September 2, 2021

Best way to learn as a beginner

Is there a good way to learn cybersecurity as a beginner without paying money, specifically regarding CTFs? I heard tryhackme and hackthebox are great for beginners, but it is unfortunate how you must have a subscription to access ALL content. Vulnhub is free but many of the labs seem to be too complex to solve.



Tryhackme is quite beginner friendly compared to hackthebox, but both are great. There is a free intro course at , which includes labs. You can play Proving Ground boxes for 3 hours per day for free, and Youtube has a lot of good material for learning in general. Keep an eye out for free Udemy courses.

Good luck!


TryHackMe is actually almost entirely free. HackTheBox is also mostly free. Before going straight to those I would take multiple steps back and answer a few questions.

1) Do you currently have any tech experience or formal credentials like a degree or certificates in related or even unrelated fields?

2) Is being a penetration tester the path you want to go down? Information Security is WAY bigger than just penetration testing and there are lots of very lucrative and satisfying areas that aren’t penetration testing. These areas and roles can include audit, governance, network, endpoint, DLP, SIEM, SOC,(buzzword bingo!) etc…

So my advice to you would be – before you go start self-learning on one of these platforms. Discover ALL of IT Security and the potential pathways. I am a cybersecurity instructor and I made a rant post recently if you want to read parts of it. However, your post kind of fits into that theme. A lot of people want to get into cybersecurity because of the salaries they hear about and how awesome it is to ‘hack’ for a living. The reality of it can be very different from what your expectations are.

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