It's mentioned already on the [help/on-topic] page but it might be also worth adding to the tour page.


I think it's a good suggestion to show a short summary of the most important criteria for posts being on topic there. It may help stop some of the obviously off topic questions (educational, home networking, etc).


The Tour is really about an overview of how to use the site, and it actually says:

Looking for more in-depth information on the site? Visit the Help Center

The Help Center is the proper place for that sort of site specific information.

  • 1
    On many other SO pages the "Ask about..."/"Don't ask about..." section is more detailed than here. Have a look at e.g. superuser.com/tour. – phk Oct 3 '16 at 10:11
  • @phk, the Super User Tour page to which you link doesn't seem any more detailed about what is, or is not, on-topic for that site than the Network Engineering Tour page does. Both the tours seem nearly identical. The last time the NE What topics can I ask about here? page was updated, it was put here, on Meta, for a vote, and the community agreed to what is on there now. – Ron Maupin Mod Oct 16 '16 at 4:47
  • Again, I'm specifically talking about the "Ask about..."/"Don't ask about..." section of the tour page. On networkengineering.stackexchange.com/tour you just have e.g. "Ask about... Specific issues with network engineering" and "Don't ask about... Anything not directly related to network engineering" while on superuser.com/tour you have "Ask about... Specific issues with computer software, hardware or networking" and "Don't ask about... Issues specific to corporate IT support and networks". – phk Oct 16 '16 at 12:52

It happened in the meantime and it's quite detailed:

Ask about...

  • Specific issues with network engineering
  • Real problems or questions that you’ve encountered
  • 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 (IP, TCP, routing protocols, STP, etc.)
  • Content delivery networks
  • Production troubleshooting or problem resolution
  • Physical infrastructure (standard color coding of cables, types of fiber, etc)
  • Implementing and enforcing network security or policies


  • Networks must be 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 from the manufacturer (enterprise/provider class products, some small business class devices) Not all questions work well in our format. Avoid questions that are primarily opinion-based, or that are likely to generate discussion rather than answers.

Don't ask about...

  • Anything not directly related to network engineering
  • Questions that are primarily opinion-based
  • Questions with too many possible answers or that would require an extremely long answer
  • 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, service, or learning material 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

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