Yesterday, we began our countdown of the 40 best Cisco websites and made it through the last fifteen, from #40 all the way up to #26. Now, we’re going to push through fifteen more, winding our way ever closer to the top 10, which will appear on Monday. Today, we’ll learn about the quest for technical mastery, get a lot of use out of some worthless words, and nerd out on networking.

Grab your caffeinated beverage of choice, and let’s begin!

25. TechXcellence!

http://techxcellence.net/

“Thoughts on my journey of technical mastery.” This blog covers a lot of ground, but IPv6 is clearly Mukom’s biggest obsession. Not just good IPv6 how-tos, but articles about selling your supervisor on switching over to IPv6, and thinking strategically about its benefits. If you’ve been making the case to your company for years to make the switch without results, Mukom may have some persuasive arguments for you.

24. Routing Freak

http://routingfreak.wordpress.com/

Lots of big-picture concepts, made even more engaging by snappy writing and a generous helping of humorous illustrations. Learning about Software-Defined WAN has never looked so appealing!

23. Aaron’s Worthless Words

http://www.aconaway.com/

Don’t believe the self-deprecating name; Aaron’s words are far from worthless. This is one of several “CCIE Quest” blogs, and I like it because it documents not only the high points of success, but also talks itself through the low points. Remember: you’re probably not going to pass the CCIE the first time. Do you have what it takes to brush yourself off and hit it just as hard another time? Will you try anything different the second time, or will you just run at the wall at top speed? Aaron talks you through the highs and lows of his journey in thoughtful, self-aware prose.

22. Peter’s CCIE Musings and Rants
http://www.ccierants.com/

Not a lot of frills here – Peter posts when he’s got some new bit of information to give you, whether it’s just a quick tip (like testing an FXO Port), or something as huge and generous as a beta copy of a phone control software he’s working on).

21. Cisco Dreamer
http://ciscodreamer.blogspot.com/


Peterson Amar hasn’t updated Cisco Dreamer much since, well, he started writing and shooting tutorial videos for Intense School Resources. But that’s all right. It’s still worth trawling the Cisco Dreamer archives for useful tutorials like this method for reloading a router via Telnet. There’s also a list of post titles on the left side of the page, so you can easily search for the topic you need.

20. FirstDigest
http://www.firstdigest.com/

FirstDigest has a pretty significant back-catalog, helpfully subdivided into articles on Cert training, Security, Networking, Linux, Virtualization, Tools, Media, and Hardware. Hours of fun!

19. CCIE Pursuit

http://cciepursuit.wordpress.com/


This blog is very old (last post: 2009) and kind of cuts off abruptly. Nevertheless, it has to make it on this list because it still draws loads of readers, and with good reason: this is one of the most in-depth “path to CCIE” journals out there, quizzing on core questions, reviewing workbook assignments, and analysis of broader, over-arching questions about the certification.

18. Network World – The Cisco Connection by Jim Duffy
http://www.networkworld.com/blog/cisco-connection/

Jim has held down the editorial seat at NetworkWorld for 23 years, and his Cisco Connection blog is a must-visit location for breaking news and of-the-moment analysis.

17. Router Jockey

http://www.routerjockey.com/

Anthony Mattke is a guest blogger at the Cisco mothership blog, but at Router Jockey, he has a bit more space to have fun, dig deep, and add a little humor to all the serious Cisco talk – check out his great t-shirt for sale! Tell me you haven’t been waiting your whole adult life for a “PCAP Or It Didn’t Happen” shirt.

16. Networkers Online

http://www.networkers-online.com/blog

The blog for the networkers-online.com website is helpfully subdivided into topics, including Cisco How-To, Case Studies, and the very large Routing tag, which has over fifty different (and substantial) tutorials in BGP, EIGRP, and OSPF, among others. Some of this stuff is pretty old (2010 and up), but some information never goes out of date.

15. The Data Center Overlords
http://datacenteroverlords.com/

Their motto is “Where Server, Storage, and Networking Come Together to Form Voltron,” so you already know that our Overlords have a good sense of humor about them. The certifications section has some upper-level insight into certs like CCIE Data Center, which there’s quite a lot less of around than the usual CCNA fare. (Inspirational tag name: “Always Be Learning.”) Tutorials are laced with amusing interjections and gifs to keep the chunky educational fare fun and irreverent. I, for one, welcome our Data Center Overlords.

14. Cisco Is Easy

http://ciscoiseasy.blogspot.ie

Another of our former Intense Resources writers, so we’re naturally a little biased. But the influence runs the other direction – we contacted Jaro Rek to write for us because we loved this stunningly complete set of Cisco cert exercises and tutorials so much. Short of our own CCNA prep tag, you won’t find a more comprehensive list of Cisco cert tutorials out there.

13. Ethan Banks on Technology

http://ethancbanks.com/


You probably know Banks’ name from his long-running, entertaining, and highly info-dense Packet Pushers Podcast, and if you don’t, you really should. And once you’re done binge-listening all five bajillion of those, come back here for his newsworthy thoughts and opinions on everything from certification changes to financial considerations. Also, as a CCIE himself, Banks provides a step-by-step guide through his own CCIE journey that’s every bit the equal (or superior) of any similar journeys on the web.

12. The Networking Nerd

http://networkingnerd.net/


“Come for the networking, stay for the snark.” Agreed…a lot of Tom Hollingsworth’s site has some pretty top-notch joke-making. (“Internet of Things is about dumb devices getting smart. Think Flowers for Algernon. Only now, instead of them just being smarter they are also going to be very talkative too.”) I’d also add: stay for the snark, but keep coming back because there are hundreds of top-quality articles, think pieces, tutorials, and new takes on all sorts of Cisco and Cisco-adjacent topics (psst…50+ articles on CCIE). Also, for those years when you can’t make it yourself,f come back to this site for one of the better Cisco Live! twitter-rolls around.

11.5 Networking-Forum.com
http://www.networking-forum.com/


A robust and long-running forum site for networking professionals at all levels of proficiency, networking-forum.com presents dedicated sections for Cisco certs, security, voice and video, network management, Cisco Wireless, GNS3 labs, home networking and more. Create a profile and let the community of tech experts answer your questions…or lift someone else up with your expertise!

11. Lost in Transit
http://lostintransit.se/
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Daniel Dib, a former Intense School Resources writer, writes staggeringly detailed tutorial posts, and a lot of them, too! Best of all, they cover nearly all of the Cisco certifications, especially less-commonly covered certs like CCDP (“A Look at Access to Distribution Block Designs“) and CCDE (“Inter-AS L3 VPNs”). Daniel favors no cert over another, so no matter where you are in your journey, Lost In Transit has a resource you need right now!

I hope you’re bookmarking a bunch of your new favorite sites. But don’t stop yet! On Monday, we’re counting all the way down to number one! Who do you think it’s going to be? Tune in then!