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Computer Networks (4th Edition) Hardcover – Aug 9 2002

4.1 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 912 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall; 4 edition (Aug. 9 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0130661023
  • ISBN-13: 978-0130661029
  • Product Dimensions: 18.3 x 3.8 x 24.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #366,395 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From the Inside Flap


This book is now in its fourth edition. Each edition has corresponded to a different phase in the way computer networks were used. When the first edition appeared in 1980, networks were an academic curiosity. When the second edition appeared in 1988, networks were used by universities and large businesses. When the third edition appeared in 1996, computer networks, especially the Internet, had become a daily reality for millions of people. The new item in the fourth edition is the rapid growth of wireless networking in many forms.

The networking picture has changed radically since the third edition. In the mid-1990s, numerous kinds of LANs and WANs existed, along with multiple protocol stacks. By 2003, the only wired LAN in widespread use was Ethernet, and virtually all WANs were on the Internet. Accordingly, a large amount of material about these older networks has been removed.

However, new developments are also plentiful. The most important is the huge increase in wireless networks, including 802.11, wireless local loops, 2G and 3G cellular networks, Bluetooth, WAP, i-mode, and others. Accordingly, a large amount of material has been added on wireless networks. Another newly-important topic is security, so a whole chapter on it has been added.

Although Chap. 1 has the same introductory function as it did in the third edition, the contents have been revised and brought up to date. For example, introductions to the Internet, Ethernet, and wireless LANs are given there, along with some history and background. Home networking is also discussed briefly.

Chapter 2 has been reorganized somewhat. After a brief introduction to the principles of data communication, there are three major sections on transmission (guided media, wireless, and satellite), followed by three more on important examples (the public switched telephone system, the mobile telephone system, and cable television). Among the new topics covered in this chapter are ADSL, broadband wireless, wireless MANs, and Internet access over cable and DOCSIS.

Chapter 3 has always dealt with the fundamental principles of point-to-point protocols. These ideas are essentially timeless and have not changed for decades. Accordingly, the series of detailed example protocols presented in this chapter is largely unchanged from the third edition.

In contrast, the MAC sublayer has been an area of great activity in recent years, so many changes are present in Chap. 4. The section on Ethernet has been expanded to include gigabit Ethernet. Completely new are major sections on wireless LANs, broadband wireless, Bluetooth, and data link layer switching, including MPLS.

Chapter 5 has also been updated, with the removal of all the ATM material and the addition of additional material on the Internet. Quality of service is now also a major topic, including discussions of integrated services and differentiated services. Wireless networks are also present here, with a discussion of routing in ad hoc networks. Other new topics include NAT and peer-to-peer networks.

Chap. 6 is still about the transport layer, but here, too, some changes have occurred. Among these is an example of socket programming. A one-page client and a one-page server are given in C and discussed. These programs, available on the book's Web site, can be compiled and run. Together they provide a primitive remote file or Web server available for experimentation. Other new topics include remote procedure call, RTP, and transaction/TCP.

Chap. 7, on the application layer, has been more sharply focused. After a short introduction to DNS, the rest of the chapter deals with just three topics: e-mail, the Web, and multimedia. But each topic is treated in great detail. The discussion of how the Web works is now over 60 pages, covering a vast array of topics, including static and dynamic Web pages, HTTP, CGI scripts, content delivery networks, cookies, and Web caching. Material is also present on how modern Web pages are written, including brief introductions to XML, XSL, XHTML, PHP, and more, all with examples that can be tested. The wireless Web is also discussed, focusing on i-mode and WAP. The multimedia material now includes MP3, streaming audio, Internet radio, and voice over IP.

Security has become so important that it has now been expanded to a complete chapter of over 100 pages.

It covers both the principles of security (symmetric- and public-key algorithms, digital signatures, and X.509 certificates) and the applications of these principles (authentication, e-mail security, and Web security). The chapter is both broad (ranging from quantum cryptography to government censorship) and deep (e.g., how SHA-1 works in detail).

Chapter 9 contains an all-new list of suggested readings and a comprehensive bibliography of over 350 citations to the current literature. Over 200 of these are to papers and books written in 2000 or later.

Computer books are full of acronyms. This one is no exception. By the time you are finished reading this one, the following should ring a bell: ADSL, AES, AMPS, AODV, ARP, ATM, BGP, CDMA, CDN, CGI, CIDR, DCF, DES, DHCP, DMCA, FDM, FHSS, GPRS, GSM, HDLC, HFC, HTML, HTTP, ICMP, IMAP, ISP, ITU, LAN, LMDS, MAC, MACA, MIME, MPEG, MPLS, MTU, NAP, NAT, NSA, NTSC, OFDM, OSPF, PCF, PCM, PGP, PHP, PKI, POTS, PPP, PSTN, QAM, QPSK, RED, RFC, RPC, RSA, RSVP, RTP, SSL, TCP, TDM, UDP, URL, UTP, VLAN, VPN, VSAT, WAN, WAP, WDMA, WEP, WWW, and XML. But don't worry. Each will be carefully defined before it is used.

To help instructors using this book as a text for a course, the author has prepared various teaching aids, including

  • A problem solutions manual.
  • Files containing the figures in multiple formats.
  • PowerPoint sheets for a course using the book.
  • A simulator (written in C) for the example protocols of Chap. 3.
  • A Web page with links to many tutorials, organizations, FAQs, etc.

The solutions manual is available directly from Prentice Hall (but only to instructors, not to students).

From the Back Cover

The world's leading introduction to networking—fully updated for tomorrow's key technologies.

Computer Networks, Fourth Edition is the ideal introduction to today's networks—and tomorrow's. This classic best seller has been thoroughly updated to reflect the newest and most important networking technologies with a special emphasis on wireless networking, including 802.11, Bluetooth, broadband wireless, ad hoc networks, i-mode, and WAP. But fixed networks have not been ignored either with coverage of ADSL, gigabit Ethernet, peer-to-peer networks, NAT, and MPLS. And there is lots of new material on applications, including over 60 pages on the Web, plus Internet radio, voice over IP, and video on demand.Finally, the coverage of network security has been revised and expanded to fill an entire chapter.

Author, educator, and researcher Andrew S. Tanenbaum, winner of the ACM Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award, carefully explains how networks work on the inside, from underlying hardware at the physical layer up through the top-level application layer. Tanenbaum covers all this and more:

  • Physical layer (e.g., copper, fiber, wireless, satellites, and Internet over cable)
  • Data link layer (e.g., protocol principles, protocol verification, HDLC, and PPP)
  • MAC Sublayer (e.g., gigabit Ethernet, 802.11, broadband wireless, and switching)
  • Network layer (e.g., routing algorithms, congestion control, QoS, IPv4, and IPv6)
  • Transport layer (e.g., socket programming, UDP, TCP, RTP, and network performance)
  • Application layer (e.g., e-mail, the Web, PHP, wireless Web, MP3, and streaming audio)
  • Network security (e.g., AES, RSA, quantum cryptography, IPsec, and Web security)

The book gives detailed descriptions of the principles associated with each layer and presents many examples drawn from the Internet and wireless networks.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Computer Networks are a wide and fastly growing subject. Finding a textbook that covers all of the topics in a detailed way is simply impossible. Perhaps for this reason good textbook authors have, in a probably implicit way, established two possible approaches: the Engineers' and the (mostly Software) Developers'. Once again Tanenbaum has done a great job with this book (and its updated-more-than-revised 4th edition), which takes the former approach.
The book presents general issues and impacts (on technology as well on the society) of Computer Networks in the first chapter, and then move in a detailed exposition of the lower layers of a general network architecture (similar to the OSI one). The great value of the books stems from the clarity and thoroughness of the exposition. Indeed, it presents all of the most known technologies and algorithms (both today's and historical) from physical mediums to algorithms for routing, congestion and flow control and so on. Plenty of details are provided at the level of mathematical performance analysis for some algorithms like those presented in the Medium Access Sublayer chapter (e.g. ALOHA and CSMAs).
The "tone" of prof. Tanenbaum is an added values as well. He rarely becomes boring and sometimes results hilarious in his comments of famous anecdotes that led to the born of this technology or that algorithm (have you ever heard how automatic phone calls switching was born ?). I never underestimate the value of an easy exposition, as sometimes studying is already hard enough to cope also with a overwhelmingly boring book.
Enough for the lower layers/protocols so far. About the upper ones the book actually does not spend too much emphasis on network applications nor on the high level tools for building network applications (e.g.
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By A Customer on Sept. 30 2003
Format: Hardcover
I was very fascinated about this book and the way it brings a sometimes difficult to understand content to the reader in a funny and easy way. But I was angry about the problems in the book and that there weren't any solutions available.
So more or less accidentally I came to the booklet „Problem Solutions" of the fourth edition. Take a look at and lothar_ast here you can buy the book+booklet for 54,90 Euro.
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By A Customer on Sept. 9 2002
Format: Hardcover
I'm going to buy this because I learnt so much from the 3rd edition.
The book works systematically through the various layers of the network stack and presents the major services and issues which occur at each layer. The emphasis is theoretical - but in a very practical sense: Tanenbaum explains the major principles which any competent network engineer must rely on for implementation and configuration.
This book contains an enormous amount of information on a complex subject. While Tanenbaum makes every effort to present it clearly, it still requires study. This is no 'Become a network guru in 15 mins' type of book, and you won't find details about how to configure Windows or Linux networking. However, it will give you the background to understand what you are doing and why, and give you the insight needed to solve practical problems.
A reviewer below complains that the previous edition of the book came out in 1996. Well sir, here's its replacement - now what's the problem??? I found it a very clear, very easy read. Where its difficult going is where the material itself is involved - so you do have make some effort. Tanenbaum has prepared an excellent meal - just don't expect him to spoonfeed you as well.
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Format: Hardcover
For those of you interested in a lucid summary of the principles of networking. Tanenbaum summarises well the concepts behind the Internet Protocol, and the various stacks/layers. This is an easy book to shed some light onto topical buzzwords like CDMA, CSMA, TCP/IP, 802.11b (WiFi), 802.15, 3G, WAP, broadband wireless, i-mode...
He gives enough details that can be understood by a reader with the equivalent of a sophomore level in science or engineering. The amount of maths needed is minimal. Some calculus and Fourier analysis and simple probability theory.
Each chapter has an extensive problem set. My only quibble is that perhaps the problems could have been harder. A lot are simple plug-into-equation types.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is a "must read" for anyone starting out developing networking products, whether hardware, software or both. It is required reading for our Network Product Development Group. We do outsourced System on Chip (SoC) design for the leading networking companies. The sections on IP, TCP, UDP and Ethernet are well organized for first time reading and as a reference. Thumbs up !
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