5 Free Study Resources for the CompTIA Network+ Exam
[This post was originally published on February 2nd 2016 and last updated on February 20th 2019.]
Studying for the CompTIA Network+ exam can be daunting. Whether you’re in a class or self studying, learning from multiple resources is a great way to enhance information retention and solidify your understanding of new concepts.
First, you should consider using our free CompTIA Network+ study guide. Not only are you getting a list of critical topics to review, you get a look into what it’s like to take a CompTIA exam, study tips, and practice questions.
As someone that enjoys taking the self study route, I often seek out free resources to give me more insight into whatever topic I happen to be learning about. I’m currently studying for Network+, so I thought it would be helpful to share what I’ve found. Here are some of the most useful resources I’ve come across in my studies.
Professor Messer YouTube Videos for Network+
One of my personal favorite free resources for Network+ is Professor Messer’s YouTube videos. He puts notes on the screen while explaining topics. While I don’t recommend this as a comprehesive study solution, it is a fantastic supplement to self-study and training.
Professor Messer also broadcasts live streams on YouTube once a month for Network+ students, as well as other CompTIA certifications. These are totally free and interactive. He answers questions from students, gives sample questions, and explains in detail why a particular answer is correct.
Network+ sub-forum on CertForums
Online communities can be a great place to get information. CertForums.com has a Network+ sub-forum that’s filled with all kinds of info. Here you can find fellow students, as well as people who passed the exam already. It’s very helpful to talk to someone who has actually passed the exam, especially if you have questions that you can’t seem to find the answers to. Don’t be scared off by mischievous forum members, just remember to keep your wits about you and be on the lookout for the occasional misinformation.
Eli the Computer Guy
This is another one of my go to sources for tech information and tutorials. Eli has a great series of videos on YouTube covering a wide variety of topics, and of course among them is networking. While Eli doesn’t specifically cover Network+ exams, he discusses the relevant topics. If you’re looking for a list of what’s on Network+, look through the other resources. If you want a thorough explanation of a topic you’ve been struggling with, this is your guy.
My Network+ Exam Challenges
I’m pretty much through all the material for Network+ and feeling confident. When I first started, I had two main areas of difficulty – numbering conversions and subnetting. These go hand in hand. So you’ll want to make sure you understand conversions. Numbering conversions are also useful when you want to simplify routing tables. Don’t skimp on this section. It may come back to haunt you later.
It’s also important to be able to perform these calculations by hand. You won’t be allowed to use a calculator on the exam. So if you aren’t the best at math, make sure you brush up on those long division and multiplication skills. Also, developing your mental math skills can go a long way in saving you time and building your confidence in approaching questions requiring such calculations. These topics would take far too much space to explain to you in a single blog post, so I’ve linked you to some of the material that helped me understand these concepts.
Binary to Decimal
One of the best explanations I’ve ever heard of this comes from Phoenix TS instructor Rose Asataku. Her method is easy to understand and straight to the point. I actually sat in on this class, and learned how to do these conversions in about ten minutes.
If you’re unfamiliar with hexadecimal, it can look a little scary at first, but it’s actually quite simple. As I mentioned before, Professor Messer is one of my favorite resources for Network+ information.
When you are ready to tackle subnetting, start with IPv4 and really get a handle on it. Once more I have to refer you to Professor Messer:
Once you’ve got a handle on IPv4 subnetting, you may as well hop on to IPv6 subnetting to know differences between IPv4 vs IPv6.
Study Tips for the Network+ Exam
When preparing for your exam, look over the topics and review your weakest area first. Use flash cards to memorize material you find the most challenging. There are software tools, such as Anki cards, that help with studying.
Most importantly, don’t memorize facts/sample questions. You want to fully understand the concepts behind them to be able to think on your feet and figure out the answer to unexpected questions on the exam. This kind of thinking serves to make you a better employee and more successful in your career!