Hardcover: 672 pages
Publisher: Pearson; 6 edition (January 12, 2014)
Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #141,413 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #79 in Books > Computers & Technology > Networking & Cloud Computing > Networks, Protocols & APIs > Networks #182 in Books > Textbooks > Computer Science > Networking #325 in Books > Engineering & Transportation > Engineering > Telecommunications & Sensors
This review compares the following four books:Computer Networks by Peterson and Davie (P & D)Computer Networks by TanenbaumComputer Networks by Comer / Internetworking with TCP/IPComputer Networking by Kurose and Ross (K & R)By far the best book in the list is "Computer Networking" by Kurose and Ross. This book covers all of the essential material that is in the other books but manages to do so in a relevant and entertaining way. This book is very up to date as seen by the release of the 5th Ed when the 4th Ed is barely two years old. There are lots of practical exercises using wireshark and the companion website is actually useful and relevant. The attitude of this book with regard to teaching networking concepts could be summed up as "try it out and see for yourself". One interesting thing to note is that the socket programming example are all in Java.Next up is the Peterson and Davie book which covers everything that Kurose and Ross discuss but is slightly more mathematical in how it goes about things. There are a lot more numerical examples and defining of formulas in this book which is fine by me and in no way detracts from the book. Also the socket programming examples are in C which is a little more traditional. The points where this text loses ground to K & R is that it doesn't have the practical application exercises that K & R has and it also doesn't extend the basic networking theory that is covered to modern protocols like K & R.The two Comer books come next. Comer's "Computer Networks" book is probably the most introductory book out of this whole list and is more of a survey of networking topics that doesn't cover anything in any real depth.
I really like this little book as it fills in a niche in networking literature - that of providing a clear and quick picture of the main ideas and trends, great for cramming for a job interview or an exam. I recently bought many networking books,and although I primarily use the new editions of Steven's books "Unix Network Programming" + "Internetworking with TCP/IP" -recomended by the very best hackers around - this little book from Comer complements them nicely by giving a sweet overview without getting bogged down by technicalities as in a professional manual, and without getting lost in useless highlevel business stuff as in many other books. So I mainly use these three books in my practice: Stevens UNP+TCP/IPv1, with this one for a quick, focused and very useful read.Reasons for not getting 5 stars: The writing style is not the most elegant, but it is to-the-point, differently than many other networking books. The content is incomplete (mostly by design, to keep it short); it is just an overview. In some chapters, the level of overview works and is informative, but in others it is too shallow and can lead to misconceptions. For instance, in explaining UDP it doesn't say that many applications implement other communication features on top of it rather than using plain UDP, giving the false impression UDP can never be used for (semi-) reliable transfer.Despite this, the book does provide simple but useful semantic insight that is hard to extract from other books.
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