Lucidly Written, Ideal for exam preparation and To gain sound basics I brought this when i had 3 months to prepare for GATE exams, you can cover a lot of ground if you give a decent amount of time per topic, say about 15 mins to a page and 1 hr for a topic. Once done you would be able to gain much need competence to solve questions. This is one of the lovely technical books out there, if you love to soak in nuances of networks buy this one. --Bharathram Nov 15, 2013
Computer Networks are a wide and fastly growing subject. Finding a textbook that covers all of the topics in a detailed way is simply impossible. Perhaps for this reason good textbook authors have, in a probably implicit way, established two possible approaches: the Engineers' and the (mostly Software) Developers'. Once again Tanenbaum has done a great job with this book (and its updated-more-than-revised 4th edition), which takes the former approach. The book presents general issues and impacts (on technology as well on the society) of Computer Networks in the first chapter, and then move in a detailed exposition of the lower layers of a general network architecture (similar to the OSI one). The great value of the books stems from the clarity and thoroughness of the exposition. Indeed, it presents all of the most known technologies and algorithms (both today's and historical) from physical mediums to algorithms for routing, congestion and flow control and so on. Plenty of details are provided at the level of mathematical performance analysis for some algorithms like those presented in the Medium Access Sublayer chapter (e.g. ALOHA and CSMAs). The "tone" of prof. Tanenbaum is an added values as well. He rarely becomes boring and sometimes results hilarious in his comments of famous anecdotes that led to the born of this technology or that algorithm (have you ever heard how automatic phone calls switching was born ?). I never underestimate the value of an easy exposition, as sometimes studying is already hard enough to cope also with a overwhelmingly boring book. Enough for the lower layers/protocols so far. About the upper ones the book actually does not spend too much emphasis on network applications nor on the high level tools for building network applications. --By G. Avvinti on February 14, 2003
First of all, the fourth edition was published in 2002, so all reviews prior to that date are about a previous edition of this book. This is a classic textbook on computer networking from an academic viewpoint. Do not expect to ever be able to fix a specific network problem or become a CCNE by reading this book. However, doing either of those tasks rests on a firm foundation of the theory found in this book. From the beginning, the author points out that there is some confusion about what a computer network is - a collection of autonomous computers connected by a single technology. He then points out that actually neither the world wide web nor the internet are computer networks. The book goes on to explain networks in terms of a 5 layer system rather than the classic 7 layer OSI model, which is the same as in the previous edition. However, much has been added and much deleted based on the rapidly changing technology involved. For example, the chapter on the physical layer has been completely rewritten. The previous edition focused that chapter on ISDN, ATM and cellular radio. The current edition omits references to that technology and discusses the mobile telephone system and cable television instead. As would be expected, the other section of the book that had the biggest revision was the chapter on the application layer. Gone is the obsolete subject of USENET news, multimedia has changed completely, and the network security section now has its own chapter due to the importance that field has taken on. Finally, the chapter on further reading, which had good comments to go with the suggested reading, was always one of my favorites because it told you why you should read something in addition to showing you what to read, plus the bibliography is divided by network layer. --By calvinnme on January 24, 2006
This edition of the popular book, Computer Networks, has been updated to reflect technological developments since the previous edition. Computer networks is an evolving technology, and it is developing at a fast pace. This book is one of the most popular resources to learn about the subject. Each edition is updated to reflect the latest developments in the field, and each time, there are a lot of new topics as the technology advances rapidly. Computer Networks begins with an introduction to computer networks. It discusses the uses of computer networks, network hardware, and software and reference models. This chapter also takes a look at some example networks like the Internet, Ethernet, and wireless networks. The organizations that define networking standards are introduced. In the next chapter, the author discusses the physical layer of networks. It first takes a look at the fundamentals of data communication and then looks at various technologies used in data transmission - transmission media, wireless communication, satellite transmission, telephone networks, mobile telephone network, and cable television. The third chapter looks at the data link layers. It first discusses the design issues for this layer and error detection and correction. Then, the various protocols relevant to this layer are introduced. Chapter 4 focuses on the medium access sub layer. This section covers channel allocation problems, multiple access protocols, Ethernet, wireless LANs, broadband wireless, Blue-tooth and data link layer switching. Chapter 5 discusses the network layer. It concentrates on the various aspects of this layer - design issues, routing algorithms, congestion control algorithms, quality of service, and the network layer on the Internet. Chapter 6 is about the transport layer. It discusses transport service, elements of transport protocols, simple transport protocol, Internet transport protocols (UDP, TCP), and performance issues. The application layer section looks at Domain Name Service (DNS), electronic mail, the World Wide Web, and multimedia. The next chapter discusses network security. It covers cryptography, symmetric-key algorithms, public-key algorithms, digital signatures, managing public keys, communication security, email security, authentication protocol, web security and social issues like privacy, copyright, and freedom of speech. The next chapter provides a list of further reading. The book ends with alphabetical bibliography and index. The updated features in this edition include coverage of Bluetooth, 802.1B wireless LANs, and 3G cellular systems. The section on security has been thoroughly revised and updated. It also includes expanded coverage of multimedia networking, coverage of current IP addressing solutions, and extended coverage of quality of service. Each chapter ends with a summary and problems and lab exercises.
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