The Physical Network

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


  • Network Topologies Video — 00:10:14
    • In this episode, Mike explains the concepts used in wired network topologies and describes logical flow of data.

  • Coaxial Cabling Video — 00:05:23
    • In the episode, learn the specifications and connector types associated with coaxial cable.

  • Twisted Pair Cabling Video — 00:06:24
    • Mike covers the 568A/568B wiring schema using twisted pair cable.

  • Cat Ratings Video — 00:06:05
    • Mike describes and shows the various Cat cables and details their speed and distance specifications.

  • Fiber Optic Cabling Video — 00:08:41
    • 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 Ratings Video — 00:05:21
    • In this episode, Mike describes the various fire ratings of cable and explains their intended site usage.

  • Legacy Network Connections Video — 00:07:04
    • Find out about legacy connections and their usefulness in today’s network environments.

  • What is Ethernet? Video — 00:06:31
    • Mike discusses the core technologies of Ethernet.

  • Ethernet Frames Video — 00:06:43
    • Understand the Ethernet frame, its components and how they are used by the various devices to route data traffic.

  • The Daddy of Ethernet: 10BaseT Video — 00:03:23
    • Mike looks at how coax-based Ethernet transformed into Ethernet of unshielded twisted pair.

  • Terminating Twisted Pair Video — 00:14:25
    • In this episode, Mike terminates a cable to the 568A specification, showing the preparation and crimping process.

  • Hubs vs. Switches Video — 00:12:38
    • Mike explains the difference of traffic patterns between hubs and switches, and how the MAC address is used by switches.

  • Early Ethernet Video — 00:07:40
    • Mike looks at the bad old days of coax-based Ethernet.

  • 100BaseT Video — 00:05:24
    • In this episode, various 100Base specifications are defined for speed and distance.

  • Connecting Switches Video — 00:05:15
    • Mike discusses how switches are connected together to expand a network.

  • Gigabit Ethernet and 10-Gigabit Ethernet Video — 00:04:49
    • Mike wraps up the Ethernet standards in this episode, covering 1000Base and 10GBase.

  • Transceivers Video — 00:07:10
    • Learn about the various types of transceivers and how they are specified as vendor-neutral devices.

  • Connecting Ethernet Scenarios Video — 00:13:57
    • Learn about different cabling or switch configuration issues that can be difficult to diagnose.

  • Introduction to Structured Cabling Video — 00:04:16
    • In this episode, Mike examines the basic components of structured cabling, such as an equipment room, horizontal runs and the work area.

  • Terminating Structured Cabling Video — 00:07:54
    • In this episode, Mike explores punchdown blocks, one of the key elements in structured cabling.

  • Equipment Room Video — 00:07:18
    • Mike takes you on a tour of a typical SOHO infrastructure, from the equipment room to the demarc and back again.

  • Alternative Distribution Panels Video — 00:03:49
    • Mike hangs out in the equipment room to show the distribution panels.

  • Testing Cable Video — 00:08:52
    • In this episode, Mike explores cable testing, covering wiremaps, continuity, and TDRs.

  • Troubleshooting Structured Cabling (Part 1) Video — 00:05:05
    • 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) Video — 00:05:27
    • 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 Probe Video — 00:02:45
    • Mike demonstrates using a tone generator and tone probe to locate cables and connectors.

  • Wired Connection Scenarios Video — 00:10:30
    • Wired connections can have issues that lead to slow or poor performance and Mike talks through some common areas to consider.


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, co

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.

Associated NICE Work Roles

All Infosec training maps directly to the NICE Workforce Framework for Cybersecurity to guide you from beginner to expert across 52 Work Roles.

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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.

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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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