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CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide Paperback – October 25, 2014
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About the Author
An accomplished author and professional trainer, Darril Gibson has authored or coauthored more than 30 books. He holds many current IT certifications including: CompTIA A+, Network+, Security+, CASP, (ISC)2 SSCP, CISSP, MCDST (XP), MCTS, MCSA, MCSE, MCITP, and ITIL Foundations. He is the CEO of YCDA, LLC (short for You Can Do Anything) and actively teaches, writes, and consults on a wide variety of IT topics with a strong focus on IT security.
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Top customer reviews
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TIP: If you plan to purchase this book for the Air Force you should do so a week or so before the class starts ;)
First off let me say the one star I gave this book has nothing to do with the material in the book, but the quality.
The book I received must have been some sort of defect as 3/4 of an inch was missing from the top of the book. This cut off all page numbers and headers for all the pages. This made it terribly difficult to reference chapters and certain sections of the book. Also a day into reading it the binding started giving out (shown in picture) I read plenty of books to know this does not usually happen. Unfortunately I only had 10 days to study for this test (Air Force) and did not have the time to send it back for a replacement.
As for the study material written by Darril Gibson, All I can say is if you buy one book to study with it should be this one. Great book, just hopefully you do not get a defect like mine.
I like how the author didn't get overly technical in explanations, because with the stupid CompTIA test, technical knowledge really doesn't matter. It's about how much of the semantics you can memorize like acronyms and their definitions - not so much a knowledge of the actual working concepts of these protocols, etc. I believe this book has a lof of fluff, white space, and padding pages as well. If the author just took the time to abridge the book and boil it down to the core items and definitions, port and protocols, etc. it would have been a more lean read.
To understand where I'm coming from, you need to have taken one of these horrible test before. The test doesn't test your knowledge as an IT professional - they're not even designed to test your knowledge on the material - they're designed to make you struggle and fail so that CompTIA can sell you re-test vouchers at an inflated price, and keep people paying out to them. If the test was there to test your actual understanding, and knowledge of the material, they would take the effort to write questions in a manner that challenged that knowledge. Instead they write horribly-worded, cryptic questions that confuse even long-term IT professionals. CompTIA as a company has one job: certify people via tests and issue certificates. They have no overhead as a company. They basically just have to produce decent questions in a test, and store passing names in a database. This is not a high tech thing. I could accomplish the same thing using an Excel spreadsheet and printed paper tests at $300/test and make tons of money. The problem is that CompTIA doesn't profit MORE by asking decent questions and having more people pass on the first try based on actual knowledge. They need people to fail. They also realized recently that issuing "lifetime" certs isn't a viable business model for maximum income - which is why all of a sudden these certs are all CE. Now you have to pay $150 every 3 years to renew by earning CE credits elsewhere, or pay $300 to just take the test again. It's a money trap, because they know people need these for certain IT roles.
Anyways. Having taken the test recently, I can tell you it's a confusing, poorly worded mess. Good luck using actual knowledge to pass. This book is a decent starting point, and really only covers maybe 50-60% of the material you'll see on the test, but it won't help you easily answer questions. Even with the material covered, you'll still be scratching your head trying to figure out what answer they're looking for. Honestly, I don't know how much HONEST studying is going to help with these awful tests, but PLEASE DO NOT RELY ON THIS BOOK AS YOUR SOLE STUDY MATERIAL. It's helpful in a pinch as a refresher, but it will only help you potentially answer questions based on the material given.
Updated: I changed my review to 4-stars, from 3. Used the book, found it easy to read and understand, passed my Security+ exam first time. There are a few errors, but the author seems to be aware of them all and updated the e-version of the book. Easily to email him, as well. If you are a newbie or beginner to this field, I found the book to be easy to read and understand, and a lot cheaper than a lot of other books out there.