- 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: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #70,056 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The TCP/IP Guide: A Comprehensive, Illustrated Internet Protocols Reference 1st Edition
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"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." -- NetPerformance.com, 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." -- IBMs 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 masters 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.
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Top Customer Reviews
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. If TTG aims to be comprehensive, it should have looked at real traffic using Ethereal/Wireshark instead of staying at the specification level.
For intermediate readers, Eric Hall's "Internet Core Protocols: The Definitive Guide" is a great look at the building blocks of networking, albeit without IPv6 or application protocols. Hall's book is also packet-oriented, with examples for each concept.
For expert readers, "Troubleshooting Campus Networks" by Priscilla Oppenheimer and Joseph Bardwell is outstanding. J. Scott Haugdahl's "Network Analysis and Troubleshooting" and Kevin Burns' "TCP/IP Analysis and Troubleshooting Toolkit" are also excellent. All three show packets.
Those with some networking experience looking for a thorough (but not packet-example-based) examination should definitely read Adrian Farrel's "The Internet and Its Protocols: A Comparative Approach." Farrel demonstrates deep subject matter expertise by showing similarities and differences between protocols. He also covers protocols like MPLS and SCTP that are ignored by TTG.
So what could Kozierok's TTG have done differently? First, the book should be split into three volumes. Volume 1 should cover all of the core protocols (ARP/RARP, IP, IPv6, ICMP, ICMPv6, UDP, TCP). Those of us already familiar with those protocols or already in possession of other books on the same subject could safely ignore Vol 1. Vol 2 should be the first of two volumes on application protocols. Vol 2 could cover all of the standard application protocols well-documented elsewhere (DHCP, DNS, SNMP, TFTP, FTP, HTTP, SMTP, POP3, IMAP4, Telnet, SSH, SSL/TLS). Many people could ignore Vol 2 too. Vol 3 should cover protocols not well-documented elsewhere, but important, like SMB/CIFS, NFS, NTP, various flavors of P2P, VoIP, and instant messaging and IRC.
If a book like TTG is going to devote a chapter to Gopher (which I probably haven't used in 10 years), it should cover SMB, Microsoft's file sharing protocol (also known as CIFS, incorrectly called "NetBIOS" by some). TTG covers NFS instead, saying NFS is "the most common [network file and resource sharing protocol] for TCP/IP." Given Microsoft's domination of the desktop, SMB is ubiquitous. (A few of my recommended books address SMB.)
TTG is still a monumental effort. I did find several sections very helpful. The discussion of bit masking (set bits with OR, clear with AND, invert with XOR) in Ch 4 was clear. Ch 28's explanation of NAT terminology, such as using DNS with bidirectional (inbound) NAT made sense. I agree with Gordon Shephard's review, including the comment about TTG's PPP chapter being unique.
I'm not sure exactly who should read TTG. I would strongly consider it if your networking shop has no other TCP/IP books and you work with people of varying networking skills.
I would classify this book as a "comprehensive introduction" to TCP/IP. I know a fair deal about TCP/IP already from my work, but this book goes WAY beyond that. It's a giant book, 1500+ pages into the appendices and it covers a very broad swath of material.
EDIT: After going through the contents of the book more thoroughly, there are many illustrations that really explain important concepts that I personally need to review from my previous readings on TCP/IP like the OSI layer model and the specifics of bit placement in relation to addressing. This book goes really in depth in parts and I'm very looking forward to digging in! You will get your money's worth. Maybe too much information, but I'd rather have more than less.
I would say that this book should be in your library and is a must buy for people wanting to dig into TCP/IP to understand how it all works. No hesitation recommending this book.
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.
Comer is a bit dryer than Stevens
Stevens has excellent examples
Kozierok has more details and drawing / pictures
"The TCP/IP Guide" has also a web-site, however the site contains only ~50-60% of the books
All the above books will provide everything you need to know
Code impementation is provided by Comer and Stevens
Next step would be books like "Unix Network Programming" by Stevens, "Understanding Linux Network Internals" by Benvenuti,
"The Linux Programming Interface: A Linux and UNIX System Programming..." by Kerrisk, etc etc etc