CompTIA Certifications

CompTIA Network+ 2009 Domain 5: Network Tools

Toner Probe

A toner probe is used to test network ports. One end of the device is plugged into a port and generates a tone. On the other end of the connection, you use a device which turns the electrical tone into an audible tone.

A toner probe is one of the most useful network troubleshooting tools for a network administrator – especially in a poorly labeled networked environment. The toner allows you to plug the device into a port, walk into a wiring closet and know exactly which port you’re plugged into.

On the Network+ exam, you will need to know that you will use a toner probe to find a specific port.

Punch Down Tool

A punch down tool allows you to punch down twisted wires into a network connection. A punch down tool is useful to connect a bare wire to a connection either in a wiring panel, or to a connector in a Ethernet network.

It is a handheld tool with a slotted post which pushes a wire into a connector as you can see in the image on the right. There are different punchdown tools for different connection types.

66 blocks, 110 blocks, and krone blocks require different types of blades.

On the Network+ exam, you will need to know that you use a punch down tool to terminate cable runs and cross connect jumpers at 66 pin, 110 pin blocks, and patch panels.

Temperature Monitor

A temperature monitor is used to monitor a server room or network closet for heat. Most server rooms – and some network closets – have controlled HVAC systems to control the temperature and humidity of the room. Servers and networking hardware produce a lot of heat and without proper temperature control, a room can quickly overheat and cause equipment failures.

A temperature monitor is a device in the room which monitors the temperature and other environmental conditions and then produces a certain action once a level is exceeded. For example, a temperature monitor may alert an administrator or initiate a shutdown of devices.

For the exam, you should understand why you need a temperature monitor and what it is used for.