networking books

It seems that all the best networking blogs have a page about the blogger’s favourite books these days, so not to be outdone, here’s my own two-penneth’:

PRACTICAL TCP/IP – Designing, using and troubleshooting TCP/IP networks on linux and windows.  By Niall Mansfield

What a fantastic book!  This really is a great book about networking and takes the reader through from the basic building blocks of TCP/IP networks such as ARP requests and how packets and frames get moved around, through to full blown network solutions with VPN’s, DNS, Firewalls etc.

The book is very readable, and I learned a great deal not just about networking but also about Linux, as most of the examples use a Linux box in some shape or form.

All in all, a great book that I would highly recommend to anyone wanting to get a good understanding of data networking from the ground up.


Network Warrior (2nd Edition).  By Gary A. Donahue

The title makes me cringe, but that aside this is another great book.  I bought this not long after I got my CCNA, and I can certainly vouch for the validity of the book’s strap line: “Everything you need to know that wasn’t on the CCNA exam”.   It takes you easily through subjects that before reading this book, I would have found pretty daunting.

The book is very easy to read, and is the kind of book that you can dip in and out of as required – for example, I’m using this as a secondary reference to the official Cisco material for the CCNP Routing and Switching certification track.  Also the chapters are nice and short, so you can quickly get an understanding of a subject without losing an evening in the process.


Practical Packet Analysis – Using Wireshark to Solve Real-World Network Problems 2nd Edition.  By Chris Sanders

I haven’t got my hands on a copy of the 2nd edition of this book yet, but the first edition is a great introduction to using Wireshark.  Before I bought this book I knew how to use wireshark and generate a packet capture, but didn’t have a clue how to do something useful with it afterwards.  That’s where this book steps in.

It’s full of practical, step-by-step examples of how to get useful information from your captures, and also gives you a great insight in to the workings of some network protocols.

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