The new Network+ N10-009 exam: Your questions answered

We’re covering all your questions about the new Network+ N10-009 exam. Explore new exam topics, primary and secondary job roles, how to prep for your exam, and more.

Network+BlogRefresh_Thumbnail_515x325_v1@2xTo ensure that an organization’s networks are functioning properly and are securely protected, IT pros must understand the fundamentals of computer networking.

CompTIA Network+ is a globally recognized certification that validates the skills required to implement enterprise-level wired and wireless network solutions. Every three years, this well-respected, long-standing IT certification undergoes a refresh to ensure it addresses the needs of today’s computer networking pros.

Read more about why and how CompTIA updates certification exams

Not sure if CompTIA Network+ is right for you? Read on and explore the answers to your most pressing questions about the newest version of the exam.

Why is there a new version of CompTIA Network+? 

IT pros know that the technology industry is constantly evolving. In response, CompTIA is committed to updating certification exams to keep up with the industry. The new CompTIA Network+ (N10-009) focuses on foundational networking tools and technologies used to create secure networks and guarantee the availability of critical business information.

What’s on the latest version of CompTIA Network+?

The latest version of CompTIA Network+ (N10-009) includes both performance-based and multiple-choice exam questions across five domains:

  • Networking Fundamentals (23%)
  • Network Implementations (20%)
  • Network Operations (19%)
  • Network Security (14%)
  • Network Troubleshooting (24%)

Some of the new specific additions to the updated Network+ (N10-009) exam include:

Modern Network Environments

The updated exam offers more extensive coverage of modern network environments and an extended discussion of factors related to physical installations.

Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Software Defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN)

SDN is adequate for an internal network based in a single location, but because organizations are increasingly relying on geographically distributed locations, Network+ now also discusses SD-WAN.

Infrastructure as Code (IaC)

Network+ tackles the pitfalls of manual infrastructure management by introducing infrastructure as code (IaC), a transformative approach that leverages code for efficient, error-free provisioning, and support of computing infrastructure.

Scalability and VxLAN

Scalability issues drive many organizations. The updated exam covers VxLAN (Virtual extensible Local Area Network) to address issues in large-scale network deployments.

Intermediate Distribution Frame (IDF) and Main Distribution Frame (MDF)

In the world of networking, the seamless flow of data and communication is paramount. Network+ now delves into IDF and MDF.

Zero-Trust Architecture and SASE/SSE

Security is paramount to every organization. Network+ goes over the latest in digital security by covering zero-trust architecture, a robust cybersecurity strategy that eradicates assumed trust and persistently authenticates digital interactions. The updated exam also incorporates SASE/SSE for superior network fortification.

Why should I get the new CompTIA Network+ certification?

If you’re interested in a computer networking career, turn to the CompTIA Network+ exam to build up your knowledge and skills. CompTIA Network+ is the only certification that covers the hands-on skills and precise knowledge needed in today’s networking environments.

What jobs can I get with CompTIA Network+?

The following job roles are directly connected to the information you learn from the new CompTIA Network+ (N10-009) exam:

Primary job roles for Network+ (N10-009):

  • Junior network administrator: Junior network administrators install and maintain the network and hardware systems
  • NOC technician – Network Operations Center (NOC) technicians oversee, manage, and troubleshoot the components of an organization's network.
  • Network support specialist: Network support specialists evaluate network performance data regarding things like speed, connectivity and disaster recovery
  • Systems administrator: Systems administrators ensure organizational hardware and software are working as intended

Secondary job roles for Network+ (N10-009):

  • Data center support technician
  • Telecommunications technician
  • IT support manager
  • Tier II support technician

How can I prepare for the CompTIA Network+ (N10-009) Exam?

CompTIA is not only the leader in helping new and current IT pros level up their technical skills, but is a leader in providing training material that will help you succeed. Here are the ways CompTIA can help you prepare for your Network+ (N10-009) exam.

CertMaster Perform 

This is the newest addition to CompTIA’s eLearning profile and combines live and simulated labs to help you get a comprehensive learning experience.

This training tool incorporates an initial diagnostic to gauge your readiness for the exam. The diagnostic identifies your strengths and weaknesses, determining where you should focus your exam preparation efforts. You’ll also be provided with a roadmap to fill in any knowledge gaps.

CompTIA CertMaster Learn 

CertMaster Learn is a comprehensive, self-paced eLearning environment that uses videos, assessment, performance-based questions, and simulated labs to prepare candidates for the CompTIA certification exam.

CompTIA CertMaster Labs 

CompTIA Labs helps learners gain hands-on experience configuring a wide range of technologies and networks. CompTIA Labs operate in a self-paced, pre-configured browser-based environment, allowing you to prepare for practical aspects of CompTIA certification exams.

CompTIA CertMaster Practice 

CertMaster Practice is an adaptive knowledge assessment tool that determines what a learner has already mastered and what they still need to learn to improve confidence and increase retention before a CompTIA certification exam.

How Long Will It Take Me to Earn CompTIA Network+?

While the time it takes to study depends on the individual, we recommend that learners including college students have at least one year of total IT experience, with betweem nine and 12 months of hands-on experience working in a network support or network administration role, before sitting for the Network+ exam.

Additionally, many students and new or current IT professionals turn to the CompTIA A+ certification to help prepare for Network+.

How much does the CompTIA Network+ exam cost? 

The retail price for the CompTIA Network+ (N10-009) exam is $369. CompTIA offers several ways to reduce this cost. Check out our article on how to save on exam vouchers as well as information about financing options.

How do I choose between CompTIA Network+ and CCNA+? 

When it comes to certifications that help IT professionals build a foundation for a flourishing career in networking, CompTIA Network+ is the place to start. Unlike other vendor-specific networking certifications, CompTIA Network+ prepares candidates to support networks on any platform. It provides the foundation you need to work on networks anywhere.

Unlike the CompTIA Network+ certification, CCNA is specific to Cisco technologies. CCNA limits its troubleshooting coverage to issues specific to their devices and ignores many common networking problems that occur in connecting these and other devices.

Learn more about the differences between CompTIA Network+ and CCNA

I’ve been studying for CompTIA Network+ (N10-008). Should I switch gears and study for CompTIA Network+ (N10-009) instead?

If you’ve been studying for the CompTIA Network+ (N10-008), we recommend checking out the exam objectives for N10-009 to cross-reference what you’ve already learned from your studies. If it makes sense for your time and level of knowledge, you may want to switch gears and prepare for the new exam (N10-009). If you’ve already purchased a CompTIA Network+ voucher, you can apply it to any version of the exam.

What is the expiration date for CompTIA Network+ (N10-008)?

The English version of the CompTIA Network+ N10-008 exam is set to retire December 2024. At that point, it will be completely replaced by N10-009. All certifications are valid for three years from the date of your exam. 

How long does the CompTIA Network+ Certification last, and how can it be renewed?

The CompTIA Network+ certification is good for three years. CompTIA offers several ways for you to renew your certifications, including earning continuing education (CE) credits or earning a higher-level certification.


Ready to start studying? Writing out your plan will set you up for success. Download our free training plan worksheet to help get organized and make your dream a reality.

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