In my 30-day review of CBT Nuggets I found it to have a fluid interface with features not available by other training providers. There’s a plethora of video courses for the picking. From Microsoft Server to Cisco to Microsoft Office to Amazon AWS. You name it.
I will provide a walk-through and review the features of CBTNuggets.com.
The homepage is very simple with a focused navigation menu. The first menu item is Courses. So let’s dive straight into that. CBT Nuggets has laid out the training courses by IT Path, Vendor, or Trainer. This was something I wished from other training providers. It’s useful to know what training falls along what path you’re on. So because I am into Network Engineering, let’s dive into that path.
I found the number of videos and release dates helpful to understand how long training would be and how old the material is. What I’ve done is incorporated the number of training videos I would have to watch into my certification study plan. With the combined reading, labs, and video courses, I get a good idea of how long it will take me to study.
You can get granular with your course search by selecting an area of expertise from the left navigation. In the main column there are a selection of different video courses with their release dates and the trainer.
If you click into a video course, for example CCNP SWITCH 300-115 Hands-On Labs, you will get a description the course, list of videos in the course, the level of difficulty, how many total hours to complete all the videos, transcripts, and more. At the bottom right of the screen you can get a short bio of the instructor.
The Descriptions button provides a short detail of the video. Knowing which equipment and what IOS version is one of the most frequently asked question, “What equipment do I need to study for the CCNP?”
At the top, above the course title is the Transcript tab. It is useful because it’s the instructor’s word-for-word from the video. It has the time next to the dialog so you can jump straight to that point in the video. Useful for when playing a video is just not an option when at work.What is really neat are the course features on the right sidebar. Speed Control is one of my favorite features. You can play videos at a faster or slower pace, whichever fits your learning style.
CBT Nuggets also includes other features such as bookmarking, ability to take notes while watching the video which they store for you, closed captions if you’re in an area where you can’t play audio, lab files such as downloadable GNS3 files, whether the video has offline playing capabilities, and accountability coaching.
CBT Nuggets has done an awesome job in making the training experience very convenient.
The Resources section are supplemental to the video courses. What many people will find useful are the certification playlists. CBT Nuggets put together a list of videos catered for specific certifications to help you pass your exam. The last training provider I used had videos scattered without any direction or a playlist that allowed me to easily play videos specifically for a certification.
For example, the CCNA Routing and Switching not only includes the ICND1 and ICND2 training but also IPv4 subnetting, hands-on labs using GNS3 and more. I’ve seen many people in the forums asking what video training they should watch to prepare them for an exam. CBT Nuggets has gone one step further and provided playlists in different categories.
Depending on the video course you watch, it may also come with a Transcender Practice Exam, Virtual Labs, and Offline Training. The Accountability Coaching is another interesting resource which I haven’t tried yet but I know that having support will go a long way during your certification studies.
After signing into CBT Nuggets, you will be placed in the My Training section. If you’ve already watched a training video, it will tell you which video you last watched and at what time in the video you stopped watching. It’s easy begin right where you left off.
It’s a nice clean dashboard which displays the videos you are watching, how many hours you’ve spent watching training videos, completed courses, the playlists you have saved, notes you created, etc.
Now here’s a feature I enjoyed using, if you head over to Courses and look for videos that are In Progress.
In-Progress Training courses are still in development but CBT Nuggets has published completed videos from the instructors.
During my CCNP Routing & Switching SWITCH studies, I used partially completed courses from Jeremy Cioara and Keith Barker. They helped me pass the SWITCH 300-115 exam. I used CBT Nuggets to supplement my theory and labs.
Read my book review: CCNP Routing and Switch SWITCH 300-115 Official Certification Guide
I’ve found the video course I want to watch, Jeremy Cioara’s Cisco CCNP Routing/Switching 300-115 SWITCH.
I am given a list of available videos, whether or not I have started watching them and how long each video is.
You have a reminder of which videos you have already completed because a yellow bar is full to indicated it is completed.
To get started, just click on the title and begin watching. By default it is in HD, watch it in full screen and set the playback speed.
Training On Mobile
When you sign up for a Premium plan, you have the ability to use the mobile app and download videos for offline training. The screenshots provided are from iOS 8 on an iPhone 6 Plus.
Upon logging into the app it will begin updating the content library which can take a few seconds. Once that process is complete you can begin selecting your course by searching or selecting from the categories provided. Most of the videos are lumped under IT Training so search is probably the best way to go.
After selecting the course you are presented with the list of videos in that course, listed in order. The arrow on the right will be solid orange if you have downloaded the video for offline viewing.
As the video starts you have similar features as the desktop version. You can even send the video to your Apple TV. To view your offline videos, tap on the contact icon.
The mobile app experience can be improved but the video quality is great and having the ability to send the video to my Apple TV is a great feature.
- Instructors do a great job explaining topics
- You have access to the mobile app and offline content
- The premium plan provides more features such as access to practice exams
- Various training topics to pick from
- Many training videos in the pipeline
When you sign up there are two types of plans, basic or premium:
Frequently Asked Questions
Are CBT Nuggets enough for your studies?
No, you should treat CBT Nuggets as additional training. A video course will not cover absolutely everything on the exam. Use it to supplement your theory and lab.
Is CBT Nuggets worth paying for?
Yes, CBT Nuggets offers courses for a monthly fee. Think about it this way, save the cash you spend at Starbucks each day and put it towards your training. If possible, have your employer help pay for the training. The videos are very high quality and the instructors are top notch. There are so many videos I want to watch through such as Project Management and PowerShell. I highly suggest you verify your training material on CertGuard.com. A quick lookup indicates that CBT Nuggets is SAFE.
Are the videos effective?
I used the SWITCH 300-115 videos during my studies and after 3 days of finishing up the last video I passed the exam. The topics were easy to understand and having the additional videos of “hands-on” training helped to solidify what I had learned. Yes, I think their videos are very effective and would use them for training in other areas.
What do you need to start a 7 Day trial?
All you need is your name, email address, a strong password, and a credit card. You are automatically enrolled in a paid subscription if you decide to continue beyond 7 days.