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Learner Reviews & Feedback for The Bits and Bytes of Computer Networking by Google

37,250 ratings
8,456 reviews

About the Course

This course is designed to provide a full overview of computer networking. We’ll cover everything from the fundamentals of modern networking technologies and protocols to an overview of the cloud to practical applications and network troubleshooting. By the end of this course, you’ll be able to: ● describe computer networks in terms of a five-layer model ● understand all of the standard protocols involved with TCP/IP communications ● grasp powerful network troubleshooting tools and techniques ● learn network services like DNS and DHCP that help make computer networks run ● understand cloud computing, everything as a service, and cloud storage...

Top reviews


Mar 29, 2020

what an amazing course, so much information and yet so easy to understand, would recommend going over a few of the videos and supplemental reading a few times, take the time needed, it'll be worth it.


Jun 23, 2018

I loved this course. When I had issues support was awesome sauce. I really enjoyed the puns this instructor used to keep you from going off in a daze. I really wish I would have found Coursera sooner.

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7951 - 7975 of 8,555 Reviews for The Bits and Bytes of Computer Networking

By Pierre C

Mar 22, 2021


By Deleted A

Jul 4, 2020


By Joseph T

Apr 14, 2019


By kushal b

Dec 16, 2020

This course had positives and negatives.

The positives are mainly the information covered which seems like a thorough syllabus of the subject of networking and overall i am satisfied with what I have learnt and grateful.

The main negative was how many of the lectures were structured and how the concepts were explained.

I understand my next point is based on personal learning preferences however I think the point is still valid.

My main gripe is how the lectures just tell us information and not really teach us the information. A good example of this was the ethernet frame lecture and subnetting lecture. The information was presented in a linear fashion, eg.

"An ethernet frame is (followed by definition), the structure of the frame is the header and payload, the header is x bits long, the next field is this, this field is used in the process named y, followed by a definition of process y"

Before I could gain an understand of the information, there would be new information explained in the video. By the time I am onto process Y (in my example)I have already forgotten about the payload and the previous information.

I think a more successful manner of presenting the information (now I am talking about many of the lectures in general) could of been by explaining the general structure of the frame and how it works then giving details about structure.

In practice I adapted by reading one line at a time, noting down and watching the video over, I found other videos on YouTube which were more successful in teaching me the subject in a more efficient manner, by first not describing the process in a technical manner, but more in a metaphorical manner so I understood the general concept. A good example of this could be how the TCP handshake was taught and how It could be improved.

Instead of just listing how the process works as in, first a syn packet is sent then a syn ack is sent back etc. You could, explain how TCP works in three steps by using no technical words,

First the computer asks the server can I connect to you?

The computer responds and a connection is made

Then data transfer happens.

Then the computer asks can i close the connection.

From this point, the technical details can the be explained on top of this understanding. Now I already know the purpose of the 3 way hand shake and 4 way hand shake, thus when the control flags are explained, it can be fitted upon the general guideline of how the tcp connections works.

Thanks for reading if you have.

By Dave H

Dec 19, 2020

It was tough and complex to learn, but very educational about the world of IT.

a couple of the videos need to have the Text Script corrected to what the Speaker is actually saying, not what the computer interprets what the speaker is saying (a little confusing when reviewing NOTES with the Video). Some of the graphics have typos and errors in them,

3 quizzes that involved using the plug-in components were difficult to process with the correct answer because the quiz would continually make them incorrect. I don't know how I got the answer correct by inputting an incorrect answer to pass the quiz 100%. Very frustrating and time consuming all for 1 pt.

Please have the Mentors in the Discussion Forum try the actual quiz before giving advice or explanation to see if it is a student error with their answer or a technical error with the actual quiz. Reviewed the Discussion Forum and noticed a lot of frustrating comments about these quizzes that dated over a year ago with the same student complaints today. Please clean up the Discussion Board with only comments within 3 months and fix any technical problems with the quiz prior to these 3 months. It might require retooling or scrapping the quiz completely to avoid students (aka the consumer) from being totally frustrated with the grade quiz and not completing the course (or worse, not continuing with any future Coursera programs = lost future revenue for Coursera and Google).

I will be glad to assist you where exactly all of these errors in the course materials and quiz are if you ask. I have them all written down, like a good IT support specialist would do with proper documentation,

By Erik N

Apr 28, 2020

Information presented was broad and useful, but I have some criticisms.

Test question format is a typical dark-ages multiple choice format. Plugin tests were sometimes obscure or confusing. Lack of learning reinforcement; lack of ways to demonstrate application of specific knowledge; no way to stimulate learners to synthesize knowledge rather than regurgitating it. Lectures are OK but could be tightened up and made considerably more clear in technical spots. I believe there should be more practice quizzes and more review of material to guarantee that it is learned. More hands-on exercises are needed, especially when we are talking about things like netcat, nslookup, etc. Too much data presented without any particular schema for remembering it.

Overall specification of how internet works leaves something to be desired. I believe clarifying and improving source lecture and test materials would seriously improve both the quality of the students coming out of the course, and their satisfaction.

To recapitulate: test concepts, not miscellaneous, specific facts that can be easily looked up (discourage rote learning in favor of understanding). Encourage learners to synthesize knowledge and responses rather than just gaming a multiple choice test. Always back abstract concepts with practice sessions and ways to concretely apply the data. Present information in a way that can be digested easily. Improve clarity and specificity. Back up information with application.

By William S L

Feb 6, 2018

More complicated and complex, maybe not as well for someone with no experience. Problem with fill-in-the-blank graded quizes are even though you might have the right word, if it is spelled wrong at all, it is not accepted. Probably not easy for people that don't have English as their first language. Questions also don't help explain why and answer is wrong and what the right answer is, just to review the lesson again, but sometimes reviewing the lesson doesn't help if you just aren't getting it. The peer-reviewed assignment seems very complex and vague. There isn't a rubric to look at ahead of time, but once you turn it in, you can see it by reviewing others and resubmit. The peer-reviewed assignment almost made me want to stop taking this course and not continue. I wonder how many other people felt held-up by this assignment. First person I reviewed turned in a blank document, second person just listed definitions and not the processes. I listed definitions and processes, but feel like I did way more work than I was suppose to. Again, it was very vague and leaves interpretation up to the ones reviewing the work.

By Victor O

Aug 17, 2020

This course does try its best to take a huge topic and make it easier to understand. I think to some extent, they achieved that goal, but at the cost of the students not feeling that they learned enough to get employed with what they learned.

The course, in a broad sense, was formatted well. However, in the specific weeks I feel that the material could have been presented in a different order so that students would get less confused. I found myself getting confused with something in a lesson, getting frustrated over it, saying "screw it" and continuing on, only to find that they explain it in more detail the following week. They would essentially barrel down a road and then back up to go over things we missed, which was just confusing.

I think this isnt a bad course since I did learn more about networking than I would have if I had tried to learn completely on my own. It is a good way of seeing what your need to learn. However, its hard to say whether this really prepares you for a job as they have advertised. I think you need to take the following courses, and maybe the material learned here will make more sense.

By William R W

Nov 25, 2020

This course is at best a mediocre starting point for computer networking. It is poorly organized and edited----being replete with interrupting patches, and worse still, far more patent errors in sore need of correction. However, I suspect that many blunders may be fixed as this certification is refined. What concerns me the most at this point: the course is advertised as a step in preparation for the CompTIA A+ certification exam. Students are being set up to fail! Much of the terminology presented in this course misinforms students' understanding of core network concepts. In many cases, terms veer so far consensus and industry standards toward opinions peculiar the Google IT Support Specialist as it is currently iterated. I suppose the authors cover them selves by offering links to "supplemental reading". When perused the contradictions are astounding. My guess is your going to be very frustrated whenever you go for real network certifications and find out you were misinformed on much of the basics. If you find that acceptable, then by all means proceed.

By Daniel H

Oct 3, 2020

The information in this course is vital, but the presentation could use a lot of work. Closed Captioning needs to be edited for deaf/HoH folk, and the transcriptions should be better formatted for clarity as well. A block of text is very hard to parse, even for someone who can watch the video as well as read.

There are nowhere near enough practical examples provided. Dense information is presented with no way to help clarify. Particularly, the Subnetting quiz is a disaster. That section does little to prepare you for it, and it was only through the help of the discussion forums and several hours of outside material that I was able to complete it.

Due to the length of this course (6 weeks instead of the previous 5) and the density of its content, I believe it could benefit from alternating the host partway through. Each host can present the information with their own flair, spin, and mannerisms, minimizing monotony and potentially providing a new and different way to connect with the material.

By Leonard W

May 17, 2018

Things that can help this class improve:

1.More visual aid

2. less quizzes and more activities (The quizzes end up being these tedious open book tests that just teach you how to research and fill in the blanks versus actually understanding networking concepts, I'm still pretty lost on the concepts of routing tables and sub-netting)

3. Break up the videos with questions like what was done in course 1 (This is much more effective than quizzes because it keeps attention on the material. It was really hard to keep focus during this module and I believe My knowledge retention suffered because of it)

My main criticism of this module is that it goes through very tricky concepts way too fast. I had a hard time keeping up with the individual parts of the five layer network model. It was very tricky visualizing these concepts in action, especially with week 2, I had to do a lot of independent research just to keep on track.

I hope this feedback is helpful

By Ankit B

Aug 15, 2020

This course consisted of too many technical terms. Victor was very good at explaining everything. However, his lectures were probably easily understood by students with some IT or Computer background. However, most videos kept mentioning that we didn't need IT or Computer background to complete this course. In order to do this, I feel that Victor could have better explained technical explanations followed by some real life human examples as well as adding some sort of exercise for students to ensure that they understood the concept for each week as well as an exercise that would test the comprehensive knowledge of all of the concepts working together in this 6 week training. I feel that I am some what lost if I have to explain some of the items in this course. I definitely don't think I would be able to explain the technical aspects (examples) provided in this training if I was asked questions during an interview.

By James F C

Aug 27, 2020

I had to take a Network+ course as part of my IT Management A.S. degree. Because networking is so complex and there are so many associated terms to learn, all of the course quizzes and even the final exam were given open book... otherwise there'd by a high fail rate.

This course was more abbreviated than that but I still learned important things that I had already forgotten or never quite grasped from the college course. But, the in-depth technical details of networking are still somewhat fuzzy to me because of how complex it all really is. Network engineers are no dummies, that's for sure.

For subjects this extremely technical and complex, I feel strongly that detailed graphics are an absolutely crucial teaching tool. So I wish that this course would've presented many more graphics to help explain the course content and help students better visualize what was being discussed by the instructor(s).

By Signija A

Aug 3, 2021

No doubt that provided information and given knowledge is great.

I'm unsatisfied and disappointed with support when it's needed. There is Quiz where everybody stucks. There is no explanation, no help when asked and basically if you don't have friends from IT field you are out. I read all possible info all around, but still didn't get through. And I don't think this is the point of distance learning - to leave you alone when you ask Qs, without explanation how to understand better the Quiz. On the forum you can see, students ask questions - but there is no answer from professionals. You get the answers from the same students as you - but it doesn't help to understand. So, I wanted to finish this course, but after many tries to reach the help - I 'm leaving this course.

By Brooke F

May 2, 2018

I'm finding that the videos are doing a really good job of building things up from the bottom. I keep getting quite frustrated though because the beginning of each week seems to be just a bunch of definition/explanation of concepts that I cannot tie together being so new to some of this stuff. Week three was especially hard to get through because it seemed all disconnected until the very end. I know the first video always goes "After this course you'll be able to...", but it would be nice to actually see the end point and then build up to it so I could start to put things together better as things progress. This would have especially been helpful in week 3. If I had seen that last video first, then again at the end everything would have made much more since sooner.

By Mikey B

Jun 28, 2020

I definitely gained the knowledge to at least be able to talk about networking and how networking works. The course videos are very information dense and it will take a few times to go through them while taking notes. My main problem is that almost all, except for a small bit at the end, was networking theory and no practical real world skills. It would have been extremely helpful to actually include networking scenarios or help desk support common networking issues. They only had one at the end. Theory is great, but it needed more practical application. For example, they could have included how to set up a DHCP server, or actually creating a network from scratch for a small business, or a daily routine of maintaining a network for a big/small business.

By taylor p

Jul 7, 2018

This content is presented poorly. In some parts it is unnecessarily complicated, and in others you assume or leave out critical information for understanding what is going on. I will try from now on to take a more detail log of when this occurs so I can present a helpful review. However, for almost every module I have had to look to an outside source to complete it and once I learn it, then I have to suffer through the video which is weirdly organized and full of terrible puns. I understand that it is important to be a self learner in IT, and I assure you, I have taught myself many things proficiently, but It is hard to feel like this certificate will even be taken seriously when the medium is so difficult to learn from. Who knows, maybe it is just me.

By Matthew W

Jan 27, 2022

Overall, the material contained in this course will be useful and is foundational to an entire IT career. However, I was disappointed in how this course focused entirely on lectures when I imagined this being an alternative to traditional academia. There should be more forms of assessment besides multiple choice quizzes to practice skills. Why not have pauses in videos where you have to answer questions or drag and drop? A platform like Pear Deck could have been a major inspiration for this course; have students be actively involved in the courses instead of listening to narration. The videos also could have used significantly more contextualization and connection between ideas.

By Mike S

Apr 16, 2020

This is a lot of "book learning". As an IT help desk manager and IT support specialist for over a decade, I don't feel that these lessons are very applicable to what a technician will encounter "in the field". While these concepts are helpful to establish a foundation, I feel that these lessons would be a lot more helpful if they included more "real world" examples. For example: how to hook up a computer, identify ports, proper running of wiring and ergonomics, installing cards and memory, setting up multiple displays, configuring switches and routers, how to do punchdowns, understanding the troubleshooting process, etc. Basically more hands on and less theory.

By Michael J

Mar 26, 2022

I really hate to give this 3 stars at it is full of information but the problem is there are a ton of new things and words to use and though I can rewind the videos i have found myself getting a better understanding from other youtube videos for the same content. It would be nice to have more interactive exersices as it did help with understanding the IPV6 compression to try out 10 and by the end i felt I had a good grasp. but I dont feel the same with the networking but I do understand there is a ton to learn. Still a great course I just think it could have had more animations instead of seeing the instructor for most of it, and more interactive content.

By Emily J

Mar 5, 2022

Here is my reasoning for my rating: I wish it had more solid definitions for things before it went into a more detailed explanation of complicated topics, otherwise you are just overloaded with information you don't understand. I'm the type of person that needs the base definition before I add more to it. It took me awhile to make my own and afterwards things started making a lot more sense. I still need to go back and make some for concepts at the beginning of the course so I have a better understanding of the five layer model. To google's credit though, I finished this course in two weeks so I was speeding through rather than taking my time.

By Braden B

Aug 12, 2021

There are a lot of factual and reference errors in these videos, and the questions are often confusingly written or sometimes just plain wrong. The ipv6 validator in the penultimate quiz is a good example, as it marks something like '9930:cafa::52:4cc:7b7a:37:27e6' wrong while '9930:cafa:0:52:4cc:7b7a:37:27e6' is correct. While it's true that the latter one is *A* correct ipv6 address, it's not *THE* correct ipv6 address. The former is correct, too, but whoever wrote the quiz opted for a big dumb "a === b" comparison rather than write a proper validator. Something I managed to do in JavaScript in about 15 minutes. Which is just plain lazy.

By Jess B

Oct 11, 2020

This course introduced a lot of important information pertaining to networking; however, I found myself seeking assistance outside of the course for each week's learning material. It felt like much of the information was explained in a very confusing manner. I might recommend that Google re-evaluate how they choose to present the information learned throughout this course so as to keep learners engaged. Much of the time, I felt like giving up due to the denseness of the material at hand and the difficulty I had in understanding the provided examples, whether they were presented by the instructor or through supplemental links or diagrams.

By Aisha Q

Sep 10, 2020

The instructor doesn't always arrange the material in a logical flow. I find myself using the transcript to skip over certain segues to understand the point he's trying to make. He also interrupts the flow to mention that he'll discuss a particular topic later, which seems unnecessary to mention at all. Also, at times he glosses over topics that later come in the assessments. I found myself googling a lot of information especially from week 4 which was frustrating because the answers I got were difficult for a beginner to understand. The topics in the other weeks are explained well, but week 4 was a nightmare to understand.

By Kwaku A

Nov 11, 2020

Disclaimer: I only did around 1 1/2 weeks worth of content, I unenrolled in week 2. Hence the 3 rating rather than a 1 or a 2.

I have struggled with networking in the past, I thought this course would actually help me and better understand networking but I still couldn't get the hang of it. I just felt like there was so much information being thrown at you and you just have to remember it, there was a lot of terminology that I felt wasn't revisted (That may be because I didn't finish it). I think it would be better if the course was split into two parts so theres more opportunity to nail down what there is to know.