Networking Fundamentals

Whether you’re preparing for the CCNA or CCDA, the most critical requirement is a solid understanding of networking theory. While you personally may be more worried about router configuration or the related commands, do not underestimate the emphasis placed on general networking concepts. For all intents and purposes, your knowledge of these concepts will likely be the difference between passing and failing the exams, so be prepared.

There are a variety of elements involved in how communication happens between systems across an internetwork. These not only include equipment and cabling, but also topologies, transmission methods, and technologies. Take the time to understand these different elements and their responsibilities, and you’ll find both exams much less challenging, hopefully even simple.

The material to be covered in this chapter includes:

  • An overview of LANs versus WANs
  • An overview of basic network equipment including repeaters, hubs, bridges, switches, and routers
  • Network transmission methods
  • Network cable types and wiring standards
  • Media access methods
  • Network topologies
  • Ethernet

Author: Dan DiNicolo

Dan DiNicolo is a freelance author, consultant, trainer, and the managing editor of He is the author of the CCNA Study Guide found on this site, as well as many books including the PC Magazine titles Windows XP Security Solutions and Windows Vista Security Solutions. Click here to contact Dan.