam should not be a problem. The writing style of Darril presented the concepts in a way that made a lot of sense to novice reader of the material. I would highly recommend this book.
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