How to Learn Computer Networking: A Step-by-Step Guide

It is undeniable that computers have completely changed our world. Our modern lifestyle is possible to a large extent thanks to computers. Computer networks have also impacted tremendously the way we communicate. The largest network, the Internet, has been a key enabler of globalization.

Just imagine how a long-distance phone call used to be done a few decades ago. That was a very tedious and costly procedure. Today, you can establish a videoconference with someone on the other side of the world with a few clicks. This is possible thanks to computer networks.

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Hence, it is quite normal that many people are interested in learning computer networking. Fortunately, for autodidacts, there are plenty of online resources to learn computer networking. From tutorials to programming assignment companies such as AssignmentCore that help you to learn to program, you can have access to these resources easily by having your coding homework done from scratch.

The reasons that motivate people to learn computer networking are many, including:

  • A wish to learn new skills to find new job opportunities;
  • The desire to expand basic knowledge in the topic;
  • To get industry certifications that allow a job promotion;
  • Curiosity to know how the Internet and other computer networks work.

Whatever the reason that motivates you, you surely want to find a learning guide. You want a set of steps that take you through the vast knowledge of computer networking. This article will give you sound advice to start learning computer networking effectively. So, let’s begin.

How You Should NOT Learn Computer Networking

Yes, this article is about how to learn computer networking. However, it is important to highlight a mistake that many people make when learning computer networking: to memorize. Even since we were kids in elementary school, memorization was a common approach to pass exams. Adults do it also, most commonly when they want to pass certification exams.

Unfortunately, this approach won’t be effective to learn the technical concepts associated with computer networking. And this is the result of the large variety of scenarios in which computer networking is applied.

Moreover, imagine the very large list of words and acronyms that you should memorize. It can be discouraging. Many people simply give up and stop learning because of the enormous amount of information to memorize.

But again, this is not the right way to master computer networking. Take a look at professional network engineers. They did not master computer networking through the memorization of every concept or acronym. Instead, they strived to understand the fundamentals of how computers communicate with each other. Then, the principle extends to different situations and scenarios.

A Step-by-Step Guide for Learning Computer Networking

Memorizing concepts won’t take you far in computer networking. So, in the following paragraphs, you’ll find the different steps of a proven approach to learning computer networking. Try them. You’ll notice how your knowledge of this topic increases rapidly. You will have to put in some effort. But it will pay off.

Step 1: Find Good Learning Resources

As mentioned, there are many free learning resources on the Internet. You can find computer networking tutorials, books, and even lessons online. Hence, select one that covers the topics of your interest. If you don’t have any previous knowledge of computer networking, you need to begin with the fundamentals.

On the other hand, if you already are familiar with computer networking and look to extend your knowledge, then you can look for more specific resources.

Step 2: Identify How Different Concepts Are Connected

As mentioned, you don’t need to memorize anything. Instead, understand each new concept that you study. Then, try to identify how all the concepts that you have learned interconnect. You’ll likely learn computer networking using the so-called OSI model. It will be very useful to associate the functions that occur in the different layers of the model. This will help you to understand the role of the different devices that operate at different layers.

Over time, you’ll understand how all the concepts are connected in the different layers. This will be the key to understanding communication protocols. Hence, every time you learn a new concept, try to link it to what you already know. This approach will be much more effective than memorizing words and acronyms.

Step 3: Explore the Way Network Devices Work

As you advance in your study of computer networking, you’ll learn how to configure equipment. It’s very common to learn how to set up and configure networking devices following a “recipe.” More often than not, people just care to learn how to make a computer network work by configuring it the way they learned. However, to learn to troubleshoot real-life problems, you should play around with the equipment.

Now, you know the network works with this configuration, what would happen if these parameters changed? Be curious. Explore and challenge yourself. Ask yourself questions and find out the explanation of how things work or don’t work in different ways.

Step 4: Practice Makes the Master

Don’t limit yourself to learning theoretical concepts only. You have to practice a lot to become good at configuring and troubleshooting networking equipment. Hence, practice all the time. Practice will also help you to solidify your theoretical knowledge.


Follow the four steps above and you’ll be a proficient computer network expert in no time. Remember, computer networking is about understanding concepts, not memorizing them.

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Brian Peng
Brian Peng is a PC technician and network engineer with over 13 years of IT experience. He has worked in the IT industry for a long time, providing IT support and network service support for various companies. Currently, he has written over 1000 articles about computers, games, and mobile.

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