Think you need to spend hours in a brick-and-mortar classroom to learn network administration or network security? Think again.
Today, you can find plenty of network training videos online. Here’s a roundup of some of the best free and paid places for network training online.
For starters, several sites offer Massively Open Online Courses, or MOOCs, that feature network training videos.
MOOCs entail more than just watching videos. They’re complete instructional courses that usually require you to complete coursework over a period of several months in addition to watching a series of recorded lectures.
If you’re looking for in-depth network training on particular topics, and video is your preferred mode of instruction, MOOCs are a great choice.
There are three major MOOC platforms that offer network training courses and videos:
- edX. This platform’s courses are free, but for a fee you can receive an optional certificate upon successful completion of the courses. Network training offerings include Digital Networks Essentials and Network Security.
- Coursera. This MOOC platform doesn’t offer an introductory network training course, but it does feature classes in specialized networking topics, including Software Defined Networking, Cloud Networking, and Networks Illustrated. If you’re looking to develop networking skills in one of these specific areas, Coursera is an excellent place to do it.
- Udacity. This platform offers a networking basics course as well as courses on networking for Android devices and networking for the Web.
All of the MOOC offerings above are supported by major universities and are taught by professors or networking industry experts. If you’re looking to acquire a lot of networking skills, but don’t want to have to attend a traditional educational institution to do it, MOOCs are a great solution.
O’Reilly Media, the company that publishes those technical books with black-and-white images of animals on the cover, also offers a large selection of network training videos developed by experts.
The videos vary in scope and focus from introductory topics like Network Engineering Fundamentals and how to design and build a small office network to more specialized instruction in areas such as Cisco ASA firewalls.
O’Reilly’s network training videos aren’t free. Most cost around $60 but several are well above $100. And one, a recording of a complete security conference, will set you back $800.
Those prices aren’t negligible. But if you’re looking for expert-level training in a wide selection of networking topics, O’Reilly’s videos are worth the investment.
3. CBT Nuggets
Another option that will cost you, but is worth the fee, is CBT Nuggets. The site offers hundreds of hours of network training videos on topics ranging from networking fundamentals to more advanced subjects, like network monitoring and vendor-specific network technologies. You can purchase access to all of CBT Nuggets’ videos on a subscription basis. Pricing starts at $84/month for an individual and goes down if multiple people subscribe at once.
4. Cisco Learning Network
If you’re searching for free, pithy training videos on specific topics, the Cisco Learning Network is a great place to look. Most videos are between 5 and 20 minutes long and are designed to provide informative overviews of networking topics targeted at practitioners.
As you’d expect, most of Cisco’s videos focus on Cisco’s technologies or related ones. But the site also offers videos dedicated to topics like how networking careers are evolving.
Some of Cisco’s videos are recording of webinars, and you can sign up on the site for live sessions where you can participate and ask networking questions of your own.
5. Professor Messer
Professor Messer offers several dozen free network training videos. They’re designed for people preparing for CompTIA certification, but they’re also useful if you’re just seeking to educate yourself. The video series starts with sessions on network basics and moves on to cover more advanced topics like security and industry standards.
Last but not least is good old YouTube. The selection of network training videos available on YouTube is far too large to list here—and let’s face it, many YouTube networking videos aren’t high quality—but here are a few YouTube channels dedicated to network training that are particularly helpful:
As an Auvik subscriber, you gain automatic access to a training course in network fundamentals from Network Direction. To see what’s available or start any module, log into the Auvik training portal.
With so many options to choose from, it’s easy to find online network training that meets your needs. Whether you want to take a months-long training course taught by professionals, or just catch a quick overview of a topic in your spare time, you can find everything you need to know on your laptop or phone.
Thanks for the additions, Dave!