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Sams Teach Yourself TCP/IP in 24 Hours by Joe Casad

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by , 02-09-2009 at 01:23 PM (15625 Views)
Do you need to learn about TCP/IP protocols, computer networks, and how the Internet works, but can't make head or tails out of the books written by people with names like Stallings, Stevens, and Comer? Then Teach Yourself TCP/IP in 24 Hours, 4th Edition by Joe Casad may be just the book for you.

Teach Yourself TCP/IP in 24 Hours (TYTI24) is an excellent introduction to the layers, protocols, tools, and uses of TCP/IP networks. The “one hour” format of the chapters presents a sufficient amount of information to explain their topics without being overwhelming. And there is a surprising amount of useful practicality spread amongst the abstract concepts and facts.

The book begins with the expected introduction to networking hardware and the OSI model. It then works it way up to basic routing concepts, subnetting, networking and transport protocols, and network management. Eventually, it winds up at the top with Web services, HTTP, XML, and SOAP.

The “hand on” parts of this book deals with the tools and client programs of TCP/IP. Useful command-line gems, such as arp, telnet, netstat, tracert, ftp, and even the BSD UNIX r* utilties, are all described. How some of these tools are used to troubleshoot network problems is also covered.

Network security is not forgotten. Sections on wireless network security, SSH, SSL, Kerberos, firewalls, proxies, VPNs, and an entire chapter on encryption. There is even an analysis of what intruders would want to do on your network and how they might attack it.

The book's format and style is friendly and easy to read. There are numerous diagrams that greatly aide in the understanding of the material. I also noted that the book's information is genuinely useful and correct. The amount of information contained becomes very apparent when you attack the book with a high-liter. There is also a noticeable lack of padding and “fluff” of the type that is confusing or annoying to the reader.

Certification Study Material?

At, we are all about learning material for IT certifications. I decided to compare the information in TYTI24 to the objectives on the 2009 CompTIA Network+ certification exam. This isn't a strictly fair comparison because TYTI24 wasn't written to prepare the reader for passing the Network+ exam, and the Network+ certification isn't only about TCP/IP networking. However, TYTI24 didn't look badly at all in this comparison.

Almost all networking protocols and ports, tools, tuning and troubleshooting issues found in the Network+ exam are covered by TYTI24 to some degree. TYTI24 also covers more modern technologies found in the exam, such as VoIP, QoS, DSL, and IPv6. And the listing of tools described is nearly the same. I would say that TYTI24 easily covers 90% of the TCP/IP networking topics found in the Network+ exam.

What isn't covered by TYTI24 is advanced routing protocols, unicast/multicast, an in-depth discussion of networking hardware and topologies, and advance network security issues. Also lacking are comparisons between networking technologies, such as NAT/PAT/NPAT/SNAT, SNMP v2/v3, and RIP v1/v2. However, these are all advance concepts, and not something I would expect to see in a “Teach Yourself in 24 Hours”-style book.


If you already have years of knowledge and experience using TCP/IP then this book is not for you. However, if you are new to TCP/IP, and are perhaps preparing for an IT certification exam that contains topics on TCP/IP networking (as do the CompTIA Network+, Cisco CCENT, and (ISC)2 SSCP and CISSP certifications), consider this to be a good first book to buy. If you still are not sure, you can find excerpts of past editions of Teach Yourself TCP/IP in 24 Hours using Google Book Search and see for yourself.

About the Book's Author: Joe Casad is an engineer, author, and editor who has written widely on computer networking and system administration. He has written or co-written 12 books on computers and networking. In a past life, he was the editor of C/C++ Users Journal and senior editor of



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