An Introduction to Computer Networks - Second Edition
Peter Lars Dordal, Loyola University of Chicago
Copyright Year: 2014
Last Update: 2020
Publisher: Peter L Dordal
Conditions of Use
Even though the title of the text is "An Introduction to Networking", the author seems to assume that the student or reader knows a lot about the subject matter and terminology. Topics and some definitions are presented, however the author does a... read more
Even though the title of the text is "An Introduction to Networking", the author seems to assume that the student or reader knows a lot about the subject matter and terminology. Topics and some definitions are presented, however the author does a deep dive into the topic area quickly. This text would not be beneficial to students seeking CompTia Network + Certification because many of the terms and concepts tested in the certification exam are not covered in this text.
The author presents the material in an unbiased manner. Errors were not identified
Out-of-date information was identified. The text is written in a manner that updates could be made in a straightforward manner.
The text was difficult to read because precise definitions and content were not provided. Other textbooks and internet sources were used to look up definitions and refresh understanding of technical terms and concepts
The terminology, framework, and chapter exercises followed a consistent approach.
The layout of the book is easy to understand and follow.
The topics were organized in a logical fashion. It was a challenge to determine the network “big picture” and how the components fit into the picture. The topics make sense to people familiar with Networks. This text would be challenging to people new to Computer Network concepts.
The text is free of navigation problems. The figures and tables were easily identified. An improvement could be made with providing better images or pictures.
The text was free of grammatical errors.
The text is appropriate for globally-based students.
Many computer concept textbooks have associated software that helps student learn topics and practice. Computer Networks is an area where practice helps students learn. This text did not have associated software available.
This textbook provides a very comprehensive and in-depth introduction to computer networking. read more
This textbook provides a very comprehensive and in-depth introduction to computer networking.
All information presented is accurate.
This textbook is continually being updated to accommodate the ever-changing nature of computer networking.
Material is presented in a clear manner, but does require a prior basic understanding of computer networking.
Consistency of presentation and methodology is maintained throughout the text.
The chapters are well defined by topic
The material is presented in a logical manner that helps learners develop their understanding.
The PDF version is easy to read and navigate. The linked Table of Contents and Index make finding and moving to specific topics simple.
I found no grammatical errors.
This is not applicable to this topic.
The callout boxes provide a visual break for readers and increase learning with interesting facts and supporting information. Unfortunately, this textbook is too advanced for my undergraduate learners and does not map to CompTIA’s Network+ certification.
The text covers all five layers (phy, link, net, trans, and app) and their associated algorithms and communication protocols in the network, and provides an effective index and/or golssary. read more
The text covers all five layers (phy, link, net, trans, and app) and their associated algorithms and communication protocols in the network, and provides an effective index and/or golssary.
The content is accurate and unbiased.
The most content is up-to-date and the text is written in a way to easily be updated. Since network technology is time-sensitive, some sections in the text should be updated.
The text is easy to read but some advanced sections (e.g., network simulator ns-2 and ns-3) would be challenging to read and understand technical terminology used.
The text is consistent in using terminology and framework.
The text is well divided into a set of sections. It is easy to selectively choose a section depending on the level of class or students.
The topics in the text are presented in a bottom-up way, but grouping sections in terms of layer would be great.
The text has an interface issue, such as some contents are displayed out of page or cut off.
The text contains no grammatical errors.
The text is not related to any culture.
The text is appropriate to both undergraduate to graduate students. A set of selective chapters can be used depending on the instructor. The text is good to use for a reference book.
This text does a great job of covering the basics of computer networks while also presenting in-depth information, as well as diving into some somewhat tangential, but important, areas (e.g. security). read more
This text does a great job of covering the basics of computer networks while also presenting in-depth information, as well as diving into some somewhat tangential, but important, areas (e.g. security).
There are some terms here that I have seen presented differently than I have learned them or encountered in industry, but nothing inaccurate.
It would seem that this book is kept rather up-to-date, though much of the content is so fundamental as to not have too much of an expiration date, even in this field.
I believe the text is clear in most cases. However, I do feel many of the topics become very in-depth, very fast. It would be nice to have some concepts factored out to their basics early in the chapters, then expounded upon later.
The text does not appear to have any major inconsistencies.
When viewing online, the table of contents makes the content very browsable. However, when viewing in PDF, the large amount of subheadings for any one chapter can be a bit tough to navigate.
As the author notes, there isn't much agreement in how to present this topic, and it can be very difficult to explain one portion without referencing another topic that may not have been presented. I think factoring out some basics and explaining them up front, as this book has done, is a clever way of handling this.
I did not encounter any issues with the text interface.
I did not see any obvious grammatical errors.
This book is very matter-of-fact, with little in the way of irreverence. Likewise, there isn't much to work with here to be proactively inclusive. I think it works to be somewhat inert in this manner.
Overall, I think that this book is a great resource to have given its open availability. It's not the simplest book, so using this in a first level class or in a more general IT, CS, or survey course will take some shepherding on the part of the instructor. The comprehensiveness does suggest to me that this might be able to fill two courses worth of content, as well. It would be nice to have some of the information factored out, with some of the highlights available as lecture materials. On its own though, I feel this would be a strong resource to use in a computer networking course.
The book covers all the major topics required for a computer networking course. read more
The book covers all the major topics required for a computer networking course.
Yes, this book is accurate in the major areas that the reviewer read. The entire text was not reviewed.
Yes, the book is up-to-date with the major concepts that do not change (e.g. TCP, IP, UDP) and also includes the latest standards for Wi-Fi. However, some networking technologies will need to be updated as advancements are made (e.g. newer Wi-Fi standards).
Yes, the text is clearly written. However, the content is very technical and would be challenging for a non-technical person to understand all aspects. It is very straight-forward and appropriate for a technical audience.
Yes, the book is consistent and uses the same technical terminology throughout.
Yes the book is very modular and provides many small sections within each chapter for specific topics.
The flow of the book is similar to other networking books in that is starts with an introduction then provides additional details in following chapters.
The interface in PDF is easy to navigate using the table of contents and embedded links.
Of the information read, no grammar errors were found.
This is not relative to this book.
This book would be appropriate for an instructor with a strong background in teaching networking and using a more technical approach.
Table of Contents
- 0 Preface
- 1 An Overview of Networks
- 2 Ethernet
- 3 Other LANs
- 4 Links
- 5 Packets
- 6 Abstract Sliding Windows
- 7 IP version 4
- 8 IP version 6
- 9 Routing-Update Algorithms
- 10 Large-Scale IP Routing
- 11 UDP Transport
- 12 TCP Transport
- 13 TCP Reno and Congestion Management
- 14 Dynamics of TCP Reno
- 15 Newer TCP Implementations
- 16 Network Simulations: ns-2
- 17 The ns-3 Network Simulator
- 18 Mininet
- 19 Queuing and Scheduling
- 20 Quality of Service
- 21 Network Management and SNMP
- 22 Security
- 23 Bibliography
- 24 Selected Solutions
About the Book
An Introduction to Computer Networksis a free and open general-purpose computer-networking textbook, complete with diagrams and exercises.It covers the LAN, internetworking and transport layers, focusing primarily on TCP/IP. Particular attention is paid to congestion; other special topics include queuing, real-time traffic, network management, security and the ns simulator.
The book is suitable as the primary text for an undergraduate or introductory graduate course in computer networking, as a supplemental text for a wide variety of network-related courses, and as a reference work.
About the Contributors
Peter Lars Dordal is an associate professor within the Department of Computer Science at Loyola University of Chicago. His research interests are in programming languages and computer networks.