Sams Teach Yourself TCP/IP in 24 Hours, 3rd Ed., ISBN 0-672-32565-9, by Joe Casad

Reviewed by: Songmuh Jong, February 2004, send e-mail
Published by: Sams Publishing, go to the web site
Requires: N/A
MSRP: $24.99

It is not exaggerating to say that networking is the core of contemporary computing. Hardware vendors are constantly improving the devices that make networking easier. The complex wiring of old networks are gradually being replaced by a cleaner wireless environment. Software vendors are also striving to make networking more effortless. Java's success is due in part to its built-in networking capability. Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) is the main collection of protocols understood by all computers on all platform, including the Internet. This book provides a concise introduction to this important protocol suite and should be informative for hardware support professionals as well as software developers.

As outlined in the book, TCP/IP is a collection of complicated protocols with different implementations from several vendors. The concept of subnetting and routing is well presented. The new IPv6 protocol is also discussed. In addition, the author discusses protocols that are built on top of TCP/IP, such as FTP, Remote Access, SMTP and HTML. Further, it touches on what hackers want out of the protocols and the TCP/IP security issues. The last Hour of the book is based on a hypothetical networking guy coming to his new job. Overall, the book follows a consistent logic that is developed chapter by chapter.

The Q&A sections nicely summarize each chapter's main topics and keep readers focused. Some chapters provide workshops that are very interesting and fully materialize and teach the abstract concepts in the text. The Key Terms section at the end of each chapter represents a nice collection of glossaries which may help students prepare for exams.

Can you really learn TCP/IP in 24 hours? It probably depends on individual background and motivation. A hardware support professional who is new to the job will most likely devour the topics much faster than other types of readers. Even if you take the pace and spend an hour a day to study the book, you'll learn TCP/IP in a short period of time.

Is this the only book you need for TCP/IP? You'll probably need more resources to fully understand and master TCP/IP and networking in general. Hardware professionals will need another networking book and probably a routing book. Software developers will need a language-specific book for programming details. However, this is definitely a book that deserves a space on your shelves.

Sams Teach Yourself TCP/IP in 24 Hours is a beginner's guide to one of the most important networking protocol suites. Any IT professional will benefit from reading this book. Students preparing for exams will also benefit from the concise format of this publication.

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