This is the first time I have read an ICND1 book. In the past, I have read other books written by Wendell Odom and I’m used to his detailed way of explaining the technical aspects of networking. This book is not an exception to this approach. This brick-by-brick method of sharing the information always gives good results. Considering the audience of this book, I don’t know if there could have been clearer explanations than the ones you will find in the book.

I had access only to the e-book version and to the certification practice test software.

While I don’t know if the hardcover is identical to the e-book version, one thing I noticed very quickly by looking into the e-book is that the diagrams now have colors. This is helpful during the study because it gives the opportunity to emphasize the concept that the author is explaining.

I remember that when I was going through DIKTA quiz, I had to go back and forth to check if my answers were correct. Now the answers are on the first page of the “Foundation Topics,” so right after the DIKTA quiz, which saves you the time required to find the page were they would have been using the previous approach. I guess the answers weren’t put on the pages where the DIKTA quiz is to avoid any involuntary peeking at the answers.

As one would expect at this entry level, increased importance has been given to IP addressing, for both IPv4 and IPv6. And here Wendell Odom’s pedagogical talent makes things very easy to understand. I don’t think I ever met somebody who didn’t have problems understanding IPv4 subnetting. After going through the methods and examples used in Chapters 11 to 14, you will see that everything has a logic and there is no reason why someone wouldn’t master the rapid and correct subnetting of a prefix that is so much needed during the exam and day-by-day operation.

The IPv4 routing process, which you will always run into as long you will work with network devices, is explained in detail, step by step, using nice diagrams edifying what is happening with the IPv4 packet while it is routed by routers.

As to how IPv4 routing is implemented, the book covers static routes and from routing protocols, only OSPF protocol. Just as a side note, I was surprised at not finding RIP even though, in the year 2013, there are enterprise networks still running RIP. This protocol was removed by Cisco from the exam topics and I believe they were right. In this book you will find references to RIP protocol from the comparison point of view with other protocols. However, I believe that the author should have introduced an appendix to give more details about RIP (functionality and configuration) and leave students the option to study it or not.

As IPv6 implementation is getting more and more traction, Cisco decided that IPv6 should be one of the pillars on which networking foundations should be based. The book is full of examples on how to configure IPv6 addresses and IPv6 routing, static and protocols. However this is not limited to what you can do on routers, you will be shown what is happening on hosts and what kind of communication is happening between hosts and routers.

DHCP, in its IPv4 and IPv6 forms, is discussed in detail and I don’t think there can be anything else added to this topic. This topic is newly added to the ICND1 book.

The book goes further and discusses the more advanced IPv4 services: access control lists, network time protocol and network address translation (NAT).

For some, the concept of NAT is somehow hard to understand at the very beginning, but the author overcomes this by using simple topologies, relevant outputs and detailed explanation.

An extensive part of the book is allocated to the Ethernet world, as it’s the dominant LAN technology at the moment. Even though the information is not that advanced, it constitutes the foundation of what follows in the ICND2 book.

I must say that I’m impressed to find out such advanced topics in an ICND1 book as IPv6 addressing, IPv6 routing, and NAT. This can only be for the students’ benefit.

I also have tried the certification practice test software. You can use it to go one more time through all DIKTA quizzes or part review questions at once while just browsing the book and jumping from chapter to chapter. Or you can use the software to take exam simulations, which I found focus on the information presented in the book.

If you don’t have any experience at all in networking and you wonder what the start point should be, then the answer is “read this book.” The book lays down the foundation for a Cisco career. It takes you from what is the pinout for various Ethernet UTP cables to more advanced topics, such as routing protocols configuration.

However, the book is also suited for engineers who seek to consolidate their knowledge. More than once I have run into engineers with years of experience but with a lack of good understanding of some of the most basic notions of networking.