The following are the major points from the video “Animated CompTIA Network+ Certification Training Video,” from PowerCert. The video covered a broad range of topics which are summarized in the order in which they were presented.

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The video began with network topologies, from the simplest, peer-to-peer, to hybrid, point-to-point, and client-server typologies. The key point was to select the typology according to need: the number of users, the need for robustness, and the need for sharing resources. Following the topologies was a section on connectors. Most of them were familiar, but it was interesting to know that APC has replaced UPC and causes less signal loss. In the section on cable standards, the explanation of a plenum was helpful, including the requirement that cable passing through a plenum must be fire resistant and must not release toxic fumes when burned. The IEEE 1901-2013 standard had Ethernet over HDMI, which was not familiar, and Ethernet over power line, which could be very useful. The video was keeping it basic and did not mention that Ethernet over power line could not be used if the equipment was not all on the same circuit, something I discovered on my own. The key point from this section was to be sure to know exactly what kind of cable was being used, and the maximum length before signal attenuation becomes a problem.

In the part about firewalls, it was helpful when it was explained that the IDS/IPS (Intrusion Detection System/Intrusion Prevention System) is placed between the Internet and the firewall. Knowing the default is Implicit Deny was also helpful. The key point here was that firewalls and IDS/IPS are essential for safety, and enabling a firewall on one computer would not protect other systems on the network, for which a network based firewall should be used. The wiring standards were important because diagnosing problems could depend on correctly identifying which cable configuration is in use. The description of the media types again made clear that the maximum length is an important factor to keep in mind when selecting a cable.

The descriptions of network components showed how data travels over multiple devices, each with their own strengths and drawbacks. Knowing the difference between a hub and a switch means being able to take advantage of the switch’s “intelligence.” And the use of the Spanning Tree Protocol and bridges to avoid loops and reduce network traffic are important key points when designing a network. The survey of wireless technologies had the key point that the newer technologies, such as 802.11n and 802.11ac, are many times faster than the older technologies, which should not be considered for new installations. The description of the MAC address was familiar, while the overview of the OSI Model was brief but informative and could help with troubleshooting.

The discussion of IP addresses was a little behind the times since IPv6 is the official standard now. There is a lot of IPv4 equipment in use though, so the information on IP4 was still useful. Creating a subnet is a common task, and knowing the steps to do it was a key point here. IP addressing covered how IP addresses are assigned, dynamic vs. manual, the key being to be able to read an IP address and deduce basic information about it. In the section on TCP/IP protocols, it was key to know which protocols are not secure (FTP, HTTP, and Telnet) and which are secure (SFTP, HTTPS, and SSH). Networking services showed how addressing worked, particularly SNAT, static NAT, which is not needed often but is very useful when it is needed. The key point of this section was to grasp how addresses are encoded and decoded to get information to the correct destination. It was the same with Routing Protocols, the key point there being that BGP has replaced RIP and RIP2. Under WAN Technologies, the key point was that new technologies like WIMAX will replace older technologies. It is important to be aware of the latest technology as they change so quickly. The network types have not changed much recently, except the addition of the PAN, the personal network using Bluetooth. For Remote Access Protocols, services such as PPPoE seem less necessary now that dialup modems are less common. The information on Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) was important though, as working remotely from the office is popular while companies are acutely concerned about security. The description of Authentication protocols was brief but touched on the important protocols, such as Radius and EAP.

In the section on Networking Tools & Safety, the description of tools was informative but the key point was the message about avoiding ESD, electrostatic discharge. ESD can do so much damage without the technician even being aware of it until it is too late. In Cloud & Virtualization, cloud computing is the current trend. The key in that part was to be aware of range of cloud services available, from IAAS to PAAS to SAAS. Wiring Distribution was brief but gave some essential terminology. Similarly, VLAN & Intranet/Extranet was short but defined the terms. In Optimization & Fault Tolerance, the bandwidth shaper and load balancer were optimizers, while backup services, disaster recovery, offsite storage, and hot and cold spaces dealt with fault tolerance. The key point was that all the latest technology is useless if nothing is working. Planning for problems is vital to maintaining a network. Security Protocols touched on the main protocols, but without much detail. The information for SOHO Routers is commonplace to anyone who has set up a home network. The survey of network utilities gave a good look at the software tools available to the technician. Networking Issues covered some issues that might be overlooked, such as using the wrong encryption or a fiber type mismatch. The final section on Troubleshooting Steps was very basic, but it is always good to be reminded of the basics, especially when it can be a pressure situation.

This video had some good reviews of important principles and also brought me up to date on technological advances. The survey of connectors and cables was particularly useful, as these are encountered all the time.