Review: The TCP/IP Guide
Source: Eric Lubow - - Posted by Eric Lubow   
Book Reviews To be a comprehensive source of information is something that any and every author attempts to be in their works. While writing The TCP/IP Guide: A Comprehensive, Illustrated Internet Protocols Reference, Charles Kozierok nothing short of comprehensive. In this 1616 page, 88 chapter reference of the TCP/IP protocol set, all the important topics are covered.

Normally, when I review books, I give a little bit of information on each chapter. In this case, that would be a little drastic and cause an extremely long review.


Title   The TCP/IP Guide
Author   Charles Kozierok
Pages   1616
ISBN   1-59337-047-X
Publisher   No Starch Publishing
Edition   1st Edition (01 Oct 2005)
Chapters   IPv6
    Transmission Control Protocol Fundamentals and General Operation
Purchase   Amazon


Due to size, it may seem like this book is solely for students or engineers. However, The TCP/IP Guide is great for anyone and everyone as it can act both as a reference guide and a textbook.


Whatever little I write as a summary here just will not do this guide the justice it deserves for the effort of the author. Although the book covers such a wide variety of topics, each one is covered very thoroughly.

Beginning with basic networking concepts and moving into the OSI (Open Systems Interconnection) model, the bases are fully covered. He even goes so far in depth as to discuss the standards organizations that contribute to, support, and govern networking and the Internet. Once the OSI model is covered, he goes on to talk about how TCP, UDP, and IP protocols integrate themselves into the OSI model.

The first topic that is covered within the TCP/IP protocol suite are the interface protocols: SLIP and PPP. Every major PPP and SLIP sub item is covered within the chapters. These include: LCP, PAP, CHAP, ECP, PPP MP, just to name a few.

The next set of chapters is covering ARP, RARP, IPv4, IPv6, IP NAT and IP Sec. This basically covers how to move from level 2 to level 3 in the OSI model. Following the OSI model up, he then covers ICMPv4 and ICMPv6 prior to proceeding into routing. The routing protocols covered are: RIP, RIP-2, RIPng OSPF, BGP3, BGP4, GGP, EGP, EGRP, EIGRP, and HELLO.

After thoroughly covering how data moves from place to place on the lower levels of the OSI model, he begins by covering TCP and UDP by session establishment and handshaking. Since the book is about TCP protocols, there is a lot of discussion and diagrams of message headers and the theory behind TCP and UDP being designed the way they are.

Since all these protocols are merely transport mechanisms for higher level applications, a great deal of time in this book is dedicated to how those higher level applications function. Some of these applications and systems are: DNS, NFS, BOOTP, DHCP, SNMP, RMON, URI and URL structure, FTP, TFP, Email systems including SMTP and MIME structures, HTTP (transfers, encoding, messages, entities, etc), NNTP, and Gopher (again to name just a few). All of these applications that now have counterparts that support IPv6 are also examined and broken down. Each one of the topics listed above have associated diagrams and message layouts to allow as deep a comprehension as is desired by the reader.

He finishes up the book talking about remote application protocols and troubleshooting tools. This is especially handy information to have at your fingertips if you are constantly troubleshooting network or application level issues. He even goes so far as to break down common UNIX and Windows commands into their command lines and what the output is actually saying about the state of the packet, interface, application, or network.


When I first looked at this book, I was a little intimidated at having to read and process such a large volume of information. After getting into the book a little, I realized that information was not to be read from cover to cover, but to be used and explored as needed. After coming to that realization and taking the contained information in slowly, I realized just how completely instrumental this book will be having it as a reference when dealing with the everyday issues that I, as an avid computer user, deals with.

I would recommend this book to anyone who has even the slightest interest in the way networking or any of the inter-networking technologies function. The ability to go only as in depth as you like (at any level) makes it a must own for the computer enthusiast all the way up to the developmental engineers.

Reviewed by: Eric Lubow

Has anyone read this book?Written by linux fan on 2006-04-10 23:31:58
Do you agree with the comments? There are several similar books I'm considering and would like some other input...
Want to guide LinuxWritten by Chanh Kiet on 2006-04-12 23:17:04
I very like OS Linux, but I can't find the documents about that, so at, I found which something I needed, thank you very much!!! I from VietNam, so my English cannot well, thanks!
chris@fragzone.seWritten by Christopher Stromblad on 2006-04-30 15:28:56
This book indeed a fantastic effort and well-worth the investment. While I have not read every single chapter I can only assume the others are equally good. Information contained within the book is formatted in a perfect way and information is more or less system independent. It's in plain english, which should make even the none-techies understand most of the information in this book. The book explains the logical order of information flow and the underlying mechanics to accomplish this. I would without hestitation recommend anyone this book, no matter what background.
linuxWritten by Anuja on 2006-06-23 01:56:17
give full detail of linux
Independent IT ProfessionalWritten by hero on 2006-09-21 11:00:57
coolWritten by good on 2008-04-19 08:18:28
I'm agree with you.
For everyone?Written by Lenatis on 2008-09-24 03:28:26
Is this book REALLY good for everyone,even beginners(i.e,known nothing about tcp/ip before)??

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