NetworkLessons.com vs INE vs CBT Nuggets Review

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In this video post I review networklessons.com and answer the question “is it worth the monthly subscription fee or not?” I’ll do that by investigating the content on the site and comparing it with similar services such as INE (Internetwork Expert) and CBT Nuggets. See below for full text review.

 

Visit https://www.flackbox.com/giveaways/networklessons to win annual membership to networklessons.com worth $290!

Visit https://www.flackbox.com/networklessons for a Network Lessons 7 day trial.

 

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Here’s the networklessons.com menu items:

 

networklessons.com

 

Courses

 

Here’s the courses, broken down by exam:

 

Network Lessons Courses - Exams

And by technology area:

 

Network Lessons Courses - Technology Areas

 

Configuration Examples

 

If you Google for a networking technology it will typically be cisco.com which comes up first. The Cisco documentation is always very detailed but sometimes it can be too detailed. The configuration examples will typically show all of the different possible options which can make things really confusing. If you Google for pretty much any Cisco networking topic you’ll find that networklessons.com is also in the first page of results.

 

When I look for a configuration example, I want to know how this feature is actually configured in the real world following best practice. I don’t want all of the other possible options that are hardly ever used bundled in the same place in the same article.

 

A great thing about networklessons.com is it gives the normal best practice configuration that you should use. It’s much easier to understand that way, and when I’m working in the real world it shows me the configuration I should actually be using. This is perfect as an on-the-job reference as well as for study.

 

It is possible to get other excellent text resources (I always recommend Todd Lammle’s books – they’re what I used to learn networking way back in the day), but the thing with a book is you can’t copy and paste from it. Pasting the example configs from Network Lessons into your lab configurations saves you time.

 

Search

 

So, the first thing you get is the courses. Another useful feature is the Search box. If you search for BGP for example, you’ll see the depth of material included. You don’t just get one post covering BGP fundamentals, you’ll find 123(!) articles covering pretty much all the sub-topics inside BGP. Each article has an easy to understand breakdown of the technology with an example you can run in the lab.

 

BGP articles

 

Network Lessons Forum

 

The other thing that you get is the forum. A lot of sites have forums where all you’ll find is tumbleweed, but the forums on networklessons.com are very active. You’ll also notice it’s very often Rene who was the last person to post because he is responsive to questions. So if you do have any queries, you can ask Rene in here and he will get back to you.

 

Network Lessons Forum

 

I wish that this had been available for me back when I was doing my Cisco qualifications.

 

Pricing Comparison

 

The last thing to talk about is the pricing. The two main other options where you can sign up for a monthly membership to learn CCNA, CCNP and CCIE are INE (Internetwork Expert) and CBT Nuggets.

 

Another one which comes to mind is linda.com whose material is also on LinkedIn Learning since they were purchased. Linda cover a massive amount of topics across all areas of business, they don’t focus exclusively on IT. I have a LinkedIn Learning membership but I haven’t used them for IT training so I won’t cover them here.

 

Let’s compare pricing:

 

networklessons.com

⦁ $1 trial for 7 days
⦁ $29 per month for monthly membership (cancel at any time)
⦁ $290 upfront for annual membership ($24 per month)

 

ine.com

⦁ No trial option
⦁ $699 upfront for six months ($117 per month)
⦁ $999 upfront for one year ($84 per month)
⦁ $1699 upfront for two years ($71 per month)

 

cbtnuggets.com

⦁ 7 days free trial
⦁ $84 per month for monthly membership (cancel at any time)
⦁ $499 upfront for six months ($84 per month – no discount)
⦁ $999 upfront for one year ($84 per month – no discount)
⦁ Up to 20% discount for 2 or 3 year packages

 

So you can see that INE and CBT Nuggets are a lot more expensive than Network Lessons.

 

So you’re probably wondering why INE and CBT Nuggets cost more than Network Lessons. The reason is they have got more material. Networklessons.com focuses on Cisco routing and switching. INE and CBT Nuggets have more instructors and teach more topics.

 

INE really made their name with high level CCIE video training and workbooks. If you asked me what would I recommend if you were going to study CCIE Security or CCIE Wireless or another CCIE track, I would definitely recommend INE. For sure they’re the best in the business for that. The do also have CCNA and CCNP material, and they’re branching out into other related topics such as Wireshark, but they’re most famous for CCIE training.

 

If you are going to choose between networklessons.com and INE the cost is going to come into it. If you’re studying for CCNA or CCNP routing and switching right now, networklessons.com is excellent and a lot more affordable. You can take another look at INE when you’re ready to learn CCIE or another Cisco track.

 

If your work are paying for it – get both of them! If they’ll only pay for one, what I’d advise you to do is have a look at the training material from both and pick which one you like best. Different instructors have different teaching styles.

 

The content on networklessons.com is really good and the content on INE is great as well. Brian McGahan from INE is one of my favourite instructors. When I’m learning CCIE level material, he is probably my favourite instructor. Some of their other instructors are not so good but, again, this is a personal preference thing. So you might love one of their other instructors and not love Brian McGahan so much. Really, it depends on you.

 

Okay, so that’s a comparison between networklessons.com and INE. Let’s talk about CBT Nuggets as well.

 

Comparing the three options, networklessons.com is great for CCNA, CCNP and going up to CCIE level routing and switching with Cisco. INE goes across all the different tracks, not just routing and switching. Both INE and networklessons.com focus mainly on Cisco.

 

CBT Nuggets don’t just concentrate on Cisco. They have courses on just about all the other vendors as well, such as Microsoft and VMware etc.

 

Just like INE, CBT Nuggets have got lots of different instructors. Again, some of them are great, others not so much. Jeremy Ciora is a brilliant instructor, the most enthusiastic that I’ve ever seen. He makes the courses really entertaining. Keith Barker is also good, Anthony Sequeira – they’ve got lots of well-known instructors.

 

So, when would you choose CBT Nuggets? If you want to have access to lots of different courses. Maybe you’re not going to such a high level, but you want a foundational knowledge across Microsoft, Cisco, VMware etc. CBT Nuggets would be a good choice for that.

 

Cost comes into it again, so it depends if you’re paying for it yourself or if your work is going to pick up the tab. If your work can afford it, of course it’s best to get all three. If they’re not going to spring for that, then choose which one is most suitable for you.

 

Recommendations

 

networklessons.com – Best for Cisco Routing and Switching learning and for configuration examples. Best value.

ine.com – Best for Cisco CCIE study.

cbtnuggets.com – Best for foundational level study across multiple vendors.

 

Visit https://www.flackbox.com/giveaways/networklessons to win annual membership to networklessons.com worth $290!

Visit https://www.flackbox.com/networklessons for a Network Lessons 7 day trial.

 

Okay, that pretty much wraps up the review and the comparison with Network Lessons. If you have any questions or feedback let me know in the comments below.

 

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