CIW Foundations Exam Notes

CIW Associate certificate is awarded after passing this exam. CompTIA I-Net+ exam is recognized as equivalent and there is no need to take this exam if you are an i-Net+ certified professional. You can proceed to take other CIW exams! This exam is prerequisite for most of the master CIW tracks. The CIW Foundations certified individual has the essential skills and knowledge that an Internet professional is expected to have. 
Foundations exam includes basic knowledge of Internet technologies, network infrastructure, and Web authoring using HTML. The exam is of duration of 90 minutes and there will be approximately 60 questions (excluding 10 non-scored beta questions). You can register for the exam at NCS/VUE   or   Prometric. The passing score is about 75%. Visit the official CIW site here.  

Objectives covered:

1.      Internet Fundamentals: 24 items

2.      Web Page Authoring Fundamentals: 12 items

3.      Networking Fundamentals: 24 items

Total scored items: 60

In addition, there will be 10 randomly delivered beta items throughout the exam. These beta items are not scored.

1. Internetwork IP addressing:

IP addresses are written using decimal numbers separated by decimal points. This is called dotted decimal notation of expressing IP addresses.

The different classes of IP addresses is as below:



Leading Bit   pattern         

Network address Range

Maximum networks

Maximum hosts/ nodes




0 - 126 






128 - 191  






192 - 223          



- Network address of all zeros means "This network or segment".

- Network address of all 1s means " all networks", same as hexadecimal of all Fs.

- Network number 127 is reserved for loop-back tests.

- Host (Node) address of all zeros mean "This Host (Node)".

-          Host (Node) address of all 1s mean "all Hosts (Nodes) " on the specified network.

-          The range of numbers from to is used for multicast packets. This is known as Class D address range.

-          The default subnet mask for

o        Class A network:

o        Class B network:

o        Class C network:

2. The range of numbers from to is used for multicast packets. This is known as Class D address range.

3. Telnet, FTP, and TFTP:


-          TCP/IP is the protocol used when you are Telnetting to a remote host. Telnet is used for terminal emulation that runs programs remotely.

-          FTP is used to transfer files. FTP is a connection-oriented protocol. It uses TCP/IP for file transfer.

-          TFTP (Trivial File Transfer Protocol) uses UDP. TFTP is a connectionless protocol.

4. A valid IP address on a host / node can't start with 127; 127.X.X.X is reserved for local loop back. A valid IP address can't be larger than 255 (in any octet), The maximum allowed value is 255 in any or combination of octets. For example, is an invalid IP, since one octet exceeded the value 255. An example of valid IP is

5. The number of distinct IP's required in a network are

1.     One each per client computer

2.     One each per server computer

3.     One each per router interface.

For example, if there are 2 servers, 26 clients machines, and 2 router interfaces, the total number of IP addresses required are 30.

6. OSI 7 layers: The 7 layers of OSI model are:

1.      The Application Layer: Application layer is responsible for identifying and establishing the availability of intended communication partner and verifying sufficient resources exist for communication. Some of the important application layer protocols are: WWW, SMTP, FTP, etc.

2.      The Presentation Layer: This layer is responsible for presenting the data in standard formats. This layer is responsible for data compression, decompression, encryption, and decryption. Some Presentation Layer standards are: JPEG, MPEG, MIDI, PICT, Quick Time, TIFF.

3.      The Session Layer: Session Layer is responsible for co-coordinating communication between systems/nodes.  The following are some of the session layer protocols and interfaces: a) Network File System (NFS), SQL, RPC (Remote Procedure Call), X-Windows, ASP, DNA SCP.

4.      The Transport Layer: The Transport Layer is responsible for multiplexing upper-layer applications, session establishment, and tearing-down of virtual circuits. This layer does "flow control" to maintain data integrity. Flow Control prevents the problem of a sending host on one side of the connection overflowing the buffers in the receiving host.

5.      The Network Layer: There can be several paths to send a packet from a given source to a destination. The primary responsibility of Network layer is to send packets from the source network to the destination network using pre-determined methods. Routers work at Network layer.

6.      The Data Link Layer:

-          Data Link Layer is layer 2 of OSI reference model. This layer is divided into two sub-layers:

A.     Logical Link Control (LLC) sub-layer.

B.      Media Access Control (MAC) sub-layer.

-          The LLC sub-layer handles error control, flow control, framing, and MAC sub-layer addressing.

-          The MAC sub-layer is the lower of the two sub-layers of the Data Link layer. MAC sub-layer handles access to shared media, such a Token passing or Ethernet.

7.      Physical Layer: The actual flow of bits takes place through Physical layer. At Physical layer, the interface between the DTE and DCE is determined. The following are some of the standard interfaces are defined at Physical layer: A> EIA/TIA-232, EIA/TIA-449, V.24, V.35, X.21, G.703, HSSI (High Speed Serial Interface).

7. HTTP is the protocol used for accessing the World Wide Web (WWW) services. HTTP operates over TCP/IP. TCP/IP is the protocol, which is used by all Internet applications such as WWW, FTP, and Telnet etc.   IPX/SPX is proprietary protocol stack of Novell NetWare.

8. TCP/IP utilities:

-          NBTSTAT     This utility displays current NetBIOS over TCP/IP connections, and display NetBIOS name cache.

-          NETSTAT      Displays protocol statistics and current TCP/IP connections since the server was last booted.

-          TRACERT      This command is used to determine which route a packet takes to reach its destination from source.

-          IPCONFIG     Displays Windows IP configuration information.

-          NSLOOKUP   This utility enables users to interact with a DNS server and display resource records.

-          ROUTE         This command can be used to display and edit static routing tables.

9. Important port numbers:

  The port numbers used by different programs are as below:

-          FTP: Port #21

-          Telnet: Port #23

-          SMTP: Port #25

-          SNMP: Port #161

It is also important to know that FTP, Telnet, SMTP use TCP; whereas TFTP, SNMP use UDP.


10. Some of the important commands useful in trouble shooting TCP/IP networks:

I.                   Ipconfig: Displays TCP/IP configuration values, including IP address, subnet mask, and default gateway.

II.                Ping: This command can be used to verify whether the target ip address or host name is present. You need to specify the target IP address or host name.

III.              Route:  Displays and manipulates route information.

IV.              Tracert: Determines the route packets take to reach the specified destination.

11. DSL:

-          DSL uses existing copper phone lines. The access speeds can be up to 9 MBPS. but has distance limitations and available in only certain exchange areas.

-          There are several categories of DSL:

o        Asymmetric DSL (ADSL): Here data flow is asymmetric. Data flow in one direction is different from that in the other direction.

o        Symmetric DSL (SDSL): Here the data flow is symmetric, that the data flows equally in both directions.

o        Other not so much used or known types of DSL are BDSL, HDSL, and VDSL.

12. ISDN:

-          ISDN specifies two standard access methods:


-          BRI (Basic Rate Interface):

o        Consists of two B channels (64Kbps) and one D channel (16Kbps).

o        The B channels can be used for digitized speech transmission or for relatively high-speed data transport.

o        The D channel carries signaling information (call setup) to control calls on B channels.


-          PRI (Primary Rate Interface):


o        Consists of 23 B channels and one D channel  with a bandwidth of 1.544Mbps.

o        PRI uses a DSU/CSU for a T1 connection. B stands for Bearer Channel.


13. Tracert, Ping use ICMP as their base protocol. ICMP messages are carried in IP data grams.

14. SMTP is used to upload mail to the mail server. POP3 is used for downloading mail from a mail server to a client machine running POP3 client.


  • A firewall is a security mechanism, which prevents unauthorized access to a network or a resource on a network.

  • TCP is a full-duplex, connection-oriented protocol. It incorporates error checking as well. UDP (User Data gram Protocol): UDP is a thin protocol. UDP is a connectionless protocol. It doesn't contact the destination before sending the packet and doesn't care whether the packet is reached at the destination. UDP uses port number 6.

16. A DNS zone file contains the resource records for the part of the domain for which the zone is responsible. Some of the resource records are:

1.     SOA (Start Of Authority Record): The first record in any zone file is the SOA record. The SOA file contains some general parameters such as contact e-mail of the person responsible for this zone file, the host on which zone file is maintained etc.

2.     The NS Record (Name Server Record):  NS Record contains the name servers for this domain. This will enable other name servers to look up names in your domain.

3.     MX Record (Mail Exchange Record): MX record tells us which host processes mail for this domain.

4.     Host Record (A Record): A host record is used to statically associate hosts names to IP addresses within a zone. The syntax for this is

5.     <hostname> IN A <ip address of the host>


NameServer1 IN A

-          Here 'NameServer1' is the host name and is its ip address.

6.     CNAME Record (Canonical name): These records allow you to use more than one name to point to a single Host. Using CNAME, you can host both WWW and FTP servers on the same machine.

7.     Reverse Look up is useful when you want to implement security. Reverse look up ensures that the domain name is indeed the domain that it claims to be.

The correct format for Pointer record is

<ip reverse domain name> IN PTR <host name>

ex.: IN PTR

Here the IP numbers are written in backward order and is appended to the end, creating a Pointer record.


17. Cookies:

  -          A cookie is a plain text file that sends out client information to the corresponding Web server, usually when the client makes a visit to the Web server. Disabling Cookies may result in improperly loaded Web pages.

18. Browsers:

-          Configuring the browser not to show pictures enable the Web pages to load faster.

-          A correctly formatted connection to access a Web site over a secure link will have "https://".

19. News Service:

-          By installing Internet  News service, you can enable all group members to exchange threaded messages.

-          NNTP is a service. Users can connect to NNTP service using client software like Microsoft Internet Mail and News through TCP/IP.


20. XML (Extensible Markup Language) is a reduced version of SGML.

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The above notes is provided AS IS. assumes no responsibility about the accuracy or compliance with vendor's stated Exam objectives.

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