Exam Objectives

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Domain  % of Examination
Network Technologies 20%
Network Media and Topologies 20%
Network Devices 17%
Network Management 20%
Network Tools 12%
Network Security 11%
Total 100%

These objectives are up to date for the 2009 edition of the CompTIA Network+ exam.

The Network+ certification ensures that the successful candidate has the important knowledge and skills necessary to manage, maintain, troubleshoot, install, operate and configure basic network infrastructure, describe networking technologies, basic design principles, and adhere to wiring standards and use testing tools.

The skills and knowledge measured by this examination were derived from an industry-wide job task analysis and validated through an industry-wide global survey in Q2 2008. The results of this survey were used in weighing the domains and ensuring that the weighting is representative of the relative importance of the content.

The table to the right lists the domains measured by this examination and the extent to which they are represented. Network+ exams are based on these objectives.

Note: The bulleted lists below each objective are not exhaustive lists. Even though they are not included in this document, other examples of technologies, processes, or tasks pertaining to each objective may also be included on the exam.

Contents

Network Technologies - 20%[edit]

Explain the function of common networking protocols:[edit]

Objective 1.1
  • ARP (Address Resolution Protocol)
  • DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol)
  • DNS (Domain Name System)
  • FTP (File Transfer Protocol)
  • HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol)
  • HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure)
  • ICMP (Internet Control Message Protocol)
  • IGMP (Internet Group Management Protocol)
  • IMAP4 (Internet Message Access Protocol version 4)
  • NTP (Network Time Protocol)
  • POP3 (Post Office Protocol version 3)
  • RTP (Real-time Transport Protocol) - VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol)
  • SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) - VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol)
  • SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol)
  • SNMP2/3 (Simple Network Management Protocol version 2 or 3)
  • SSH (Secure Shell)
  • TCP (Transmission Control Protocol)
  • TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) suite
  • Telnet
  • TFTP (Trivial File Transfer Protocol)
  • TLS (Transport Layer Security)
  • UDP (User Datagram Protocol)

Identify commonly used TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) and UDP (User Datagram Protocol) default ports:[edit]

Objective 1.2

TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) ports:

  • 20 - FTP (File Transfer Protocol)
  • 21 - FTP (File Transfer Protocol)
  • 22 - SSH (Secure Shell)
  • 23 - Telnet
  • 25 - SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol)
  • 53 - DNS (Domain Name System)
  • 80 - HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol)
  • 110 - POP3 (Post Office Protocol version 3)
  • 123 - NTP (Network Time Protocol)
  • 143 - IMAP4 (Internet Message Access Protocol version 4)
  • 443 - HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure)

UDP (User Datagram Protocol) ports:

  • 53 - DNS (Domain Name System)
  • 67 - BOOTPS/DHCP (Bootstrap Protocol/Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol)
  • 69 - TFTP (Trivial File Transfer Protocol)
  • 161 - SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol)

Identify the following address formats:[edit]

Objective 1.3
  • IPv4 (Internet Protocol version 4)
  • IPv6 (Internet Protocol version 6)
  • MAC (Media Access Control) addressing

Given a scenario, evaluate the proper use of the following addressing technologies and addressing schemes:[edit]

Objective 1.4

Addressing Technologies:

  • Subnetting
  • Classful vs. classless - e.g. CIDR (Classless Inter-Domain Routing), Supernetting
  • NAT (Network Address Translation)
  • PAT (Port Address Translation)
  • SNAT (Static Network Address Translation)
  • Public vs. private
  • DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) - static, dynamic APIPA (Automatic Private Internet Protocol Addressing)

Addressing schemes:

  • Unicast
  • Multicast
  • Broadcast

Identify common IPv4 (Internet Protocol version 4) and IPv6 (Internet Protocol version 6) routing protocols:[edit]

Objective 1.5

Link state:

  • OSPF (Open Shortest Path First)
  • IS-IS (Intermediate System - Intermediate System)

Distance vector:

  • RIP (Routing Information Protocol)
  • RIPv2 (Routing Information Protocol version 2)
  • BGP (Border Gateway Protocol)

Hybrid:

  • EIGRP (Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol)

Explain the purpose and properties of routing:[edit]

Objective 1.6
  • IGP (Interior Gateway Protocol) vs. EGP (Exterior Gateway Protocol)
  • Static vs. dynamic
  • Next hop
  • Understanding routing tables and how they pertain to path selection
  • Explain convergence (steady state)

Compare the characteristics of wireless communication standards:[edit]

Objective 1.7

802.11 a/b/g/n:

  • Speeds
  • Distance
  • Channels
  • Frequency

Authentication and encryption:

  • WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access)
  • WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy)
  • RADIUS (Remote Authentication Dial In User Service)
  • TKIP (Temporal Key Integrity Protocol)


Network Media and Topologies - 20%[edit]

Categorize standard cable types and their properties:[edit]

Objective 2.1

Type:

  • Category 3, 5, 5e, and 6
  • STP (Shielded Twisted Pair), UTP (Unshielded Twisted Pair)
  • Multimode fiber, single-mode fiber
  • Coaxial
    • RG-59
    • RG-6
  • Serial
  • Plenum vs. Non-plenum

Properties:

  • Transmission speeds
  • Distance
  • Duplex
  • Noise immunity - security, EMI (Electromagnetic Interference)
  • Frequency

Identify common connector types:[edit]

Objective 2.2
  • RJ-11 (Registered Jack 11)
  • RJ-45 (Registered Jack 45)
  • BNC (Bayonet Neill-Concelman)
  • SC (Subscriber Connector or Standard Connector or Siemon Connector)
  • ST (Straight Tip)
  • LC (Local Connector)
  • RS-232 (Recommended Standard 232)

Identify common physical network topologies:[edit]

Objective 2.3
  • Star
  • Mesh
  • Bus
  • Ring
  • Point to point
  • Point to multipoint
  • Hybrid

Given a scenario, differentiate and implement appropriate wiring standards:[edit]

Objective 2.4
  • 568A
  • 568B
  • Straight vs. crossover
  • Rollover
  • Loopback

Categorize WAN technology types and properties:[edit]

Objective 2.5

Type:

  • Frame relay
  • E1/T1 (E-Carrier Level 1/T-Carrier Level 1)
  • E3/T3 (E-Carrier Level 3/T-Carrier Level 3)
  • ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line)
  • SDSL (Symmetric Digital Subscriber Line)
  • VDSL (Very High Bitrate Digital Subscriber Line)
  • Cable modem
  • Satellite
  • OC-x (Optical Carrier)
  • Wireless
  • ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode)
  • SONET (Synchronous Optical Networking)
  • MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching)
  • ISDN BRI (Integrated Services Digital Network Basic Rate Interface)
  • ISDN PRI (Integrated Services Digital Network Primary Rate Interface)
  • POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service)
  • PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network)

Properties:

  • Circuit switch
  • Packet switch
  • Speed
  • Transmission media
  • Distance

Categorize LAN technology types and properties:[edit]

Objective 2.6

Types:

  • Ethernet
  • 10BaseT
  • 100BaseTX
  • 100BaseFX
  • 1000BaseT
  • 1000BaseX
  • 10GBaseT
  • 10GBaseSR
  • 10GBaseLR
  • 10GBaseER
  • 10GBaseSW
  • 10GBaseLW
  • 10GBaseEW

Properties:

  • CSMA/CD (Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Detection)
  • Broadcast
  • Collision
  • Bonding
  • Speed
  • Distance

Explain common logical network topologies and their characteristics:[edit]

Objective 2.7
  • Peer to peer
  • Client/server
  • VPN (Virtual Private Network)
  • VLAN (Virtual Local Area Network)

Install components of wiring distribution:[edit]

Objective 2.8
  • Vertical and horizontal cross connects
  • Patch panels
  • 66 block
  • 110 block
  • MDFs (Main Distribution Frames)
  • IDFs (Intermediate Distribution Frames)
  • 25 pair
  • 100 pair
  • Demarc
  • Demarc extension
  • Smart jack
  • Verify wiring installation
  • Verify wiring termination


Network Devices - 17%[edit]

Install, configure, and differentiate between common network devices:[edit]

Objective 3.1
  • Hub
  • Repeater
  • Modem
  • NIC (Network Interface Card)
  • Media converters
  • Basic switch
  • Bridge
  • Wireless access point
  • Basic router
  • Basic firewall
  • Basic DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) server

Identify the functions of specialized network devices:[edit]

Objective 3.2
  • Multilayer switch
  • Content switch
  • IDS/IPS (Intrusion Detection System/Intrusion Prevention System)
  • Load balancer
  • Multifunction network devices
  • DNS (Domain Name System) server
  • Bandwidth shaper
  • Proxy server
  • CSU/DSU (Channel Service Unit/Data Service Unit)

Explain the advanced features of a switch:[edit]

Objective 3.3
  • PoE (Power over Ethernet)
  • Spanning tree
  • VLAN (Virtual Local Area Network)
  • Trunking
  • Port mirroring
  • Port authentication

Implement a basic wireless network:[edit]

Objective 3.4
  • Install client
  • Access point placement
  • Install access point
    • Configure appropriate encryption
    • Configure channels and frequencies
    • Set ESSID (Enhanced Service Set Identifier) and beacon
  • Verify installation


Network Management - 20%[edit]

Explain the function of each layer of the OSI (Open Systems Interconnection) model:[edit]

Objective 4.1
  1. Physical
  2. Data Link
  3. Network
  4. Transport
  5. Session
  6. Presentation
  7. Application

Identify types of configuration management documentation:[edit]

Objective 4.2
  • Wiring schematics
  • Physical and logical network diagrams
  • Baselines
  • Policies, procedures, and configurations
  • Regulations

Given a scenario, evaluate the network based on configuration management documentation:[edit]

Objective 4.3
  • Compare wiring schematics, physical and logical network diagrams, baselines, policies and procedures, and configurations to network devices and infrastructure
  • Update wiring schematics, physical and logical network diagrams, configurations, and job logs as needed

Conduct network monitoring to identify performance and connectivity issues using the following:[edit]

Objective 4.4
  • Network monitoring utilities (e.g. packet sniffers, connectivity software, load testing, throughput testers)
  • System logs, history logs, event logs

Explain different methods and rationales for network performance optimization:[edit]

Objective 4.5

Methods:

  • QoS (Quality of Service)
  • Traffic shaping
  • Load balancing
  • High availability
  • Caching engines
  • Fault tolerance

Reasons:

  • Latency sensitivity
  • High bandwidth applications
    • VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol)
    • Video applications
  • Uptime

Given a scenario, implement the following network troubleshooting methodology:[edit]

Objective 4.6
  1. Information gathering - identify symptoms and problems
  2. Identify the affected areas of the network
  3. Determine if anything has changed
  4. Establish the most probable cause
  5. Determine if escalation is necessary
  6. Create an action plan and solution identifying potential effects
  7. Implement and test the solution
  8. Identify the results and effects of the solution
  9. Document the solution and the entire process

Given a scenario, troubleshoot common connectivity issues and select an appropriate solution:[edit]

Objective 4.7

Physical issues:

  • Crosstalk
  • Near End crosstalk
  • Attenuation
  • Collisions
  • Shorts
  • Open impedance mismatch (echo)
  • Interference

Logical issues:

  • Port speed
  • Port duplex mismatch
  • Incorrect VLAN (Virtual Local Area Network)
  • Incorrect IP (Internet Protocol) address
  • Wrong gateway
  • Wrong DNS (Domain Name System) server
  • Wrong subnet mask

Issues that should be identified but escalated:

  • Switching loop
  • Routing loop
  • Route problems
  • Proxy arp
  • Broadcast storms

Wireless issues:

  • Interference (bleed, environmental factors)
  • Incorrect encryption
  • Incorrect channel
  • Incorrect frequency
  • ESSID (Enhanced Service Set Identifier) mismatch
  • Standard mismatch (802.11 a/b/g/n)
  • Distance
  • Bounce
  • Incorrect antenna placement


Network Tools - 12%[edit]

Given a scenario, select the appropriate command line interface tool and interpret the output to verify functionality:[edit]

Objective 5.1
  • traceroute
  • ipconfig
  • ifconfig
  • ping
  • arping
  • arp
  • nslookup
  • hostname
  • dig
  • mtr
  • route
  • nbtstat
  • netstat

Explain the purpose of network scanners:[edit]

Objective 5.2
  • Packet sniffers
  • Intrusion detection software
  • Intrusion prevention software
  • Port scanners

Given a scenario, utilize the appropriate hardware tools:[edit]

Objective 5.3
  • Cable testers
  • Protocol analyzer
  • Certifiers
  • TDR (Time-domain Reflectometer)
  • OTDR (Optical Time-domain Reflectometer)
  • Multimeter
  • Toner probe
  • Butt set
  • Punch down tool
  • Cable stripper
  • Snips
  • Voltage event recorder
  • Temperature monitor


Network Security - 11%[edit]

Explain the function of hardware and software security devices:[edit]

Objective 6.1
  • Network-based firewall
  • Host-based firewall
  • IDS (Intrusion Detection System)
  • IPS (Intrusion Prevention System)
  • VPN (Virtual Private Network) concentrator

Explain common features of a firewall:[edit]

Objective 6.2
  • Application layer vs. network layer
  • Stateful vs. stateless
  • Scanning services
  • Content filtering
  • Signature identification
  • Zones

Explain the methods of network access security:[edit]

Objective 6.3
  • ACL (Access Control List)
    • MAC (Media Access Control) filtering
    • IP (Internet Protocol) address filtering
  • Tunneling and encryption
    • SSL VPN (Secure Sockets Layer Virtual Private Network)
    • VPN (Virtual Private Network)
    • L2TP (Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol)
    • PPTP (Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol)
    • IPSEC (Internet Protocol Security)
  • Remote access
    • RAS (Remote Access Service)
    • RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol)
    • PPPoE (Point-to-Point Protocol over Ethernet)
    • PPP (Point-to-Point Protocol)
    • VNC (Virtual Network Computing)
    • ICA (Independent Computing Architecture)

Explain methods of user authentication:[edit]

Objective 6.4
  • PKI (Public Key Infrastructure)
  • Kerberos
  • AAA (Authentication, Authorization, and Accounting)
    • RADIUS (Remote Authentication Dial In User Service)
    • TACACS+ (Terminal Access Control Access Control System+)
  • Network access control
    • 802.1x
  • CHAP (Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol)
  • MS-CHAP (Microsoft Handshake Authentication Protocol)
  • EAP (Extensible Authentication Protocol)

Explain issues that affect device security:[edit]

Objective 6.5
  • Physical security
  • Restricting local and remote access
  • Secure methods vs. unsecure methods
    • SSH (Secure Shell), HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure), SNMPv3 (Simple Network Management Protocol version 3), SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol), SCP (Secure Copy Protocol)
    • Telnet, HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol), FTP (File Transfer Protocol), RSH (Remote Shell), RCP (Remote Copy Protocol), SNMPv1/2 (Simple Network Management Protocol version 1 or 2)

Identify common security threats and mitigation techniques:[edit]

Objective 6.6

Security threats:

  • DoS (Denial of Service)
  • Viruses
  • Worms
  • Attackers
  • Man in the middle
  • Smurf
  • Rogue access points
  • Social engineering (phishing)

Mitigation techniques:

  • Policies and procedures
  • User training
  • Patches and updates