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Computer Networking: A Top-Down Approach

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Building on the successful top-down approach of previous editions, this fourth edition continues with an early emphasis on application-layer paradigms and application programming interfaces, encouraging a hands-on experience with protocols and networking concepts.


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Building on the successful top-down approach of previous editions, this fourth edition continues with an early emphasis on application-layer paradigms and application programming interfaces, encouraging a hands-on experience with protocols and networking concepts.

30 review for Computer Networking: A Top-Down Approach

  1. 4 out of 5

    YouKneeK

    This textbook was required reading for a Computer Networking course. As far as college textbooks go, it was pretty good. I learned the material from it that I needed to learn. The textbook was well-organized, and it was easy to understand. It had quite a few analogies and real-world examples that aided in understanding. For me, this textbook was a pretty dry read and I sometimes had trouble pushing through the weekly reading assignments. However, networks are not an aspect of Computer Science th This textbook was required reading for a Computer Networking course. As far as college textbooks go, it was pretty good. I learned the material from it that I needed to learn. The textbook was well-organized, and it was easy to understand. It had quite a few analogies and real-world examples that aided in understanding. For me, this textbook was a pretty dry read and I sometimes had trouble pushing through the weekly reading assignments. However, networks are not an aspect of Computer Science that I’m particularly interested in, so this was to be expected. I usually found the beginning of each chapter interesting, but my interest tapered off about halfway through and the rest was a chore to get through. However, I did learn a lot about how networks work. I may not retain all of the nitty-gritty details over the long term, but I expect the main concepts to stick with me. I think one of the best parts of this textbook were the Wireshark labs at the companion website, which my professor used for some of our assignments. I had fun learning how to “sniff packets”, and I liked seeing the protocols in action for myself using real, live information being passed to and from my own personal network. Aside from my subjective complaint about the dryness of the material, my only other real complaint is in regard to the acronyms. There were an amazing number of acronyms, and many of them were not in the index so it could be difficult to find the original definitions again. Once an acronym was defined once, it was not defined again – at least not within the chapter in which it was introduced. (The chapters were 70-100 pages long.) A glossary of acronyms in the back of the book would have really helped. To any future readers of this textbook, I recommend making a note of each acronym you encounter and at least noting the page # where it was first introduced in case you need to reference its definition again.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Oscar

    This was such a boring book. So much so that I would discourage anyone from picking ip up (or studying Computer Networking for that matter). First let me point out the characteristics that I liked most, so that I won't come across as a nuisance, and that prevented me from giving a lower rating - At anyone's reach - Very comprehensive prose, as far as the topics that the authors chose to cover are concerned (indeed, I felt much was left over) Now comes my critique: this book feels aimed at a five-ye This was such a boring book. So much so that I would discourage anyone from picking ip up (or studying Computer Networking for that matter). First let me point out the characteristics that I liked most, so that I won't come across as a nuisance, and that prevented me from giving a lower rating - At anyone's reach - Very comprehensive prose, as far as the topics that the authors chose to cover are concerned (indeed, I felt much was left over) Now comes my critique: this book feels aimed at a five-year old audience! Paragraphs feel like a watered-down, wordy mass of text -- this gives clarity, but is boring as hell to read! I expected (if not demanded from a Computer Science course) more formalism, technical sophistication than what I got from two authors afraid of overwhelming their audience. Computer networking basics are covered satisfactorily, but the watered-down, romanticized prose prevented the text from achieving a thicker conceptual density; a book style more appropriate for students with an interest in industry-related applications than on insight and true understanding. I once had a talk with a networking tutor at my university, and he told me part of his work dealt with Markov's chains and probabilistic modeling; I read many of the end-of-chapter interviews, and the interviewees often remarked a conceptually richer footing for computer networking that this book expressed. Why wasn't any of all this covered in this text? Where did the cool stuff go? OK, I got a good grasp on the ISO/OSI stack -- up from HTTP, e-mail systems, P2P networks down to TCP congestion and flow control mechanisms, link-layer devices and LANs and basic network security notions (that was probably the part I liked most) but in the end I felt I was only acquiring passive knowledge with no reasoning involved. Is that a problem with this particular book? With computer networking? Worse yet, for computer science courses in general? Additional flaws - Ridiculously over-priced hard-cover copy (I borrowed one from the library) - No solutions for end-of-chapter exercises (not even wireshark) - Questionably ugly top-down approach. Makes one feel like applications deserve more attention than theoretical understanding

  3. 4 out of 5

    Zvezdi

    Nice and understandable. Makes you excited about the Internet. I enjoy reading the interviews featured in every chapter (like the one with Marc Andreessen included in the sixth edition).

  4. 5 out of 5

    Thang

    Great book to learn about internet, a marvelous invention. It took more than 20 years for this layer 0 to find the killer use case - the Web. For the layer 1, we are still early.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Karel Baloun

    (Re 7th edition) The authors successfully make the deep details of networking understandable and even easy to read. Love the “a day in the life of a webpage request”, which listed the 24 exact detailed steps that a packet takes between an ethernet card, a Web server and it’s returned. (p501-505) Chapter 8 on security leaves a lot to be desired… It’s really about how security is designed to ideally function, but omits all the real world problems. Similarly the last chapters on mobile and multimedia (Re 7th edition) The authors successfully make the deep details of networking understandable and even easy to read. Love the “a day in the life of a webpage request”, which listed the 24 exact detailed steps that a packet takes between an ethernet card, a Web server and it’s returned. (p501-505) Chapter 8 on security leaves a lot to be desired… It’s really about how security is designed to ideally function, but omits all the real world problems. Similarly the last chapters on mobile and multimedia feel incomplete and rushed.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Anjum Haz

    Read some chapters from this book for my networking course. The writers explained the nuts and bolts of networking in such interesting way, I felt like I was reading a story! Thanks to them for explaining the hard topics so easily that we, students clung to the textbook..

  7. 4 out of 5

    Serena ♡

    A friend recommended me this. We’ll see if I understand it or kill him for overestimating my intelligence and thus embarrassing me. :)

  8. 5 out of 5

    Dmitriy Shilin

    Wow, it was very long reading. It took me about a year to read it. There are a lot of information about the network today and it is very difficult to grab all main ideas from the various domains. I would say that I like first 5 chapters. They cover all important details from the application layer till the Ethernet frames. After 5 fundamental chapters authors offer us more domain-specific information. These chapters are very basic and require a lot of additional reading. As a result if your goal is to g Wow, it was very long reading. It took me about a year to read it. There are a lot of information about the network today and it is very difficult to grab all main ideas from the various domains. I would say that I like first 5 chapters. They cover all important details from the application layer till the Ethernet frames. After 5 fundamental chapters authors offer us more domain-specific information. These chapters are very basic and require a lot of additional reading. As a result if your goal is to grab the main fundamental concepts you will be OK with first 5 chapters.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Shayan aminnjad

    If you want to learn how computer networks work, I think this is a wonderful introduction! I enjoyed every single page of the book. and the book is not just a great textbook about computer networks, but also a great example of how teaching should be! You could always feel the tutors by your side, you could feel they have been in your place and understand your confusion and misunderstandings. So if you need a book to learn how to teach, I think this is a great example of it too.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    A very clear and thorough overview of computer networking. Covers the OSI model of networking, as well as the protocols used in each layer. After reading this, I feel that I understand how all modern devices communicate and share data with each other. Very easy to read, even for a beginner, but also extremely thorough. The problems at the end of each chapter were also very good, and helped cement the understanding gained from the text.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Roberto!

    Only an idiot would read this book.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jui Shirvalkar

    Best. Book. Ever.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Rishabh Kumar

    A better one would have been the bottom up approach. In the beginning of the book it starts to explain the concept of routing and the interconnection of the networks. If a reader has no prior knowledge about networks then he will be scratching his head. In my case i did not even know the actual difference between the router and the switch, where does routing actually takes place, on which layer, which addressing is used. The book directly jumps into the application layer without even giving the A better one would have been the bottom up approach. In the beginning of the book it starts to explain the concept of routing and the interconnection of the networks. If a reader has no prior knowledge about networks then he will be scratching his head. In my case i did not even know the actual difference between the router and the switch, where does routing actually takes place, on which layer, which addressing is used. The book directly jumps into the application layer without even giving the introduction of the different layers, brief introduction of them, data forms such as frame, datagram, segment on different layers.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Natheer Gharaibeh

    It's an interesting book about Computer Networking. in my opinion starting from the Application layer backward to the lowest level layers (presentation, Session, etc.) is an impressive and useful approach. Maybe if you begin from the lowest layers. You will be lost with many boring details! In General, Computer Science is full of details and maybe boring for many people, but getting into it with a semantic approach will make it more interesting and give it meaning. I am not against the bottom-up It's an interesting book about Computer Networking. in my opinion starting from the Application layer backward to the lowest level layers (presentation, Session, etc.) is an impressive and useful approach. Maybe if you begin from the lowest layers. You will be lost with many boring details! In General, Computer Science is full of details and maybe boring for many people, but getting into it with a semantic approach will make it more interesting and give it meaning. I am not against the bottom-up approach, but it must be driven by practice and examples, without doing that it will be boring and time-wasting!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Dimos Raptis

    The first time I read parts of this book was during my undergraduate studies. I decided to re-read after almost 10 years (a later version of it) and I didn't regret it. Even though I had extensive hands-on experience with computer networking since the first read, I still got to learn new things from the book and gain new insights. The only reason my rating is a 4-star and not a 5-star is because I felt the book tried to cover some areas (e.g. physical layer, multimedia & mobile networking) very The first time I read parts of this book was during my undergraduate studies. I decided to re-read after almost 10 years (a later version of it) and I didn't regret it. Even though I had extensive hands-on experience with computer networking since the first read, I still got to learn new things from the book and gain new insights. The only reason my rating is a 4-star and not a 5-star is because I felt the book tried to cover some areas (e.g. physical layer, multimedia & mobile networking) very superficially for the sake of completeness leaving the reader confused and needing to do more reading to understand what the book was talking about.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Martin

    Starting from the application layer definitely makes it a great introduction for software-focused students. The textbook is easy to read and understand, although sometimes unnecessarily verbose. The online student resources (especially the programming assignments) are very useful as they bridge the gap between understanding the core concepts from the textbook and being able to read the RFCs properly.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

    A thorough, updated treatment of the technical details of computer networking. If considered strictly as a textbook, rather than a book about technology, I'd probably give it five stars. I'm giving it four stars because it is written rather dryly. Still, it's probably the most comprehensive and reliable book I can think of on the subject, and it's been exceedingly helpful to me over the years in its various editions for coming to grips with network design and topology. A thorough, updated treatment of the technical details of computer networking. If considered strictly as a textbook, rather than a book about technology, I'd probably give it five stars. I'm giving it four stars because it is written rather dryly. Still, it's probably the most comprehensive and reliable book I can think of on the subject, and it's been exceedingly helpful to me over the years in its various editions for coming to grips with network design and topology.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    Generally thorough and takes a conversational tone throughout most of the text, making for an easier read. Highlights included coverage of contemporary networking technologies (as of 2020), and a fairly solid introduction to key cryptographic primitives as a bonus in the 8th chapter on network security; pitfalls included some spotty editing in places and coverage of mobile networks that felt a bit too glossy despite getting its own chapter. Solid textbook for the material overall, though.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Tracey

    Computer Networking is a complex subject--it is not as clear and beautiful as algorithms and data structures, it has a lot of things due to historical issue or organizational reasons. It also ranges from the very top application layer to the bottom hardware connection. This book explains computer networking in an amazing manner through `a top down` approach, as itself proclaims. This approach, not only help us better understand the material (at least for programmers) from the most familiar to th Computer Networking is a complex subject--it is not as clear and beautiful as algorithms and data structures, it has a lot of things due to historical issue or organizational reasons. It also ranges from the very top application layer to the bottom hardware connection. This book explains computer networking in an amazing manner through `a top down` approach, as itself proclaims. This approach, not only help us better understand the material (at least for programmers) from the most familiar to the unfamiliar, but more importantly, it always keep us motivated. The lower layers need to provide some functionality required by the upper layer thus this or that are designed. This book provides an abundant of analogy to facilitate our understanding and reference for further study.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Nikolas Mavrogeneiadis

    Interesting book which contains much information about networking. I think that some chapters should have more explanation but it's not a big problem. This book has a website which has 2D examples(like flow control) and these helped me to understand some significant things better. Also the exercises are very good. Interesting book which contains much information about networking. I think that some chapters should have more explanation but it's not a big problem. This book has a website which has 2D examples(like flow control) and these helped me to understand some significant things better. Also the exercises are very good.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sepehr

    best available and a very usefull course in computer engineering ! ive read the 2013 edition which i didnt find here ! any how , fluent and easy to understand , i haven't given many 5 stars but this sure deserves it best available and a very usefull course in computer engineering ! ive read the 2013 edition which i didnt find here ! any how , fluent and easy to understand , i haven't given many 5 stars but this sure deserves it

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ryan West

    A very in-depth overview of every layer of networking. I loved how many references to papers it provided for those interested in learning more about a particular subject. I'm definitely keeping this one around as reference whenever I need to understand something in the networking stack. A very in-depth overview of every layer of networking. I loved how many references to papers it provided for those interested in learning more about a particular subject. I'm definitely keeping this one around as reference whenever I need to understand something in the networking stack.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Khánh Phạm

    One of the book I put on my summer reading list. It basically brings you a fundamental knowledge about computer network system to more advance topics on network security and network application. It is well-presented, must-read book for a computer noob.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Chris Seltzer

    I'm still in search of a truly great book on networking. This one does a good enough job and I like the 'flip the model' approach of going top-down. But it tries to include topical material which means that it ends up being dated quickly. I'm still in search of a truly great book on networking. This one does a good enough job and I like the 'flip the model' approach of going top-down. But it tries to include topical material which means that it ends up being dated quickly.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Hosein

    It was our syllabus for the course Network Management in Master degree. I am glad to say that I really enjoyed reading it since it learned me what I will be needed in the future's workspace. Here I recommend it to Network guys along with Cisco books It was our syllabus for the course Network Management in Master degree. I am glad to say that I really enjoyed reading it since it learned me what I will be needed in the future's workspace. Here I recommend it to Network guys along with Cisco books

  26. 4 out of 5

    Tomek

    Great book! There are tons of useful material about layers in computer networks. It only does not touch the first one: physical layer, because it is a rather complicated topic and there are many other books about it.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sanket Patel

    Fundamentals are covered very well and some high level protocols are only explored a bit (with author warning about it). Overall, this has been a good refresher for Transport and Network layers. Will be referring this book again when I'll need to read more about Ethernet. Fundamentals are covered very well and some high level protocols are only explored a bit (with author warning about it). Overall, this has been a good refresher for Transport and Network layers. Will be referring this book again when I'll need to read more about Ethernet.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Asma Almalki

    Easy to understand, much redundancy in the book

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lou

    Excellent textbook for CIS students who want to get into the details of networking in a Masters Degree program.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ngọc Nguyên

    Great for learning computer network infrastructure

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