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  1. Senior Member Geetar28's Avatar
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    #1

    Default Thoughts on Time and Study Prep needed for CCNA Wireless

    My CCNA is up this June. I have an interest in wireless technology and so I'm looking at sitting for this one...(though I just saw the $250 price tag...sheesh). I have "access" to a 4400 and several AP's at work. But I won't really be doing any "configuring" on them. I'm not going to break something....just to practice.

    I've looked at the Trainsignal 3-day trial deal that looks like it just came out for the 722, and am weighing whether to pay the $49/ month. I've read conflicting things about this exam and am looking for input. I've read alot of people that say it was just a bunch of memorization of tedious facts and of little practical value. Do any of you have thoughts on that?

    I guess one of the "practical" values for me is that my cert is coming up, I wanna keep it current and I'm interested in wireless...
    Do you think that three months is enough time to go from relatively noob status with wireless to passing this exam?

    I'm trying to get into study mode where I put in a minimum of an hour (preferably 2) a day reading and watching CBT's. The other thing I'm really surprised about is that the Wireless track seems very lacking in interest. This forum and the one over at Cisco is relatively quiet...why or what are some of y'alls thoughts on that?
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  3. Senior Member
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    #2
    Ive been studying for the NA wireless too, Im going to take it in the next 3-10 days. I've been studying 1-2hrs a day for the past 2 months, during the weekdays. The track is kinda stupid imo, so much needs to be memorized. The encoding/modulation, encryption/authentication, RF signaling, WCS/WLC GUIs, upgrade/installation procedures, CCX versions, etc. There is so much memorization and so little learning. At least that's the way I feel. That said, I dont feel the information is bad in anyway, but for the most part most of it feels pretty useless. Stuff I may use if something goes wrong, or may prevent problems, but not stuff youll use day to day.
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  4. Senior Member Geetar28's Avatar
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    #3
    What are you using for studying? I definitely understand what you mean about the material. Are you feeling fairly confident about your prep...do you think 2 months has been good to get a handle on it? I myself am fairly green when it comes to wireless.
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  5. Senior Member
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    #4
    I'm completely green to wireless, but not green in networking. I dont feel like the material is complicated at all, just a lot to memorize. YMMV. Ive read the lammle book and the quick reference. Lammle more thorough, but out of date, reverse for the quick reference. Not sure if I'm ready, but dont see what else to really study now, just doing final review and gonna pull trigger. Not much in the way of practice tests I could find, and the ones I did were unreasonably priced.
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  6. Random Member docrice's Avatar
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    #5
    For me, the CCNA Wireless was one of the most worthless certifications I've ever attained. While I got a little bit of the RF theory out of it, the vast majority was about Cisco-centric products and coverage on general 802.11 topics was lacking. It helped extend my CCNA, but that was the only practical value for me. If I really wanted to learn wireless, I should've went for the CWNA instead.

    To be blunt, if I had to drop one of my networking certs, the CCNA Wireless would be my immediate first choice. Although I've worked with Cisco 1200 series APs a bit, I had no other wireless controller experience. Everything I needed to pass the exam was in the Cisco Press book.
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  7. Senior Member SteveO86's Avatar
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    #6
    I agree a 100% with Dorice on this. I took the CCNA:W after working with the Cisco wireless for over a year and I learned nothing new from the certification test nor would the material have helped a year earlier. Wireless is fundamentally different from a layer 1 perspective which I feel the CCNA:W doesn't cover enough. If you will be dealing with wireless I also highly recommend the CWNA due to its in-depth coverage of 802.11 and the behavior of RF.

    If you're looking to getting more familiar with Cisco Wireless products, I'd simply read the configuration guide for the version of code your controller is running. (That's what I did initially)

    If you're looking to get familiar with RF/Wireless in general go after the CWNP certifications.

    With that said however If your primary goal is to re-new your CCNA, CCNA:W will be easiest way to do it. However you might learn more from CCNA:Security. I consider the CCNA:S a good supplement for any network engineer/administrator since I feel a lot of what the CCNA:S covers is common sense best practice.

    However, if you are interested in wireless and want to break into the wireless field, go for the CCNA:W however I'd supplement that by reading the CWTS/CWNA for the RF knowledge (do not bother even thinking about taking the CWTS exam).

    Just my thoughts.
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  8. Senior Member Geetar28's Avatar
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    #7
    Thanks for the input...I'm a good bit of the way into the Trainsignal videos and so far they are pretty interesting I've read a bit out of the Quick reference as well. So far it's not too bad, seems like a kind of "overview" of RF...but the acronyms are definitely piling up.

    I think I'm going to go ahead and shoot for it despite it's practical or hands on value...may be a waste of time, but so far I don't find it that bad. I'm sure when it comes closer to test time I will have wished otherwise.
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  9. Senior Member Cat5's Avatar
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by docrice View Post
    For me, the CCNA Wireless was one of the most worthless certifications I've ever attained. While I got a little bit of the RF theory out of it, the vast majority was about Cisco-centric products and coverage on general 802.11 topics was lacking. It helped extend my CCNA, but that was the only practical value for me. If I really wanted to learn wireless, I should've went for the CWNA instead.

    To be blunt, if I had to drop one of my networking certs, the CCNA Wireless would be my immediate first choice. Although I've worked with Cisco 1200 series APs a bit, I had no other wireless controller experience. Everything I needed to pass the exam was in the Cisco Press book.
    All this may be true, but if one is trying to get a wireless job, most employers have never heard of the CWNA, whereas the CCNA-Wireless or CCNP-Wireless would bring nods of acknowledgement. It may mean the difference between getting that wireless job or not.
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  10. Senior Member 2URGSE's Avatar
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    #9
    Got my NA last year. I for instance, took a break and then tried to figure out where to go. I started with CCNA Voice, but I don't deal with it at work and have no hands on experience. I decided to leave it alone, and going towards my CCNA Wireless and CCNA Security right now. Also lurking into the CCNP Routing/Switching.

    I think for those who have no dealt with Cisco wireless products as of yet (myself included) and want to put another certification on the resume, it's a good path to follow.

    I am following Todd Lammle's CCNA Wireless book, and so far it's very well written. He even tells you what equipment to buy for the labs.

    I just got my Aironet 1200 and Cisco 2100 WLC. (Gotta love eBay)

    If you're on an intermediate level, this can be worth while. If you're advanced like some of the folks on this thread, it may be a waste of time.

    I find wireless pretty cool, and would consider getting more wireless certifications in the future.
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