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PenTest+ vs CEH

jason BrightonCertified Graduate
Hi all!

Glad to finally have a place to talk shop! I couldn't find a course-specific subforum so I hope I'm posting this in the right place.

A question for graduates of the ethical hacker course: How did you find the CEH after passing the pentest+? I'm studying for the CEH now and I've read that the two certifications cover a lot of the same ground, so I'm wondering how much material will be new to me and whether the exam itself is harder/easier.


  • Big_Juan
    Big_Juan Scotland Certified Graduate
    Doing the same thing myself! I think it's best to do all the exams. Sure there are topics that are covered repeatedly. I'm not worrying about that. I think the thing is, the PenTest+ is after Security+ and there are similar repeated subjects there too. Except they get deeper in to those subjects as you get deeper in to the course. So ask yourself this. Do you want to display knowledge and competence after this? If so, do all the course work and the exams....if not you stand a great chance of being a numpty that gets a bad reputation. That just gives everyone else (with similar qualifications) a bad name too. Believe me....I have worked with guys that have taken the cheap way to get an exam. Most of them are useless in the real world. Remember that the course work includes labs that gets you introduced to Linux and Wintel environments too...do you really fancy trying to get all that kit in your house too?
  • Sam_L
    Sam_L Northern Ireland Certified Graduate
    I'm in the same boat, on the last legs towards sitting my CEH, so going over all the materials etc. Pentest+ was added to my course weeks before it was due to end, and it wasn't the full set of materials as it was just released/announced. So I rushed the materials to claim my CEH voucher and put off CEH study until I completed pentest+ study, which I failed the first time quite obviously... 6 months later I got back around to CEH study and alas all the Labs are expired. This was a big set back, however, I'm creating my own Lab environment using proxmox - which is a learning curve in itself. I'd recommend just going for it if your able and you have the time.

    IMO the CEH is a lot more involved than Pentest+ and both are valuable in different ways. CEH will not so much bring new concepts, but they will be covered in a lot more depth and the Labs (from what I've seen in their tutorials) seem a much higher quality also.

    As a side note, creating your own labs is a great side project - if you really fancy giving yourself more work lol
  • jason
    jason BrightonCertified Graduate
    Thanks for the replies!

    @Big_Juan at no point was I thinking about not taking/study for the CEH exam! I'm not looking to take shortcuts, I was just wondering how the two certs compare. I know the CEH is more popular with HR departments but I also know it's considered a bit of a joke cert in some circles, and some have even said the pentest+ is a harder cert. Don't get me wrong, I'll be happy to have both under my belt - whatever it takes to get a foot in the door!

    I found browser-based virtual labs a little clunky and slow so I've had a virtualbox based home lab set up since studying for sec+, was relatively straight forward to set up and runs nice and quick!

    How have you both found the iClass course materials? I didn't really get on with the skillsoft materials for comptia, but eric seems like a good teacher (i'm only a couple lessons in so far)
  • SSwan
    SSwan BournemouthCertified Graduate
    I have done the CEH and CySA+ and working on PenTest+ now. It is more tool driven imo, CEH is mainly theory and gives you a good understanding of concepts. So far in the PenTest+ course there has been a small amount of theory and is covering tools in a greater depth. It also covers coding in a more in-depth manner and you will need to be able to read code for the exam (You don't need to be a programmer, just be able to tell the difference between Python, Bash, Powershell, Ruby and a few others)

    The best advise I can offer to help learn the vast amount of tools is to use them in a safe environment, but we all know VM labs are good but they don't mimic real life servers. So to over come the restraints of home labs, is to get an account on hack the box, it's free (unless you want VIP access) and is a great way to learn.

    (VIP is a paid service but you get dedicated labs that don't get restarted every 20 minutes by others, you also get all the old labs and tutorials and is a trove of information for learning tools and technique).

    HTB has real life scenarios and varies in skill level, it offers live box's to hack (Linux, Windows, Active Directory, SQL). Once you have joined you need to set up a free VPN to the HTB network and then you can break in to on of the machines, you then need to obtain the user hash to score points, you can then go for root and own a machine by finding the root hash for even bigger points. It also offers challenges like steganography, code breaking, cryptography, password cracking etc.. It is great fun and anyone studying PenTest+ or CEH should consider it.

    PS, to get an account you must first hack the join page to obtain an invite code, that is fun :)

    Good luck with your studies :)
  • jason
    jason BrightonCertified Graduate
    @SSwan thanks for the advice!

    regarding the stuff about code, are you talking about pentest+ or CEH? Just to clarify I've already passed pentest+ which required syntax/flow knowledge of those four languages. I'm already on HTB it's great! Have just started on tryhackme as well as that's a bit more guided/tutorial-based.
  • SSwan
    SSwan BournemouthCertified Graduate
    @jason sorry that was about the PenTest+, from what I can tell so far you need to have an understanding of the languages (Syntax) for the exam. CEH doesn't do any programming or scripting, that said I did version 9 so version 10 maybe different.
  • Asim
    Asim Graduate

    I'm doing the same, after completing PenTest+ and CEH. I think this module should have completed prior than PenTest+ as this topic is in deep theory detail which gives good reveision on both Network+ and Security+ and lots of software. PenTest+ teaches methodological approach and comprising mainly Kali Linux/Github tools. Both definitely overlaps. I am wondering too about the exam about what will be involved perticularly software wise.

  • Big_Juan
    Big_Juan Scotland Certified Graduate

    @jason Sorry, not been on in a while!! Was just about getting ready to get the PenTest+ arranged and that last lockdown happened...everything went up in the air a bit!!! Trying to get back on track now though. That's great that you found a better solution for yourself. I went through the video lectures again only to have mega ISP issues!!! I was on a rubbish old ADSL and am now on full fibre!! Was on a waiting list for a few weeks. I'm just like yourself...."what ever it takes to get the foot in the door"!!! Just so you know I've found that the Burp Suite Academy is quite good. It helps get you deeper in to the tech and gives you a lab that you can safely hack, might be worth a punt for you too? Still working through it myself. I found the lectures and the labs provided to be quite good. I always read a course book and take loads of notes.

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