41 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on July 21, 2011
I have been teaching the main CompTIA courses for ten years now and many training centers use the Sybex material for their classes. Earlier versions of this have been good books to use. Unfortunately I can not say the same for this edition.
My plan with getting this book was to be ready for the classes I'll be teaching on the new (301) version of the exam. There are a number of new items that I expected to find represented in this book. For the most part it seems as if they copied the limited material from earlier books without adding new material -- material that is greatly needed in my opinion.
I have also found a number of things that are not correct, poorly presented, or contradict known facts. Having written for Sybex, and knowing the extensive tech editing process that authors go through, I am very surprised by the poor quality of this book.
If you are considering this book, look elsewhere. I'm sorry I wasted my money on this one.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on March 4, 2009
The book is built on a clean language, the ideas are well organized inside each chapter, but you could perceive that chapters themselves are not in the optimal order...Sometimes you have to jump from one chapter to another to cover completely an idea exposed in this book.
On the other hand, you will have to buy additional simulations and practice questions to complete your preparation, because this book does not offer you practice questions with the appropiate level of complexity compared to the real exam.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on April 26, 2012
I took the exam. I passed. This is the book I studied.
Well, if there are indeed further inquiries to be made, know this: I had no prior working experience with security before being required, by my employer, to pass the Security+ exam. I purchased this book, read it, and went on to score 833 on the exam (750 is required to pass, max is 900).
Those preparing for the exam should devote special attention to the book's CD; there are practice exams to be taken, which afford one the option of answering a question, and then seeing the correct answer, along with an explanation as to why that answer was correct. This is invaluable when preparing for the Comptia exam.
I found Dulaney's writing style to be quite accessible. He gets the necessary concepts across without getting into too much unnecessary detail. Remember, you're seeking to pass the exam; that's why you're reading and studying this book. Once you get employed in IT security, it's obvious that there will be many more details you'll be required to master. However, your emphasis now is to PASS THE EXAM. That's what this book is geared for.
Reading this book is a lot like conversing with a knowledgeable professor who has a gift for illuminating the necessary concepts to a wide variety of students, all of whom have different learning styles. If you need to pass the Security+ exam, but are quite leary (and rightly so) of so-called preparation text books that are written by-experts-for-experts, then look no further. Get this book, read and re-read it, do the practice tests, and then go pass the exam.
Then, ask your boss for a raise!
19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on September 1, 2011
I just took the exam and passed it with high grades. I studied from this book, mainly, but luckily I had lots of experience and did not really depend too much on this book except for some things I wasn't an expert on (e.g. wireless).
First of all, this book is totally not "all you need to prepare for the exam." The real exam has at least 30% of material which is NOT in this book, in any shape or form.
Second, practice questions in this book are *way* easier than the real exam.
Third, the book style is so convoluted, concepts are not defined clearly, material is not summarized, organized, explained very clearly, and often information is spread around. One example of that: a subsection titled WEP/WAP/WPA/WPA2. So, security protocols are jammed together with a 'TCP/IP' stack, and I as a reader have to figure it out and untangle it. Also, some definitions were so ... iffy, like "ports identify how a communication process occurs." Ports don't identify HOW...they just identify the ends of a connection. So, this book is like someone talking informally and the audience is left with sorting through it all and figuring it out. The book needs to spend more time organizing the material. While I was studying from the book, it was too much work to untangle what the author was trying to say. This book forced to me to compile information spread around and come up with conclusions and definitions.
Darryl Gibson book is a LOT better as educational material, things are defined in a crisp manner. I loved studying from that book. But he doesn't have 301 out yet.
So this book imo is ok but nothing special.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 6, 2011
Having very little experience in network security, I read this book and passed the exam in three weeks. I knew some basic security issues from networking but never had any classes in college devoted to it. I read the book and took practice tests and was able to pass. The book provides great examples and is easy to understand.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 16, 2012
After having taken the security+ test (today) and passed with a 789 and recapped, this book is more than enough..I would advise getting some practice questions...speaking of that, everyone told me get pass4sure and you'll do fine.. Well they helped but without having read this book first no way would I have passed. I have very little experience with security and using this book was the primary of this adventure..I will admit its a little dry and at times a sleeper but, if you memorize the bold and italicized words and there meaning (along with applying it to real world senarios the best you can) your success rate will be very high. The Q&A I bought in addition did help but I felt it helped more with the easier questions... make sure you study everything in this book, get some practice exams and you'll be fine even if you are brand new to security! Good Luck!!
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on August 3, 2009
This book needs an update badly! I took the most current version of the exam and this book by itself was no where near thorough enough to pass it. I was able to pass ONLY because I have been in the industry and have hands on knowledge of the topics covered. This book itself was no help at all honestly because most of the questions on the exam were VERY detail oriented and this book is more of a high level overview for beginners. I would honestly recommend reading the exam topics in the CISSP exam guide to understand each topic (for instance cryptography and virtualization which by the way is barely mentioned in this book and I had at least 10 detailed questions on it) in detail in order to pass the exam. I give the book 2 stars only because it is great for beginners looking to get into the security field, just no where near enough to pass the exam - at least not the one I took.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 14, 2010
This is a review for the CompTIA Security+ Study Guide 4th edition.
I am a trainer/course developer for a technical school and am in charge of developing our new Security+ course to begin in 2011. I reviewed this and several other books (along with other study materials) to use in the course.
This is a decent book, professionally written, and reads fairly well. There are questions on the disc, and more can be purchased if the reader wishes to do so. I like the structure of the book for the most part. Also, the book is in PDF format on the disc. Plus, the disc has flashcards, which many students like to use. The book has a good glossary and index. There are also some basic labs which is one of the things I want for the course I am designing.
Here are some of the things that caused me to give this book 4 stars instead of 5:
1. The first chapter is an introductory chapter of sorts, but it is so long and covers so many concepts that it could leave the reader a little bewildered.
2. The book could do with more complete practice exams (especially in the print portion of the book where there are none)
3. I found what I believe to be several factual errors that could cause the reader to get a question incorrect on the real exam.
4. The questions are pretty good, but not the best I have seen from the various study guides I reviewed.
5. The book isn't too sturdy. It's a soft cover book, and the binding on mine hasn't held up very well. Also, the paper on my book leaves little bits of itself all over the place. could just be how this particular book's paper was cut. This is a minor point, and doesn't really play into the 4 star rating nearly as much as points 1-4.
Because of these things I decided to use two other books for the course.
I always recommend a second (and perhaps even a third) test preparation source. If you use this book, I would also recommend purchasing the additional optional practice exams, or better yet, go with another test provider such as Transcender or Pass4sure. A second study guide couldn't hurt. It's always good to get two viewpoints when studying for an exam.
All in all, not a bad book. A decent study guide, but I would supplement it with secondary material.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 11, 2012
I spent several months reading and reviewing the book and the included CD. I got to a point where I could easily get all of the chapter test questions correct and I knew all of the answers for the flashcards on the CD. I still though was not prepared for the exam despite the fact that I have a background including several years as an MCSE with computer security as a job requirement. I ended up having to get the Transcender Security+ Practice Exam/Flashcard kit and spent several weeks mastering that too and passing the Security+ exam on the first attempt.
The book is pretty well written, but there are several errors in the material, which caused some confusion requiring me to investigate what what I suspected was erroneous.
I recommend the book, but not as an only source for aquiring the knowledge needed for the exam. The Transcender material had some additional information not mentioned in the book which was helpful during the exam.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on July 12, 2011
A well organized book that addresses all the objectives necessary to pass the newest Security+ exam and then some. In fourteen chapters, it walks through every objective and what you need to know in order to understand the foundational basics. It then includes an additional, fifteenth chapter, that covers what you need to know in the real world after you have passed the exam.
There are many, many questions (in the introduction, at the end of each chapter, and on the CD); you keep getting hammered on the essentials time and time again until you know them well enough to take the real CompTIA exam.
I especially like the fact that Cryptography is addressed in two chapters (instead of just one) since this topic can be tricky.