FSNE: IT & Network Essentials


In this module, we dive into the most fundamental and foundational concepts related to IT and networking. You’ll learn what computer networks are all about and by the end of this module you will have an understanding of all the important protocols, standards, and technologies that give you a strong IT foundation.


  • Welcome (1 min)
    • Welcome to the IT & Network Essentials Module!
Intro to Networking - 70 minutes
  • What is a Network (16 min)
    • In this Introductory lesson we will start with the most basic concept – what is a network?
  • Networking Overview (18 min)
    • In this lesson we will discuss general networking, devices, graphical icons, and terms.
  • Network Types (19 min)
    • We’ll break down the different types of networks: LAN, WAN, CAN, MAN, WLAN, WWAN, SAN and PAN!
  • Bits, Bytes, and Ethernet Frames (17 min)
    • In this lesson we discuss what data actually looks like and some of the things need to happen for that data to be sent out onto the network.
Frames & MAC - 25 minutes
  • What is a MAC Address (13 min)
    • Now that you have an idea about Ethernet Frames let’s dissect a MAC address.
  • Hubs vs Switches (12 min)
    • With an understanding of MAC Addresses, you are now ready to learn about the main difference between a Hub and a Switch!
Broadcast Domains - 23 minutes
  • Unicast & Multicast (7 min)
    • Before we can truly understand Broadcast Domains we need to know what the different types of messaging are. Enter the Unicast and Multicast; in the next lesson we will discuss the Broadcast.
  • The Broadcast & Broadcast Domains (16 min)
    • And now, let’s learn what a Broadcast Domain is!
Intro to IP & Routing - 55 minutes
  • IP and a Brief History (15 min)
    • Let’s find out how it all started with Internet Protocol.
  • The IP Address (14 min)
    • The IP address – let’s break it down!
  • Routing Packets and Datagrams (14 min)
    • With an understanding of IP we can learn how IP Packets are routed from one network to another.
  • Real World IP Routing (12 min)
    • And, just what is a real IP Router? Let’s find out!
Address Resolution Protocol - 16 minutes
  • ARP, Gratuitous ARP and RARP (11 min)
    • In order to communicate any computer will need to know the destination’s MAC address and IP address. Let’s learn how ARP helps us with that!
  • Diagram of an ARP Request(5 min)
    • Here, we will see exactly how ARP requests and ARP replies are used to build the ARP cache.
Intro to Ethernet & Switching - 64 minutes
  • Ethernet Overview and History (15 min)
    • Let’s dive into the history of Ethernet – the most influential protocol family in Local Area Networks
  • Ethernet Segmentation (11 min)
    • What is an Ethernet Segment and what exactly is a bus? Let’s find out!
  • Common Cables used with Ethernet (16 min)
    • Let’s look at the most common cables that are used with Ethernet.
  • Ethernet Naming Syntax (12 min)
    • Ethernet Syntax – we’ve got to understand it!
  • Real World Ethernet Switch (10 min)
    • Let’s really get a grasp on Ethernet now by looking at real world Ethernet switching!
Cabling & Power - 118 minutes
  • Common Cables (23 min)
    • In this lesson we’ll break down all the most common cables you will see in the field.
  • Common Connectors (14 min)
    • You can’t use cables without connectors!
  • Cabling Tools (19 min)
    • What are the tools used to create and test cables? In this lesson we will define all the most important cabling tools.
  • Create a Cat 5e Cable for Ethernet (32 min)
    • In this lesson we will learn an extremely valuable skill and learn how to build a crossover cable for use in Ethernet networks. We’ll also learn when we should use a crossover cable versus a straight-through cable and the TIA/EIA standard pin-outs associated with each type of cable.
  • Structured Cabling & Equipment Rooms (19 min)
    • We will break down the standard for network wiring in buildings – Structured Cabling. Understanding this will really help you – wiring inside buildings is a key component to networks.
  • Racks and Power (11 min)
    • We have networks, we have equipment, but where does it all live and how does it keep running? I have a feeling you will find out soon enough!
Networking Hardware - 81 minutes
  • Network Devices (26 min)
    • In this lesson we will look at some actual hardware and discuss how to tell the difference between a router, switch, and firewall. We’ll also discuss the infamous Console port and how just about every network device has one of these and what they are used for.
  • Device Components (40 min)
    • Break down a computer and a router into their major physical components and learn what the most important components are used for. In addition, we’ll jump into a live router and look at how the major memory components (ROM, NVRAM, DRAM, and Flash) are used.
  • ISR 2800 Router Breakdown (15 min)
    • In this video, we will take apart a Cisco 2800 series Integrated Services Router. All those things you just learned about the device components will become much more clear now!
How to Build Your Own Labs - 113 minutes
  • How to Build a Home Lab (15 min)
    • Both Physical and Virtual home labs are super important for current and continued learning. Don’t wait any longer, start building your home labs now and become versed in all the physical and virtual platforms available to expand your engineering skillsets.
  • How to Connect to a Console Port (11 min)
    • Connecting to the console port on a network device is something we must all know and love. Here’s everything you ever wanted to know about consoling into a device!
  • Cisco Packet Tracer Installation (23 min)
    • In this lesson we will make sure you know how to install Cisco Packet Tracer so that you can build your own lab simulator!
  • Intro to Command Line Interface (19 min)
    • In this lesson we will learn how to get around in Cisco CLI
  • Lab: Essential Network Configuration (20 min)
    • In this lab we will configure the most essential parts of setting up a small internetwork using Cisco devices and Cisco IOS
  • Lab: Device Discovery Protocols (16 min)
    • Our devices can automatically detect each other’s presence through the Ether… net. Let’s check it out with some labs!
  • Lab: Speed & Duplex (9 min)
    • Speed and Duplex mismatches are a common problem out in the field and usually leave people scratching their head – let’s check it out in a lab so we know what to expect!


Guidance and Motivation


The program is created by engineering veterans who worked at Cisco, Arista Networks, top VARs, and in the U.S. Air Force. The founders have trained over 1000+ engineers for the military and built this curriculum from the ground up in order to make you job and mission-ready!

Over 40+ years of combined industry experience have been poured out into our Full Stack Network Engineering program to take anyone from Zero to Engineer in 14 to 24 weeks.

Terry Kim

Founder and CEO of NexGenT – I’ve worked in the IT industry for 15+ years before starting this company and have been fortunate enough to work for some amazing companies such as Cisco Systems, Arista Networks, and Dimension Data as a Network Architect/Systems Engineer. And my mission is to help you level up in Information Technology!

Jacob Hess

I’m a Network Engineer, Entrepreneur, and Air Force veteran who is passionate about computer networking, education, and high performance teams. I enjoy people, teaching, learning, business, and cutting edge technology.

Bill Goodwin

20 years in the computer networking industry that has included campus enterprise and Service Provider backbone support.  Headed up the problem management team overseeing troubleshooting for all high profile issues at AT&T.  Began teaching Cisco networking as a Cisco Netacad Instructor in 2007.  My focus is to get students CCNA certified.

John Meersma

I am a Network, Collaboration, and Automation Engineer with a passion for helping others become their technical best. I have worked with and taught technology for over twenty years. Learning Cisco and becoming certified change my life. I am committed to helping others do the same.