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How Networks Work (7th Edition) Paperback – August 29, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-0789732323 ISBN-10: 0789732327 Edition: 7th

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Que Publishing; 7 edition (August 29, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0789732327
  • ISBN-13: 978-0789732323
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 8 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #294,406 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then Frank Derfler and Les Freed's fourth edition of How Networks Work is worth about a quarter of a million words. With lavish illustrations on almost every page, this book--like the entire How It Works series--teaches technology with detailed visuals on everything from the inner workings of a modem to the configuration of a Token Ring network. Departing somewhat from the usual form of the series, however, the authors take a historic approach. Part 1 briefly discusses the operation of the telegraph, telephone, and printing telegraph. This material is of interest, but is not presented with any detail (Edison's Carbon Transmitter, for example, is depicted as a museum piece with a bit of textual explication). Where the volume excels is in its diagramming and simplifying of complicated networked systems. The Network Interface Card is dissected, fiber optic and STP wires are cut open, and Server-Based LANs are mapped out. While Derfler and Freed don't address the nitty-gritty issues of picking specific machines and setting up specific networks, How Networks Work offers an essential first step toward understanding and implementing multiuser systems. --Patrick O'Kelley --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

Ever wonder how your office computer network works? Or how the Ethernet card inside your computer connects you to that network or to the Internet? How Networks Work will give you a thorough, detailed explanation of the inner-workings of network systems without getting you caught up in network jargon. Learn the basic principles of networking and how those principles work inside pieces of network equipment. Complete with illustrations to show how things work together, this latest edition also includes information on the newest technologies, including VoIP, wireless networks, broadband and more.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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This is a great beginning network book as well as a reference tool.
Amazon Customer
If you're a CCNA or something like that it will be trivial to you, and a waste of time.
John Matlock
The only reason this book receives two stars from me is its breadth.
Larry M. Coleman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 21, 1999
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bleary eyed geeks cramming for their MCSE or CNE exams needn't bother with this text. However, people who are new to networks and in need of a context in which to place the many parts of networks will find that this book fills the bill. I especially appreciate the history of communications which allows the reader to see that contemporary networks didn't spring to life with the WWW but are part of a long, sophisticated, evolutionary process. Any professor of education will tell you that learning is facilitated by cultural literacy (see E.D. Hirsch) which is just what Derfler and Freed have created.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 10, 2000
Format: Paperback
I borrowed this book from a friend and decided it's so clear and essential, I had to buy my own copy. I agree that it's for a total beginner (like me), so I teamed it with a $40 book called Understanding the Network: A Practical Guide to Internetworking (Networking) by Michael J. Martin. Now I have both the overview and as much depth as I can handle.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Mckinney on June 14, 2000
Format: Paperback
I have read this book and recommended it to many people that are interested in an overview of networking. Reading some of the other reviews, I agree that this book is an effort to take something complex and make it understandable. This book accomplishes that and is not condescending about it. Other reviews that complain about missing a few details, well that is ok in an entry level book ( my first algebra book didn't cover any calculus). Buy this book to get started and when you decide to get more into networking, dive in deeper.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 11, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book uses lots of graphics which makes it easy and fun to tackle such an important subject. Learning about the history of the industry is also another positive aspects of the book. At the end of the book you find yourself familiar with lots of materials which is quite useful to get into advanced phase of learning about networks.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Hank Stroll on April 13, 2005
Format: Paperback
Buying this book was the smarted business investment I have ever made. If you are a business person needing to understand your technical team's conversation about your computer network, then this book is for you!

It allowed me to be able to understand networking problems and opportunities that affect my business. Before I read this book, I was not able to intelligently make purchase decisions about technical equipment or services that my IT department would recommend.

Since reading this book, I can now hide the fact that I am not the sharpest tool in the shed when it comes to technology. ;-)
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By "mbaboy" on December 17, 1998
Format: Paperback
For those seeking to expand their basic knowledge of networks, I was impressed with the graphics, illustrations, and technical descriptions. For what "holes" you may have in understanding network basics, this is a good one to gain an overview. Other Que books published have also been winners: "How PC's Work" and "How the Internet Works".
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By W Boudville HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 15, 2004
Format: Paperback
The Internet is a special kind of computer network, though by now the most important. But have you ever puzzled at the innards of it or any other network? The problem is that most explanatory texts are aimed at the computer professional. And indeed, often for someone planning to specialise in writing applications to run on that network.

Derfler and Freed write for a different and far broader audience. They do not assume that you are a professional programmer, or plan to become one. So the jargon is not as impenetratable as in other texts. Plus, a distinguishing feature of this book is the skillful and generous use of diagrams, to illustrate ideas in the text. Takes a lot of the abstraction out of the problem of learning the material.

Furthermore, this edition contains explanations of 2 very hot topics. Voice over IP, which gives the potential of cheap (free?) phone calls. And peer-to-peer networks. For the latter, two cases are covered - with a central server, and without. Refreshingly, the example usages are not of copying music or video. To show that, yes, there are good usages of p2p networks.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 6, 1998
Format: Paperback
I have read 2 other beginner-networking books and the advantage this book has over others are its language-simplicity plain-English, and attractive colorful illustrations.
I really hooked-up with this book that I finished reading it cover to cover, 2 times, in 3 days.
Even so, this book provide only basic and rough idea. But is sufficient for anybody who just want to get to know what networking is all about.
I'm looking forward to the collections of Frank J Derfler, Jr's articles in PC Magazine. (Is it already available?)
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