Mar 212018 released Network+ Exam Sim with Netsim for Comptia Network+ exam preparation. The software contains the regular practice tests along with netsim for thorough preparation. With the recent introduction of performance based questions, the need for skill development has become important for passing the exam.

comptia network plus lab sim and exam simThe Net+ practice tests contain up to 400 questions with answers and flash card explanation for each question. The software provides both Learn mode for starters and Exam mode for advanced preparation. Other features include “full screen” mode, “night” mode, and “font” adjustment. The software provides detailed stats according to the exam objectives that help candidates put extra effort in improving the weak areas. The question database is updated from time to time to comply with the latest exam topics.

The Network+® Netsim provides a virtual networking and configuration environment, wherein, you can configure the network elements such as switches, routers, servers, and access points for various parameters and test the same for proper functionality. Networking labs offered include configuring WiFi routers, wireless access points (WAP), file and user access servers, and troubleshooting tools such as trace route and ping. More labs are added from time to time keeping in step with the changes in the exam objectives and the latest technologies.

Download the free demo version of the Network+ exam with labsim for free evaluation.

About Network+ certification: The certification is offered by Comptia® organization on passing required exam(s). Currently, one needs to pass only one exam for attaining this certification, which is exam number N10-007. The exam requirements are updated from time to time, and one needs to check with the official website for current requirements.

About The website offers network simulators such as CCNA Netsim and Juniper Netsim, and exam simulators such as Comptia A+ practice tests. A brand website of Anand Software and Training, is not associated with any other company.

Disclaimer: Comptia Network+® is a trademark of Comptia® organization and duly recognized. CCNA® is a trademark of Cisco® and duly recognized.

Mar 062018, leading practice tests provider, released ComptiaⓇ A+ Exam Sim with Labsim for A+ certification preparation. The practice tests consist of 100s of up to date questions with answers and explanations, thus providing you with exam-like questions in a timed environment. Flashcards provide domain knowledge related to the question topic. The practice tests offer all standard features like bookmarking, wrong answers review, category scoring, learn/exam modes, and details stats.

The labsim is an addition to the practice exams, providing hands-on exposure to various labs. With the introduction of performance based questions by Comptia, hands-on experience has become essential for passing the exam. The labsim provides dozens of labs for attaining the practical experience. The virtual nature of labs enable users to practice without having to procure real hardware or crashing one’s own computer due to in-appropriate control panel settings.

You may download the Comptia A+ Practice Exams with Labsim and install the free version (limited to fewer questions). Full version may be purchased online using program interface with immediate online activation after subscription.

About Comptia A+ Certification: For those who are new to the A+ certification, it’s a leading vendor neutral certification in the area of computer hardware and operating systems, offered by Comptia organization. The certification is divided into two constituent exams, namely A+ Essentials exam, and A+ Practical Application exam. One needs to pass both the exams to attain A+ Certification, and it’s valid for 3 years. A certified pro is expected to renew the certification by the end of 3 years. The topics covered by the certification exam include computer hardware like processors, memory devices, interfaces & connectors, computer peripherals like printers and scanners, computer operating systems (primarily Windows is covered), and troubleshooting hardware and OS problems. The certification is available via Prometric/View testing centers worldwide.

About The website, a brand site of Anand Software and Training, is engaged in providing practice tests and lab simulators for various IT certs including Comptia A+, Network+, Security+, Cisco CCENT, CCNA, Juniper JNCIA, and others. Please visit the website for more information and available practice tests.

Disclaimer: is not associated or affiliated with ComptiaⓇ organization. Comptia A+Ⓡ, Comptia Network+Ⓡ. are the trademarks of ComptiaⓇ and duly acknowledged.

Feb 192018

The Company website has been converted to Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS). HTTPS is secure version of regular HTTP, the protocol of the Internet, over which data is sent between your browser and the website that you are visiting. The ‘S’ at the end of HTTPS stands for ‘Secure’.HTTPS protocol offers end-to-end data encryption and no one in between would be able to see the data moving between your browser and the website. In earlier days, https (often used in small letters) was used only with ecommerce websites. However, these days most of the websites are supporting https due to privacy and security reasons.  Given below are some of the advantages of using https protocol over http:

  • Improved Google Ranking: Google officially stated that https is a ranking signal and the sites with https protocol are given some preference over non-https sites.
  • Referrer Date: When a secure referrer is provided to non-secure site, the referrer data is lost. By using https, referrer data is preserved, which may be used in website analytics.
  • Privacy and Security: As mentioned earlier, https offers secure communication that is fool proof. By using https, a secure tunnel is formed between user computer and the website and all the information flowing between the client and sever are secure and encrypted.

Web browsers such as Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome also display a green padlock icon in the address bar to visually indicate that a HTTPS connection is in effect.  It encrypts all communication, including URLs.

Google has provided the following tips for best practices when switching to HTTPS:

  • There are several types of certificates for use with a website. Decide the type of certificate you need: single, multi-domain, or wildcard certificate
  • Use 2048-bit key certificates where possible
  • Use relative URLs for resources that reside on the same secure domain
  • Use protocol relative URLs for all other domains
  • Don’t block your HTTPS site from crawling using robots.txt
  • Subscribe to Google Analytics (often called GA) to track your HTTP to HTTPS migration carefully in your analytics software and within Google Webmaster Tools (often called GWT).
  • Remember to provide permanent redirects from http to https URLs using htaccess file.
  • Submit you revised sitemal.xml so that Google and other search engines get the new map of your website.

There might be slight dip in your website traffic during transition period which is most likely to get back after all the new URLs are crawled and indexed properly. Check out for any Google emails suggesting any difficulty with crawling your website.

Check out the new secure and leave your comments with webmaster at

Feb 082018

India Watchdog, CCI (short for Competition Commission of India) imposed a fine of Rs 136 crore on internet giant Google for unfair business practices in the Indian market for online search.

After a detailed probe on the complaints filed in 2012, the regulator through a majority order said the penalty is being imposed on Google for “infringing anti-trust conduct”.

Google’s specialised search options that lead to its commercial flight unit, prohibitions imposed under the negotiated search intermediation agreements and ranking of universal results prior to 2010 were found to be violating competition norms.

Read more at (source):
Jan 192018 has recently updated ComptiaA+ exam simulator with additional questions, and a few bug fixes. The practice tests provide first hand experience of what it might be when taking the actual certification exam. The software has two modes, Learn Mode and Exam Mode. For beginners, it is recommended to start with Learn Mode, and then work with Exam Mode.

A+ Certification is most widely known in the area of computer hardware and operating systems. One may obtain the certification, awarded by Comptia organization, by passing A+ Essentials and A+ Practical Application exams.

FAQ on A+ exam sim:

  1. How many questions are available with the practice tests?
    1. 500+ questions are available.
  2. What question types are supported?
    1. Similar to the actual exam environment MCQs, Drag-n-Drop, Hot Spot, Match-type questions are supported. Performance based questions are also provided.
  3. How long the certification is valid?
    1. CompTIA A+ certification are generally valid for three years from the date the candidate is certified. There are several ways to renew certification, including re-certification. Comptia has CE (short for Continuing Education) program that provides several paths for re-certification. Some of these include Completing CompTIA CertMaster CE, Passing a CompTIA recertification exam, earning a higher-level CompTIA certification or a non-CompTIA IT industry certification, or passing the latest release of your CompTIA exam. Please check with the Comptia website for complete and latest list of available options.
  4. Is it a dump of actual questions?
    1. No. The question bank is developed by authors having good industry experience with similar difficulty levels as that of the actual exam.
  5. Where do I get more information about the practice tests?
    1. Checkout the product home page:
  6. Do we get any labs for hands-on experience?
    1. Please check out our A+ Labsim for virtual lab environment, wherein you can practice dozens of labs.
  7. What other practice tests are available with you?
    1. Check out other exams: Network+ exam, Security+ exam, and Server+ exam.

Disclaimer: is not associated with ComptiaⓇ. Comptia a+, network+, and security+ are trademarks of ComptiaⓇ and duly acknowledged.

Dec 222017 released a thorough update to their flagship software, Network Simulator with Designer for CCNA® , to include functionality for the following:

  • Site to Site VPN configuration between routers
  • FHRP configuration

VPN (Virtual Private Network) is widely used these days for security and confidentiality of communication between hosts. The two main types of VPN are Site-to-site VPN and Remote-to-Site VPN. In Site-to-site VPN, a secure tunnel is formed between two peers within the communication channel. An example configuration scenario is shown in the figure below:

Photo Courtesy:, a leading networking equipment manufacturer.

As may seen in the exhibit, the VPN is configured between two routers. A site-to-site VPN is also called router-to-router VPN. The hosts on LAN are unaware of the VPN between routers V1 and V2. However, all the communication between routers V1 and V2 moves securely over OpenVPN tunnel. You typically need a NAT (Network Address Translation) to translate internal IP address to external IP address and vice versa (for incoming traffic). The same thing is done at router V2 also. The word “tunnel” may be a bit misleading some times. Note that there is no route and bandwidth allocated between the routers when a tunnel is formed. A VPN typically secures the communication channel but not the route or bandwidth. A VPN connections use 1) Encapsulation 2) Authentication, and 3) Data encryption.

In Encapsulation, user data (i.e. TCP/IP packets) is wrapped around by using encapsulation protocol such as GRE, IPsec, L2F, PPTP,  or L2TP. The encapsulated data packets are again wrapped inside carrier protocol packet, and then routed across the public network.

For site-to-site VPNs, the encapsulating protocol is usually IPsec or GRE (Generic Routing Encapsulation).  For remote-access VPNs, tunneling normally takes place using PPP (Point-to-Point Protocol). PPP tunneling will use one of PPTP, L2TP or L2F.

When using site-to-site VPN, any user can access remote site from any of the computers inside the firewall (local network). For this purpose, one needs to configure AAA (Authentication, Authorization, and Accounting), so that one needs to authenticate to access any resources at the other end of the VPN tunnel to restrict user access.

Remote access VPN is typically used with home and mobile users to connect to the corporate office. For example, a mobile traveler can connect to the Corporate head quarters using his laptop computer securely using a public Wi-Fi connection. Please see the figure below:

Photo courtesy:, a leading networking equipment manufacturer.

As seen in the figure, a remote user communicates with the sever securely over VPN tunnel. All the user information, login credentials, etc. are encrypted when using VPN tunnel. In remote access VPN, usually, a client is installed on the remote user’s computer. Alternatively, the remote user uses SSL enabled browser session to communicate with the corporate network (shown as Private Network in the figure)

FHRP (First Hop Redundancy Protocol): Usually, when a subscriber connects to an ISP using Wi-Fi router, he will have single point of failure. i.e. if the router fails, the connection to the Internet fails. FHRP allows redundancy or a fail over mechanism, thus ensuring that there is no single point of failure for a subscriber to the Internet. There are several  protocol defined for FHRP, popular among these are: HSRP, VRRP, and GLBP.

HSRP, short for Hot Standby Router Protocol, is a Cisco proprietary protocol, and supported by most of the Cisco routers.

A simple HSRP configuration is shown in the figure. In HSRP, one router acts as an Active router and the other as Standby router. There can be more than two routers in HSRP configuration, however, only one router is put in Standby state using a selection criteria. HSRP routers may be assigned “Priority” so that a network admin can choose which router has be in HSRP Active state and which has to be in Standby state.

VRRP, short for Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, is a standards based protocol. It is quite similar to HSRP in configuration and functionality.

GLBP, short for Gateway Load Balancing Protocol, is slightly advanced, in the sense, that it supports load balancing by default. Otherwise, it is similar to other two redundancy protocols. CCNA Netsim, offers a virtual networking environment, where in, one can create a network with Cisco(R) routers, switches, and other networking elements and experiment. The software has a GUI based designer that allows drag-n-drop functionality for designing one’s own network. Several labs on HSRP, and site-to-site VPN have been added for hands-on practice. The software is intended for learning purpose with limited set of commands support.

List of available CCNA labs may be viewed by going to the product page. You may download the free demo version of the software by going to the product download page.

Disclaimer: is not associated nor affiliated with Cisco Systems, or Brocade. Cisco®, CCNA® are registered trademarks of Cisco Systems, and Brocade® is trademark of Brocade/Broadcom Limited and duly recognized.

Is this a Google Search Engine Vulnerability? It seems to be the answer!

 Others  Comments Off on Is this a Google Search Engine Vulnerability? It seems to be the answer!
Dec 152017

Further to my previous blog posts on inappropriate results in Google search, some further studies have been made.It appears to be a robots.txt file exploitation! The contents of the robots.txt file on site has been analyzed, and found to contain the code as shown in the file below (as on 12/15/2017 11.00PM IST):

CCNA 200-125 Practice Exam-no-links

The hyperlinks in the file have been removed for obvious reasons. However, the robots.txt file contains all the links in the format as shown below:


(replace h??p with http)

Whole of home page code has been copied to the robots.txt file followed by a couple of most visited pages.

The result: The result is there to see. For most keywords the website is showing up in the google results. Please see my previous posts referenced below:

Content is the King – But you need a Queen to protect & promote!

Most Irrelevant Results in Google Search – Contd..

Most Irrelevant Results in Google Search – A Case Study


It was also observed that the hacker cleverly disabled forwarding to topdump . com for known user agents. For example, we could only see the forwarding when using a VPN to hide the actual IP address and the geography. Otherwise, the site is not forwarding to topdump . com

It was probably achieved by using htaccess file or the config file of the web server hosting the domain sunnydaysandlovelyways.

If the argument is true, it appears to be a serious security flaw on part of search engine algo and needs to be fixed.

Disclaimer: This is only in the opinion of the author with the evidences as presented in respective blog articles. is not responsible for the accuracy or correctness of the authors post.

Post Author: Vijay Anand may be reached on vyadla at

Facebook and others had succeeded by ‘exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology’.

 Others  Comments Off on Facebook and others had succeeded by ‘exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology’.
Dec 132017

A former Facebook executive, Chamath Palihapitiya, has presented to an audience at Stanford Graduate School of Business and says he feels “tremendous guilt about to company he helped develop. Check out the full discussion here:

First Hop Redundancy Protocols (FHRP) – A Primer

 Network Simulators  Comments Off on First Hop Redundancy Protocols (FHRP) – A Primer
Dec 082017

FHRP, short for First Hop Redundancy Protocol, is used at the customer premises for route redundancy.  Usually, you have a default gateway defined to your ISP (in case of connecting to the public Internet) or to your server (in the event you have an internal network). If the default gateway router fails, you will not be able to connect to the external resources unless a replacement is found and necessary configuration changes are made. First Hop Redundancy protocols will allow default gateway redundancy. With two or more default gateways defined using FHRP, in the event of a router failure there’s a backup router that will take place of the failed gateway, transparent to the user. The user’s host computer is configured with a virtual IP address and the switch between the redundant routers takes place without any user intervention. A typical configuration is shown in the figure below:

There are 3 types of FHRP protocols that are widely used:

  1. HSRP
  2. VRRP
  3. GLBP

Of the above three types of FHRPs, HSRP is Cisco proprietary protocol, where as VRRP is a standards based protocols. The two protocols HSRP (short for Hot Standby Router Protocol) is very similar to VRRP (Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol), except that VRRP is based on Open standards. When using HSRP, one router assumes the function of “Active” router and the other is known as “Standby” router. The routers communicate within themselves and when the active router fails, the standby router will kick-in. There can be more than two routers in a HSRP group.

GLBP, short for Gateway Load Balancing Protocol, is a bit different from HSRP and VRRP, in the sense, GLBP offers load balancing among the redundant gateways. However, note that HSRP and VRRP too offer load balancing using distinct “groups”, but load balancing is not native to HSRP and VRRP, where as GLBP, as the name implies, offers load balancing inherently.

FHRP is not to be confused with defining multiple gateway routers with a host’s network configuration file. A host computer may be defined with one or more default gateways, so that if one fails the other default gateway takes its position. In this case, the default gateways have different IP addresses, whereas in FHRP, the default gateway will have only one virtual IP address that is to be configured at the workstation.

Check out the router network simulator for practicing HSRP and VRRP labs.


FHRP or “First Hop Redundancy Protocols”

Figure courtesy:
HSRP – No longer for the weak of heart

Content is the King – But you need a Queen to protect & promote!

 Others  Comments Off on Content is the King – But you need a Queen to protect & promote!
Dec 062017

We often hear seo experts say that “content is the king”, meaning that you produce unique and valuable content, and every thing else is taken care of! Nothing could be more wrong than this! We discuss a few cases as to how it could be wrong here:

1. Assume that you had created a unique and worthy content for your thing of interest. It was well researched and produced after a thorough work and published on your web page. Now, two things could happen: One is that no search engine could find your content at all, remember that there are millions of websites and billions of web pages and your unique content might be some where deep inside the Internet. Second thing that could happen is that the search engines found your unique content, but tagged them as “duplicate” content and probably penalized the web page for publishing duplicate content, and the silver lining is that you would never knew that the content was penalized by major search engines such as Google, simply because no one is going to tell you about it!

2. There is what is known as black hat SEO, which uses dubious means of techniques to attain first place (or say, first page) in search engine rankings. If you just take care of your web resources with strong passwords and dedicated servers, it may not be sufficient. The irony is that a website could be hacked even without breaking into the website! Yes, it is called off-page SEO techniques. In other words, some one can break the seo ranking of your web page or even get it black listed by using off-page  black hat SEO, and even Google can’t find it! A couple of examples are given earlier in the blog and the links are provided below for the reference of the readers:

Most Irrelevant Results in Google Search – A Case Study

Most Irrelevant Results in Google Search – Contd..

If you had thought that Google is mightier and no one can possibly break it, you had mistaken just like me! After a long study, I painfully understood, black hat seo webmasters routinely game search engines, including Google! It is also quite possible, you wouldn’t be knowing it at all!

So, what is the fix now?

Simple: The King requires a Queen! As in famous Indian-origin game of chess, a queen with multitude of skills is required to protect and to promote the king. What are the skills required by the Queen? These skills are briefly listed below:

  • On-page SEO
    • Development of responsive web pages, so that the web pages render properly on various devices using different operating systems and screen sizes, and browsers using different versions.
    • Proper meta tags like title, description, canonical, etc
    • Incorporation of analytics such as Google analytics
    • Elimination or identification of duplicate content with proper care
    • Configuring htaccess, robots.txt, sitemap, etc. to ensure that the content is delivered properly to the users.
    • Hardening of the server and the website resources
  • Off-page SEO
    • According to, “Off-site SEO” (also called “off-page SEO”) refers to actions taken outside of your own website to impact your rankings within search engine results pages (SERPs)”. Off page SEO has become quite important these days, just as the on-page seo. With the advent of social signals and black-hat SEO, off-page SEO could not be ignored. Important off-site SEO techniques are given below:
      • Backlink building to your web page from other related domain sites
      • Press releases and article submissions to PR and articles sites
      • Blogging on your blog site or on related blog sites
      • Social signals, like posting on your or friends facebook page, or G+ page or twitter, etc.
    • Now, it is also important that you monitor your backlinks! Many search engines like Google may penalize for unnatural back links to the extent, that your web page might become non-existant for all practical purposes! To attend to this, you may need to do the following:
      • Use Google Webmaster Tools (GMT) regularly to see who is linking to your site (or web page) and ensure that it’s a genuine link (contextual) and not spammy (through the eyes of search engines).
      • Get the backlinks removed by requesting the offending websites’ owners to remove your linkbacks, and if it fails, requesting a disavow via GWT (short for Google Webmaster Tools)
      • Regularly checking for duplicate content on the Internet and reporting the same to Google and/or other search engines as required
      • Ensuring that your website is indexed properly and monitoring the same for consistency from time to time

The above are to mention a few, and just Google for more comprehensive list of activities. Obviously, it’s not something that one individual could do while managing his/her primary activity (that of writing your own content).

The need for capable SEO specialists has become most demanding with recent advances in search results ranking, and marketing.