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The TCP/IP Guide: A Comprehensive, Illustrated Internet Protocols Reference 1st Edition

61 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 068-9145704709
ISBN-10: 159327047X
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Editorial Reviews


"A New TCP/IP Classic" -- Slashdot, December 14, 2005

"A rocking, well-organized, profusely illustrated book . . . Probably the best new introduction and reference book around." --, June 12, 2006

"It's informative and easy to read, even when discussing rather nasty protocols." -- ;login:, April 2006

"Nicely organized, from an introduction to networking through administration and troubleshooting, the book clearly explains each topic." -- Library Journal, January 15, 2006

"The TCP/IP Guide is great for anyone and everyone . . . it can act both as a reference guide and a textbook." -- Linux Security, April 6, 2006

"The most comprehensive guide to TCP/IP protocols we have ever come across . . . [and] the most readable . . . we highly recommend it." -- Network World, November 28, 2005

"This book is the Real Deal . . . you will appreciate the mastery of Kozierok's achievement." -- WatchGuard Wire

"This is a really well-done book, . . . easy-to-digest information about TCP/IP." -- IBM’s DeveloperWorks, January 18, 2006

"Well-organized, well-illustrated, and has a conversational tone that makes it easy to read and learn even for networking novices." -- Windows Networking, May 10, 2006

About the Author

Charles M. Kozierok is the author and publisher of The PC Guide, an extensive online reference work on personal computers, as well as several other educational websites, including The TCP/IP Guide. He holds master’s degrees from MIT in management and in electrical engineering and computer science (EECS), and worked in various technical and managerial roles before dedicating himself full-time to writing and educational pursuits. He lives in rural Vermont with his wife and three sons.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1616 pages
  • Publisher: No Starch Press; 1 edition (October 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159327047X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593270476
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 2.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #122,981 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

224 of 235 people found the following review helpful By Richard Bejtlich on September 25, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Right away I must state that I did not read "The TCP/IP Guide" (TTG) cover-to-cover. I doubt anyone will, which raises interesting issues. This review is based on the sections I did read and my comparisons with other protocol books.

Protocol books should be divided into two eras. The first is the "Stevens era," meaning those written around the time Richard Stevens' "TCP/IP Illustrated, Vol 1: The Protocols" was published. For six years (1994-2000) Stevens' book was clearly the best protocol book, and it taught TCP/IP to legions of networking pros. The second is the "modern era," beginning in 2000 and continuing to today. TTG fits in this group.

I question the approach taken by TTG. The book contains extremely basic information (what is networking, why use layers, what is a protocol, etc.) and extremely obscure information (PPP Link Control Protocol Frame Types and Fields, SNMPv2 PDU Error Status Field Values, Interpretation of Standard Telnet NVT ASCII Control Codes, etc.). If TTG were an introductory book, it wouldn't need the obscure material. If TTG were a reference, it wouldn't need the introductory material. I think beginners would be scared by this book, although the tone and explanations are suitable for those with a real dedication to learning. (Note: TTG features 88 chapters, 14 of those are 8 pages or less.)

For beginners, a better introduction is Jeanna Matthews' "Computer Networking: Internet Protocols in Action." Matthews' book is shorter (273 pages), more direct, and packet-example-based, meaning it ships with a CD-ROM of traces that readers can analyze as they read Matthews' commentary. The lack of examinations of packet traces is one of my biggest problems with TTG.
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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful By John Downing on December 28, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I read and review IT related textbooks as part of my work as a VoIP trainer for TrainingCity. "The TCP/IP Guide" is an outstanding reference text and deserves to be in the reference library of every IT professional.

I noticed an earlier review that claimed this text is not for the serious engineer. Well, I am a Professional Engineer with over 18 years experience in the field, and I found the TCP/IP Guide to contain all sorts of useful information in a format that was both comprehensive and enlightening. In MHO, this text is a great resource for both design engineers/ software developers, and enterprise IT staff.

I was hoping the TCP/IP Guide would include additional information on topics such as RTP (Real Time Protocol). However, given the length of the text (1600 odd pages!), I can understand why some of these more exotic TCP/IP topics were excluded.

Overall, this book is well worth the price.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Ed Tittel on October 14, 2006
Format: Hardcover
At 5.25 pounds and 1616 pages, and chock-full of charts, figures, and diagrams (its lists of figures and diagrams alone are 19 pages long) this book truly earns its subtitle. I've been working with TCP/IP for a long time (as far back as the early 1980s) and I've never seen a book on this subject before to match this one. That said I've only been working with it for months so I'll probably update this review after I've lived with and used the book a while longer -- but even now, I know of no other resource (except its online analog at [...] to equal its depth or breadth of coverage.

Literally, when it comes to TCP/IP, this book's got it all. You need only flip through the table or contents (better still, the index at the back) to get a sense of how truly encyclopedic its coverage really is.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Jon Strand on November 30, 2006
Format: Hardcover
The TCP/IP Guide is a huge reference book (1616 pages). Its size alone may intimidate those simply looking to obtain a basic understanding of networking protocols, which would be a shame as the book is very readable, well-laid out. Moreover, the introduction is very sound and helps to educate readers with a baseline of information by covering such topics as theoretical and real-world throughput, networking structures, and bits and bytes.

Because of its size, it is virtually impossible to sit down and read the book from beginning to end. That said the book, from chapter to chapter, is very readable. However, with reference books, it is often more important to talk about structure, contents and format.

The book is broken down into eighty-eight chapters grouped into three sections:

TCP/IP Overview and Background Information

TCP/IP Lower-Layer Core Protocols

TCP/IP Application Layer Protocols

Each chapter and section starts with a brief introduction laying out its contents and putting them in the context of the TCP/IP protocol.

The book looks at the web, HTTP, SNMP, ICMP, SMTP, Email, DHCP, Mobile IP, FTP and TFTP. It includes an overview and comparison of TCP and UDP and discusses establishing connections, management and termination of TCP. IPv6 receives roughly sixty pages of discussion, ranging from a high-level overview to transition challenges, physical address mapping, auto-configuration, reassembly and routing. There is also a fine chapter explaining IPsec components and protocols. And one can find more than a hundred pages on DNS.

Scattered throughout the book are more than three hundred figures to aid in the understanding of concepts.
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