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Abhimanyu Krishnan | 09 Feb, 2024

13 Best Ethical Hacking Courses Online in 2024 [Free + Paid]

 

Ethical hacking seems like a contradiction in terms, but it isn't really. It could just as well be described as a sub-sector of cybersecurity, and that's pretty much what it is. And as we dive headfirst into a world dominated by computers and the internet, the field of ethical hacking continues to grow quickly.

If you’re a problem solver that’s fascinated by the prospect of testing systems for vulnerabilities, you’ve likely been looking for the best way to become an ethical hacker, whether via the best ethical hacking books or ethical hacking courses.

Well, we’ve got you covered, as this article covers the 13 best ethical hacking courses online for you to get started in the field, with a range of free and paid options.

Featured Ethical Hacking Courses [Editor’s Picks]

Is an Ethical Hacking Course Worth it in 2024?

Ethical hacking is a profession that continues to grow quickly as we become more dependent on computers and the internet.

A 2022 report found a 61% increase in phishing attacks from 2021; it’s no wonder that many organizations will happily pay for skilled professionals to help them boost their security systems.

In 2022, the total security spend was $71.68 billion, and that figure can only be expected to grow in the coming years.

Said another way, one of the best ways to take advantage of this demand is to not only familiarize yourself with modern security practices like Zero Trust, but to take one of the best ethical hacking courses to bolster your skills and stand out from the crowd.

Choosing The Best Ethical Hacking Courses

To help us find the best ethical hacking courses online in 2024, we considered the following criteria.

  • Training offered: We looked for courses that provide comprehensive training in the fundamentals of ethical hacking and more advanced techniques.
  • Instructor credibility: We ensured that the trainers/partners had the credibility to share knowledge on the subject
  • Instructor experience: We looked for trainers with practical experience in the field.
  • Reputation: We read reviews from previous and current students.

13 Best Online Ethical Hacking Courses in 2024

1. [Udemy] Learn Ethical Hacking From Scratch

Learn Ethical Hacking From Scratch

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Why we chose this course

This comprehensive Udemy course on cybersecurity assumes students have no prior experience in the subject. Taught by the CEO of zSecurity, the training focuses on both theory and practical examples.

As one of the best hacking courses online, it breaks the topic down into three parts. First, students learn network hacking. This covers packet sniffing, WEP cracking, and WPA/WPA 2 cracking. Next, it covers different ways of taking full control of computer systems. This includes client-side and server-side attacks, plus web server security tools.

Finally, students learn exploits. This ethical hacker course describes how to access operating systems, file systems, how to maintain access, spying techniques, and other exploits. So if you’re looking for a robust course that covers all the basics, this earns top marks.

Udemy’s ethical hacking course teaches you how to identify, prevent, and secure systems without any previous experience. Note that more thanhalf a million people have taken this course, and it earned 4.6 stars at the time of review.

Key Information

Prerequisites: Wireless adapter that supports monitor mode

Instructor: Zaid Sabih (zSecurity)

Level: Beginner

Free or Paid: Paid

Certificate: Yes

Duration: 16 hours (self-paced video content)

2. [Coursera] Penetration Testing, Incident Response, and Forensics

Penetration Testing, Incident Response, and Forensics

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Why we chose this course

This IBM ethical hacking online course focuses on penetration testing and different processes to go through as an ethical hacker after an attack. It goes into specific detail about forensics and prevention just as much as it focuses on the attacking part.

It also helps you understand scripting and the role of a systems analyst and ethical hackers. It is part of the full specialization on ethical hacking on Coursera, but you can go through this one standalone too.

Key Information

Prerequisites: Wireless network card

Instructor: IBM Security Learning Services

Level: Beginner

Free or Paid: Paid

Certificate: Yes

Duration: 16 hours (self-paced video content)

3. [Udemy] The Complete Ethical Hacking Course: Beginner to Advanced

The Complete Ethical Hacking Course: Beginner to Advanced

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Why we chose this course

With more than 280,000 current and former students, this ethical hacking course serves as another popular choice from Udemy. The instructors are Ermin Kreponic and Aldin Omerdic, described as IT experts (though no former employers or certifications are listed).

Over 25 hours, this hacker course will help you learn how to build a hacking environment, attack wireless networks, and crack passwords with brute force. You’ll also learn about Denial of Service (DoS) attacks, keyloggers, and SQL injection attacks. That’s a variety of practical tips for ethical hackers.

While this ethical hacking course doesn’t have the organized structure of our number one recommendation, it provides in-depth coverage of several popular types of hacks. Generally, we recommend this for novice white-hat hackers who want demonstrations of well-known tactics. 

Note that some previous students mention outdated content in some modules. We would love to see an update from the course creators addressing new and developing hacks.

Key Information

Prerequisites: Ability to run VM software

Instructor: Ermin Kreponic and Aldin Omerdic

Level: Beginner

Free or Paid: Paid

Certificate: Yes

Duration: 25 hours (self-paced video content)

4. [CodeCademy] Introduction To Ethical Hacking

Introduction To Ethical Hacking

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Why we chose this course

This introductory course is a mixture of articles, lessons, and quiz-based learning that helps you learn everything from introductory concepts to cloud computing and more.

You'll learn defensive and evasive techniques and see how an ethical hacker works daily. This course also dives into ethical hacking via cryptography and packet sniffing and goes through these concepts with demo-based learning.

Key Information

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: CodeCademy

Level: Beginner

Free or Paid: Paid

Certificate: Yes 

Duration: 6 hours (self-paced video content)

5. [Edureka] Certified Ethical Hacking Course - CEH v12

Certified Ethical Hacking Course - CEH v12

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Why we chose this course

This is an official partnership-led course between EC-Council and Edureka, which is ideal if you're looking to clear the CEH v12 certification.

This course covers concepts like hijacking, cryptography, session hijacking, pen-testing, and more. This rigorous course helps you train yourself to meet any challenge you encounter in your career and helps you gain a solid foundation in security tips.

This course also provides access to a hands-on practice platform and uses a cohort-based approach over 5 weeks.

Key Information

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Edureka

Level: Intermediate-Advanced

Free or Paid: Paid

Certificate: Yes

Duration: 40 hours (video content)

6. [LinkedIn Learning] Ethical Hacking Course

Ethical Hacking Course

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Why we chose this course

The LinkedIn hacking class is an ethical hacking path comprised of 19 courses and nearly 30 hours of content. That packs a major value into a single platform, and it’s the main reason we chose to include it in our list of best ethical hacking courses.

Students learn from industry experts, including Malcolm Shore, Lisa Block, Daniel Lachance, and Stephanie Domas. If you choose to follow the path in order, you learn reconnaissance and vulnerability tracking first. Then you advance to DoS attacks, honeypots, and how to hack wireless networks.

This learning path also covers operating systems, cryptography, cloud vulnerabilities, and SQL injections. Note that there’s also a LinkedIn badge of completion to show off on your social media profiles.

Students who prefer to learn from a variety of experts on a variety of topics may prefer LinkedIn Learning’s ethical hacking course over the others in our list. 

Key Information

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Lisa Bock, Malcolm Shore, Luciano Ferrari, Stephanie Domas, Dan Lachance

Level: Beginner

Free or Paid: Paid

Certificate: Yes

Duration: 30 hours (self-paced video content)

7. [MIT Management Executive Education] Cybersecurity For Managers: A Playbook

Cybersecurity For Managers: A Playbook

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Why we chose this course

Introduced by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, this ethical hacking training has been explicitly created for decision-makers and executives. It comes with a simple playbook so executives can create a high-end cybersecurity framework for the security of business operations.

Students also get access to specific defense techniques that will help them build advanced cybersecurity frameworks that meet industry standards. It is a bit pricey, but it comes from one of the best institutions in the world.

Also, check out this Cybersecurity Fundamentals course, which qualifies students for the IBM Cybersecurity Fundamentals Professional Certificate.

Key Information

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Stuart Madnick

Level: Beginner

Free or Paid: Paid

Certificate: Yes

Duration:  36 hours (self-paced video content)

8. [Udacity] Ethical Hacking Nanodegree Program

Ethical Hacking Nanodegree Program

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Why we chose this course

This ethical hacking course is a great option for working professionals who want to switch career tracks and have some foundational concepts of Linux and networking.

The course starts with a basic introduction to ethical hacking but focuses in-depth on pen-testing and red teaming operations.

Like all other nanodegree structured courses from Udacity, this course also offers mentor support, real-world industry projects, and career support, making it a contender for the best hacking course online.

Key Information

Prerequisites: Linux, Networking, and Programming

Instructor: Sagar Bansal, Paul Oyelakin

Level: Intermediate-Advanced

Free or Paid: Paid

Certificate: Yes

Duration: 80 hours (video content)

9. [Cybrary] Penetration Testing and Ethical Hacking Course

Penetration Testing and Ethical Hacking Course

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Why we chose this course

This ethical hacking course allows you to learn from a high-profile Ethical Hacker, Leo Dregier. With an introduction to high-level topics comprising 19 modules, these ethical hacking classes detail the workflow that ethical hackers use for system hacking.

You'll learn about some of the fundamental attack mechanisms and testing methods. This course should give you a good understanding of how to approach testing and how to bolster security and consequently prepare you for any exams.

Key Information

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Ken Underhill

Level: Intermediate

Free or Paid: Paid

Certificate: Yes

Duration: 7 hours (self-paced video content)

10. [PluralSight] Penetration Testing and Ethical Hacking with Kali Linux

Penetration Testing and Ethical Hacking with Kali Linux

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Why we chose this course

If you're looking for a way to use your knowledge practically, this ethical hacking course online is ideal as it goes all in on Kali Linux.

You’ll learn all the techniques you need to know, including information, gathering, network security external pen-testing, website penetration testing, network sniffing, social engineering, and more.

Key Information

Prerequisites: Basic knowledge of ethical hacking concepts

Instructor: Gus Khawaja

Level: Advanced

Free or Paid: Paid

Certificate: Yes

Duration: 6 hours (self-paced video content)

11. [INE] Penetration Testing: System Security

Penetration Testing: System Security

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Why we chose this course

The best way to hack a system or get deep into anything, for that matter, is to understand how it works and the intricacies that keep it working.

This is primarily a pen-testing-focused course, but it goes through it with an approach that delves into teaching you the fundamentals and weaknesses of an x86 architecture system.

Simultaneously, this course also helps you prepare yourself for the eCPPTv2 exam. This course uses the following modules to teach you pen-testing and system security: cryptography and password cracking, shell coding, buffer overflows, and assembler debuggers. 

These modules need you to have experience and background in computer science or electronics major and take you on the hacking path thereon.

Key Information

Prerequisites: Knowledge of computer architecture and networking

Instructor: Fabricio Siciliano

Level: Advanced

Free or Paid: Paid

Certificate: No

Duration: 13 hours (self-paced video content)

12. [Simplilearn] Ethical Hacking Full Course

Ethical Hacking Full Course

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Why we chose this course

You can usually find a lot of information on the internet for free, but when it comes to learning technical skills, you also need a reliable source. This is why we chose this free ethical hacking course, as it makes learning ethical hacking easy and straightforward.

As one of the best free ethical hacking online courses, you’ll learn all about the different types of fundamentals and techniques you would need to get into this industry. The course's best part is its supplementary knowledge of EC-Council exam preparation.

This course is ideal for people looking forward to developing ethical hacking skills and looking for career options as site administrators, IS/IT specialists, IT operations managers, and many more.

Key Information

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Simplilearn

Level: Beginner

Free or Paid: Free

Certificate: No

Duration: 7.25 hours (video content)

13. [The Cyber Mentor] Ethical Hacking in 12 Hours

Ethical Hacking in 12 Hours

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Why we chose this course

This free course aims to teach you everything you need to know about ethical hacking as a beginner within 12 hours. You'll learn about what an ethical hacker does, network security, and how to get in and around it correctly.

You'll also learn how to use Kali Linux to get into systems, understand how to go over system privileges, and much more.

This course aims to help you learn the basics of ethical hacking, including hacking tools like Kali Linux, Python, Kioptrix, and others. You’ll also learn strategies like manual exploits and brute force attacks.

For a free course, this course offers max value for the time you invest in it, including setting you up to tackle a capstone project.

Key Information

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Heath Adams - The Cyber Mentor

Level: Beginner

Free or Paid: Free

Certificate: No

Duration: 12.25 hours (video content)

Final Thoughts

In 2024, organizations of all shapes and sizes continue to hire ethical hackers to test and analyze the security of their networks. And as an increasing number of corporations invest considerable sums into strengthening the safety of their software and hardware systems, there’s never been a better time to enter the field.

In this article, we’ve covered the 13 best ethical hacking courses online in 2024, with a range of options for beginners that are both free and paid. Meaning there’s bound to be something for you on our list to help you form the foundation for a lucrative ethical hacking career.

Looking to round out your hacking skills? Check out

The Best Cyber Security Courses

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which Course Is Best For Ethical Hacking?

It’s hard to pick the best course for ethical hacking, as it depends on how much knowledge you already have, the particular topics you would like to study, and the quality of the course.

Each of the courses in our list is a great starting point, but we’d definitely recommend checking out Udemy’s Ethical Hacking From Scratch as an excellent ethical hacking course for beginners.

2. Can A Beginner Learn Ethical Hacking?

Yes, a beginner can learn ethical hacking. Many of the courses on this list are aimed at beginners without needing previous knowledge or skills.

Yes, ethical hacking is legal. While the term might have connotations of malicious hackers, it really is just used to describe a set of cyber security practices to improve security systems. Think of it as using "hacking" techniques and knowledge to improve security.

4. Who Is Best Suited For A Career In Ethical Hacking?

If you enjoy problem-solving, have strong analytical skills, and are passionate about cybersecurity, you can have a successful career in ethical hacking. It also helps to understand coding languages like Java or Python, network architecture, and common security protocols.

5. How Can I Learn Ethical Hacking?

You have several options to choose from to learn ethical hacking, including the ethical hacking courses we’ve listed above and the best ethical hacking books. It’s often best to combine both approaches to help reinforce your learning. 

6. Is Ethical Hacking A Good Career?

Yes, ethical hacking can be a very rewarding and lucrative career. As organizations become increasingly aware of the need for improved security measures and more stringent regulations, the demand for ethical hackers is rising. With the right training, you can secure a well-paying job with excellent growth potential in many companies. 

7. How Much Money Can An Ethical Hacker Make?

The salary of an ethical hacker depends on several factors, including location and experience. However, with the right training and skills, ethical hackers can command average salaries in excess of $100K.

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By Abhimanyu Krishnan

With a bachelor's degree in Information Technology, Abhi has experience with several programming languages, including Python, JavaScript and C++. He is also an expert on blockchain technology and its development, having worked in the industry for several years.

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Disclosure: Hackr.io is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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Rishe Ray

i used for haking facebook accaunt

3 years ago

Kamal Regmi

I have no experience but intrested to study hacking corse

2 years ago