Customer Reviews: CCNA Cisco Certified Network Associate Study Guide, 7th Edition
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on April 7, 2011
After trying to prepare for the CCNA on my own I came to the conclusion that I needed a book if I were going to understand the material enough to receive my CCNA. Having seen Wendells books score high ratings I was going to purchase one of his until I read some of the excerpts from his book. With all due respect to Wendell his books were simply too dry for me. Then I checked out Lammle and discovered his books read as if somebody is actually talking to you, as if you're in a conversation with someone. Having purchased this book it's as immersive as reading a good story and you're learning the whole time.

Todd Lammle fully understands what Cisco expects you to know for your CCNA exam and the seller point for me is the fact that Lammle actually has a gift for teaching it. His book doesn't read as if hes just reguritating information to you but instead he writes to actually make sure you're understanding the material. (I've had professors in college teaching CCNA classes that couldn't do this. And for the record, this book is leaps and bounds better than any college class I've had on Cisco related information). Even if at some point he comes out of nowhere with new material he'll warn you about it and then he'll cover it later in depth. I have never at any point felt overwhelmed with the information in the book and he starts with the fundamentals, the building blocks of networking and goes in depth from there.

At the end of every chapter he'll have exam essays, written labs, and review questions to really make sure you understand the material (along with the CD provided). And to prove Todd wants you to know the material he even has a website you can go to and ask him questions on topics you don't fully understand, or if you feel he might be wrong about something in his book you can talk to him about it. If fact, if you check out other Lammle books on Amazon, you can see he comments on reviews left by others. That to me shows someone who's really dedicated to teaching the material and is someone I have a lot of respect for these days.

I absolutely recommend this study guide. You'll learn so much.
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on July 8, 2011
I just wanted to say that I purchased the Kindle edition of this book and studied for about a month before I took the test. While I was working through one of the example simulations in the book, I was having difficulty getting the network to work correctly. I emailed the author, Mr. Lammle, and he responded back the same day with the answer. Since I had purchased the Kindle edition, I did not have all the bonus materials that came on the CD with the hardback. After I sent Mr. Lammle my receipt, he emailed me digital copies of all the extras. I passed the test on the first try. I just wanted to say that the book was thorough and complete and the author very helpful.
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on September 20, 2011
Let me begin by saying that I have a stack of books consisting of practically every bit of CCNA prep material in existence in which to compare this book to. I realized after reading Todd's book that I could have saved myself a TON of money if this book would have been my first purchase. Not only have I been preparing for the CCNA exam by self-study, I have also completed the Cisco Networking Academy at my college so I've seen my share of thousands of dollars worth of Cisco material.

I loved this book from the minute I opened it. Todd has an incredible knack for explaining subject matter that can be very dull and dry at times when transferred to the printed page. Todd Lammle transfers his wealth of knowledge into literature that actually makes sense! The language is laid back, as if a very intelligent friend was explaining routers and switches to you in person. I spent many months before purchasing this book rereading subject matter which took him all of about one second to make clear to me. Summarization and wildcard masks are explained in a way that is surprisingly simple.

The order in which Todd explains subject matter is remarkably sensible. His chapters are in the chronological order in which you should be introduced to your material. There is no useless fluff, either. Every bit of subject matter in the book is practical and useable.

After reading this book you will be very well-versed in routing protocols, switching, ACLs, VLANs, STP, etc. His labs are a great help. Make sure you do them all and get lots of hands-on practice. You will find that the practice material in this book is an invaluable asset to you.

If you are planning on taking the one or two test route, this book is for you. You must have perfect your skills in subnetting and this book will help you prepare with subnetting explained in simple terms. One of the greatest gifts from my investment in this book was the ability to subnet very quickly in my head, which you must do in order to pass the Cisco exams.

This is the first book review I have written. I owe it to Todd to give him his five stars even though he deserves so much more. I took the ICND1 last year and passed but waited a year to take the ICND2. I found that after reading Todd's book and receiving an email of encouragement from him personally before I took the test, that my nerves were under control and I was excited and looking forward to taking the INCD2. I walked into ICND2 with much more confidence than I had on the first test. I also walked out with a passing score on the first try and a smile on my face. Thanks, Todd Lammle, you're the man!!!
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on December 13, 2012
I like Todd Lammle, and overall, I like his CCNA book. His approach is very casual, as many have said. It is written as though he is talking to you, and that does hold one's attention better. If you are brand new to networking, or just have Net+ level knowledge, then this is a great choice to bring your personal knowledge up.

That said, if you are using this book as your sole resource to study for, take, and pass the CCNA, you will be obliterated....even if you are in a Cisco networking profession. The problem is that the information provided in this book, while again, excellent for increasing and familiarizing yourself beyond Net+, is not enough alone to get you through the actual difficulty and content of the test.

I began studying with this book 3 years into my network engineering career (mind you, I do not have a technical academic background, and found this passion post-college). I read this book cover-to-cover, highlighting anything I found remotely important. I then re-read the book a 2nd time immediately, mostly the information I highlighted on my first read, being sure to ask mentors anything I was uncertain about. There are 1-3 assessment tests after every chapter. I took every test in the book until I passed all of them 100%.

Because the CCNA has such a punishing failure rate (88% chance you will fail the first attempt), and costs $300 each attempt, I felt I had better be safe and pick up a few more resources; CCNA Exam Cram by Jeremy Cioara, for example. Right away I noticed the assessment tests were much more challenging than Todd's tests, and was failing most sections (by Cisco's standards, which is anything below 86% correct). I did the same thing with Jeremy's book - Practiced all 330 questions until I understood the "why?" for each and could consistently pass by Cisco's standards.

But then I was faced with a thought; If Todd's book isn't enough, what if Jeremy's isn't enough also? Due to this, I chose to find and complete more practice tests/crams, and while the increased difficulty slope wasn't quite as high from Jeremy's material to this material as Todd's to Jeremy's was, it was still enough that I was scoring under 86% again (78% on average). Did the same thing here. Took these tests hundreds of times, referencing Todd's book, Jeremy's book and mentor advice on anything I got wrong, and scheduled the test after I could pass 100% of all test material I had accumulated.

I passed in March of 2012 on my first try, after about a year of non-stop study and 4 years on the job experience. My point in all of this; There is no "1" piece of material that will solely prepare you to pass the CCNA. This exam is a ton of work and requires multiple resources. Expect to spend $100-$300 on resource material (plus the $300 to take the test) if you want to competently pass. It will pay for itself when you land the job you wouldn't have before being certified.

In closing, Todd's book is an excellent preliminary/1st step in beginning the CCNA study/comprehension process. Purchase it, read it twice, take the assessments hundreds of times. Purchase the Cisco Press CCNA book by Wendell it once, take the assessments until you can pass them all. Purchase 2-3 practice test resources WITH EXPLANATIONS, and take every one until you can consistently pass all the material you own. Then schedule the test, and you should pass on the first try. I cannot stress enough that you find references with explanations for the questions; It doesn't do you much good if you don't know "why" an answer is wrong.

Back to my original thought though, if you just want to casually increase your knowledge with no plans to take the test or just have some standard-issue reference material on hand, then this is the best material available.
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on April 11, 2011
Please read this: The new 7th edition CCNA Book by Todd Lammle does not come with an electronic PDF on the CD. I looked all over the books cover and introduction and it never said that there is one, so I emailed Wiley support. They informed me that none of their books will ship with the electronic version from now on, and that if you want the e-book version then you'll have to buy that version. So before you buy this book, make sure you are buying the version you are looking for as Amazon has both versions for sale. I did end up buying both versions myself, and I feel that I've made a great investment. Having said that, the new version of Todd Lammle's CCNA Study Guide makes reading and understanding Cisco a breeze. I have been in the networking field for two years and I finally decided to go for my certification. After reading many forums, I then asked my co-workers, and the name Todd Lammle came up every time as the recommended book and study products from them all. You can tell from the get-go that Todd Lammle has been in the field himself for a long time, and seeing how he explains the concepts with such clarity, and the specific examples of what is involved in network administration - all helped to expand my hands-on-knowledge and build foundation. The written labs, exam essentials sections, along with review questions, answers and explanations at the end of each chapter are very convenient to make sure you understand the "important exam topics". I like the flash cards on the CD, as well as the bonus exams. I've also noticed extra chapters and a Final Sim Exam on the CD, but I haven't read those yet as I am still learning the basics. Well written, easy to read - I love it! Two thumbs way up on this book!
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on August 29, 2011
This author claims to be the guru of Cisco certifications...well that's somewhat true. I've bought 3 CCNA books as should anyone, this book is flat out the best compared to the other two but he doesn't explain certain things as much as he could while in other areas it seems a little over kill. It's impossible to please the mass, so I fully understand that. I read on a forum which is totally true that he does come off as condescending in some parts of the book which I started picking up after I was told about it... other than that, you cannot go wrong with buying this. The CD is limited to say the least in what it comes with compared to other IT books that come with free software. With all of that said, if I had to suggest a single book to someone getting their CCNA, it would be this book!
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on May 26, 2012
It worked. I passed the test from studying this book.

It's VERY easy to read compared to the Cisco Press book and the review questions really give you an idea of your weaknesses. The flash cards and CD material are also awesome. I passed the test easily.

-Adam, CCNA
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on October 14, 2011
I have 5 months of network admin experience and a 2 year degree in networking... just so you know where I'm coming from. The only material I used for actually studying for the cert was this book and some packet tracer labs I found on the cisco forums. I scored VERY high on the 640-802. It's tough to say if one book alone could prepare you for the cert if you have no prior experience or knowledge of networking, but if there is one, this is it! As most other reviewers will agree, it's amazing how well Todd explains subnetting and how easy he makes it. That was probably my favorite chapter of the book. This book definitely deserves 5 stars and was the main reason I did so well on my exam. Thanks for such a great book Todd... and good luck to everyone else trying to become CCNAs!
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on December 26, 2011
We determined that the print and Kindle copies of this book have different content. I know I'm "breaking the rules" with this review by referring to a previous review. I think it's justified in this case. Thanks to Daniel's review, we looked into the errors for answers for some problems in Chapter 5 and found the following:

1. Based on the published errata list at the Sybex site, the print copy I purchased in Dec 2011 is at least "print run 3".

2. As of Dec 2011, the Kindle edition is apparently equal to "print run 1". The copy Daniel downloaded has errors in answers to Chapter 5 problems, and the free sample I downloaded from Amazon has an error in the answers for a Chapter 1 problem. According to the errata at the Sybex site, both were fixed after print run 1.

So, regardless of whether you buy a Kindle copy or print copy of the 7th edition, check the errata at the Sybex site. Using the errata for the problems in Chapter 5 is a good way to determine what print run you have.

As for my review of the book's actual content - I think Lammle's book is much easier to read than Odom's two-book CCNA set, although I like Odom's better because he provides additional detail. If I could afford only one or the other, I'd buy Lammle's book. Be aware though, if you're a Linux or Mac gal or guy, that the programs he includes on CD are Windows-only. Haven't tried them with wine (the program...).
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on March 21, 2012
I just went through the cisco academy which was devided into 4 classes. I probably learned more from reading this book than from all four classes. This book just explains switching and routing in a more simplified way. Great Book.
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