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How Networks Work (7th Edition) 7th Edition

3.7 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0789732323
ISBN-10: 0789732327
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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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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Que Publishing; 7 edition (August 29, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0789732327
  • ISBN-13: 978-0789732323
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.5 x 10.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #550,072 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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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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By A Customer 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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Format: Paperback
This book, "How Networks Work" is a basic overview of how a typical computer networking apparatus functions. As everything goes online these days, computer networking has truly become a way of life. And, there are fewer better ways to get initiated than acquiring and dissecting (the contents of) this well-written book.
Beginners are its primary audience. Hence, it is understandable that advanced learners are often pissed-off by its rather elementary lacklustre approach to relatively complex issues. Still, this seventh edition did a good job in explaining how high-speed networks are revolutionizing businesses and entertainments.
Using easy-to-follow presentations and narrations, the author of "How Networks Work" unmasked the mysteries shrouding both client and server hardwares. The same treatment applies to network operating systems, LANs and WANs, as well as DSL and ISDN connections. It also dealt with all the basics of business/enterprise network requirements and maintainance: including broadband, routers, integration, encryption, and security concerns.
In a nutshell, this book parades all the essential ingredients, which any newbie would need in order to gain solid foundation in computer networking and security.
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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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