The Best Study Resources for the Cisco CCNA

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Are you ready to start on your path toward earning your Cisco CCENT or CCNA?  We’ve reviewed a lot of study guides, videos, books and other resources, and these are the resources we’ve found to be the most helpful when it comes to preparing for and passing the Cisco CCENT and CCNA.

These are the Top Video Courses Available for the Cisco CCNA

There are many video courses available online that cover the Cisco CCENT and CCNA content, including resources available on Udemy and YouTube.  Some are fairly good and some are incomplete, but the best of the best that I’ve found are the three listed below. Since your study time is limited and valuable, you should focus your study efforts on these resources.

Recommended Video Course #1:  Kevin Wallace’s CCNA Routing and Switching.  Kevin Wallace is a CCIE who produces a good bit of material for Cisco Press in the realm of the CCNA Routing and Switching certification prep.  His video series is very thorough and as entertaining as you can make a topic such as this. This video series costs $800 or more directly from Cisco, but you can get full access to this video series, and hundreds more, with a subscription to O’Reilly’s Safari Books Online.

Recommended Video Course #2:  Wendell Odom’s CCNA ICND2 200-105 Exam Prep video course.  Wendell Odom is another big contributor to Cisco Press’ CCNA Routing and Switching content.  You should use Kevin Wallace’s video course to learn the material for the exam, but this video course from Odom is a great supplement because the course’s two main sections cover the mistakes that people make on the exam and practice questions for the exam.  This video series can be purchased directly from Cisco, but you can get full access to this video course for much cheaper with a subscription to O’Reilly’s Safari Books Online.

These are the Top Books Available for the Cisco CCNA

In addition to watching a video series above, you should also read the content that is covered on the exam.  These are the best printed resources available that we’ve found for the Cisco CCENT and CCNA.

Recommended Book # 1:  Wendell Odom’s CCENT/CCNA ICND1 and ICND2 Official Cert Guide.  Wendell Odom is the predominant author for Cisco Press that covers the Cisco CCNA Routing and Switching exam, and his book available here on Amazon (By using this affiliate link, I may earn a small commission) is the standard for certification preparation, since it comes directly from Cisco Press.  The writing is well done and understandable, and is similar in style to what you would see on the certification exam, since Cisco wrote that also.

Recommend Book #2:  Matt Day’s CCENT Troubleshooting Guide.  Yes, this is my book, but it’s the best book on the troubleshooting exam objectives for the CCENT (ICND1) exam out there.  It includes exercises that cover every troubleshooting exam objective on the CCENT in more detail than other resources, so it’s a great supplement to Wendell Odom’s Official Cert Guide.  You can pick it up on Amazon here.  (By using this affiliate link, I may earn a small commission.)

Recommend Book #3:  Scott Empson’s CCNA Routing and Switching Portable Command Guide.  Also from Cisco Press, Empson’s guide includes all of the commands that you need when configuring Cisco equipment to meet the CCNA Routing and Switching exam objectives.  It is a smaller book, designed for portability, what is a great reference if you’re working on real equipment or in Packet Tracer.  Amazon has this book available here.  (By using this affiliate link, I may earn a small commission.)

Additional Items You Need to Prepare for the Cisco CCNA

Now that we have the video courses and textbooks covered, we should discuss the last few items that will help you earn your CCNA.  If you’ve covered the material above, the last step for you will be to get hands on experience with a lab environment on real equipment, or as a second option, a simulator.  Cybrary’s Insider Pro subscription covers all kinds of cyber security material, but it also includes a batch of labs for the Cisco CCNA.

Another option which I advise, and have done myself, it is purchase used equipment on a site such as eBay.  You can find reputable dealers on eBay that are selling fully functioning used equipment that will really help you learn the configuration objectives on the exam.  If you do purchase your own equipment, look for router models such as the 2911 (available here on Amazon) (By using this affiliate link, I may earn a small commission) and switch models, such as 2960 (available here on Amazon), (By using this affiliate link, I may earn a small commission) with the highest version of the IOS operating system that you can find.

Matt Day

Matt Day

Matt Day is a cybersecurity professional with over twenty years of experience in the IT, cybersecurity and technology training fields. He has a degree in Computer Information Science and CompTIA A+, Network+, Security+, Server+, CySA+, and Cisco CCNA certifications. Matt is the author of the book CCENT Troubleshooting Guide.