Top 10 technical tips of 2006

Our most popular tech tips of 2006.

Network design tops the list in 2006, as seen in our top 10 list of most popular tips. If you have missed any of these tips, now is the time to catch up before the end of the year.

  1. What network administrators need to know about IP addressing and subnetting
  2. Designing IP-based networks
  3. Migrating to MPLS
  4. Duplex mismatch: Why duplex conflicts plague the network
  5. PIX firewall configuration from scratch
  6. Five steps to stamp out unsafe Wi-Fi use
  7. Document your network cabling
  8. Layer 3 switches explained
  9. Network test plan: Construction and checklist
  10. VPN 101


  1. What network administrators need to know about IP addressing and subnetting
    In our top series of the year, David Davis provides a practical, in-depth look at IP addressing and subnetting. He discusses how IP addresses work, subnet masks, classful vs. classless IP addresses, default gateways and more.

  2. Designing IP-based networks
    This four-part series by author Cormac Long offers you a comprehensive roadmap to designing IP-based networks, from the basic principles involved to the more complex finishing touches.

  3. Migrating to MPLS
    As more organizations begin to take advantage of providers' MPLS offerings, network engineers must learn how to prepare their current networks for transition. This tip explains basic MPLS implementations and shows you some common configurations for MPLS VPNs. It also provides a sample configuration and routing considerations to keep in mind.

  4. Duplex mismatch: Why duplex conflicts plague the network
    Duplex mismatch problems simply will not go away. After a decade of plaguing IP networks, duplex conflicts still seem to be the single worst source of performance degradation. In this tip, Dr. Loki Jorgensen explores why duplex mismatches are difficult to conquer using auto-negotiation.
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  5. PIX firewall configuration from scratch
    In this step-by-step configuration for PIX firewalls, learn how to configure a new PIX, out of the box. You will configure passwords, IP addresses, network address translation (NAT) and basic firewall rules.

  6. Five steps to stamp out unsafe Wi-Fi use
    Lisa Phifer helps dispel the top myths of wireless security and explains five steps that network administrators can take to lead their users toward safer Wi-Fi usage.

  7. Document your network cabling
    Because updating your network documentation is a time-consuming, error-prone process, keeping track of your network cables can be a big mess. When moving things around, or in the case of a security audit, a poorly-documented layout can turn into an emergency situation. In this tip, learn about dedicated documentation software that helps keep things organized.

  8. Layer 3 switches explained
    Layer 3 switches are becoming more and more common in the enterprise. This tip explains the difference between a switch, a router and a Layer 3 switch. Author David Davis also helps network engineers understand what to look for when shopping for Layer 3 switches.

  9. Network test plan: Construction and checklist
    For every change you make to your network architecture, you should have a test plan and a backout plan. In this tip, learn how to build a test plan and review a sample checklist of things to include.

  10. VPN 101
    Get a quick understanding of virtual private networking (VPN) technology and what enterprises need to know when selecting VPN equipment in this introductory tip.

  • View all our tip categories -- including Routing & Switching, Network Engineering and Wireless Networks -- on this networking tip index page.
  • This was last published in December 2006

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