• Welcome to Overclockers Forums! Join us to reply in threads, receive reduced ads, and to customize your site experience!

Learning about Networks/Networking

Overclockers is supported by our readers. When you click a link to make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn More.

naif

Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2002
I was wondering if anyone over here knows about any good books on Networking, which covers topics of how routers and how routing works, how packets are tranmitted over the internet and basically how the internet works and how it is setup up, covering topics about gateways, etc. And yeah, I am also not sure under which topic does all of this fit into, NETWORKING??? Or do networking books just cover how to plug a cable over here and there lol :)

Note: I currently have a decent knowledge about networking, but not advanced and do want to increase it.
 

Jon

Just Another Retired Moderator
Joined
Dec 19, 2000
Location
Lawrenceville, GA
I would say network basics as provided by Cisco administration study books/guides would be an excellent resource considering their products make up the majority of the internet backbone.

There are plenty of websites available with freely obtainable info as well as hundreds of book titles.
 

bdf24

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2001
Location
Harford, WI.
I'd like to start inquiring about it as well. My wife's in school to be a nurse right now. She'll be done in about 2 years. Then once she gets her insurance and all, I'll be quiting my current job (Shear operator in a factory :(). And going to school full time. I've pretty well decided I want to go for networking. I did want to go for programing but networking seem's so much more interesting and fun.
 

su root

Senior Member, --, I teach people how to read your
Joined
Aug 25, 2001
Location
Ontario, Canada
Cisco books are very good. I have read CCNA Sem1/2 and CCNA Sem3/4. I've looked through a few others (they are expensive), but they are really good.

The CCNA books might be a little over your head, if you don't have a lab of 5 routers and a couple switches to play around with. Lighter books are probably better for beginners.. somethign from the:
-General Networking
-Network Administration & Support
-Network Architecture & Design
-Routing & Switching (may be advanced?)

may be easier. You could always pick up a "Networking for Dummies" book to get the basics tho. Anything that will teach yo the OSI model is a great start.

http://www.ciscopress.com/catalog/product.asp?product_id={4303D921-A01C-42B4-99F2-6EB31435E6D3}

Unfortunately Cisco books are expensive... $90 CAN each for my books.. they do decorate a shelf nicely though.. I can't count the number of times I've referenced them.

Basic networking is easy... plug the workstations into the hub. Where it gets complicated is using managed switches and routers, or complicated LAN design. Once you go from "networking" to "internetworking" everything gets really complicated. They expect you to know alot more. Get the basics first.
 

Oswalden

Registered
Joined
Sep 10, 2001
Location
nampa, idaho
Sisco books are good, and you can get them cheap off of a place like Amazon's used books. Another option is to go to your local Barnes & Noble or other bookstore, goto the networking shelf and pick up a book. Flip through a few pages and if it's too easy or too hard, put it back and look for another one until you get one that fits your current knowledge. (BTW I found the Networking for Dummies rather insulting even when I didn't know much about the topic) ;)
 

su root

Senior Member, --, I teach people how to read your
Joined
Aug 25, 2001
Location
Ontario, Canada
Oswalden said:
(BTW I found the Networking for Dummies rather insulting even when I didn't know much about the topic) ;)
Really? I havn't looked through it. I would think it should give you all the basics. As I said before, anything with the OSI model is a good start.
 
OP
naif

naif

Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2002
But the OSI Model comes under the TCP/IP protocol suite right. I read a bit on TCP/IP but after reading, I found it a bit hard so I thought I would learn more about hardware then move back into learning about the protocols. What do you people say would be more better, learning about the hardware first, or how protocols work?
 

su root

Senior Member, --, I teach people how to read your
Joined
Aug 25, 2001
Location
Ontario, Canada
No, The OSI model is a model that is used for any data sent or recieved on the network, through any protocol, or any medium (ethernet, token ring, FDDI, wireless, ATM, etc). What you were probably looking at is the TCP/IP model, which is almost identical to the OSI model, but has a few sections that are fused together, and/or renamed.

In theory it would be easier to learn about hardware, like how a switch works and how a hub works, and objectively think, it's sending electrical signals across that are converted into bits.

However, once you start looking at routers or firewalls, or layer3 switches, then you'll have to know the OSI model. The OSI model is made to be easy to understand... Here's a brief intro, that covers almot everything you need to know about it:

The OSI Model (yes, it starts at 7)
7- Application Layer = Your programs which use the internet: Web broser/Email
6- Presentation Layer = Encoding/Encryption--to speek a common language
5- Session Layer = keep communication lines open, keep track of who your talking to
4- Transport Layer = tracking, making sure the data gets there
3- Network Layer = protocol area, eg. IP, protcol addressing (IP Address), Packet
2- Data Link Layer = the NIC, physical addressing, framing
1- Physical Layer = the medium, eg. etherenet, where electrical signals are sent across the network.

Here's how it's used:
=> to send something, you start at layer 7, and work your way down to where your comptuer sends the bits across the network.
=> to recieve something, you get the bits at layer1, and work your way up to the application that's waiting for the data

To troubleshoot a problem, work from layer1 upwards. 95% of your problems will be layer1 (physical problems), then test the NIC, then the protcols, etc.

A hub is a layer1 device, it just repeats everything it hears to everyone.

A switch is generally a layer2 device, it checks the MAC address, and then decides where to forward the frames to.

A layer 3 switch, or a router will read the Layer 3 IP addresses (or IPX or whatever protocol addressing you are using), and make decisions that way. The farther up the OSI model you go, the longer it takes.
 
Last edited:

Jon

Just Another Retired Moderator
Joined
Dec 19, 2000
Location
Lawrenceville, GA
Learning which hardware does what isn't all that difficult. Difficulties lie in how to use them and how they actually do what they're supposed to do. This all considering the fact you're talking about enterprise level hardware though. SOHO routers and such aren't that complicated to use although the basic functionality remains the same. Some do have a few more advanced options but nothing that compares to Cisco's IOS.
 

cack01

Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2002
Location
San diego or UC Davis
If you want a really really basic book, then I sugest: Preston Gralla, How the Internet Works (6th edition , 2001)

It has nothing technical in it, and basically shows the big picture.