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This book is officially approved courseware for the CompTIA Network+ exam. It has been approved also by the CSSIA (Center for Systems Security and Information Assurance). The book is very comprehensive. But as all textbooks go it has both strengths and weaknesses. In this review I will try to highlight some of both.
Like most computer industry books, this one comes with a supplemental CD. That CD includes the Certblaster and MeasureUP self-test software and other files the student will find useful.
Each chapter begins with a highlight box that will outline what will be covered in the chapters. Then it includes a letter or story from someone working in the industry. At first these seemed a little cheesy, but as I moved further and further into the book I realized that they were a great source for a feel for the material in the real world, and not just in the classroom or self-study. On the side of the pages are some green bars; these bars highlight specific information you are required to know for the CompTIA exam, and which exam objective they are part of.
One of the greatest strengths is that each chapter ends with a mini glossary of key terms or new terms from that chapter. There is also a complete glossary of all of these terms at the back of the book. Then at each chapter's end there is a series of review questions - multiple choice questions much like those found in self-test software and on the actual exam. Finally, each chapter has a series of hands-on projects. Each project gets progressively more difficult.
The greatest strength of this book is that it has all-encompassing hardware, software, different OS's. The weakness is that it is a lot of material packed very densely into nearly a thousand pages. When I did the school program, we did this book in 3 weeks. For most it was a little overwhelming.
If you want to write the CompTIA Network+ exam, this is a great book to help get you there. Pay special attention to the Novell Netware sections. There were a lot of questions on the exam about those. And Good Luck!