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CompTIA Certification Guide

CompTIA Certification Guide: Overview and Career Paths

Headquartered near Chicago, CompTIA is a nonprofit trade association made up of more than 2,000 member organizations and 3,000 business partners. Although the organization focuses on educating and certifying IT professionals, CompTIA also figures prominently in philanthropy and public policy advocacy.

CompTIA certification program overview

CompTIA’s vendor-neutral certification program is one of the best recognized in the IT industry. Since CompTIA developed its A+ credential in 1993, it has issued more than two million certifications.

In early 2018, CompTIA introduced its CompTIA Infrastructure Career Pathway. While you’ll still see the same familiar certifications that form the bedrock of the CompTIA certification portfolio, this new career pathway program more closely aligns CompTIA certifications to the real-world skills that IT professionals need to ensure success when managing and supporting IT infrastructures.

CompTIA Academic are grouped by skill set. Currently, CompTIA certs fall info four areas: Core, Infrastructure, Cybersecurity and Additional Professional certifications.

  • Core Certifications: Designed to build core foundational skills, CompTIA offers four Core certifications: IT Fundamentals+ (a pre-career certification focused on IT foundation framework), CompTIA A+ (focused on user support and device connectivity), CompTIA Network+ (targeting core system connections with endpoint devices), and CompTIA Security+ (focused on entry level cybersecurity skills).
     
  • Infrastructure Certifications: Designed to complement the Network+ credential, you’ll find three Infrastructure certifications: CompTIA Server+ (focused on issues related to server support and administration), CompTIA Cloud+ (covering hybrid cloud, virtual system administration and deploying network storage resources), and CompTIA Linux+ (focused on Linux operating system administration and management).
     
  • Cybersecurity Certifications: CompTIA offers three cybersecurity credentials: CompTIA CySA+ (CySA stands for Cyber Security Analyst, and targets IT security behavioral analysts), CASP+ (CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner; focuses on professionals who design and implement security solutions), and the CompTIA PenTest+ (Penetration testing, targets professionals who conduct penetration and vulnerability testing).
     
  • Additional Professional Certifications: This category includes several credentials which don’t readily fit into any of the foregoing CompTIA career paths, including: CompTIA Project+, CompTIA CTT+ and CompTIA Cloud Essentials.

CompTIA Core Certifications

CompTIA IT Fundamentals+ practice test

CompTIA IT Fundamentals+ is ideal for beginners with a basic understanding of PC functionality and compatibility as well as familiarity with technology topics, such as hardware basics, software installation, security risks and prevention, and basic networking. It’s also ideal as a career planning or development tool for individuals beginning their IT careers or those seeking to make a career change. A single exam is required to earn the credential. CompTIA launched a new IT Fundamentals+ exam (Exam FC0-U61) in September 2018. This new exam focuses on computing basics, database use, software development and IT infrastructure. The English version of the prior exam (Exam FC0-U510) retires on July 15, 2019. Exams in other languages retire on December 1, 2019.

CompTIA A+ practice test

The CompTIA A+ certification has been described as an “entry-level rite of passage for IT technicians,” and for a good reason. This certification is designed for folks seeking a career as a help desk, support, service center or networking technician. It covers PC and laptop hardware, software installation, and configuration of computer and mobile operating systems. CompTIA A+ test also tests a candidate’s understanding of basic networking, troubleshooting and security skills, which serve as a springboard for CompTIA networking or security certifications or those offered by other organizations.

According to CompTIA, more than one million IT professionals hold the A+ certification. The A+ is required for Dell, Intel and HP service technicians and is recognized by the U.S. Department of Defense. CompTIA released new “Core” exams for the CompTIA A+ credential on January 15, 2019. These new exams provide additional focus on operational procedure competency and baseline security topics. Candidates must pass the Core 1 (exam 220-1001) and Core 2 (Exam 220-1002) exams. The Core 1 exam targets virtualization, cloud computing, mobile devices, hardware, networking technology and troubleshooting. The Core 2 exams focuses on installation and configuring operating systems, troubleshooting software, operational procedures and security.

CompTIA Network+ practice test

Many IT professionals start with the A+ certification. While the A+ credential is recommended, if you have the experience and don’t feel a need for the A+, you can move directly to the CompTIA Network+ certification. It’s geared toward professionals who have at least nine months of networking experience. A candidate must be familiar with networking technologies, media, topologies, security, installation and configuration, and troubleshooting of common wired and wireless network devices. The Network+ certification is recommended or required by Dell, HP and Intel, and is also an accepted entry-point certification for the Apple Consultants Network. The Network+ credential meets the ISO 17024 standard and just like the A+, it is recognized by the U.S. DoD. A single exam is required to earn the certification.

CompTIA Security+ practice test

CompTIA Security+ Exam covers network security concepts, threats and vulnerabilities, access control, identity management, cryptography, and much more. Although CompTIA does not impose any prerequisites, the organization recommends that cert candidates obtain the Network+ credential and have at least two years of IT administration experience with a security focus. To obtain the Security+ certification candidates must pass on exam, comptia security+ practice exam sy0-501.

Infrastructure Certifications

CompTIA Linux+ practice test

The CompTIA Linux+ Powered by LPI certification is aimed at Linux network administrators with at least 12 months of Linux administration experience. Such experience should include installation, package management, GNU and Unix commands, shells, scripting, security and more. The A+ and Network+ certifications are recommended as a preamble to this certification but are not mandatory. Candidates must pass two exams (comptia linux+ lx0-103 and comptia linux+ lx0-104) to earn this credential. The exams must be taken in order, and candidates must pass exam LX0-103 before attempting LX0-104. In 2018, CompTIA began testing a new beta exam (XK1-004). The beta exam offering ended October 22, 2018. New exams generally follow beta exam tests so interested candidates should check the Linux+ web page for updates.

CompTIA Cloud+

As the cloud computing market continues to grow by leaps and bounds, the CompTIA Cloud+ certification has been keeping pace. This certificationtargets IT professionals with two to three years of experience in storage, networking or data center administration. A single exam, CV0-002, is required. It tests candidates’ knowledge of cloud technologies, hybrid and multicloud solutions, cloud markets, and incorporating cloud-based technology solutions into system operations.

CompTIA Server+ practice test

CompTIA Server+ aims at server administrators with 18 to 24 months of experience with server hardware and software technologies, and the A+ certification is recommended. The Server+ credential is recommended or required by HP, Intel and Lenovo for their server technicians. It is also recognized by Microsoft and the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). A single exam, SK0-004, is required to achieve this credential.

Additional Professional Certifications

CompTIA Project+ practice test

The CompTIA Project+ certification focuses exclusively on project management and is ideal for project managers who are familiar with project lifecycles from planning to completion, who can finish a project on time and under budget. Project managers interested in this certification should have at least one year of project management experience overseeing small- to medium-sized projects. The Project+ credential requires that candidates pass a multiple-choice exam, comptia project+ practice tests exam pk0-004

CompTIA Cloud Essentials

The CompTIA Cloud essentials certification study guide is geared toward individuals who understand the business aspects of cloud computing and how to move from in-house to cloud storage. In addition, they should be familiar with the impacts, risks and consequences of implementing a cloud-based solution. A single exam is required to earn the credential.

CompTIA CTT+

The CompTIA Certified Technical Trainer (CTT+) certification is perfect for anyone interested in technical training. It covers instructor skills, such as preparation, presentation, communication, facilitation and evaluation, in vendor-neutral fashion. Adobe, Cisco, Dell, IBM, Microsoft and Ricoh all recommend CTT+ to their trainers and accept it in lieu of their own in-house trainer certifications.

Two exams are required for the CTT+ credential: CompTIA CTT+ Essentials (CompTIA CTT+ TK0-201) and either CTT+ Classroom Performance Trainer (CompTIA CTT+ TK0-202) or CTT+ Virtual Classroom Trainer (CompTIA CTT+ TK0-203).

The CTT+ Classroom Performance Trainer and CTT+ Virtual Classroom Trainer are performance-based exams. In this case, you must submit a video or recording of your classroom (or virtual classroom sessions), and complete a form that documents your training preparation, delivery and student evaluations.

Related jobs and careers

In addition to certification levels, CompTIA groups its certifications into several career paths:

  • Information security
  • Network and cloud technologies
  • Hardware, services and infrastructure
  • IT management and strategy
  • Web and mobile
  • Software development
  • Training
  • Office productivity

The CompTIA Certifications page lets you pick a certification level and/or a career path and then returns a list of certifications to focus on. For example, one of the most popular career paths in IT is network administration. CompTIA’s Network and Cloud Technologies career path offers numerous certifications that can help you advance your network administration career, such as IT Fundamentals+, A+ and Network+ (Core certs), along with Cloud+ and Linux+ (Infrastructure certifications) and Cloud Essentials.

Those interested in network security (one of the fastest growing fields in IT) should consider the certifications in CompTIA’s Information Security career path. This includes all four of the Core credentials (IT Fundamentals, A+, Network+ and Security+) along with all cybersecurity certifications (CySA+, PenTest+ and CASP+).

CompTIA provides a comprehensive IT certification roadmap that encompasses certifications from CompTIA as well as a variety of other organizations, including Cisco, EC-Council, Microsoft, (ISC)2, ISACA, Mile2 and more.

Because CompTIA credentials do not focus on a single skill (such as networking or virtualization), CompTIA credential holders may find themselves in a variety of job roles depending on their experience, skill levels and areas of interest. Here are just a few of the possible careers that CompTIA credential holders may find themselves engaged in:

  • A+: Typically, A+ credential holders find work in support roles, such as support administrators, support technicians or support specialists.
     
  • Network+: Network+ professionals primarily work in network-related roles, such as network analysts, administrators or support specialists. Credential holders may also work as network engineers, field technicians or network help desk technicians.
     
  • CySA+ Security Analyst: Common roles for professionals interested in cybersecurity, information security and risk analysis may engage in roles that include security engineers, cybersecurity analysts or specialists, threat or vulnerability analysts, or analysts for security operations centers (SOCs).
     
  • Security+: Security spans a variety of jobs, such as network, system or security administrators, security managers, specialists or administrators, and security consultants.
     
  • Server+: Roles for server professionals include storage and server administrators, as well as server support or IT/server technicians.
     
  • Linux+: Linux professionals often work in roles such as Linux database administrators, network administrators or web administrators.
     
  • Cloud+/Cloud Essentials: Cloud+ credential holders typically work as cloud specialists, developers or system and network administrators. Cloud Essentials professionals tend to work in areas related to cloud technical sales or business development.
     
  • CASP+: Common roles for CASP+ credential holders include cybersecurity specialists, InfoSec specialists, information security professionals and security architects.
     
  • Project+: Project+ credential holders typically engage in project leadership roles, such as project managers, coordinators and directors, or team leads.

While the examples above are by no means exhaustive, they provide an overview of some available careers. Your career choices are limited only by your interests, imagination and determination to achieve your personal goals.

Categories
Security+

Free Study Guide Security Plus – SY0-501 Free Course Study Guide PDF Download

This study guide covers each of the six domains for the Security+ SY0-501 certification to help you prepare for that exam. It contains the supplementary material you can use as a part of your study while you watch the instructional videos. As a part of this study guide, the domains are separated into sections.

Click below links for Downloadable PDFs

1.0  Threats, Attacks and Vulnerabilities
Security+ Exam sub-objectives 1.0 New to SY0-501

2.0   Technologies and Tools
Security+ Exam sub-objectives 2.0 New to SY0-501

3.0   Architecture and Design
Security+ Exam sub-objectives 3.0 New to SY0-501

4.0   Identity and Access Management
Security+ Exam sub-objectives 4.0 New to SY0-501

5.0   Risk Management
Security+ Exam sub-objectives 5.0 New to SY0-501

6.0   Cryptography and PKI
Security+ Exam sub-objectives 6.0 New to SY0-501

Pass Security+ Exam with Full Version SY0-501 Questions Bank & Dumps

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Network+

CompTIA Certification Practice Test & Exams | Dumps4shared

Our A+ practice tests: 1,040 questions, 8 complete exam simulations plus 9 Domain Drills (one for each exam objective)

Our Network+ practice tests: 538 questions, 4 complete exam simulations plus 5 Domain Drills (one for each exam objective)

Our Security+ practice tests: 520 questions, 4 complete exam simulations plus 6 Domain Drills (one for each exam objective)

Dumps4shared: A top rated test prep

Dumps4shared® gets you ready to succeed

Since 2001 Dumps4shared® has helped in excess of a million users prepare for their certification exams. Year after year we add features, narrow our focus on the features that truly helps our users and expand those capabilities and refine our approach. For starters though, we do make sure we simply have a vast number of test prep questions – that is critical to your preparation. In addition to that find below a list of the major benefits Dumps4shared brings to your exam preparation:

  • Exam-like: questions matching each and every exam objective and sub-objective. Answers with detailed explanations.
  • Assessment mode: that, upon completion, will prepare your custom Personal Testing Plan (PTP) with a list of items to study just for you.
  • Certification Mode: is the actual exam simulation, the timer is set for the exam time, same type and number of questions as the exam and same distribution of questions per exam objective as the exam. This is like taking the exam from the comfort of your home! It will do wonders to you time management skills in preparation for the actual exam and help you avoid running out of time unexpectedly on the exam.
  • Study Mode: Here you can see all answers and all explanations to improve your knowledge base on the same type of questions you will see on the exam.
  • Focus drills: One drill per exam objective, these practice tests help you practice one main exam objective at the time because all the questions in these drills are exclusively focused on one exam objective.
  • A detailed score report helps you Identify what you already know and what you need to work more on. With overall scoring as well as per objective scoring you will rapidly know where you need to focus.
  • Custom tests, based on your performance, after any of our Focus Drills or Exam simulations, Dumps4shared will offer you the option to make on the fly a test just for you that will focus only on your weak points.
  • An exceptional Test Pass Guarantee: our First Try Guarantee, because an exam voucher cost too much for you to want to pay it twice…

New CompTIA A+ 220-901 and 220-902 on the horizon

The new material in CompTIA’s Certification Exam Objectives for A+ 220-901 Hardware and 220-902 Software will be released shortly. If the latest Network+ revision is any guide then thses exam objectives will center mostly around security and the cloud/virtual, as well as mobile devices. Windows XP may be dropped as it is no longer supported by Microsoft. Windows 10 may or may not be included.In any case we should know shortly as the new exam objectives should be realeased any day now.

Security+ Exam SY0-301 vs SY0-401 Exam Objectives

How different is the new Security+ SY0-401 compared to the old SY0-301?

The Security+ Nouveau has arrived! However, would you be so inclined, you will still be able to sit for the “old” SY0-301 until December 31 of 2014.

The new material in CompTIA’s Certification Exam Objectives for Security+ SY0-401center mostly around the Cloud, mobile and the challenges posed to internal security when allowing third party access.

They say you can make statistics say whatever you want it to say and that holds, to a certain extent, true when it comes to analyzing the difference between the new Security+ and the old one.

A superficial look will make the changes seem very minor. You still have the exact same number of main domain, six. They are labelled exactly the same as before and the difference in how they are weighed at the exam is within a couple of percent or so compared to the old exam. Security+ SY0-401 has six main domains and a total of 33 sub domains in all. Of these 33 sub domains only four are completely new and these are:

2.2 Summarize the security implications of integrating systems and data with third parties.

2.9 Given a scenario, select the appropriate control to meet the goals of security.

4.2 Summarize mobile security concepts and technologies.

4.5 Compare and contrast alternative methods to mitigate security risks in static environments.

So four new sub domains out of 33 and were looking at just a bit over 12% added content to cover, right? Wrong, because here, as in so many other situations, the devil is in the details.

Looking closer you will notice that (including the four all new sub-domains) 22 out of the 33 sub-domains in SY0-401 have seen some content added. Now we are looking a 66% difference! This of course is going a bit far in the other direction but does demonstrate that a superficial analysis, is yet again, not going to give you the whole story. So we have to look beyond just the sub-domain level. Just for clarity here is how the terminology works:

Example of CompTIA objectives listing Our terminology
1.4 Given a scenario, implement common protocols and services. Sub-domain
• Protocols Topic
o IPSec Sub-topic

We prefer “Main-objective” for the top level objective and “Sub-objective” instead of Sub-domain. However, in the interest of clarity and minimum confusion, we use “Domain” because that is what CompTIA uses in their “Certification Exam Objectives” document. To get these documents click on the following links: Exam Objectives for SY0-301 and SY0-401.

So back to our analysis, the new exam objectives have a total of 307 Topic items and 339 sub-topics. How many of those are new? There are in all 61 Topic items and 128 new sub-topics. This means that 20% of the Topics are new while 36 of the Sub-topics are new. This is quite significant. The exam has a maximum of 90 questions, with 128 new sub-topics you could arguably (although agreed, that would be extreme) sit for an exam that has none of the content of the “old” SY0-301 exam. Here is another superficial fact, but this may not lead to the wrong conclusion, the Certification Exam Objectives for SY0-301 is 16 pages while the new Certification Exam Objectives document for SY0-401 is 23 pages long…


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CompTIA Authorized Partner Dumps4shared is proud to be a CompTIA Content Partner. As such we have submitted our practice tests for the Dumps4shared test preparation products for A+, Network+, and Security+ to CompTIA and they have certified that these products do indeed cover 100% of CompTIA’s Exam Objectives for each test


CompTIA Certification Practice Tests & Exam Simulators

All of our online courses include practice tests which include questions and formats that you will find on the exams. What better way to get prepared than to actually take practice exams in order to determine areas where you might need to focus on further as well as to get yourself mentally prepared to be in the test taking environment. 

Even better, you’re able to do this all from the comfort of your own home! Take control, prepare, and level up in your career by getting these certifications.

Some of our most popular practice tests are as follows:

  • Comptia A+ Practice test
  • Security+ Practice test
  • Network+ Practice test
  • Microsoft MCSA Practice test 70-410
  • Linux+ Practice test

Dumps4shared CompTIA Certification: A Top Rated Test Prep

Since 2001 Dumps4shared® has helped in excess of a million users prepare for their CompTIA certification exams. Year after year we add features, narrow our focus on the features that truly help our users and expand those capabilities and refine our approach. For starters though, we make sure we simply have a vast number of test prep questions – which is critical to your study and preparation. In addition to that find below a list of the major benefits Dumps4shared brings to your exam preparation:

This is how Dumps4shared helps you succeed:

  • – Exam-like: questions matching each and every exam objective and sub-objective. Answers with detailed explanations.
  • – Assessment mode: that, upon completion, will prepare your custom Personal Testing Plan (PTP) with a list of items to study just for you.
  • – Certification Mode: is the actual CompTIA exam simulation, the timer is set for the exam time, same type and number of questions as the exam and same distribution of questions per exam objective as the exam. This is like taking the exam from the comfort of your home! It will do wonders to you time management skills in preparation for the actual exam and help you avoid running out of time unexpectedly on the exam.
  • – Study Mode: Here you can see all answers and all explanations to study and improve your knowledge base on the same type of questions you will see on the exam.
  • – Focus drills: One drill per exam objective, these practice tests help you practice one main exam objective at the time because all the questions in these drills are exclusively focused on one exam objective.
  • – A detailed score report helps you Identify what you already know and what you need to study more. With overall scoring as well as per objective scoring you will rapidly know where you need to focus.
  • – Custom tests, based on your performance, after any of our Focus Drills or Exam simulations, Dumps4shared will offer you the option to make on the fly a test just for you that will focus only on your weak points.
  • – An exceptional Test Pass Guarantee: our First Try Guarantee, because an exam voucher costs too much for you to want to pay it twice.

Pass Your IT Certification Exams With Free Real Exam Dumps and Questions

Full Version N10-007 Dumps

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Network+

Free Study Guide Network Plus 5.5 – Dumps4shared

Free Study Guide Network Plus 5.5

5.5 Given a scenario, troubleshoot common network service issues.

Click here to go back to the Network+ 4.0 Table of Content

Welcome to Exam Notes by Dumps4shared! This is our Free Study Guide Network Plus 5.5. In this installment, we will cover the topics addressed in objective 5.5 “Given a scenario, troubleshoot common network service issues.” We hope you enjoy this free study guide Network plus 5.5.

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Names not resolving

When you have an issue where a statically configured client cannot access the internet try to ping a publicly available resource like google.com by its IP address 8.8.8.8. If you can connect to the server with the IP address try its URL (www.whatyouaretrying.com). If the resource cannot be located by its domain name, you should check the static DNS settings for misconfiguration.

Incorrect gateway

Your gateway directly affects internet connectivity. Using the incorrect gateway will limit your connections to the local network.

Incorrect netmask

A computer’s netmask identifies the number of bits of its IP address that are assigned to the network and those bits assigned to the host. An incorrect configuration will result in limited connectivity or no connectivity at all.

Duplicate IP addresses

No two devices can have the same IP address on public or private networks. Address duplication is prevented by using DHCP. When an address is static it is possible to assign the same IP configuration to two devices.

screenshot of a pop-up showing a Static IP
Static IP address.

Duplicate MAC addresses

The hardware address of your interface is assigned by the manufacturer and is unique.  Duplicate MAC addresses will not communicate on a LAN. This address can be changed and possibly misconfigured manually through software.

Expired IP address

Your device using DHCP negotiates a lease for an IP address from the DHCP server. The lease time is set by the administrator. The lease times should be tailored to your usage. The lease lengths should be long enough to support your usage without causing an exhausted DHCP scope.

Rogue DHCP server

Unusual internet/internetwork traffic should be reported immediately. This misdirection can be attributed to a rogue DHCP server. The rogue server can provide compromised DHCP settings and can use these settings to further compromise your network.

Screenshot of a dhcp Configuration Panel
DHCP Configuration Panel

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Untrusted SSL certificate

SSL certificates must be maintained and accurate. An SSL certificate can become untrusted in several ways. It can expire. It could be using an incorrect date or time. It can also be revoked for a mismatch between the server name on the certificate and the actual server. These issues can be significantly reduced by not allowing self-signed certificates (certificates signed by the user).

Incorrect time

Device time synchronization is supported by the NTP protocol on your network. NTP servers can be on your local network or the internet. In the absence of a reliable NTP server, the devices internal clock is used. The internal clock is powered by the CMOS battery which could be the source of the problem.

Blocked TCP/UDP ports

In this section, we will use the firewall as our example. Keep in mind that routers and switches can be capable of blocking traffic to prevent security threats. There are two firewall types: network based and host based. The network based is a physical firewall positioned between the public internet and your private network. It can be configured to block traffic based on the TCP/UDP protocol, port, and the IP addresses acting as a packet filter at the Data Link and Transport layers. A more effective method of control is a content filtering firewall that is capable of inspecting packets up to the Application layer. The host based firewall is configured on the local host and as such can be misconfigured by the user.

Incorrect ACL settings

ACLs are used by routers and firewalls to manage network traffic to control unwanted traffic. If an ACL is not properly configured your network is potentially compromised.

Unresponsive service

Another consequence of our network management techniques is the rapid response to disruptions of services. When there is an unresponsive service an alert is sent to the administrator who can respond/resolve the situation.

Hardware failure

To properly diagnose a hardware failure, follow the best practices for troubleshooting. Once a failed device is identified it should be replaced. All critical devices should have failover capabilities or a compatible and preconfigured hardware replacement.

Click here to go back to the Network+ 4.0 Table of Content

That’s all for objective 5.5! We hope you enjoyed this free study guide Network plus 5.5.  You have reached the end of the last main objective for Network+ N10-007. Congratulations!

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Network+

Free Study Guide Network Plus 5.4 – Dumps4shared

Free Study Guide Network Plus 5.4

5.4 Given a scenario, troubleshoot common wireless connectivity and performance issues.

Click here to go back to the Network+ 4.0 Table of Content

Welcome to Exam Notes by Dumps4shared! This is our Free Study Guide Network Plus 5.4. In this installment, we will cover the topics addressed in objective 5.4 “Given a scenario, troubleshoot common wireless connectivity and performance issues.” The physical environment can impact wireless performance as much as some configuration problems. Dig in!

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Reflection

Reflection of a wireless signal is caused by solid objects in the signal path. Reflected signals bounce off large flat surfaces like walls, buildings, and large metallic objects.

Refraction

Refraction is the diffusion of a signal’s wavelength, direction, and speed when traveling through glass or translucent materials.

Absorption

Absorption occurs whenever a wireless signal encounters an object that absorbs some or all the signal strength. The degree of this impact depends on the object’s composition.

Latency

As you know latency is the delay between sending and receiving interfaces. Latency slows your overall wireless performance. The delay you will experience is measured in milliseconds and is usually fairly constant.

Jitter

Jitter occurs when you have a condition where the latency varies, and the transmitted packets arrive in bursts or are out of sequence. This results in a delay as the data is reorganized.

Attenuation

As any signal travels away from the source the signal will weaken. This is especially true of wireless signals that can be affected by any physical obstacles in the signal path.

Incorrect antenna type

There are two types of wireless antennae unidirectional and omnidirectional. The omnidirectional antenna transmits the signal in all directions where the unidirectional antenna transmits in one direction. For example, you would place an omnidirectional in the center of your coverage area. A unidirectional antenna is especially effective in point to point wireless communication between two buildings.

Incorrect antenna placement

To effectively serve your coverage area start by placing the antenna in the center of your area and survey the signal strength within this area. If the signal is weak in an area you can increase the transmitter radio power or relocate the antenna.

Power levels

Your wireless signal strength is measured in decibel-milliwatts (dBm). With dBm measurements being expressed in negative values. So, a -100 dBm signal is considerably weaker than a -10. On some access points, radio power can be increased to expand the coverage area. In situations where your signals reach outside the intended area, you can decrease the radio power.

Signal-to-noise ratio

With almost every device in your environment producing EMI at some level, these devices are combining to create interference that is called the noise floor. Compare the noise floor to a crowded restaurant where you must speak louder to compensate for the noise. Equally, your wireless signal must be stronger than the ambient noise floor. The difference between your signal strength and the noise floor is measured in dBm. If your signal is too close to the noise floor you risk corrupted data and the retransmissions created by this corruption.

Channel overlap

An issue more relative to the crowded 2.4 GHz wireless band than the 5.0 GHz band is channel overlap. When choosing a 2.4 GHz channel the best practice is to use channels 1, 6 or 11. The channels are 22MHz wide and using the recommended channels there will be no overlap. In our example, you can see that transmissions seen on channel 4 (yellow) create interference with both channels 1 and 6. Channel 11 is your best choice here.

WiFi Analyzer

Overcapacity

The WiFi Analyzer demonstrates the use of the 2.4GHz band. Note here that multiple devices can use the same channel by sharing the bandwidth. This, of course, reduces each client’s throughput. Having too many devices connected to a wireless network will seriously degrade performance. This is why your WiFi connections are so slow in places like airports.

Frequency mismatch

Wireless devices communicate with each other on one frequency. Both the access point and the client must use the same frequency Certainly, if you were creating a new WiFi environment you would use 5 GHz technology to provide the best performance. The fact is that you will most likely be working in a mixed environment using the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies. The wireless standards that cover these frequencies are 802.11ac in the 5 GHz range with Gigabit throughput capability and 802.11b/g/n at 2.4 GHz. 802.11n can operate in both frequency ranges with a throughput of 600 Mbps and is backward compatible with 802.11g at a speed of 54 MHz and 802.11b at 11 Mbps. The WLAN will slow to the lowest supported standard. To achieve the best performance, you would only allow 5 GHz connections to the access point.  This setting would disregard all 2.4 GHz transmissions due to the frequency mismatch.

WLAN Interface Frequency Selection

Wrong SSID

Mismatched frequencies are not the only impediment to wireless connectivity. When configuring a wireless client, you must be sure that you are accessing the correct SSID (Security Set Identifier). The SSID will not be visible unless it is broadcasted.

Security type mismatch

Wireless signals are broadcast openly making them subject to interception. The signals are encrypted to secure communications. Early encryption types like WEP and WAP are insecure and your network should use at least WPA2. If the client security is set to something other than that of the access point it will not connect to the network.

Wrong passphrase

Once you have the correct configuration you can attempt to connect. Your next challenge is using the correct Password/passphrase for authentication. A wrong passphrase will be denied.

Click here to go back to the Network+ 4.0 Table of Content

That’s all for objective 5.4. See you in 5.5! We hope you enjoyed our free study guide Network plus 5.4 and good luck on the test!

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Free study guide Network Plus 5.3 – Dumps4shared

Free study guide Network Plus 5.3

Free study guide Network Plus 5.3 Given a scenario, troubleshoot common wired connectivity and performance issues

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Welcome to Exam Notes by Dumps4shared! This our free study guide Network Plus 5.3. In this edition, we will cover the topics in exam objective 5.3 “Given a scenario, troubleshoot common wired connectivity and performance issues.” We will cover the conditions that impact network performance and connectivity.

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Attenuation

As a signal travels away from its transmission point it becomes weaker. This condition impacts wired and wireless signals. In addition to distance, factors like noise and cable imperfections contribute to attenuation. On the network switches and repeaters refresh the signal to its original strength before passing it along.

Latency

The time it takes for a signal to travel from its source to the destination is called latency. The latency is measured in milliseconds (ms).

Jitter

During network communication, the sequence of the packets can be delayed and arrive out of sequence. This is called jitter or PDV (packet delay variation). The signal path and latency both contribute to jitter. Typically jitter only causes slight delays in normal network traffic as lost packets are retransmitted. Jitter is most noticeable in VoIP, video streaming and gaming. The solution is a small buffer to allow steady data flow.

Crosstalk

Ethernet cables consist of eight wires wrapped into a single cable. With each cable capable of generating EMI. The wires are separated into pairs and twisted to prevent the wires to run in parallel and reduce interference or crosstalk. Crosstalk can be found at the cable ends where the wires run parallel into the connector. Interference that occurs at the transmitting end is called NEXT (near-end crosstalk) and at the receiving end, it is FEXT (far-end crosstalk).

EMI

All electrical devices generate electromagnetic interference (EMI) to some degree. Our networks can usually mitigate this interference with a strong signal.  Problems occur when our network cabling is too close to powerful electrical devices like generators and motors. Also consider the proximity of cabling to power lines, fluorescent lights, and microwave ovens. Use STP cable or reroute the cable to eliminate/reduce the impact.

Damaged cables

Cables that are run through walls or overhead are not usually subject to damage. However, you will find some cabling run under a floor mat or rug. This subjects the cable to foot traffic that can eventually damage the cable. Some cables can be pinched between the desk and a wall which will cause damage over time.

Open/short

An open circuit is one that is damaged or is not physically connected. A short circuit occurs when two exposed cables touch creating a useless and possibly harmful circuit. A multimeter or a cable continuity tester can help you quickly diagnose these conditions. If the problem is inside the cable sheath you can use a TDR to locate the problem.

Incorrect pin-out

A cable tester can detect improperly terminated cables.

Network cable tester

RJ-45 uses four twisted pairs of wire configured to reduce crosstalk and other cable related problems. What you need to know here is how the RJ-45 connectors are wired. There are two dominant wiring pinouts T-568A and T-568B.

T – 568 A & B detail

Changes in other network hardware made it possible for this connector to reach speeds of 100Mbps. As the technology advanced even greater speeds could be attained by making enhancements to the internal configuration of the connector and cable while leaving the original shape and size of the connector unchanged. When a cable is terminated with the same T-568 standard at both ends it is called a straight-through cable or patch cord. The straight-through cable is the most commonly used to connect devices to the network. When a cable is terminated to the T-568A standard on one end and T-568B on the other it is called a crossover cable. This cable reverses the transmitting (TX) and receiving (RX) pairs to allow two devices to communicate directly without network support.

Incorrect cable type

The Ethernet cabling used to connect to the network are all rated according to the specification they support. It is important to look at the cable sheath for the specification it supports. A Cat5 cable on a Cat 6 network will not perform as expected.

Bad port

When diagnosing a connection issue always check the network adapter the connection LED status indicators You can use a loopback plug to diagnose a bad port or failed adapter. It is possible that the port has bent pins creating intermittent connections or no connection at all.

Transceiver/Duplex/speed mismatch

Using a switch that supports modular interfaces allows you to tailor the number and type of connections your network requires. Many switches support hot-swapping each modular interface allowing easy upgrades. Existing Ethernet interfaces can be upgraded to fiber using transceivers. Each connection will use matched pairs of transceivers that support the same speed and duplexing capabilities to avoid Transceiver, speed and duplex mismatches. These conditions contribute to network bottlenecks.

VLAN mismatch

A switch will be configured support one preconfigured default VLAN containing all switch ports which cannot be renamed or deleted and additional native VLAN(s) that should be renamed for security. When configuring native VLANS remember that both ends must match the VLAN assignment or a VLAN mismatch will occur.

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That’s it for objective 5.3. We hope you enjoyed the free study guide Network Plus 5.3See you at 5.4. Good luck on the test!

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Free study guide Network Plus 5.2 – Dumps4shared

Free study guide Network Plus 5.2

5.2 Given a scenario, use the appropriate tool.

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Welcome to Exam Notes by Dumps4shared! This is our free study guide Network Plus 5.2 and in this installment, we will examine the topics covered in objective 5.2 “Given a scenario, use the appropriate tool.” We will cover hardware, software and command line tools, and utilities. Enjoy the Free study guide Network Plus 5.2!

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Hardware tools

Crimper

CAT 5 and CAT 6 can use the same crimping tool. Just be sure to match the cable ends against each other and the wiring standards. Your typical crimper will do all RJ cable terminations.

Crimper

Cable stripper

With a specialized notch for each relevant wire gauge, this device can cut through the insulation only while leaving the copper core of the wire intact.

Coax stripper tool 

Multimeter

Multimeters can be analog or digital. Analog meters are designed to test continuity positive AC and negative voltages as well as resistance. The display is typically a needle over a gradient background with the needle resting on the value being measured. An analog Multimeter can be damaged by extreme under-voltage or overvoltage which would damage the delicate internal windings.  Digital Multimeters address this problem by auto-ranging themselves into the volt/amp range that would provide a relevant output or displaying an error message.

Multimeters

Tone generator & probe

Using a tone generator and probe, cables can be traced and followed end to end through some seemingly impossible bundles. One device is useless without the other. In operation one wire has a tone applied to it at a frequency readable by the probe, it will produce an audible signal. This assures that if you have tone on your cable at the destination, it’s the right one.

Toner probe

Cable tester

An indispensable tool for network diagnostics your cable tester can diagnose wiring problems from broken/cut cables, loose wires to crossed pairs. Less expensive than a network Multimeter, this tester is often all you need to fix a connectivity issue. Place the Master on one end of the suspect cable and the Remote on the other end. The light display will show each wire sequentially. Any sequence problems can be usually be attributed to a crossover cable in the line, Find that and replace with T-568A or T-568B depending on the installation.

Cable tester

Loopback Plug

A loopback plug can be used to test any port on a PC or router or switch. Now it is used most commonly to test the operation of a physical network interface card port. The device typically uses software to send and receive data thereby validating or invalidating the port.

Loopback plug

Patch Panel

Patch panel wiring closets represent some of the most challenging situations for a network technician. Every cable going to every wall jack in the area terminates here. In some cases you have only to connect an RJ-45 jack to a numbered port. In others you have to run 8 wires to their correct locations on the patch panel. Here is an example:

Patch panel

Punchdown tool

In the graphic above each individual wire must be solidly placed into position. This is where your punchdown tool comes into play.

Punchdown tool

This tool is designed with a recoil like a mechanism to firmly punch the wire into position and to trim off excess wire. One-click and you’re done.

Spectrum Analyzers can be used to optimize the performance of your network. They range from the simplest “How many bars are you getting?” to multicolor spectrum analysis of the wireless environment. Suffice to say that this tool is a useful diagnostic. Keep in mind that wireless signals are measured in dBm and is always expressed as a negative value, making -25 dBm a stronger signal than -90 dBm. Use devices to avoid channel overlap.

Light meter

A cable performance tester with fiber optic capability will contain a light meter to measure the state of the fiber connection,

OTDR

An OTDR (optical time domain reflectometer) transmits a signal and analyzes the reflected signal. It can measure the length of the cable and measure the power of the light signal. The OTDR can accurately detect the distance to optical flaws in the path like bad connections and bends or kinks.

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Software tools

Packet sniffer

Also known as a Protocol analyzer, this tool allows you to view each frame traversing on your network. The source, destination, protocol and related statistical information. Protocol analyzers can be hardware or software. In the example we show a portion of the output of the Wireshark protocol analyzer software. Here the packet itself is listed and its information is displayed as text. The packet contents are displayed in hexadecimal.

Wireshark

Port scanner

There are several popular port scanners. Two widely used port scanners are Nmap which is command based and the Zenmap program adds a graphical interface to Nmap along with network topology mapping capabilities. In this example, we used Zenmap to scan the local host for open ports.

Zenmap

WiFi analyzer

WiFi Analyzers can be used to discover a problem, and more importantly, optimize the performance of your WiFi network. They range from the simplest “How many bars are you getting?” to multicolor spectrum analysis of the wireless environment. Suffice to say that this tool is a useful diagnostic. It is available for free from your wireless provider’s site and will run on your smartphone. Keep in mind that wireless signals are measured in dBm and is always expressed as a negative value, making -25 dBm a stronger signal than -90 dBm. Use devices to avoid channel overlap. In the example, you can see the crowded 2.4GHz band followed by the 5.0 GHz band. This information allows you to locate overcrowded channels.

 

2.4 GHz

5.0 GHz

Bandwidth speed tester

Most of us are familiar with the service providers bandwidth statements. ISPs host online speed test sites to enable you to check your actual performance online. The tests are also available as apps. You can configure the app to test your company’s LAN or WAN. You’ll see that the upload and download speeds vary over the course of a day. You can schedule the tests to run automatically and analyze the usage.

Ookla Online Speed Test Ookla App

Command line

Ping

As your first network troubleshooting tool, the ping command returns a very detailed representation of the connection being tested. In our example, we ping the Google DNS server. This sends four 32-byte ICMP packets to the target and displays the results. Looking at the graphic you can see if any of the packets were lost and the time it took to receive the response. The information is presented in a format that displays the results for each packet and the average RTTs (Round Trip Time). Some routers do not respond to these ICMP requests and will show as an asterisk (*) in your results.

Ping at the Command Prompt

tracert, traceroute

Let’s look at an example where you suspect your traffic is experiencing slow response times. The next command line utility we’ll use is tracert (Windows) or traceroute (Linux). We will use the same target; Google’s DNS server and the utility will gather the statistics from up to 30 hops. A hop is a link from one router to the next. Looking at the output you can see that there is a significant delay between the first and second hops and the fifth and sixth. Windows devices send ICMP packets to the destination. The routers in the path respond to the ICMP request and the details are displayed. Some devices do not respond to the ICMP request but will still forward the packet.

Tracert at the Windows Command Prompt

pathping

The pathping command uses both the ping command and the tracert command. Multiple ICMP packets are sent to each hop and the statistics are monitored over a short time period then compiled into a report. The result of the command provides useful information about network conditions like latency and packet loss.

pathping

Nslookup / dig

These next commands, nslookup and dig enable you to obtain the name to address information stored on your DNS server. At the Command Prompt entering the command and a web address or an IP address will produce the results shown in the nslookup example at the right below. In Linux we use dig and the FQDN to produce these results.

Nslookup dig

Ipconfig / Ifconfig

When troubleshooting a network problem, you want to validate your IP connection first. Your basic IP configuration can be viewed with the ipconfig command. You’ll see your IPv4 and IPv6 addresses, subnet and default gateway of the adapters on your machine. More detailed information like the MAC address and DNS server are displayed are shown in the example using the ipconfig /all command. On Linux devices the ifconfig command is used.

ipconfig

iptables

On Linux devices iptables provides stateful packet filtering in the kernel. Iptables can be used effectively as the firewall between your internal network and the internet.

netstat

The TCP/IP statistics on a host can be viewed with the netstat command. Netstat is capable of displaying all connections their state and the ports they are running on. When used alone netstat displays all connections. This is usually more information than you need and command options can be used to find what you are looking for sorted by protocol with the -s option and the hosts routing table is displayed with -r. All command options can be displayed by using netstat /?. The routing table can also be viewed using the route command.

arp

The Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) maintains a table of hardware (MAC) to IP addresses. The arp command enables us to view and maintain the contents of the routing table.

tcpdump

Classified as a packet sniffer the tcpdump command is used on Linux devices to capture all tcp traffic on a network interface. This requires root or administrative privileges. There is a great deal of data generated so it is wise to save the output with the -w option and a filename. This will enable you to better review the output.

tcpdump

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Well, that’s all for objective 5.2! We hope you enjoyed the free study guide Network Plus 5.2. Remember to review each of these topics to deepen your understanding. Good luck. See you in 5.3.

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Free study guide Network Plus 5.1 – Dumps4shared

Free study guide Network Plus 5.1

Free study guide Network Plus 5.1 Explain the network troubleshooting methodology.

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Click here to go back to the Network+ 4.0 Table of Content

Welcome to Exam Notes by Dumps4shared! This is our Free study guide Network Plus 5.1. In this edition, we will examine the topics covered on objective 5.1 Explain the network troubleshooting methodology. Remember these steps because they are as relevant in real life as they will be on your test.

Identify the problem

Gather information – Your first step is to get as much information as possible about the issue. Find out the symptoms, question the users(s) about any changes they are aware of to determine if anything has changed.

screen grab of Windows BSOD
Windows BSOD (blue screen of death)

Duplicate the problem, if possible.  Ask the user to do it if possible. You may notice an input error or another behavioral possibility.

Approach multiple problems individually. Solve each problem one at a time and make only one system change at a time.

Establish a theory of probable cause

Question the obvious. Is the NIC plugged in and working? Check for network access.

Consider multiple approaches. There are many ways to skin a cat. This is especially true here.

Top-to-bottom/bottom-to-top OSI model. Decide whether the problem seems to be related to an application or a physical device. Now use the OSI model to Divide and conquer your problem. Does it appear to be hardware or software? If it looks like software, you will troubleshoot from the Application layer at the top of the model. A hardware problem would be addressed from the Physical layer upwards through the OSI model. 

Screenshot showing OSI Layers for Network+ N10-007 Exam sub-objective 1.2 "Explain devices, applications, protocols and services at their appropriate OSI layers."
OSI Layers & Function

Test the theory to determine the cause

Once the theory is confirmed, determine the next steps to resolve the problem. Whenever possible use a test workstation to plan and implement your repair. If the theory is not confirmed, re-establish a new theory or escalate the issue to get some help.

Establish a plan of action to resolve the problem and identify potential effects

Planning your repairs is as important as the actual repair. Whenever possible use a test workstation to plan and implement your repair. This will allow you to identify any unforeseen negative consequences to your actions.

Verify full system functionality and, if applicable, implement preventive measures

When you are satisfied with the repairs have the user run through some typical functions to ensure functionality. Take the time to review the situation and take preventative measures if necessary.

Document findings, actions, and outcomes

Every completed trouble call should be logged and all contributing details should be documented. This allows your administrators to recognize and mitigate future issues of this type.

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That’s all for 5.1! See you in 5.2! We hope you enjoyed our Free study guide Network Plus 5.1.

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CompTIA Certification Practice Test & Exams | Dumps4shared

Our A+ practice tests: 1,040 questions, 8 complete exam simulations plus 9 Domain Drills (one for each exam objective)

Our Network+ practice tests: 538 questions, 4 complete exam simulations plus 5 Domain Drills (one for each exam objective)

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  • Study Mode: Here you can see all answers and all explanations to improve your knowledge base on the same type of questions you will see on the exam.
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New CompTIA A+ 220-901 and 220-902 on the horizon

The new material in CompTIA’s Certification Exam Objectives for A+ 220-901 Hardware and 220-902 Software will be released shortly. If the latest Network+ revision is any guide then thses exam objectives will center mostly around security and the cloud/virtual, as well as mobile devices. Windows XP may be dropped as it is no longer supported by Microsoft. Windows 10 may or may not be included.In any case we should know shortly as the new exam objectives should be realeased any day now.

Security+ Exam SY0-301 vs SY0-401 Exam Objectives

How different is the new Security+ SY0-401 compared to the old SY0-301?

The Security+ Nouveau has arrived! However, would you be so inclined, you will still be able to sit for the “old” SY0-301 until December 31 of 2014.

The new material in CompTIA’s Certification Exam Objectives for Security+ SY0-401center mostly around the Cloud, mobile and the challenges posed to internal security when allowing third party access.

They say you can make statistics say whatever you want it to say and that holds, to a certain extent, true when it comes to analyzing the difference between the new Security+ and the old one.

A superficial look will make the changes seem very minor. You still have the exact same number of main domain, six. They are labelled exactly the same as before and the difference in how they are weighed at the exam is within a couple of percent or so compared to the old exam. Security+ SY0-401 has six main domains and a total of 33 sub domains in all. Of these 33 sub domains only four are completely new and these are:

2.2 Summarize the security implications of integrating systems and data with third parties.

2.9 Given a scenario, select the appropriate control to meet the goals of security.

4.2 Summarize mobile security concepts and technologies.

4.5 Compare and contrast alternative methods to mitigate security risks in static environments.

So four new sub domains out of 33 and were looking at just a bit over 12% added content to cover, right? Wrong, because here, as in so many other situations, the devil is in the details.

Looking closer you will notice that (including the four all new sub-domains) 22 out of the 33 sub-domains in SY0-401 have seen some content added. Now we are looking a 66% difference! This of course is going a bit far in the other direction but does demonstrate that a superficial analysis, is yet again, not going to give you the whole story. So we have to look beyond just the sub-domain level. Just for clarity here is how the terminology works:

Example of CompTIA objectives listing Our terminology
1.4 Given a scenario, implement common protocols and services. Sub-domain
• Protocols Topic
o IPSec Sub-topic

We prefer “Main-objective” for the top level objective and “Sub-objective” instead of Sub-domain. However, in the interest of clarity and minimum confusion, we use “Domain” because that is what CompTIA uses in their “Certification Exam Objectives” document. To get these documents click on the following links: Exam Objectives for SY0-301 and SY0-401.

So back to our analysis, the new exam objectives have a total of 307 Topic items and 339 sub-topics. How many of those are new? There are in all 61 Topic items and 128 new sub-topics. This means that 20% of the Topics are new while 36 of the Sub-topics are new. This is quite significant. The exam has a maximum of 90 questions, with 128 new sub-topics you could arguably (although agreed, that would be extreme) sit for an exam that has none of the content of the “old” SY0-301 exam. Here is another superficial fact, but this may not lead to the wrong conclusion, the Certification Exam Objectives for SY0-301 is 16 pages while the new Certification Exam Objectives document for SY0-401 is 23 pages long…


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CompTIA Certification Practice Tests & Exam Simulators

All of our online courses include practice tests which include questions and formats that you will find on the exams. What better way to get prepared than to actually take practice exams in order to determine areas where you might need to focus on further as well as to get yourself mentally prepared to be in the test taking environment. 

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Since 2001 Dumps4shared® has helped in excess of a million users prepare for their CompTIA certification exams. Year after year we add features, narrow our focus on the features that truly help our users and expand those capabilities and refine our approach. For starters though, we make sure we simply have a vast number of test prep questions – which is critical to your study and preparation. In addition to that find below a list of the major benefits Dumps4shared brings to your exam preparation:

This is how Dumps4shared helps you succeed:

  • – Exam-like: questions matching each and every exam objective and sub-objective. Answers with detailed explanations.
  • – Assessment mode: that, upon completion, will prepare your custom Personal Testing Plan (PTP) with a list of items to study just for you.
  • – Certification Mode: is the actual CompTIA exam simulation, the timer is set for the exam time, same type and number of questions as the exam and same distribution of questions per exam objective as the exam. This is like taking the exam from the comfort of your home! It will do wonders to you time management skills in preparation for the actual exam and help you avoid running out of time unexpectedly on the exam.
  • – Study Mode: Here you can see all answers and all explanations to study and improve your knowledge base on the same type of questions you will see on the exam.
  • – Focus drills: One drill per exam objective, these practice tests help you practice one main exam objective at the time because all the questions in these drills are exclusively focused on one exam objective.
  • – A detailed score report helps you Identify what you already know and what you need to study more. With overall scoring as well as per objective scoring you will rapidly know where you need to focus.
  • – Custom tests, based on your performance, after any of our Focus Drills or Exam simulations, Dumps4shared will offer you the option to make on the fly a test just for you that will focus only on your weak points.
  • – An exceptional Test Pass Guarantee: our First Try Guarantee, because an exam voucher costs too much for you to want to pay it twice.

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