Recently I did a phone interview that did not go well. To be fair, I did not study the basics for networking pretty well, but I should at least brush up my networking skills.
For instance, the job I was applying involved security and expensive software that detects intrusion. Of course I did my homework and did research on the company and the software that they used. I also went back and grab some old college books that linked to Windows Server 2012 and CentOS. However, the phone interview questions were the simple questions as what OSI model layer do you find the network cable. I said 7, but realized after that I had everything upside down (7 was 1 and 1 was a 7). Was my face red.
Anyway, today I will talk about about Cisco Packet tracer and how this software is a good tool to brush on your networking skills. Caution, this is to brush on your skills and not to teach you the fundamentals of networking. First you have to register a free course at the link above to download the software. Once you register, you can look around at this online free course and brush on your networking skills such as designing your own dream network. You can even play around with IOS virtual software.
The problem with this course is that, well to me, it is missing a ton of information for beginners. There are 8 sections, but they focus on the program's interface. It does not focus on how to set up computers and connect to a switch and set up an IP address. To me, this course is just an introduction about packet tracer.
To me, if I want a bigger challenge, I just google "Cisco ccna pka labs" and these files contain procedures how to set up some networks.
Anyhow, the Android app is not even good. Of course you need Internet to access the course, but the app was buggy and could not connect to the internet. Although my phone's WiFi was working. I wish I could test the iOS version, but sadly I don't have an Iphone.
Packet tracer is a nifty program to design a network, but the free course that Cisco provides is not enough. The best place is go your local community college and register a course in networking or google for some PKA files that contain procedures. This course is just how pocket tracer looks and how to navigate. This free course is not to teach you how to get the CCNA certification. Also, I wish there was a version for the Mac computers.
One more thing, I love portability and if you want this program to be portable is to have a PC that you have administrators rights. Then you open the program and save the program to the USB or copy the installed program to the USB.
Cisco Packet Tracer is cool program to set up a virtual network topology, but you need to register at Cisco's website. I just hope that there were more courses to teach beginners about Cisco IOS and some fundamentals. I on the other hand, I wish the Android app was not buggy.
Well, the program was nice to show me how packets travel from level 1 to 7 and vice versa and that is what I wanted to learn.
(09-04-2018 edit: Got the Android app working and new courses)
I just noticed that this academia offers more free courses and I should check out more of these classes. For example, I want to learn more about Cisco's "NDG Linux Unhatched" course which teaches you a bit of basics of the Linux Command Line Interface. If you want to know some fundamentals such as wireless networking technology basics, then I believe the course you want is "Mobility Fundamentals". If that is too easy, then maybe you want to learn about "Introduction to Cybersecurity", free of course.
However, some courses are not free. The "Networking Essentials" is taught by a local community college teacher (or high school, private school, etc) and the course is a 3 unit and each unit is about $50. So keep in mind that some courses require the user to register to a certified school.
Lastly, I borrow a tablet that had android 6.0 and the app Packet Tracer Mobile worked. I do not recommend that you use this app, because typing on the tablet's keyboard is a chore. I suggest that you use the Windows 7.2 version, as its easier to navigate with a mouse.
Maybe I will do a second part and see which courses are good and what courses are essential.