Are you interested in a Career in Network Communications? Are you considering a career change? Would you like to increase your personal knowledge of Network Communications for private use? If so, a Network Communications Course may be right for you.

What is Network Communications?

Network communication, or internetworking, defines a set of protocols (that is, rules and standards) that allow application programs to talk with each other without regard to the hardware and operating systems where they are run (Source: IBM).

Why Should I Take a Network Communications Course?

Network Communications Professionals are responsible for the management of computer networks. They work with the physical computer networks within various companies and organizations. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for Network Communications Professionals is expected to grow at least 5% between 2020-2030.

If you are interested in learning more about Network Communications to advance your career, to receive an introduction to Network Communications or gain certification in Network Communications, see my top picks for best Network Communications course.

What is the best Network Communications Course?

Network Communication Course feature image
Network Communications Course

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1. Cisco: CCNA – Introduction to Networks – Best Network Communications Course Overall

Cisco: CCNA – Introduction to Networks is my top pick for best Network Communications course overall, because it provides you the opportunity to work towards the CCVA certification and a career in networking. This course is the start of a three-part microcredential pathway, preparing you for the CCNA certification, which is Cisco’s internationally recognised certification.

Part 1: Cisco: CCNA – Introduction to Networks

Part 2: Cisco: CCNA – Switching, Wireless and Routing Essentials

Part 3: Cisco: CCNA – Enterprise Networking, Security and Automation

By the end of the three-part microcredential pathway you will be fully prepared to take the Cisco Certified Network Associate certification, setting you up for a career in networking.

The Cisco: CCNA – Introduction to Networks microcredential offered through FutureLearn is endorsed by Cisco and designed by leading experts from The Open University’s award-winning Cisco ‘NetAcad’ academy.    

In this Network Communications Course, you will learn about:

  • Infrastructure networking
  • Network fundamentals and technologies
  • Principles and structure of IP addressing
  • Ethernet concepts
  • Network application communications
  • The range of network technologies in current use
  • How to apply a range of networking concepts
  • How to design a simple networking address scheme
  • How to experiment with a practical networking environment
  • How to calculate an address range based on a given scenario
  • How to implement a range of foundational, practical networking technology skills
  • How to build simple LANs, perform basic configurations for routers and switches, and implement IP addressing schemes.

Skills you will learn through this Network Communications Course include:

  • IP addressing
  • LAN technologies
  • Network troubleshooting
  • Configuring a network device
  • Router technologies
  • Network numeracy

Network Communications Course Price:

  • $554 USD or £400 GBP for this 10-week Online Microcredential
  • Payments can be made by card (Visa, Mastercard and American Express) or PayPal

Pros:

  • Achieve 10 UK credits at Undergraduate level from the Open University and a Certificate
  • Earn a Microcredential, which is a stand-alone, employer recognized credential.
  • Earn a Certificate of Completion and Digital Badge from Cisco Networking Academy
  • A 50% discount on the optional Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) exam, if you pass the Cisco final course-based assessment in all three Microcredentials in this pathway
  • Guided academic learning
  • Mentor support
  • The course is 100% online and you can start instantly and learn at your own pace.
  • You can learn flexibly in accordance with the time you have. You can set and maintain flexible deadlines.
  • A supportive online learning environment
  • You do not need any prior experience or qualifications to enrol on this undergraduate microcredential
  • Ongoing, unlimited access to the course materials, even after completing the course

Cons:

  • No Android or iOS smartphone app
  • Limited support options

2. Become a Network Administrator – Best Free Network Communications Course

With seventeen courses and thirty-two hours of content, it is my top pick for best free network communications course, because it provides comprehensive training on becoming a Network Administrator. The Become a Network Administrator course offered by LinkedIn Learning provides in depth training on becoming a Network Administrator.

The course will teach you the networking concepts and skills to support a Cisco network, how to troubleshoot a Cisco network and how to configure routers and switches. By the end of this networking communications course, you will learn the skills you will need to organize, install, and support a Cisco network.

This thirty-two-hour Network Communications Course, includes the following seventeen courses:

  1. Networking Foundations: Networking Basics
  2. Networking Foundations: IP Addressing
  3. Networking Foundations: Network Media (LANs)
  4. Networking Foundations: Network Media (WANs)
  5. Networking Foundations: Protocols and CLI Tools
  6. Protecting Your Network with Open-Source Software
  7. Learning IP Addressing
  8. Learning Network Troubleshooting
  9. Learning Subnetting
  10. Learning the Packet Delivery Process
  11. Learning IPv6
  12. Advanced Cisco Routing: RIPv2, EIGRP, and OSPF
  13. Wireshark Essential Training
  14. Wireshark: Functionality
  15. Learning Cisco CLI Switch Configuration
  16. Learning Cisco CLI Router Configuration
  17. Cisco Networking Foundations

Network Communications Course Plan and Pricing

  • It is possible to complete this course for free as part of the one-month free trial.
  • If after one month you want to continue doing this course or other courses through LinkedIn Learning, the cost is $39.99 USD per month or £29.99 GBP per month if you are paying monthly
  • If you are paying annually, then it is equivalent to $26.99 USD per month or £19.99 GBP per month.

Pricing for Teams and Organizations

Pros:

  • Earn a certificate of completion which you can share on your LinkedIn Profile
  • This learning path qualifies for official academic credit at select partner universities globally.
  • Learn from experts in the field
  • 100% online and you can start instantly
  • Comprehensive training on becoming a Network Administrator
  • LinkedIn Learning integrates well with your LinkedIn profile
  • Free with the one-month free trial!
  • Access on tablet and phone through Smartphone apps for Android and iOS

Cons:

  • Limited support options
  • Some of the courses in this Learning Path would benefit from an update

3. Networking with Python: Socket Programming for Communication – Best Network Course for Teachers

With a rating of 4.7/5 and nearly 6,000 people already enrolled on this course, Networking with Python: Socket Programming for Communication is my top pick for best Network Communications course for teachers.  This course has been certified by the CPD Certification Service as conforming to continuing professional development principles.

This Network Communications Course focuses on how you can create networked applications in Python by using sockets. It is offered through FutureLearn, is supported by Google and designed and taught by experts from the Raspberry Pi Foundation.

In this Network Communications Course, you will learn about:

  • The principles that industry professionals use when programming for networks
  • How to create programs that communicate over the internet.
  • How sockets are used to abstract the complexities of the internet.
  • The layers of the TCP/IP model
  • How to produce Python programs using sockets
  • The life cycle of a socket
  • Reliable and unreliable communication
  • How to produce programs that use both TCP and UDP
  • The causes of network errors
  • Methods of correcting errors

You will gain practical hands-on experience through a final project where you will:

  • Design and create your own protocol for a networked quiz that you will program using Python.

This Course is designed to be completed in 3 weeks at a suggested pace of 2 hours/week.

The Network Communications Course Covers:

1. Sockets (Week 1)
  • Introduction to the course
  • Networks and sockets
  • Sockets and Python
  • Handling two-way messaging
  • Review your learning from week one
2. Dealing with lossy communications (Week 2)
  • Unreliable and reliable communication
  • Python and UDP
  • Testing and simulating errors
  • Test your understanding of network principles and review the week
3. Designing and coding protocols (Week 3)
  • Protocols
  • Design a networked quiz
  • Coding your quiz
  • Quiz royale
  • Wrap up the course and see where you can go next.

As a prerequisite to this course is you will need experience in the following areas of programming:

  • Using functions, including parameters and returns
  • Using multiple data types
  • Debugging Python programs

Network Communications Course Pricing and Plans

1. Free Plan
  • Price: Free
  • Limited to three weeks (but it is possible to complete the course in 3 weeks)
  • Discuss your learning in comments
2. Subscribe to Unlimited
  • Price: Currently from $23.33 $15.83 USD/month or £16.67 £11.67 GDP/month (while the course is on sale)
  • Access to this course AND hundreds of other courses
  • Access to ALL eligible courses
  • Learn at your own pace 
  • Discuss your learning in comments       
  • Certificate when you are eligible (Digital only)
3. Buy this course
  • Price: $49 USD or £34 GBP
  • One off payment
  • Access to this course only      
  • Learn at your own pace 
  • Discuss your learning in comments       
  • Certificate when you are eligible (Printed AND Digital)

Pros:

  • Can be completed for free
  • Accredited by the CPD Certification Service
  • The course is 100% online
  • You can start instantly and learn at your own pace.
  • Certificate of Achievement included when you buy the course or subscribe

Cons:

  • No Android or iOS smartphone app
  • Limited support options

4. Fundamentals of Network Communication – Best Network Communications Course Offered by a University

With a rating of 4.6/5 and 73,034 students already enrolled on this course, it is my top pick for best Network Communications course offered by a University.  This Network Communications course is a great place to start to master foundational principles of Network Communication.

The Fundamentals of Network Communication course offered by The University of Colorado through coursera teaches you about the development of networks and identifies the key concepts and functions that form the basis for layered architecture.  It is also Course 1 of 4 in the Computer Communications Specialization, which provides people with the opportunity to continue learning in this specialization if they are interested. 

In this Network Communications Course, you will learn about:

  • Examples of protocols and services
  • How these services are supported by networks
  • Fundamental concepts in digital communication
  • Error control techniques that include parity check, polynomial code, and Internet checksum.

This 15-hour course contains five modules, designed to be completed in 5 weeks and includes:

1. Communication Networks and Services
  • Learn about the evolution of three example networks and their associated services
  • How services are influencing the evolution of modern networks
  • Examples of protocols and services
2. Layered Architectures
  • Learn about the OSI reference model
  • How the overall communication process can be organized into functions that are carried out in seven layers,
  • The TCP/IP architecture with a detailed routing example
3. Socket API & Digital Transmissions
  • Learn about BSD sockets
  • How to write applications that use the service provided by the TCP/IP protocols
  • Fundamentals of digital communications
4. Error Control
  • Learn about coding techniques that can be used to detect errors that may occur during digital transmission
  • Protocols that provide dependable transfer of information.
5. Course Project – Fundamentals of Network Communication

Pros:

  • Earn a shareable certificate upon completion
  • The course is 100% online and you can start instantly and learn at your own pace
  • You can learn flexibly in accordance with the time you have. You can set and maintain flexible deadlines.
  • Whist the course is taught in English, there are subtitles available for Arabic, French, Portuguese (European), Italian, Vietnamese, German, Russian, English, Spanish

Cons:

  • Some students found the professor difficult to understand
  • Some students complained about the professor’s delivery and teaching style
  • It is Intermediate Level, so not for beginners

Note: Some previous programming experience in C-programming (C++/Java), some fundamental knowledge of computer organization and IT architecture and a background in computer science is a plus.

5. Network and Communications Security for SSCP – Best Network Communications Course for SSCP exam

This is my top pick for best Network Communications Course for the SSCP® exam, because it is taught by the highly regarded Dr. Lyron H. Andrews, and it can easily be completed for free during the 10-day free trial. The Network and Communications Security for SSCP® course can be completed in 1 hour and 35 minutes.

Pluralsight - Network and Communications Security for SSCP  course page
Network and Communications Security for SSCP – Best Network Communications Course for SSCP exam

In this Network Communications Course, you will learn:

  • How to secure your network and communication systems.
  • The core concepts of network and communications
  • What makes up network and communications security operations.

This course covers the following topics:

1. Certification Prep
2. Core Concepts of Network Communications (44 minutes)
  • OSI to TCP IP Mapping
  • Physical Layer 1
  • Physical Layer 1: Wired Topology
  • Physical Layer 1: Wireless Systems
  • Data Link Layer 2: Systems and Protocols
  • Network Layer 3: Systems and Protocols
  • Transport Layer 4: Systems and Protocols
  • Presentation and Session Layer 5 and 6: Systems and Protocols
  • Application Layer 7: Systems and Protocols
  • Summary
3. Network and Communications Security Operations (20 minutes)
  • Fundamental Switch Functions
  • Fundamental Router Function
  • Fundamental Firewall Function
  • Software Defined Network
  • Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition
  • Summary
4. Common Network Attacks and Countermeasures (30 minutes)
  • Threats and Countermeasures Wireless
  • Layer 2: Threats and Countermeasures
  • Layer 3: Threats and Countermeasures
  • Layer 4: Threats and Countermeasures
  • Layers 5: 7 Threats and Countermeasures
  • Summary

Pros:

  • When you are finished with this course, you will have the skills and knowledge of Network and Communications Security for SSCP® needed for the SSCP® exam.
  • It can easily be completed for free under Pluralsight’s 10-day free trial
  • It can be completed in one hour and thirty-five minutes
  • After the 10-day free trial you can access this course and over 7,000 additional courses for $45 per month if you wish.

Cons:

  • It is less comprehensive than some courses offered
  • No provision to apply what you have learned through practical projects or coursework with feedback
  • Pluralsight is not an accredited institution
  • You can gain a certificate of completion, but the certificate is not accredited.
  • No refund or money back guarantee (although there is a 10-day free trial)
  • Only the English language is supported

6. Securing Network Communication with Cisco VPNs – Best Course for Securing with Cisco VPNs

This is my top pick for best Network Communications Course on securing with Cisco VPNs, because it provides helpful training on how to choose, configure, maintain, and troubleshoot your chosen VPN solution and it can easily be completed for free during the 10-day free trial. The Securing Network Communication with Cisco VPNs course can be completed in 2 hours and 57 minutes.

Pluralsight - Securing Network Communication with Cisco VPNs course page
Securing Network Communication with Cisco VPNs – Best Network Communications Course on Securing with Cisco VPNs

In this Network Communications Course, you will learn:

  • How to choose the correct Cisco VPN solution based on your requirements
  • How to configure, maintain, and troubleshoot your chosen VPN solution.
  • How to configure four different site-to-site VPNs on Cisco Routers and ASAs
  • How to setup a basic point to point IPSec VPN
  • How to configure full mesh GETVPNs, DMVPNs, and FlexVPNs
  • The process of configuring VPNs to protect sensitive data that may be traversing across most types of networks
  • How to use relevant show commands and debugs to troubleshoot issues with your site-to-site VPN

This Network Communications course covers the following topics:

1. Course Overview
2. Configuring IPSec VPNs (36 minutes)
  • A Review of IPSec VPNs
  • Configuring ISAKMP Policies
  • Creating IPSec Transform Sets
  • Classifying Interesting Traffic with ACLs
  • Binding the Components with a Crypto Map
  • Setting a PSK with Tunnel Groups
  • Working around NAT Issues with NAT-T
3. Implementing GETVPNs (28 minutes)
  • An Overview of GETVPNs
  • Creating a GETVPN Interesting Traffic Access List
  • Configuring a GETVPN Key Server
  • Adding Group Members to a GETVPN
  • Analyzing GETVPN Encrypted Packets  
4. Enabling DMVPNs (27 minutes)
  • A Recap of DMVPNs
  • Configuring Hub GRE Tunnels and Next Hop Servers
  • Configuring Spoke GRE Tunnels and Next Hop Clients
  • Protecting Data with IPSec over GRE
  • Avoiding Fragmentation of Tunnelled Packets
5. Configuring FlexVPNs (32 minutes)
  • An Overview of FlexVPNs
  • Creating IKEv2 Keyrings
  • Building IKEv2 Profiles
  • Configuring IPSec Profiles
  • Creating Virtual Templates on Hub Routers
  • Enabling Tunnel Interfaces on Spoke Routers
  • Creating Virtual Templates on Spoke Routers
6. Troubleshooting Site-to-site VPNs (54 minutes)
  • Troubleshooting Site-to-site VPNs (54 minutes)
  • Diagnosing VPN Connection Issues with Syslog
  • Utilizing Common VPN Show Commands
  • Making Use of Show Commands with GETVPNs
  • Troubleshooting DMVPNs Using Show Commands
  • Using IKEv2 Show Commands with FlexVPNs
  • Debugging IPSec VPNs
  • Using Debugs with GETVPNs
  • Making Use of Debugs with DMVPNs
  • Debugging IKEv2 and FlexVPNs

Pros:

  • This Network Communications course provides excellent training on how to configure, maintain, and troubleshoot your chosen Cisco VPN solution.
  • It can easily be completed for free under Pluralsight’s 10-day free trial
  • It can be completed in just under 3 hours
  • After the 10-day free trial you can access this course and thousands of other courses for $29 USD/month or £24 GBP/month if you wish.

Cons:

  • No provision to apply what you have learned through practical projects or coursework with feedback
  • Pluralsight is not an accredited institution
  • You can gain a certificate of completion, but the certificate is not accredited.
  • Only the English language is supported

Note: This course is Intermediate Level, and it is not suitable for beginners.

7. Communications and Network Security – Best Course for Managing Secure Communications

This is my top pick for best Network Communications Course on managing secure communications, because it provides an excellent introduction to managing secure network communications and it can easily be completed for free during the 10-day free trial. The Communications and Network Security course can be completed in 2 hours and 58 minutes.

Pluralsight - Communications and Network Security course page
Communications and Network Security – Best Network Communications Course for Managing Secure Communications

In this Network Communications Course, you will learn about:

  • The practices of secure communications and network protocols, and how to engineer secure encrypted traffic
  • Network and communications models such as OSI and TCP/IP
  • Secure protocols
  • Network attacks
  • Network and communications security, protocols, and network encryption needed to help you audit, operate, and manage secure communications

This Network Communications course covers the following topics:

1. Course Overview
2. Secure Communications Models (66 minutes)
  • Open Systems Interconnect (OSI)
  • TCP/IP Model
  • Physical Layer Part One
  • Physical Layer Part Two
  • Physical Layer Part Three
  • Network and Transport Layers Part One
  • Network and Transport Layers Part Two
  • OSI Session, Presentation, Application Layers
3. Secure Network Communications (64 minutes)
  • Secure Network Communications
  • Protocol Selection Part One
  • Protocol Selection Part Two
  • Protocol Selection Part Three
  • Network Encryption Part One
  • Network Encryption Part Two
  • IPSec and Link Layer Encryption Part One
  • IPSec and Link Layer Encryption Part Two
  • QoS, CoS and Wireless
4. Network Protocols and Network Security (48 minutes)
  • Network Attacks Part One
  • Network Attacks Part Two
  • Network Attacks Part Three
  • Network Attacks Part Four
  • Example of an Attack

Pros:

  • This Network Communications course provides an excellent introduction at intermediate level on managing secure network communications
  • It can easily be completed for free under Pluralsight’s 10-day free trial
  • It can be completed in just under 3 hours
  • After the 10-day free trial you can access this course and thousands of other courses for $29 USD/per month or £24 GBP/per month if you wish.

Cons:

  • The course would benefit from an update, as it was last updated on September 18, 2018.
  • No provision to apply what you have learned through practical projects or coursework with feedback
  • Pluralsight is not an accredited institution
  • You can gain a certificate of completion, but the certificate is not accredited.

Note: This course is Intermediate Level, and it is not suitable for beginners.

This is my roundup of the best online Network Communications courses. Now that you have learned the pros, cons, level, price and focus of each online Network Communications course, you have the tools and information to make a choice that is right for you. I would love to hear from you how this article has helped you, what course you chose and how it helped you to move forward in your career and your life.

These Network Communications courses and other online education courses can help you gain skills for in-demand, careers for the future. Learn more about my top picks for best future careers.

If you have an upcoming interview, read my job interview tips.

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