So You Want to Hack? | TryHackMe Pre-Security Path
Introduction - 2022 Revision
In July 2021, TryHackMe was giving away “Monopoly” tickets for people who wrote reviews on their new “Pre-security Path”. I, very new and wanting to get as much stuff as I could, wrote a long review that really wasn’t that good of a review and more of a praise of it. Really not happy with how this post looked compared to the other posts I have now, and if you really want to read what I had to say before, you can look through the commit history. I’m usually the kind of person to just leave it up and own up to it, but the old post just feels so lame and not genuine, so I’m leaving the last bit here because it was the only good part.
I will give them credit though. It’s the only reason I started this blog in the first place. And for that, I am thankful.
But they never gave me my tickets >:(
For a mostly free course, this is pretty much exactly what I was looking for back in December 2020. It hits just the right balance between holding your hand and making you work for it, and covers the essential topic neccessary to go onward with learning cybersecurity. From a content perspective, the only area that seemed lackluster was the Windows Fundamentals sections. There was a lot to be learned from it, but the importance of those things isn’t very well established, so the content doesn’t stick as well. If I’m being seriously nitpicky, I think that some sections’ questions could have been written better to be a little more engaging (e.g. “What is this layer of the OSI model called?”, when there’s a huge picture telling you what the answer is), but it is still put together very well.
As for the subscription model, I think there are a lot of people who will be upset that half of the networking and web sections are stuck behind paywalls. However, I really do not see it as a huge issue. Subscriptions allow the site to stay running, and in doing so, support more of the free content seen on the site. Subscriptions themselves are only $10 ($8 if you’re a student), which is the equivalent of about one Chipotle burrito with guacamole. Many people might compare the value of this to a subscription to Hack The Box, but I think that comaprison falls apart very quickly. Yes, Hack the Box has their Academy, but at the end of the day, Hack the Box is mostly for practice, and TryHackMe is mostly for learning*. The value of a subscription largely depends on how you like to learn (e.g. taught course vs self-guided), how much time you can put into this, and how much $8-10 is worth to you.
I am in no way sponsored or endorsed by TryHackMe, I just think what they’re doing is very cool. At the end of they day, although it has its’ flaws, the Pre-Security path is a solid choice for those who want to begin learning on their own without too much of a committment, or for experienced people to refresh on some foundational content.
Update: While I am thankful to TryHackMe for motivating me to write a blog, I am kind of upset my submission was never reviewed. I think it’s correct to tell people to relax about getting stuff for free, I didn’t appreciate the fact that the fact I wasn’t reviewed at all was swept under the table by THM Staff. I respect what they’re trying to do, but man do they need to put more than one person on support or something.
* Update 2022: I actually started using HTB Academy towards the beginning of 2022 with the release of the the CBBH content, mostly just wanting to get better at web, not really the cert. Their content is genuinely amazing much more in-depth than the corresponding room on TryHackMe. I think their payment model is a definitely a lot pricier (and honestly a lot more confusing of a model), especially for anything beyond their Tier 2, so I still recommend TryHackMe for absolute beginners because it does do a lot of hand-holding and is much more gentler, but HTB Academy is very, very good, and costs the same amount as a TryHackMe subscription if you are a student.