What topics can I ask about here?

Network Engineering Stack Exchange is for asking questions about professionally managed networks in a business environment.

Please look around to see if your question has been asked before. It’s also OK to ask and answer your own question. In addition to subjects that are off-topic as listed here, for general guidelines see also What types of questions should I avoid asking? which covers issues like overly broad or opinion based questions.

(Note: All questions about RESIDENTIAL/HOME networking and CONSUMER-grade equipment, are explicitly OFF-topic.)


The Network Engineering community voted to accept the following questions as on-topic.

If your question is about

  • operating, maintaining, purchasing or managing an enterprise / service provider network;
  • planning or designing an enterprise / service provider network;
  • model or product line features and differences;
  • lab scenarios involving on-topic equipment;
  • tools used by network professionals;
  • servers operating as a router/switch/firewall;
  • design or theory of protocols used to operate a network (e.g. IP, TCP, routing protocols, STP, etc);
  • content delivery networks;
  • production troubleshooting or problem resolution;
  • physical infrastructure (e.g. standard color coding of cables, types of fiber, etc);
  • implementing and enforcing network security or policies;

and meets the following requirements

  • under your direct control (if the network is not under your control you will not likely be able to provide the information required to answer your question);
  • hardware that has a paid support option (enterprise/provider class products, some small business class devices);

then this is likely the correct place to ask unless it meets any of the off-topic conditions detailed below.


If your question is about

  • residential/home networking;
  • consumer grade products;
  • installation, configuration, or use of applications not generally considered to be tools used by network professionals;
  • configuration or operation of computers/servers not directly related to networking;
  • education, certification, or homework;
  • a network under someone else's control;
  • product or resource recommendations;
  • configuring an application or device to work on the network;
  • protocols above L4 in the OSI model (e.g. HTTP, FTP, etc);
  • bypassing network security or policies;
  • historical trivia that does not allow for a concise and non-subjective answer or is trivial/irrelevant to modern networking;

then this is NOT the place to ask.

For more discussion on why these topics are considered on/off-topic or clarifications on the above points, see these other posts on meta.

If your question is not specifically on-topic for Network Engineering, it may be on-topic for another Stack Exchange site. If no site currently exists that will accept your question, you may commit to or propose a new site at Area51, the place where new Stack Exchange communities are democratically created.

Here is a list of Stack Exchange sites which most often apply to off-topic questions here: