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Computer Networking: A Top-Down Approach (5th Edition) [Hardcover]

James F. Kurose , Keith W. Ross
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)

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Computer Networking: A Top-Down Approach (6th Edition) Computer Networking: A Top-Down Approach (6th Edition) 4.0 out of 5 stars (39)
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Book Description

March 31, 2009 0136079679 978-0136079675 5
Building on the successful top-down approach of previous editions, the Fifth Edition of Computer Networking continues with an early emphasis on application-layer paradigms and application programming interfaces, encouraging a hands-on experience with protocols and networking concepts. With this edition, Kurose and Ross have revised and modernized treatment of some key chapters to integrate the most current and relevant networking technologies.

Networking today involves much more than standards specifying message formats and protocol behaviors—and it is far more interesting. Professors Kurose and Ross focus on describing emerging principles in a lively and engaging manner and then illustrate these principles with examples drawn from Internet architecture.

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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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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 864 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley; 5 edition (March 31, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0136079679
  • ISBN-13: 978-0136079675
  • Product Dimensions: 1.4 x 7.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #249,245 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
54 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top 4 Computer Network Books Compared 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
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
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good explanation but repeats and poor examples
Well, if you are looking at this, you are most likely going to buy it for a class and have no choice. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Jerry Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars School
Now in my working profession I am looking into networking more and how it works I am glad I have a book that I can just go to and look as a reference.
Published 4 months ago by doctorofdelight
5.0 out of 5 stars great. thanks.
It was delivered quickly and is good quality. Thats all I want to write. Its annoying that they force you to put more words on these reviews. I don't think ill give anymore reviews
Published 4 months ago by Thomas Bartlett
1.0 out of 5 stars one star is the best i can give and not happy that there is no lower...
one star is the best i can give and not happy that there is no lower mark, my skepticism renewed.
Published 5 months ago by jay Berman
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Book
I'm taking Communication Networks in college using this book. Its an easy read, with many good examples. It arrived in time to start the class. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Beekma
5.0 out of 5 stars I.T. Students Dream!
Computer I.T. Books are very thick and really hard to keep up! Downloading this to my kindle made it easier to highlight and very easy to reference.
Published 7 months ago by Tymmi
2.0 out of 5 stars Odered new but got used and worthless.
I ordered a new book and got a badly damaged worthless used book with the access code already used. The seller seemed to not exist after the problem. Read more
Published 7 months ago by StudentShopper
4.0 out of 5 stars Good textbook for Computer Science student
This is a well-written textbook for a first course in computer networking for CS students. This is the second time I get to read the text for a graduate course. Read more
Published 8 months ago by PC
5.0 out of 5 stars book in good condition!
Content is clear and easy to handle.It's a good reference book for courses about IP or computer network. And Some partsshould be with more detail.
Published 8 months ago by ianmay
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book on networking
It covers all the relevant topics. It is worth going for the 5th edition since it covers numerous new topics. Read more
Published 12 months ago by vaibhav
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