The Physical Network

Brush up on the facts of the physical network in a course covering Ethernet, cabling, troubleshooting, Cat ratings and much more.

27 videos  //  193 minutes of training

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Course description

Refresh your knowledge of the physical network with this intensive course covering cabling, network connections, Ethernet, 100BaseT and much, much more. Beginning with the basics of network topologies, you’ll explore the details of connecting switches, compare and contrast the different types of Ethernet, talk about testing cable, learn to troubleshoot structured cabling and even take a quick look at using a toner and probe to locate cables and connections.

Course syllabus

Network TopologiesDuration: 10:14

In this episode, Mike explains the concepts used in wired network topologies and describes logical flow of data.

Coaxial CablingDuration: 5:23

In the episode, learn the specifications and connector types associated with coaxial cable.

Twisted Pair CablingDuration: 6:24

Mike covers the 568A/568B wiring schema using twisted pair cable.

Cat RatingsDuration: 6:05

Mike describes and shows the various Cat cables and details their speed and distance specifications.

Fiber Optic CablingDuration: 8:41

In this episode, Mike discusses the different types of fiber used in modern networks and includes references to connector types you'll see as a network technician.

Fire RatingsDuration: 5:21

In this episode, Mike describes the various fire ratings of cable and explains their intended site usage.

Legacy Network ConnectionsDuration: 7:04

Find out about legacy connections and their usefulness in today’s network environments.

What is Ethernet?Duration: 6:31

Mike discusses the core technologies of Ethernet.

Ethernet FramesDuration: 6:43

Understand the Ethernet frame, its components and how they are used by the various devices to route data traffic.

Early EthernetDuration: 7:40

Mike looks at the bad old days of coax-based Ethernet.

The Daddy of Ethernet: 10BaseTDuration: 3:23

Mike looks at how coax-based Ethernet transformed into Ethernet of unshielded twisted pair.

Terminating Twisted PairDuration: 14:25

In this episode, Mike terminates a cable to the 568A specification, showing the preparation and crimping process.

Hubs vs. SwitchesDuration: 12:38

Mike explains the difference of traffic patterns between hubs and switches, and how the MAC address is used by switches.

100BaseTDuration: 5:24

In this episode, various 100Base specifications are defined for speed and distance.

Connecting SwitchesDuration: 5:15

Mike discusses how switches are connected together to expand a network.

Gigabit Ethernet and 10-Gigabit EthernetDuration: 4:49

Mike wraps up the Ethernet standards in this episode, covering 1000Base and 10GBase.

TranscieversDuration: 7:10

Learn about the various types of transceivers and how they are specified as vendor-neutral devices.

Connecting Ethernet ScenariosDuration: 13:57

Learn about different cabling or switch configuration issues that can be difficult to diagnose.

Introduction to Structured CablingDuration: 4:16

In this episode, Mike examines the basic components of structured cabling, such as an equipment room, horizontal runs and the work area.

Terminating Structured CablingDuration: 7:54

In this episode, Mike explores punchdown blocks, one of the key elements in structured cabling.

Equipment RoomDuration: 7:18

Mike takes you on a tour of a typical SOHO infrastructure, from the equipment room to the demarc and back again.

Alternative Distribution PanelsDuration: 3:49

Mike hangs out in the equipment room to show the distribution panels.

Testing CableDuration: 8:52

In this episode, Mike explores cable testing, covering wiremaps, continuity, and TDRs.

Troubleshooting Structured Cabling (Part 1)Duration: 5:05

In this episode, Mike shows how to test for problems with structured cabling and explains what types of problems to look out for.

Troubleshooting Structured Cabling (Part 2)Duration: 5:27

Mike continues his discussion of structured cabling by examining how to use voltage monitors, environmental/temperature monitors and TDRs to troubleshoot a cabling installation.

Using a Toner and ProbeDuration: 2:45

Mike demonstrates using a tone generator and tone probe to locate cables and connectors.

Wired Connection ScenariosDuration: 10:30

Wired connections can have issues that lead to slow or poor performance and Mike talks through some common areas to consider.

Meet the author

Mike Meyers


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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