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Computer Networks (4th Edition)

Computer Networks (4th Edition) [Kindle Edition]

Andrew S. Tanenbaum
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

Computer Networks, Fourth Edition is the ideal introduction to computer networks. Renowned author, educator, and researcher Andrew S. Tanenbaum has updated his classic best seller to reflect the newest technologies, including 802.11, broadband wireless, ADSL, Bluetooth, gigabit Ethernet, the Web, the wireless Web, streaming audio, IPsec, AES, quantum cryptography, and more. Using real-world examples, Tanenbaum explains how networks work on the inside, from underlying physical layer hardware up through today's most popular network applications.

From the Back Cover

The world's leading introduction to networking—fully updated for tomorrow's key technologies.

Computer Networks, Fourth Edition is the ideal introduction to today's networks—and tomorrow's. This classic best seller has been thoroughly updated to reflect the newest and most important networking technologies with a special emphasis on wireless networking, including 802.11, Bluetooth, broadband wireless, ad hoc networks, i-mode, and WAP. But fixed networks have not been ignored either with coverage of ADSL, gigabit Ethernet, peer-to-peer networks, NAT, and MPLS. And there is lots of new material on applications, including over 60 pages on the Web, plus Internet radio, voice over IP, and video on demand.Finally, the coverage of network security has been revised and expanded to fill an entire chapter.

Author, educator, and researcher Andrew S. Tanenbaum, winner of the ACM Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award, carefully explains how networks work on the inside, from underlying hardware at the physical layer up through the top-level application layer. Tanenbaum covers all this and more:

  • Physical layer (e.g., copper, fiber, wireless, satellites, and Internet over cable)
  • Data link layer (e.g., protocol principles, protocol verification, HDLC, and PPP)
  • MAC Sublayer (e.g., gigabit Ethernet, 802.11, broadband wireless, and switching)
  • Network layer (e.g., routing algorithms, congestion control, QoS, IPv4, and IPv6)
  • Transport layer (e.g., socket programming, UDP, TCP, RTP, and network performance)
  • Application layer (e.g., e-mail, the Web, PHP, wireless Web, MP3, and streaming audio)
  • Network security (e.g., AES, RSA, quantum cryptography, IPsec, and Web security)

The book gives detailed descriptions of the principles associated with each layer and presents many examples drawn from the Internet and wireless networks.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 9985 KB
  • Print Length: 912 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall; 4 edition (9 Oct 2007)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00371V7RO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #331,192 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best book on networks 30 Nov 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Andrew Tanenbaum has the rare ability to make computer science topics engaging and entertaining, with real unforced humour as contrasted to 'funny' book like the for dummies range, totally on point with high detail too.
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3.0 out of 5 stars computer networks 7 Nov 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
would be more detailed in subjects like DNS, email, detailed in the first few chapters then very light through the end. I know the author last 30 years, learned data communication from his book. I doubt he wrote the last chapters himself.. He must be retired or very old now...
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  46 reviews
37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clear and Thorough. Engineer's point of view. 14 Feb 2003
By G. Avvinti - Published on
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 (e.g. there are a very few pages for sockets, but no more). Indeed, this area is more properly in the competence of the second kind of books (Developer's) as noted at the beginning of the review. However, there's one (unsurprising but happy) exception: as already done in his "Modern Operating Systems, 2e", Tanenbaum has put a detailed and rigorous treatment of the Security issue (Network Security in this case).
About editions, the third was already a very good book. Reasons for considering the fourth edition are the inclusion of updated technologies like ADSL, Bluetooth, Gigabit Ethernet, JavaScript, XHTML or XML, etc. More than this, however, technologies like fiber optic were on the wave of great improvements in 1996 when the third edition was published (and deformation due to day-night thermal excursions were not cited) so that now the treatment is more reliable (in terms of updates, not in technicalities).
All in all, given that imho there's no serious "complete bible" (or the like) book on computer networks, this book is a full five-stars one if the Engineers' perspective is that of interest. If one is more interested in the Developers' perspective (take again the sockets example), then a good choice would be Douglas Comer's "Computer Networks". For TCP/IP fans, my best choices would be the more focused Comer's "Internetworking with TCP/IP, vol. I" (1/3 Engineer's, 2/3 Developers') or Stevens' "TCP/IP Illustrated. vol I" (1/5 Engineer's, 4/5 Developers').
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Top 4 Computer Network Books Compared 25 May 2009
By Michael Yasumoto - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This review compares the following four books:
Computer Networks by Peterson and Davie (P & D)
Computer Networks by Tanenbaum
Computer Networks by Comer / Internetworking with TCP/IP
Computer 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. Still, this is an excellent book in that it is a quick clear read that is very lucid in its explanations and you can't help feeling that you understand everything that is covered in the book. Comer's TCP/IP book is the equivalent of the other authors' computer network books and in that respect it is pretty average. It covers all of the relevant material and in a manner which is more than readable but that is all. There is nothing exceptional about the book which stands out from the rest.

Last comes Tanenbaum's book from the author who is probably most famous for his OS books. This is probably the most technical and detailed of the books with lots of sample C code belying is experience with operating systems and their network stack code. The weak point of this book is that all of the code and technical minutia might prevent the reader from seeing the forest for the trees. Unless you are trying to learn how to program your own network stack for a Unix/Linux system, then I would get either the K & R book or the P & D book to learn networking for the first time. This book would best be served as a reference in which case the technical nature of the book becomes a benefit rather than detracting from the text.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most complete reference 30 Mar 2005
By irotas - Published on
On my shelf right now I have exactly 25 books on networking and network programming, covering topics from basic sockets to routing to wireless to hacking to IDS. However, I find myself going back to the Tanenbaum book time and time again, because I *know* it will have the answer I'm looking for.

Rarely will you find a book that covers a topic with such authority and breadth. As compared to the other leading texts (by Comer, Perlman, etc), it's relatively up-to-date, even with a good introduction to wireless (802.11 and other variants).

Note that you won't find any code in this book; for that you'll need a Stevens text.

Summary: If you're looking for a book with a solid discussion of the theory of networking, this is absolutely the book you want to buy.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best text I've found on the foundations of computer networking 25 Jan 2006
By calvinnme - Published on
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. Now, of course, the 3rd edition bibliography section reads like the roll call for a computer book museum. Thus, the new 4th edition chapter on suggested reading is a welcome update. Remember that this book is ultimately about good network design decisions as well as a tutorial on architectures, thus math is inevitable. In fact, most of the chapter-end problems involve mathematics. The math required is not complex, but it will require careful reasoning on your part, much like the numerical problems in Hennessy's "Computer Architecture: A Quantitative Approach". A good companion to this book is "Computer Networking : A Top-Down Approach Featuring the Internet (3rd Edition)" by Kurose. That book also uses a 5 layer model, but starts from the application layer and works its way down. Also, Kurose's book is more applied, with Java examples and programming labs and projects included.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants a firm foundation in the theory of computer networking, as well as a survey of the current networking technologies and how they work.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good summary of networking circa 2002. 1 Oct 2002
By W Boudville - Published on
For those of you interested in a lucid summary of the principles of networking. Tanenbaum summarises well the concepts behind the Internet Protocol, and the various stacks/layers. This is an easy book to shed some light onto topical buzzwords like CDMA, CSMA, TCP/IP, 802.11b (WiFi), 802.15, 3G, WAP, broadband wireless, i-mode...
He gives enough details that can be understood by a reader with the equivalent of a sophomore level in science or engineering. The amount of maths needed is minimal. Some calculus and Fourier analysis and simple probability theory.
Each chapter has an extensive problem set. My only quibble is that perhaps the problems could have been harder. A lot are simple plug-into-equation types.
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