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CCNA: Computer Networking Essentials

Acquire the skills needed to become a Cisco Certified Network Associate and launch your career in computer networks.

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Prepare for a future in computer networking

As technology advances, the need for network professionals continues to grow. This three-week course will equip you with the necessary skills to develop and maintain computer networks at an industry level.

Gain the skills to pass the CCNA exam

One of Cisco’s most sought-after certifications, a CCNA qualification will demonstrate your ability to perform an entry-level job in computer networks.

On this course, you’ll learn the more advanced concepts required to pass the CCNA exam, building on the knowledge you already have of networking layers, routing, and TCP/IP and OSI models.

By gaining a CCNA certificate, you can prove to prospective employers that you have the skillset to excel in the computer network sector.

Examine computer network protocols

Network protocols are the rules that determine how data is transmitted between devices that share a network.

On this course, you’ll explore intermediate protocols including Address Resolution Protocol (ARP), User Datagram Protocol (UDP), and Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP).

By understanding these protocols, you’ll be able to explain the more complex processes within computer networks and improve your IP management skills.

Enhance your understanding of network routing

Routing is the process of mapping paths so that your data can travel from its source to your chosen destination.

On this course, you’ll explore this concept in detail, from the responsibilities of router hardware to managing multiple route paths.

With this knowledge, you’ll be able to understand the routing protocols involved in small, individual networks up to global organisations.

By the end of this course, you’ll have gained essential knowledge of computer networks in preparation for the CCNA exam and a future career in networking.

Skip to 0 minutes and 1 second SPEAKER: Need to learn networking essentials in a flash? Then get ready to reach your goal in just three weeks. Join Bogdan Stashchuk, an expert in computer networking, and learn all about network protocols and systems. By the end of this course, you’ll be able to explain the core networking processes, distinguish key networking functions, investigate data transmission between digital systems, examine networking parameters through tools like Wireshark and PowerShell, and even experiment with network settings. No more computer networking worries. Learn wherever and whenever you like. Step into your future with CCNA, Computer Networking Essentials from Packt and FutureLearn.


  • Week 1

    Data transmission protocols

    • Welcome and introduction

      Welcome to Computer Networking Essentials and the start of your learning journey, brought to you by Packt.

    • Introduction to ARP and ICMP protocols

      In this activity, you'll learn about two essential protocols that enable host communication and data transmission.

    • The transport layer and connectivity

      In this activity, you'll learn how network connections are established using ports and the communication protocols.

    • Network sockets

      In this activity, you'll identify how sockets function to establish network connections.

    • The TCP and UDP protocols

      In this activity, you will compare the characteristics of the TCP and UDP protocols to determine how they work with the transport layer.

    • Wrap up

      You have reached the end of Week 1. In this activity, you will reflect on what you have learned.

  • Week 2

    Routing operations

    • Introduction to Week 2

      In this activity, you'll review the topics that will be covered in Week 2.

    • Router functionality and data transmission

      In this activity, you'll discover how routing is performed to transmit IP packets.

    • Routing decisions

      In this activity, you'll examine how routers create routes between devices to connect with IP addresses.

    • Gateways to systems

      In this activity, you'll investigate different gateways to connect with autonomous systems.

    • Routing optimisation

      In this activity, you'll discover how optimal routing pathways are created to create faster connections.

    • Network address translations (NAT)

      In this activity, you'll explore how network addresses are translated to establish connections.

    • Wrap up

      You have reached the end of Week 2. In this activity, you will reflect on what you have learned.

  • Week 3

    Networking parameters and protocols

    • Introduction to Week 3

      In this activity, you'll review the topics that will be covered in Week 3.

    • Address translations

      In this activity, you'll explore static and dynamic network and port address translations.

    • Network address identifiers

      In this activity, you'll examine domain names and IP addresses that identify network resources.

    • DNS queries

      In this activity, you'll investigate the DNS protocol that indexes websites for easier resource location.

    • DNS records

      In this activity, you'll discover how DNS records are created and communicated across networks and protocols.

    • Wrap up

      You have reached the end of this course. In this activity, you will reflect on what you have learned.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Explain core networking processes.
  • Discuss key networking functions which enable connectivity between systems.
  • Investigate data transmission between devices, routers, networks and other digital systems.
  • Explore networking parameters through tools like Wireshark and PowerShell.
  • Compare networking protocol functions.
  • Experiment with network settings to investigate query results.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for those with an interest in computer networks who already have a foundational understanding of network processes. It is particularly useful for those preparing to take the CCNA exam.

What software or tools do you need?

You’ll need a MacOS or Windows computer running Wireshark, which is free to download.

Who developed the course?


Founded in 2004 in Birmingham, UK, Packt’s mission is to help the world put software to work in new ways, through the delivery of effective learning and information services to IT professionals.


FutureLearn is a leading social learning platform and has been providing high quality online courses for learners around the world over the last ten years.

What's included?

This is a premium course. These courses are designed for professionals from specific industries looking to learn with a smaller group of like-minded individuals.

  • Unlimited access to this course
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes
  • Certificate of Achievement to prove your success when you're eligible
  • Download and print your Certificate of Achievement anytime

Still want to know more? Check out our FAQs

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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