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I am currently new to the world of administration and have somewhat of a decent knowledge on networking. However I want to improve and advance my knowledge within the field. I have been informed the taking certified classes is a waste of time and money. Instead I have been told to read up and study on your own and practice with test computers about building a functional network.

Does anyone have any suggestions on books to read, websites to visit, or programs to use that will help expand my knowledge base within the subject of computer networking?

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I consider these to be required reading for anyone interested in network administration.

TCP/IP Illustrated:

http://www.amazon.com/TCP-IP-Illustrated-3-Set/dp/0201776316

Network Warrior:

http://www.amazon.com/Network-Warrior-Everything-need-wasnt/dp/0596101511.

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In addition to the books @joeqwerty listed, there are a few mailing lists that have been invaluable to me:

(Do not use these mailing lists as your personal question-and-answer forum, at least until you've gained some significant experience. Doing so will make the other list participants grumpy. Rather, just subscribe and lurk, reading threads when they seem interesting)

  • NANOG - North American Network Operators Group. Very high-level discussion happens here. Much of it will likely go over your head at first, but as you learn, you will start being able to follow and learn.
  • cisco-nsp - Cisco Network Service Provider. Similar in nature to the NANOG list, but more Cisco-centric.
  • ipv6-ops - IPv6 Operations. Discussion about new developments in IPv6, current status of its deployment, and current best practices.
  • dns-operations - As you'd expect from the title, discussions about the DNS operations and status.
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What you were told is correct. Certification is for impressing prospective employers, not for serious learning. In addition to reading books and/or articles you might also consider some of the training videos available. e.g. Those by Laura Chappell are well worth watching.

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The one of best books about networks theory are Olifer N.Olifer V. "Computer Networks" and Tanenbaum A. "Computer Networks". Sometimes knowing the theory is very useful.

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Right Thought!! Knowledge is more important than certificates. But friend,most companies ask for certificates as Certificates is proof that you have particular knowledge. It's my personal interview experience too..

These are some good books and links if you want to expert in networking.

1) Cisco Certified Network Associate by Tod Lammle- Best Author http://www.amazon.com/Certified-Network-Associate-Edition-ebook/dp/B004S82OAE

2) TCP/IP Protocol Suite (Mcgraw-Hill Forouzan Networking) http://www.amazon.com/Protocol-Suite-Mcgraw-Hill-Forouzan-Networking/dp/0073376043

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Link: This site is extremely helpful for all kind of IT training as it has video lectures by Top professional

http://www.cbtnuggets.com/it-training-videos/it-nuggets-library

Best of Luck!!

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