• Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint
Share this Page URL



Network administrators and other computer technology professionals are well aware of the continued rapid evolution of computer and networking technology. The last 20 years have certainly seen a whirlwind of changes, both for network administrators and network users. Network technology provides faster and faster networking media, and computer hardware prices are such that even the smallest of companies see the cost-effective aspects of deploying sophisticated network implementations.

It has also become imperative for even the smallest company to have a connection to the Internet. This includes a corporate presence on the World Wide Web.

So, a big issue for companies both big and small is getting network resources and Internet information to the desktop of each and every employee. This means having an understanding of how networks work, and knowing what kind of technologies are available for moving data between two computers in the same room or two computers separated by a thousand miles.

Since this book is considered a resource for “beginners,” I have attempted to put together a body of information that would be useful for someone new to networking, but also provide enough depth to be an excellent starting point for someone who plans on learning more and maybe eventually working in the computer networking field. You are now holding the result.

The Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Networking, Fourth Edition will help you bridge the information gap related to information technology and computer networking. Although this book covers a wide breadth of information, it also provides you with enough detail that you won’t be lost as you further explore the subjects covered.

Although this book takes its subject matter very seriously, the material itself is approached in a straightforward, conversational manner that should help you digest the information without dozing off or developing a horrible migraine headache. Technology can be very intimidating, but this book will show you that the right information can go a long way as you explore networking technology, network operating systems, and the hardware devices that make networking possible.

Conventions Used in This Book

Certain conventions have been followed in this book to help you digest all the material. For example, new terms appear in italics. These terms can also be found in the Glossary, which supplies a short definition for each term.

At the beginning of each chapter, you’ll find a quick-view list of the major topics that will be expounded upon as you read through the material that follows. The end of each chapter provides a list of summary points, reiterating some of the important information covered in the chapter.

You will also find several icons used throughout this book. These icons are accompanied by additional information on a subject, supply asides that provide useful insight, or give warnings that can help you steer clear of problem areas related to a certain subject or technology. These icons are as follows:


These sidebars include additional information related to the current topic, but they do not have to be read in order for you to have complete understanding of the information provided in the regular text.


These sidebars contain higher-level information and additional insight into a topic that expands on the material provided in the chapter.


These boxes attempt to reach out and grab your hand before you press that red destruct button. Cautions point out major problems or issues related to technologies or network practices.

How This Book Is Organized

This book has been completely updated for its fourth edition. Chapters relating to network operating systems such as Novell NetWare 6.5, Red Hat Linux, and Windows Server 2003 have been added to get you up to date on the latest network operating systems. Since TCP/IP is the standard network protocol, a new chapter on TCP/IP administration (Chapter 13) has been added to help you get up and running with the aspects of using and administering TCP/IP on a network.

The book is divided into four parts; each part provides you a body of information that covers a particular area related to computer networking. Part I, “Networking Basics,” provides an overview of computer networking and information on network hardware. It also covers the basics of peer-to-peer and server-based networks. It includes information on networking hardware and also provides you with information on the different protocol stacks that are used on networked computers. The different media for building the network infrastructure, such as Ethernet and IBM Token-Ring, are also discussed.

Part II, “Getting the Network Up and Running,” covers the configuration aspect of peer-to-peer networks and also provides an overview of working with network operating systems. Chapters providing an overview of the network operating systems Novell NetWare, Red Hat Linux, and Microsoft Windows Server 2003 are also included.

Part III, “Expanding Your Network,” discusses how to administer a TCP/IP network, which includes information on using DNS, DHCP, and subnetting an IP network. Information on how to use WAN technology to expand and connect LANs at different locations is also included. This part of the book also discusses how to connect a network to the Internet and develop a company Web site.

Part IV, “Keeping the Network Running Smoothly,” discusses how to protect network data using strategies such as RAID arrays and backups and also discusses how to troubleshoot network problems. This part of the book provides a primer on network security, which includes information on protecting the network from viruses and outside attacks. New chapters related to disaster planning and serving as a network administrator have also been added.

To help you keep track of all the new terminology that is introduced in the book, Appendix A provides a glossary. This will allow you to review the new terms that are introduced in the various chapters of the book.

Exploring computer networking and the various hardware and software components required is certainly an exciting endeavor. I hope that you enjoy this book as much as I enjoyed writing it.

  • Creative Edge
  • Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint