How to start from "zero"?



  • First post.  Hello.  :)
    I just got pfsense installed on a little QOTOM computer.  It's not on my network yet.
    As is typical for me (ready, shoot, aim), I've realized I essentially nothing about networking. 
    I've toyed around in the past (i.e. successfully did port forwarding for some ip cameras), but didn't fully understand what I was doing, or why.
    Would the on-line book that comes with gold membership be the right place for me to start?  Does it literally cover the basics, starting at "the beginning"?  Or does it assume the reader has some working knowledge?

    Thanks,
    Skip



  • @skipdup:

    (ready, shoot, aim)

    ;D

    It could have been worse: shoot, aim, ready  :P

    The book is not going to explain all kinds of general concepts to you - as far as I know. When I was subscribed to gold, it wasn't explaining it, and I was told it wasn't the goal to explain it, not then, and not in the future, so I take it it still isn't in the book.

    You will need a good book for that. Please do report back if you found one: I'd love to read it too.

    Having said that, with a simple setup, with only two cables, one for your LAN, and one for your WAN, the setup wizard can get you going in 2 minutes, it really is very easy to do. It only gets complex once you want to make it complex, later on.


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    The book has quite a large section on general networking topics to bring most people up to speed, but depending on your starting knowledge and ability to understand the concepts, you might need an even more basic networking book.



  • Thanks guys!


  • Banned

    Try the book Network Warrior by Donahue



  • @pfBasic:

    Try the book Network Warrior by Donahue

    Love the pic of the beautiful big dog (I'm an ultimate dog lover, have Rottweilers myself), so I'll go find the book, thank you for the suggestion  :-*


  • Banned

    no worries, it's cisco focused and some of the stuff is pretty advanced, but it does a pretty good job of explaining a lot of the basics as well - although that is not the aim of the book.

    You can pick up a used copy of the last version for a few $ on amazon. The old version should be more than sufficient for learning the basics.



  • I got the book.

    It actually demonstrates nicely in chapter 1 what the problem is of 99% of all IT-books: no definitions, no holistics, no Feynman or Einstein rules.

    It starts talking about frames without defining frames. Talks about layers without defining (he says that somewhere that he is not going to explain that, but I still fail to see why, especially give the pretentious title of the book).

    I have 'advanced degrees' in economics. I am going to tell you the big picture of micro, meso, macro-economics and econometrics. But I will not talk about the fundamentals you need to understand any of it. You may look that up somewhere else.

    Don't shoot me  ;D

    Bye,



  • @jimp:

    The book has quite a large section on general networking topics to bring most people up to speed, but depending on your starting knowledge and ability to understand the concepts, you might need an even more basic networking book.

    Would you know one, Jimp?


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    No, I don't have any specific recommendations.

    Having worked IT in academia for years in the past, I can tell you that "Advanced Degrees" means nothing about your learning ability for subjects outside your area of expertise. It's completely irrelevant to this discussion, and mentioning it in the same breath as calling a book title "Pretentious" is laughable. You may be an economics expert but that does not translate in any way to your ability to grasp IT or networking concepts at any level, nor does it offer any insight about how quickly you might be able to pick up a new subject.

    You need to find learning materials that will work for your level – whatever that level is. Maybe what you need is actually an entry-level networking or data communications course textbook (or to take a course!). Visit a library or book shop and try a few out and find one that works for you.



  • I started to learn about networks from the CompTIA Network+ book by Mike Meyers.  It's ~ $35 USD on Amazon.  I'm sure there are more affordable options out there, but it definitely goes into good detail about network fundamentals.  It talks about very general networking practices and starts at the absolute beginning and assumes that you don't know what a CAT5 cable looks like.

    It's tailored for the exam, so there are tons of legacy chapters in there too.  My mission wasn't to take the exam, but to fill in knowledge gaps.  I'm still a novice, but that book definitely helped me get my feet wet.  I can at least have a conversation with a network engineer and understand enough to ask intelligent questions.

    Hope that helps.



  • @jimp:

    No, I don't have any specific recommendations.

    Having worked IT in academia for years in the past, I can tell you that "Advanced Degrees" means nothing about your learning ability for subjects outside your area of expertise. It's completely irrelevant to this discussion, and mentioning it in the same breath as calling a book title "Pretentious" is laughable. You may be an economics expert but that does not translate in any way to your ability to grasp IT or networking concepts at any level, nor does it offer any insight about how quickly you might be able to pick up a new subject.

    You need to find learning materials that will work for your level – whatever that level is. Maybe what you need is actually an entry-level networking or data communications course textbook (or to take a course!). Visit a library or book shop and try a few out and find one that works for you.

    We laugh at different things, jim. Many different things.

    Sorry to say it, but you failed to get the message.

    (You may have worked in an IT-department in some university, but I think that doesn't exactly qualify you to attack my PhD titles, which, on the other hand, do give me some academic qualities to judge peoples' writing skills, such as the book. Even 'though you call that academic skill 'laughable'. You're actually saying: he who has studied science and scientific writing and has degrees in that, is laughable if he comments a book is far from scientifically sound. Point taken, Jim).



  • @DanC:

    I started to learn about networks from the CompTIA Network+ book by Mike Meyers.  It's ~ $35 USD on Amazon.  I'm sure there are more affordable options out there, but it definitely goes into good detail about network fundamentals.  It talks about very general networking practices and starts at the absolute beginning and assumes that you don't know what a CAT5 cable looks like.

    It's tailored for the exam, so there are tons of legacy chapters in there too.  My mission wasn't to take the exam, but to fill in knowledge gaps.  I'm still a novice, but that book definitely helped me get my feet wet.  I can at least have a conversation with a network engineer and understand enough to ask intelligent questions.

    Hope that helps.

    Thank you very much Dan, that I do know, what a CAT5 cable looks like, I even know I should prefer CAT6 cables over CAT5e.

    I'll look into the book, thank you again :D


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    And by your reply, it's clear you completely missed the point of what I said, while simultaneously proving my point.

    I hope you find a book that fits your level of IT learning ability.