Best CCNA Books
The CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) Routing & Switching certification is one of the most sought after networking certifications. It is often the best way to get your food in the door of a great networking and IT career.
The CCNA is a big step above certifications such as CompTIA's Network+ or Security+. You will really need to know routing and switching to pass the CCNA.
There's a lot of websites that focus on helping you pass the CCNA. This includes sites with practice questions, video courses and even router emulators. However, the most useful study tool is still a good book. A good book will go into more detail than any other type of study guide. You can use videos and other tools as a supplement to your CCNA book, but the best way to pass the CCNA is to study from a book and then practice using real networking gear or a router simulator like Packet Tracer.
I looked through all the leading CCNA books and found that these are the best books for passing the exam. They are the most comprehensive, easiest to understand and most applicable to the exam. If you are looking for a good CCNA book, get one of these.
1. CCNA Routing and Switching Complete Study Guide
This is the book that I used to pass the CCNA for the first time ever. It was well written, easy to understand, and I passed the exam on my first try. The author, Todd Lammle, has about a billion books on Cicsco technologies. He is well known and respected and is a great technical writer. He covers all the relevant information without being as dry and boring as some other CCNA books. This book is split into ICND1 and ICND2 sections, letting you easily study for each part of the test, one at a time, if you choose to do the two test path. (I did the two test path and highly recommend it.)
2. CCNA Routing and Switching Official Cert Guide
You cannot go wrong with Cisco's official self-study book. Cisco offers preparatory classes for the CCNA, but those cost a ton of money. This book is designed for those who want to follow the Cisco path but are not taking such a class. This self-study guide is great in that it is the official guide of the exam, so you know that the information you are getting is correct and correlated to the exam. The one reason I prefer the Lammle book mentioned above is that this book tends to read a little dry. The language is a bit more dull than the above book. If you are looking for a technically precise book, this is a great choice.
3. CCNA Routing and Switching Portable Command Guide
This book is not a full CCNA exam prep book. Instead, this book is a concise version of all the Cisco commands you need to master for the CCNA. This book is great as a second book for studying the CCNA. It is a good book to use on public transit or on a lunch break. You can use it to quickly review all the different commands you must know of the CCNA. This is also a great book for those who already have a CCNA but need to renew their certificate. Maybe you already work on Cisco gear, but don't run across every command all the time. This book will help you review all the commands, including the ones that you might not use very often. This book is also a great reference to have after you land your first networking job. It can be used to reference useful commands.
4. Cisco CCNA Simplified: Your Complete Guide to Passing the Cisco CCNA Routing and Switching Exam
This book is much more focused on just passing the CCNA exam than some of these other books listed here. That is both a good thing and a bad thing. It's good in that it will help you do well on the exam. It's bad because there is a lot of additional networking information that will be useful to you in your career that is not covered by the CCNA. This is a good book for someone who just wants to pass the CCNA. One of the best parts of this book is the strong focus on interactive lab practice. The CCNA has interactive lab questions that tend to be the most difficult questions on the exam. This book does a good job of focusing on those questions and getting students comfortable with those simulation style questions.
5. 31 Days Before Your CCNA Routing & Switching Exam
This book is targeting those who are in a hurry to pass the exam. If you want to pass the CCNA as soon as possible, this is a good choice. Going through this book is almost like cramming for the exam, but taking a month to do so. Of course, you do not have to read through the whole book in 31 days, but if you are going to take your time, you should probably try one of the other books on this list. This is a good book for those who are renewing their certification. If you already know a lot of this information, but need a review, this is a good book.