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Is there any Web site to help me stay current with CCNA?

An instructor at a school I attended told me Cisco would send me an email telling me my CCNA was no longer valid, but they never did. Can I still consider myself a CCNA?

Also, I have had very little call for Cisco technology in my area. I live in a depressed area so computer jobs are few and far between. I would like to try and stay current in the technology, but I can't afford to buy any Cisco equipment to use at home (Cisco hardware is very expensive, when you have no income). Do you know of any Web site where I could stay current with the technolog and maybe get some hands-on experience? Or is my best bet using the Sybex CCNA book that I have with its CD-based practice network?

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I wish I could say that Cisco lets these things slip under the rug, but I'm afraid their tracking system is usually dead-on even though you did not get an email. In fact, you can go to Cisco's Web site and see for yourself by signing up with the Cisco certification tracker tool. There you can update your email information as well once you sign up (perhaps they had an old email address on file which is why you never received one). While you are there, also search on Cisco's Web site for their CCNA Prep Center. It is loaded with materials including videos, games, router and switch simulations (for hands-on practice), practice tests and more. It really is a great site to get any of the rust off and get back in the saddle again for taking the certification.

I would also like to warn you about using outdated materials such as the Sybex book because the test objectives have changed quite radically in three years and that book might teach you antiquated information. I recommend the CCNA Exam Prep and CCNA Exam Cram personally (I admit I am biased since I co-authored the Exam Prep), as well as the new Cisco Press series for CCNA and the new Sybex as well.

Good luck!

This was first published in March 2007

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