Sunday, 22 September 2019

The 5 Best CCNA Books for Exam Revision in 2019

Best CCNA Certification Books


[Updated September 2019: This list of the best CCNA books now includes video and web resources]

The CCNA has distinguished itself as a rite of passage for thousands of networking professionals across the globe. Achieve the CCNA certification and you’ll be on track for a rewarding career in networking and an average salary of over £60,000, which ties it to CEH in the 10th spot of the highest paying cyber security certifications this year.


To get the CCNA: Routing and Switching certification, you’ll need to pass two exams:

  • Exam 100-105 - Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 1 v3.0 (ICND1)
  • Exam 200-105 - Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 2 v3.0 (ICND2)

Whatever your networking experience, these exams can be a daunting prospect making a certain level of revision essential in order to pass your CCNA exam first time.

To help you pass your exam first time, the following is a compilation of the best CCNA books for 2019 in no particular order:

  1. Cisco CCNA Routing and Switching 200-125 Official Cert Guide Library (2016)
  2. 101 Labs for the Cisco CCNA Exam: Exam - 200-125 and 100-105
  3. CCNA Routing and Switching Complete Study Guide
  4. CCNA Routing and Switching Portable Command Guide
  5. 31 Days Before Your CCNA Routing & Switching Exam
Plus, a couple of bonus resources to really boost your chances:
  • BONUS: these videos will help prepare you for the exam
  • BONUS: for a complete learning experience, these websites 

Read on for an in-depth review of the 5 best CCNA books for exam revision, cureted by Firebrand Training.


1. Cisco CCNA Routing and Switching 200-125 Official Cert Guide Library (2016)

The newest edition of Wendell Odom’s wildly successful Official Cert Guide Library comes as highly rated as its previous edition.

CCNA Revision

This edition is a comprehensive review and practice package for the latest CCNA exams. You’ll get two books covering both CCNA exams: CCENT/CCNA ICND1 Official Cert Guide and CCNA ICND2 Official Cert Guide. You’ll also get access to:

  • Pearson IT Certification Practice Test software – including 100’s of exam questions
  • CCNA Network Simulator Lite edition
  • Lab exercises
  • 60 minutes of personal video mentoring from the author, Wendell Otom

How good is it?

This CCNA book is one of the most comprehensive resources available for exam self-study. At the time of publication, Amazon reviews list this book as 5 stars with 33 customer reviews. Without a doubt, this is one of the best CCNA books available.

2. 101 Labs for the Cisco CCNA Exam: Exam - 200-125 and 100-105

Learning the theory is no longer enough to pass your CCENT or CCNA exams. During these exams you’ll now be faced with several ‘live’ network issues that you must resolve. To do this, you’ll need specific techniques and skills.

Best CCNA Books, 101 Labs

101 Labs for the Cisco CCNA Exam will help you quickly build the hands-on skills you need to get through both the CCENT and CCNA exams first time. This guide has also been updated for the new Cisco exams and curriculum.

How good is it?

Though it may not be the best CCNA book on the marketplace, this accompanying resource will prove invaluable for students who want more practice on the ‘live’ exam questions.

3. CCNA Routing and Switching Complete Study Guide

If you’ve been lurking around networking forums, chances are you’ve heard Todd Lammle’s name. Todd has authored over 25 books on Cisco certification and can even boast that his book sales have surpassed those of Cisco’s official publishing arm – Cisco Press.

Best CCNA Books, CCNA Study Guide

This book – updated in 2016 to cover the new CCNA curriculum – includes content on both ICND1 and ICND2 exams. Todd’s intuitive and knowledgeable approach is engaging and those new to the CCNA will find this book especially appealing. Special attention should be paid to topics like subnetting and route summarisation which are explained particularly clearly.

This comprehensive book includes:
  • Hands-on Labs
  • Network simulator
  • Practice questions
  • Flashcards
  • Video instruction
  • Glossary of CCNA terms

How good is it?

Reviews for the newest version of the CCNA Routing and Switching Complete Study Guide are great – Amazon lists 19 customer reviews, with an average star rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars.

Ultimately, Lammle’s easy-to-understand and to-the-point writing are great for those looking to get through both ICND exams. It is worth noting that you should expect less content and background reading than Cisco’s official offering. Despite this, Lammle’s contribution is certainly one of the best CCNA books available right now.

4. CCNA Routing and Switching Portable Command Guide

Published by Cisco Press, this CCNA revision book is condensed and brimming with valuable information. Within you’ll find all the Routing and Switching commands you could ever need in one condensed and portal resource.

This book covers all CCNA certification Cisco IOS Software Commands, keywords, command arguments and associated prompts. You’ll also get tips and examples of how to apply these commands in real-world scenarios.

Best CCNA Books, Command Guide

While this book won’t form the foundation of your revision, it will act as a valuable quick reference resource to help you memorise commands and concepts.

How good is it?

This book has been received incredibly well. Despite Amazon UK only listing 5 reviews (albeit hugely positive ones), Amazon.com actually lists 37 customer reviews with an average rating of 4.7 stars.

5. 31 Days Before Your CCNA Routing & Switching Exam

Updated in 2017 to cover the new CCNA curriculum, 31 Days Before Your CCNA Routing & Switching Exam is for students that can see already the finishing line.

If you’re starting to fall to pieces with a month to go before your scheduled exam, this book aims to get you back on track. You’ll be using the book’s day-by-day guide and checklist to organise, prepare and review your revision in the days before your exam.

Includes:
  • Visual calendar summarising each day’s topic
  • Checklist including activities and advice in the days leading to the exam
  • Mental, organisational and physical strategies for exam day

This book succeeds in providing a handy summary of everything you need to know for both ICND1 and ICND2 exams. We recommend reading this book alongside one of the more comprehensive CCNA revision books, like Wendell Odom’s comprehensive Cisco CCNA Routing and Switching 200-120 Official Cert Guide Library or Todd Lammle’s CCNA Routing and Switching Complete Study Guide.

Best CCNA Books, 31 Days


How good is it?

While not many reviews exist for this book, the ones that do are overwhelmingly positive. Amazon lists four reviews with an average rating of 4.5 stars.

The 31 Days to CCENT / CCNA doesn’t include the important practice exams and exercises found within Odom’s bulkier Official Cert Guide Library. But when used in tandem, these books can give you a real boost during the most important month of your revision.

BONUS resource: videos

If you are more of a video person, don't worry. In addition to these great books, we highly recommend you check out Cisco's official CCNA video resources:

Cisco Certification Exam Tutorial Videos

This one is pretty self-explanatory. Get an overview of the CCNA exam questions types and how they function - including multiple-choice single answer, multiple-choice multiple answers, and simulations. Even better, it comes straight from the source!

CCNA Routing and Switching Overview and Preparation

A comprehensive series of webinars on everything you need to know to ace the CCNA exam, again straight from Cisco. This one requires login, so unfortunately it's not for everyone - but if you can access it, then it'll be worth your while.

BONUS resource: CCNA web resources

From all over the web, we've filtered the noise to give you a couple of the best interactive CCNA web resources:
  • Firebrand's free previous CCNA resources (retired in 2016) offers you a benchmark as to how the course content has evolved with our free official course materials.
  • CertExam's CCNA Exam Simulator with network simulation will give you a hands-on experience on how the exam works.

How to get CCNA certified in less than a week

There it is, the best free resources to sit a CCNA exam on your own. If after all of these you'd still like to maximise your chances of getting certified with fast, distraction-free training, we're here to help. Check out our CCNA dates and drop us a message - we'll get back to you in minutes.


Get CCNA Certified