In this course, you will learn the basics of networking, including hardware such as hubs, switches, routers, cables and connectors as well as the concepts of networking such as IP and MAC addresses, Local Area Networks (LANs), subnet masks, TCP vs. UDP vs. ICMP and more.


  • Introduction to networking Video — 00:07:58
    • You’ll never understand the power of the Internet without first starting at the most basic form of networking: the Local Area Network (LAN). LANs use a central piece of hardware to interconnect individual devices, transferring data from one system to anot

  • Hubs vs switches Video — 00:04:29
    • The central box that connects devices on our LANs has gone through many advancements over the years. Whether hubs or switches, a good tech understands the function and features of these boxes in our LANs.

  • Hexadecimal Video — 00:06:57
    • Hexadecimal numbering uses a base-16 system that’s very convenient for IT techs. It’s important to look at a hex value and understand the equivalent binary value.

  • WANs and routers Video — 00:09:04
    • When a router connects two or more LANs, it creates a Wide Area Network. To understand WANs, it’s critical to understand routers and how they use logical addressing.

  • Cables and connectors Video — 00:11:20
    • Networking uses many different types of cables such as coaxial, twisted pair, and even fiber-optic. These different cables use special connectors and a good tech should recognize the different cables and their connectors.

  • Crimping cables Video — 00:09:52
    • CompTIA doesn’t expect you to prove you can crimp your own cables, but it does expect you to understand the crimping process. Additionally, you must know EIA standards for crimping cables.

  • Structured cabling Video — 00:12:13
    • Structured cabling is the process of installing and organizing cable systems to ensure long term, reliable connections. While CompTIA doesn’t want you to be a cable installer, a good tech understands structured cabling and can work with installers.

  • Network card troubleshooting Video — 00:09:14
    • Network hardware failures are often challenging to diagnose and repair. Good techs know a few simple tools and procedures to get networks back up and running quickly.

  • Introduction to TCP/IP Video — 00:14:10
    • The Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) is the cornerstone of Internet addressing and routing. It’s important to understand IP addressing schemes and to see how TCP and IP work together to make the Internet work.

  • Network IDs and subnet masks Video — 00:04:35
    • IP addressing was designed from the ground up for flexibility in supporting LANs and WANs of any size. The first step towards understanding this flexibility is to understand Network IDs and how they interact with a subnet mask to get packets delivered to

  • Special IP addresses Video — 00:09:14
    • The designers of IP addressing reserved many IP addresses for special uses. From loopback to private IP addresses, a good tech understands these special addresses as well as when and how to use them.

  • Network address translation (NAT) Video — 00:07:11
    • You’d be hard pressed to find a home or small office router that isn’t using Network Address Translation (NAT). NAT provides some amazing benefits but also has some serious limitations.

  • Dynamic IP addressing Video — 00:09:39
    • Manually entering IP addresses into all our devices is an administrative nightmare. To avoid this mess, smart techs use the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) to automatically provide IP addressing to individual hosts.

  • IPv6 Video — 00:06:53
    • The traditional IP addressing scheme (called IPv4) is quickly being replaced with the much more advanced IPv6 scheme. IPv6 adds several benefits over IPv4 and good techs know how to use it in our systems.

  • Port numbers Video — 00:11:41
    • An IP address directs a packet to the right computer, but it’s the port number that makes a connection between two applications on separate systems. It’s critical to understand how port numbers do their job and to memorize many special port numbers.

  • TCP, UDP and ICMP Video — 00:05:47
    • TCP is the most popular IP protocol, but it isn’t the only one. User Datagram Protocol (UDP) and Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) both serve important purposes and features that techs need to understand.

  • Working with connections Video — 00:09:02
    • When two computers begin the process of sharing data, they create what we call a connection (or session). A good tech knows how to use common utilities to observe these connections and diagnose issues.

  • Understanding DNS Video — 00:10:56
    • Individual hosts use IP addresses, but humans are terrible at memorizing long strings of numbers. To make our lives easier, most TCP/IP networks (and certainly the Internet) use the Domain Name System (DNS) to apply more human-friendly names to systems. D

  • Working with DNS Video — 00:07:03
    • When a user complains the Internet is down, what’s often happening is that DNS isn’t working. There are a few simple tools and procedures to diagnose and repair DNS problems.

  • Windows naming Video — 00:06:01
    • Microsoft introduced a series of naming protocols, some of which predate the Internet. Interestingly, these protocols (or at least their modern versions) are still alive and well not only on Windows systems, but on Linux and macOS systems as well.

  • Working with workgroups Video — 00:07:26
    • Microsoft developed the concept of workgroups for small networks to work with their naming system. Workgroups are simple and provide no security, but they’re a part of every small Windows network.

  • Working with active directory Video — 00:13:38
    • More advanced Windows networks use active directory domains instead of workgroups. These domains, especially Microsoft’s Active Directory-enabled domains, provide powerful services for larger networks.

  • Windows sharing with macOS and Linux Video — 00:07:02
    • Both macOS and Linux systems know how to use Windows naming functions to connect using workgroups and domains and share resources using Samba. The trick is to understand how they do it and to configure them to work with an existing Windows network.

  • The net command Video — 00:04:15
    • The Windows net command has so many features that it deserves its own episode. We use the net command for everything from querying the network to accessing shares.

  • Routers Video — 00:11:24
    • The CompTIA A+ exams challenge test takers to perform many configurations of a typical home router. But what does a router do for a SOHO network?

  • Basic router configuration Video — 00:11:49
    • All routers share some basic configuration steps every tech must know. From router passwords to LAN IDs, this is the place to learn about these settings.

  • Firewall configuration Video — 00:10:38
    • Setting up a hardware firewall is an obvious first step to making sure your network is protected. Even the most basic router has several different types of firewall settings – without proper configuration you’ll either leave your network wide open, or so

  • Windows firewall Video — 00:07:44
    • Like all operating systems, Windows comes with a built-in software firewall. Unlike the firewall on your router, this firewall only protects a single system. It’s important for techs – and the users they support – to understand how to use the Windows fire

  • Port forwarding Video — 00:07:12
    • NAT is a handy tool but comes with a huge drawback: no servers behind the firewall are accessible to the outside world. Port forwarding allows opening specific ports on your NAT-enabled router to provide access to servers behind it.

  • Advanced router configuration Video — 00:06:06
    • Even the most basic router has setting beyond the basic setup. Protocols such as Quality of Service (QoS), Universal Plug and Play (UPnP), and Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) give extra features to enhance the capabilities of your router.

  • Virtual LANs (VLANs) Video — 00:08:04
    • Virtual LANs (VLANs) are common features built into almost all switches. VLANs provide superb control of your LAN but have their own quirks that a good tech understands.

  • Network troubleshooting Video — 00:05:15
    • Networks sometimes fail. A good network tech knows how read symptoms and diagnose a network quickly to enable users to get back to work.


Course description

You will learn how to crimp your own cables like a real network technician, and how to troubleshoot issues with networks, and how to secure your network using firewalls, DMZs, and VLANs.

Meet the author

Mike Meyers, affectionately called the “Alpha Geek,” is the industry’s leading authority on CompTIA certifications. He is the president and co-founder of Total Seminars, LLC, a provider of PC and network repair seminars, books, videos and courseware for thousands of organizations throughout the world. Mike has been involved in the computer and network repair industry since 1987 as a technician, instructor, author, consultant and speaker. He has sold over a million IT and certification books, including the best-selling CompTIA A+ Certification All-in-One Exam Guide and CompTIA Network+ Certification All-in-One Exam Guide. He has personally taught thousands of students, including U.S. senators, U.S. Supreme Court Justices, members of the United Nation, every branch of the U.S. Armed Forces, many branches of the Department of Justice, hundreds of corporate clients and academic students at every level.

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We use Infosec Skills to provide continuous training to our technicians and to prepare them for various certifications. Infosec Skills allows us to create personalized training programs that focus on each of our technicians’ particular roles and see their progress as they take courses. We also, recommend it to clients to make their IT support teams better.

Caleb Yankus


This has been utilized to bridge the skills gap across our cyber team and to aid them as they prepare for their various certifications. It also has provided a nice learning foundation for our various cyber team members to utilize as we continue to find ways for cross-utilization with operations while minimizing the downtime needed to ensure everyone’s knowledge is the same.

Daniel Simpson


We use Infosec Skills to provide base level knowledge for employees. We also use the services to provide in depth learning for employees as they encounter new technologies. If an employee is is assigned to a new project, we can rely on Infosec Skills to provide a rapid concentrated learning environment. This rapid concentrated learning positions our employees for success.

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