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on February 6, 2012
The book itself is by the great Wendell Odom. This was a great selling point for me, as my bookshelves have quite a bit of his material on them.

This book is a great study material for anyone that is studying the ICDN2 or trying to re-certify their CCNA.
The material may not change much between the second edition and the third edition, but this book is put together so much better and with better explanations of things. I have always had such a hard time with subnetting, but the way this book explains things is fantastic. I may still use a calculator to figure somethings out, but I have a much better understanding of the topic.
I also didn't expect the material to be much different as the CCNA exam hasn't been revised since this books release.

So the book is great! You should read it! Definitely a great read for anyone wanting to learn more or get certified.
As for the material on the CD, meh. I couldn't give this a full 5 star review because of the ugly Network Simulator. This thing is beyond limited unless you pay for the full version. It's an ugly java based application. guh. java. It is a great start though for getting some labs done and starting to work your way around the CLI, but you would have to buy the full version for anything useful.

The DVD also comes with practice exam questions, also limited, that are quite good and will get your brain thinking. The questions are out of the book and also on the CD so you are getting quite a bit of variety for questions. There is also an extended version that can be purchased through Cisco Press.

Overall it is totally worth the $39.99 cover price, though I wish the Network Simulator wasn't so limited and Java based.
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on January 8, 2013
i learned more from this book than i ever did in class. The classes go by so quickly. Wendell is a fabulous author - he keeps you interested. I failed the CCNA 3 times until I split it up into ICND 1 and ICND 2. I finally passed after reading and doing the exercises. I passed both ICND 1 and ICND 2, and I finally got my CCNA.

After passing, I immediately bought his CCNP Routing Cert Guide collection. I joined his facebook page and etc.

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on May 24, 2012
Great material, a lot of detail,in deep explanations of vtp and vtp a must to have if you are on the route for certifications. Wendell Odom is a great teacher, see the videos and the material in the bonus cd is a great plus.
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on March 2, 2012
As the manager of an IT department, and CCNA holder myself, I recently added this book to my department "lending library." I have found this book to be an invaluable resource for my team as they prepare for their exams and expand their abilities within our network. There have also been several occasions where I have referenced a technology or technique and been able to provide this study guide for them to review the material and fully understand it before diving in with full confidence. I also use this guide, among others from Cisco Press, to review my knowledge from time to time to be sure I am able to properly implement changes on our network.

Summed up briefly, I have no doubt that this book along with some hands on training and a little mentoring will give my team the best chance they have at achieving their CCNA in no time. Kudos to Wendell Odom and Cisco Press for producing an excellent guide as usual.
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on August 23, 2012
I have to judge certification books by a slightly higher standard because of their stated purpose. First, I will state that I did pass the ICND2 exam and became a CCNA using only the Odom text along with CCNA 640-802 Network Simulator (2nd Edition) but it took two attempts. The Odom CCNA books have been called dry and boring by many a reader over the years but I found both the ICND2 and ICND1 books to be engaging and interesting. The writing style is more formal than Lammle but speaks to you just the same. It just feels a bit different. If you are working towards CCNA and want to be in networking the two Odom volumes are essentially required. You owe it to yourself to read them even if you are using another text.
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Let me start by responding to an earlier reviewer who found that his third edition came with a page of errata. He complained about this. Ok, strictly, errata should never exist, so he has a point. But at least it is professional of the publisher to furnish such things, rather than sweep them aside and let the reader find out in real time. (You are on your own.) Besides, it was only 1 page. If it had been, say, 50 pages, then, yeah, you might wonder if the publisher was too hasty in printing the book.

Also, by the time I got my copy of this book, it is April 2012. That reviewer wrote on 1 January 2012. My copy is the second printing of the third edition, and there is no errata page. I'm guessing that this printing has the errata remedied in the text, as it should be. So if you buy this book after reading this review, you might first ask the seller what printing it is, if this is important to you.

The text itself is utterly comprehensive. As you might expect if you have used Odom's other Cisco exam books. No surprises, which by now should be a reliable feature of this exam text series. Granted, the heft of the book can be daunting. Some of you will just stare at the book and think, "Good grief, do I have to read all of this?" What seems new here is a quick quiz section at the start of each chapter, entitled "Do I Know This Already?". Just a few multiple choice questions. If you get enough of these right, and the answers are in the appendix, you can skip the entire chapter.

I've never seen this before! Clearly Odom is trying to meet an anticipated reader need for a shortcut. This lets you objectively and rapidly determine for yourself. Useful because your time is worth something.

As for the latest technical details within the book, there seems no shortage of such. Mostly, incremental improvements, harking to the already overall maturity of the Cisco hardware and IOS. One such improvement might suffice as an example. You can now delete or add single lines to named and numbered Access Control Lists. Previously, up to IOS v. 12.2, to delete a line from a numbered ACL meant deleting the entire ACL and reconfiguring it, minus the line you wanted to delete. The clumsiness of this can be readily imagined! In fairness to Cisco, entering each line is [I presume] not simply like typing a line into a text file. The action under IOS must have had the effect of loading and implementing that line, which is not a passive effect. So deleting a specific line was not really like deleting a line from a simple text file. It required going back into active memory and changing those contents. Still, it is good that IOS has improved its functionality beyond this earlier default behaviour.
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on February 26, 2012
Things I like:
1. The book refreshes the study material while still providing a useful reference.
2. Wendell presents the material in a first person, conversational style rather than obscure technoese.
3. Exam topics are aligned directly with material.
4. Pre-test questions to help focus study. Why waste time on what you already know?
5. Actual output from the routers/switches although I'd like to see less 'output omitted' and more grep to focus on the desired output. Not necessarily testable, but useful to let newer Cisco people realize the powerful filtering capability in IOS. Also, under the ping, I'd like to see a short tcl script for a ping test and let the reader know for self-research some of the automation mechanisms in IOS.
6. CD/DVD with additional material although I'd like unique material for each book.
7. Methodology where configure, verify, troubleshoot are emphasized. It's nice to see something other than 'show run' for troubleshooting commands.
8. Just enough theory without too much information for CCNA level.

Things that could be better:
1. Java? Really? Flash animation would be better, IMHO. Or include access to PacketTracer from Cisco Networking Academy for simulations?
2. I like configuration templates for each technology, especially when dealing with modular configurations such as NAT. Including the essential template for configuring a technology with basic settings, verifying, saving a working configuration, then adding 'tweaks' as part of an appendix would be wonderful. Help new engineers build a good process with 'keep it simple' templates.
3. Would like PDF option with the book.
4. Let readers know about the Cisco PrepCenter.
5. Readers should get an overview of the Cisco Doc CD (DVD or whatever it's now called) and how to use it to find configuration guides and such.

Overall, I recommend this for anyone preparing for a Cisco CCNA exam or ICND2 exam! It is an inexpensive addition to a professional library. Cisco Press continues to improve their books and Wendell continues to be 'the man'!
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on February 24, 2012
I did enjoy this book. I have not read the second edition so I am unable to compare the two. Overall, the book is organized well and has a good flow to it. The author mentions updating the writing style of the book and I think it shows.

The CCNA exams have not changed since the last edition of the book, so why purchase this edition you may ask. The author comes right out and tells us that the two reasons are to include the Network Simulator and to include a special coupon for the "Premium Edition". These two reasons and the updated writing give us the third edition.

The included DVD has the practice test and simulator on it. Understand that these items are basic starter version. They are not meant to carry you through to the CCNP or higher. As such, I think they do an okay job. The test engine will give those who have never sat for a Cisco test, the look and feel for it. The simulator is basic, but will allow people who don't have real equipment to use a good point to start from. I agree with another reviewer that java is not the best interface I would like to see.

In the end, I like the book and how the author has written it. I do feel the extras leave me wanting a little more. You get the coupon for the premium version, but maybe these could both be combined and just have a lower price for the premium edition then.

If you are interesting in the book only, I would not hesitate to recommend this to you.
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on April 21, 2012
Very well written and covered the subjects systemically. It helped refresh my memory after some years off command line level of detail.
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on April 10, 2013
I recently earned my ICND1 certification and while preparing to take the test I looked at many different options for materials. I found that the official cert guide from Cisco Press was a much more detailed and to the point read than other publishers.

Now that I am prepping for my ICND2 certification test in the next couple of weeks, I had to compare and contrast the most popular study materials to make sure I'm properly prepared. Of course, Cisco Press was the best option. I would recommend getting Cisco Press books for Cisco Certs. People complain that it is dry material at times, but it educational reading, not leisure.
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