Cisco CCNA Primer
4.1 (22 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
705 students enrolled

Cisco CCNA Primer

Everything you need to learn BEFORE you start the Cisco CCNA.
4.1 (22 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
705 students enrolled
Created by How To Network
Last updated 12/2014
English [Auto]
Current price: $13.99 Original price: $19.99 Discount: 30% off
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30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
This course includes
  • 7 hours on-demand video
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • Understand how TCP/IP operates
  • Configure VLANs and trunks
  • Configure routing protocols and static routing
  • Understand IPv4 and IPv6 addressing
  • Carry out basic subnetting and summarization
  • Secure a switch and router
  • Understand network cables and topologies
  • Have an interest in Cisco networking
  • Have access to Cisco equipment, Packet Tracer or GNS3

Every year many thousands of students embark upon their studies towards the coveted Cisco CCNA exam. Most give up along the way. Of those who actually take the exam, only half will actually pass. What goes wrong?

This is the question IT expert and the best selling author of 'Cisco CCNA in 60 Days' and 'Cisco CCNA Simplified' Paul Browning asked himself and spent years researching. He found after speaking to hundreds of IT students that most quit in frustration because they find the subjects both difficult and overwhelming and they felt under prepared for the task ahead.

The CCNA is not an exam for beginners. Even the CompTIA Network+ may not sufficiently prepare you for the new style CCNA exam. Cisco have made it tougher than ever with the introduction of advanced subjects such as Spanning Tree Protocol, IPv6, OSPFv3 and many more which previously were part of the advanced Cisco CCNP syllabus!

What has been lacking is a foundational course you can take to cover all the subjects Cisco leave out from the CCNA but you simply must understand if you are to tackle the exam. Subjects such as TCP/IP, network cabling and basic router and switch configuration. If you are considering taking the Cisco CCNA exam and want to give yourself a huge head start then this is the course for you.

You will learn valuable information you can put to use when you study for the CCNA as well as learn tips and tricks you can put to use on a live network.

If you want to avoid months of frustrating study and wasted time then this course will help you accelerate your understanding and give you a valuable edge if you decide to progress to the Cisco CCNA next.

Who this course is for:
  • Anyone considering taking the Cisco CCNA exam
  • Students studying the CCNA but finding it hard
  • Beginners who want to find out if they enjoy Cisco networking
  • If you never took the CompTIA Network+ and want to fill in knowledge gaps
Course content
Expand all 60 lectures 07:07:13
+ About the Cisco CCNA
11 lectures 01:43:21

The CCNA is a highly sought after qualification by both employers and IT engineers. Find out more about this exciting certification and why you should consider taking it.

What is the Cisco CCNA?

The CCNA is a hard exam so make sure you are familiar with the structure and requirements before you start studying.

The CCNA Exam Format

There is a right and a wrong way to prepare for your CCNA. Here's what works.

Whats the Best Way to Prepare?

Hands-on pracitse is essential to your exam success. Here is how to get some valuable router and switch time.

How to Build a CCNA Home Lab

Some stuff you will need in order to get the most out of your exam study time.

CCNA Preparation Materials

Make sure you put your CCNA to good use and think about where you want your career to go to in the next year or two.

After the CCNA

We have a free virtual machine version of GNS3. This video shows you how to install it. Please bear in mind that we do not support it. Visit website for support.

How to Install the GNS3 Virtual Cisco Rack

You must have your own IOS version to use with GNS3. Get it from Cisco systems or from a router you have at home.

Adding the Cisco IOS to GNS3
Building a CCNA Home Lab - Part 1

Second part of the how to build a home lab training.

Building a CCNA Home Lab - Part 2

Some hands-on time. Let's look at how to connect to a router for the first time and find your way around the IOS commands.

Preview 11:18
+ Network Fundamentals
10 lectures 01:21:53

Networks can consist of hundreds of device types but here are the most common ones you will encounter.

Common Network Devices

Which cables go where and what sort of service can you expect from them?

Network Cables and Connectors

It's not just there for decoration. The OSI is an entire framework for internetwork communication.

Preview 07:50

TCP is the defacto standard for internet communications. Learn more about the model here.

The TCP Model

Understanding TCP ports and services is essential if you are to cut it as a network admin. Learn about the most common ones here.

TCP/IP Protocols and Services

A topology is how you set the network out both physically and logically. Here are the most common options.


The LAN side is where you will spend much of your time as a network admin. Here are some LAN technologies.

LAN Technologies

A brief look at a few common network appliances in case you encounter them.

Network Appliances

You need to know your way around the inside of a router as well as the various memory types and purpose.

Inside a Cisco Router

Hands-on time again. Let's look at how ARP works as well as some telnet and a PING output.

Preview 09:33
+ Layer 2 Technologies
5 lectures 35:02

Understanding VLANs is the cornerstone of your network skillset so let's learn what they are and how they work.

Preview 06:37

STP protects your LAN from terrible broadcast issues due to multiple paths being available to traffic. STP will make your life much easier so you need to understand it.

Spanning Tree Protocol

The Cisco 2960 is the model currently tested in the CCNA exam. It's a very versatile switch so let's have a look at it.

The Cisco 2960 Switch

Learn how to configure VLANs on your 2960 switch.


Building on the previous labs, we now add hosts to the VLAN and configure a trunk link between two switches.

LAB - Trunking and VLANs
+ IP Addressing and Subnetting
5 lectures 37:32

All networks communicate using TCP/IP and the addressing format currently used is IPv4 for hosts and interfaces. Here we look at IPv4 addressing basics.

IPv4 Addressing

Subnetting is a subject which seems to confuse most IT students. Here we look at what it is and how to make it seem easy.

Easy Subnetting

IPv6 is currently in use on many networks and will eventually replace IPv4. Here we look at the basics of this addressing scheme.

IPv6 Primer

Many networks suffer from a lack of planning making growth a painful process. Without proper planning you will have high network usage, CPU utilization and excessively big routing tables.

Planning IP Addresses

Keeping your addressing system neat and tidy is a sign of a good engineer. Here is how you do it.

Route Summarization
+ Routing Concepts and Protocols
8 lectures 56:05

Let's look at the basics of why and how we route on networks.

Routing Concepts

Routing protocols exist to help us move traffic from A to Z along the most efficient path. But they all work differently.

Routing Protocols

This is a beginners guide to configuring basic router parameters.

Configuring the Router

Static routing is where the network administrator sets where the traffic goes. You can use it alone or along with dynamic routing.

Static routing

RIP is no longer in the CCNA syllabus but it's a great way for us to configure our first dynamic routing protocol.

LAB - Configuring RIP

EIGRP is a highly robust routing protocol used on many enterprise networks. Let's look at how to configure it.

LAB - Configuring EIGRP

OSPF is used on small to very large network the world over. Here is how to configure it.

LAB - Configuring OSPF
+ Network Security and Appliances
9 lectures 51:00

After NAT and subnetting, ACLs are the hardest subject for IT students to master. Here we look at what they do.

Access Lists

Authenticating users is how networks decide who gets access and who doesn't. You have several options.

User Authentication

Firewalls run lists of rules deciding who can and who cannot pass into your network. They can filter on IP addreses, ports, protcols and much more.

Firewalls and DMZ

We dig into some more advanced security concepts.

Tunneling, Encryption and Remote Access

There are several appliences we can use to harden our networks. Here are a few.

Security Appliances
Switch Security

Standard ACLs are the easiest to configure however they can only block source networks or hosts.

LAB - Standard Access Lists

Extended ACLs give you far more options but you will find them a bit tricky.

LAB - Extended Access Lists

Named ACLs can be standard or extended. The syntax is slighly different.

LAB - Named Access Lists
+ Network Services
8 lectures 37:12

Understanding CDP will help you with troubleshooting and your day-do-day role as a Cisco engineer.

Cisco Discovery Protocol

NAT is another tricky subject but the more you do it the more you will understand it.

Network Address Translation

Both logging and NTP are used on most networks so you need to understand them.

Logging and NTP

SNMP is used to monitor and manage devices and can make your life a lot easier.


DHCP is used to allocate IP information to hosts and it automates much of the boring work you would have to do manually otherwise.


You will need to use static NAT if you have hosts which need to use the same IP address continually such as an FTP server.

LAB - Configure Static NAT

NAT pools are used in most networks so let's configure one.

LAB - NAT Pool

Cisco Discovery Protocol lab.

+ Wide Area Networks
3 lectures 15:51

Frame relay has become somewhat of a legacy technology. It is however, still in the CCNA exam so we need to understand it.

Frame Relay

Common WAN connection types as well as Virtual Private Networks.

WANs and VPNs

We configure a PPP connection and add CHAP authentication.

+ Troubleshooting
1 lecture 09:17

Some basic troubleshooting methods and steps.

Router and Switch Troubleshooting