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Table Of Contents  The TCP/IP Guide

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Introduction to Networking
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Networking Fundamentals

In order to get the most of The TCP/IP Guide, a certain level of knowledge regarding the basics of networking is very helpful. Unlike many other resources, however, I did not want to start with the assumption that my reader knew what networking was all about. After all, that's why you are reading this Guide!

So, I decided to include this section, which provides an overview of some of the basic issues related to networking. This area is where I place discussions of some of the most fundamental networking concepts and ideas. It serves not only to provide you, the reader, with useful background material, but also as a repository for “general” information so that I don't need to repeat it in many different places elsewhere in the Guide. This in turn allows those who already know about these basics to avoid having to skip over them in many other locations.

In this section I have provided several subsections that introduce networking and talk about some of its most important fundamental concepts. First, I introduce networking in very broad terms, discussing what it is and why it is important. Then, I describe several fundamental characteristics of networks that you will need to understand the various networking technologies. I discuss the different general types and sizes of networks and how they are differentiated. I then talk about many different matters related to network performance. I explain the importance of networking standards and standards organizations. Finally, I provide a background section that describes the fundamentals of how data is stored and manipulated in computers; if you are new to computing you may find that information useful when reading some parts of this Guide.

Note: If you are experienced in networking and related technologies, you may wish to skip this chapter. Hyperlinks in other areas of the Guide refer back here as appropriate, so if you need to “fill in” your knowledge of a particular fundamental “on the fly” you can do so rather easily.


Note: This section discusses fundamental networking issues that may be of use in understanding certain TCP/IP concepts. However, some of the material is very broadly oriented towards discussions of networking as a whole and is not specific to TCP/IP internetworking.


Quick navigation to subsections and regular topics in this section



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Introduction to Networking
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