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Computer Networking: A Top-Down Approach (5th Edition) Hardcover – March 31, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0136079675 ISBN-10: 0136079679 Edition: 5th

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Computer Networking: A Top-Down Approach (5th Edition) + Computer Organization and Design, Fourth Edition: The Hardware/Software Interface (The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Computer Architecture and Design)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 864 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley; 5 edition (March 31, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0136079679
  • ISBN-13: 978-0136079675
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #348,403 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

James Kurose teaches at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. His research interests include network protocols and architecture, network measurement, sensor networks, multimedia communication, and modeling and performance evaluation. He received his PhD from Columbia University.

Keith Ross is a professor of computer science at Polytechnic University. He has worked in peer-to-peer networking, Internet measurement, video streaming, Web caching, multi-service loss networks, content distribution networks, voice over IP, optimization, queuing theory, optimal control of queues, and Markov decision processes. Professor Ross received his PhD in Computer and Control Engineering from the University of Michigan.

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Customer Reviews

This book is very easy to read and understand.
Kurose's book is the best introductory computer networks book for computer science students.
The Kindle version does not come with the code.
Jason Buker

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Michael Yasumoto on May 24, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This review compares the following four books:
Computer Networks by Peterson and Davie (P & D)
Computer Networks by Tanenbaum
Computer Networks by Comer / Internetworking with TCP/IP
Computer Networking by Kurose and Ross (K & R)

By far the best book in the list is "Computer Networking" by Kurose and Ross. This book covers all of the essential material that is in the other books but manages to do so in a relevant and entertaining way. This book is very up to date as seen by the release of the 5th Ed when the 4th Ed is barely two years old. There are lots of practical exercises using wireshark and the companion website is actually useful and relevant. The attitude of this book with regard to teaching networking concepts could be summed up as "try it out and see for yourself". One interesting thing to note is that the socket programming example are all in Java.

Next up is the Peterson and Davie book which covers everything that Kurose and Ross discuss but is slightly more mathematical in how it goes about things. There are a lot more numerical examples and defining of formulas in this book which is fine by me and in no way detracts from the book. Also the socket programming examples are in C which is a little more traditional. The points where this text loses ground to K & R is that it doesn't have the practical application exercises that K & R has and it also doesn't extend the basic networking theory that is covered to modern protocols like K & R.

The two Comer books come next. Comer's "Computer Networks" book is probably the most introductory book out of this whole list and is more of a survey of networking topics that doesn't cover anything in any real depth.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Y. Nozue on July 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover
After reading all the good reviews, I had a big expectation on this book and was a little disappointed in the end. I have read network books by Peterson&Davie, Tananbaum, and Forouzan so far, and Kurose's book comes somewhere between Tanenbaum's very detailed approach and Forouzan's plain and simple approach.

Pros and cons from my observation.

- Spends a lot of pages for application layer.
- The very detailed explanation on transport layer and network layer. Probably the best among all the computer network books on this part.
- Every protocol comes with RFC# and many references. Good for further study.

- Data link layer could have been better presented. Spends the entire chapter for CSMA(Ethernet) and not much mentions about connection oriented protocol. ATM is assigned only 2 pages which gives the readers nothing. Other important protocols(HDLC,Token-ring etc) should have been explained.
- Explanation on IP address(classful, CIDR, subnet) isn't deep enough.
- No chapter for physical layer. This is a big negative point.

Overall, it's a very good book, but I have to say that this book is top-heavy, by which what I mean is the focus is more on upper layers of protocol stack and many things are left out in the lower layers. May be intended to software people, but not for hardware people.

I'm not new to computer networking and can't read this book from the beginner's viewpoint, but I'm under the impression this book might be a little difficult to follow for those who have no idea how computer networks work. The reason I'd think that way is because of top-down approach.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ting Liu on January 30, 2010
Format: Hardcover
To refresh my computer networking knowledge, I bought this book based on reviewer "Michael Yasumoto"'s book review. Compared with the Peterson and Davie (P & D) book that I read a few years ago. This new edition from K&R is far better than "P&D" 's book. The significant advantages are:

1) Extremely easy to read. Unlike P&D's book which presents you with many implementation algorithms that are not useful for network application developers, this book provides you with the most important algorithms and give you the overall forest so you will never be lost in the trees.

2) Detailed explanation for key concepts. P&D's book might just use a few words to explain certain key concepts. But this book uses a few pages and examples to make sure you completely understand. This makes self-study an enjoyable journery.

3) Innovative approach to explain complex protocol. Many TCP/IP books simply state the protocol details, lots of details described and finally become a memory bunden. This book uses an innovative approach that describe general principles for designing a reliable protocol in chapter 3. This has helped me extend what I've learnt from the book to the protocols that I worked on during my daily work e.g. FIX protocol for trade exchanges.

4) Very up-to-date. The book contents are very up-to-date, unlike other network books (e.g. Tanenbaum) which I flip through and finally put it down, this book contains the most current contents and focused on the forefront development of the computer networking technology.

5) Inspiring and fun to read. The interviews supplied at the end of each chapter are very inspiring and fun to read. I wish I had read this book during my university years.

6) Very nice hard cover design, excellent printing quality.
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