Computer Networking First-Step

Cisco Press
Wendell Odom  
Total pages
April 2004
Related Titles

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Computer Networking First-Step
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The first step into the world of computer networking from the only Cisco Systems authorized publisher.

Computer Networking First Step is an accessible, easy to understand introduction to the language of the Internet. Students of internetworking technology and aspiring network administrators need a starting point to gain a handle on the often-cryptic acronyms and terminology of the Internet. This book is the perfect companion for these non-technical users, whether they plan to continue on with their study of internetworking or simply need a foundation understanding of the concepts to help them at home or on the job. Computer Networking First-Step assumes no previous knowledge of networking whatsoever. Divided into six parts, the book provides an overview of each of the major components of modern networks, including networking basics, Local Area Networks (LANs), routing, addressing, Wide Area Networks (WANs) and remote access, and finally, security. Each chapter introduces a topic, defines terms and functions, and puts those functions in the context of a typical network operation. Explanations are clear and concise, and figures and analogies are used liberally to convey and illustrate concepts. Each chapter opens with a specific set of learning objectives and concludes with a chapter summary and chapter review.


  • Accessible text assumes no previous topic knowledge.
    • Ensures that all students will be able to understand explanations of topics.

  • No. 1 Selling Cisco Certification author.
    • Writing from the premiere entry level certification author, Wendell Odom, guarantees that writing is appropriate for the audience.

  • Scenarios and case studies.
    • Put learning into a real-world context.

  • Review questions in each chapter.
    • Students can measure their retention and comprehension of chapter topics.

Table of Contents


1. What Is a Network?

No, Really, What Is a Network? What an Elephant-err, a Network-Looks Like. Three Blind Men-The Server Guy, the Cabling Guy, and the Network Guy. Different Types of Traditional Computer Networks. Big Company, Multiple Sites: An Enterprise WAN. Just You and Me and the Whole World-The Internet. Chapter Summary. Chapter Review Questions.

2. A Network's Reason for Existence.

Using the Network by Accident. Using the Network on Purpose. Web Browsing. Electronic Mail (E-Mail). Downloading and Transferring Files. Chapter Summary. Chapter Review Questions.

3. Building a Network: It All Starts with a Plan.

Conforming to the Rules. Rules, Schmools for Networking. Examples of Good Rules for Networking. The Book(s) of Rules. Proprietary Network Models Prevent Pervasive Population of Networking Devices. Public Network Models Provide Pervasively Popular Networks. How TCP/IP Standards Grow. Some Pretty Popular TCP/IP Protocols. TCP/IP Standards That Aren't TCP/IP Standards. How to Eat an Elephant, TCP/IP Style. How to Eat a T-Rex, OSI Style. T-Rex Versus the Elephant. Chapter Summary. Chapter Review Questions.


4. How to Build a Local (Network) Roadway.

Driving Bits Across the Network Roadway. What's a Local-Area Network? Transmitting Bits Across the Local Network Roadway. Sharing the Local Roadway: Ethernet Hubs. Dirt Roads Versus the DOT. Chapter Summary. Chapter Review Questions.

5. Rules of the Road: How to Use the Local (Network) Roadway.

Preparing for a Trip: How to Make Your Car (Data) 'Street Legal'. LAN-Legal Data: An Ethernet Frame. Driving Where I Want and When I Want Is Pretty Cool. Why Wrecks (Collisions) Happen on Ethernet. How to Avoid Most Wrecks. What to Do When a Wreck Happens. Stopping at the Destination: What Happens When Someone Comes to See You. Are They Coming to Our House or the Neighbor's House? Who Is It, Honey? I Don't Understand a Thing You're Saying. Two Standards for Ethernet. Chapter Summary. Chapter Review Questions.

6. Reducing Congestion and Driving Faster on the Local (Network) Roadway.

Reducing Congestion by Opening Up More Lanes on Each LAN. Hubs: A One-Lane Road. Switches: How to Create Dozens of Lanes on the LAN. The Perfect Roadway: No Wrecks Allowed! Using Full Duplex: Making the Streets Two Way. Switches: The Rest of the Story. Painting the Road Signs: Learning MAC Addresses. The Forward Versus Filter Decision. What to Do When the Road Sign (Address Table) Doesn't List Your Destination. How to Go Everywhere at the Same Time. Summary of Switch Logic. I Feel the Need, the Need for Speed. A New, Improved, and Faster Ethernet-Let's Call It Fast Ethernet. If Fast Ethernet Is Good, Even Faster Is Better: Gigabit Ethernet. Ultra Super-Fast Fast Ethernet: 10 Gigabit Ethernet. Summary of Ethernet Speeds. A Switch for All Speeds. Chapter Summary. Chapter Review Questions.

7. Adding Local (Network) Roadways for No Extra Money.

The Physical Reality Precedes the Virtual Reality. Physical LANs: It's All About Broadcasts. Master of Your Own (Broadcast) Domain. Multiple Physical LANs Require Multiple Switches. Virtual (LAN) Reality: One Switch, but Multiple LANs. How to Create a Virtual LAN. Why You Need More Than One LAN. Packing Your VLAN's Frames in a Trunk When Leaving the Switch. How to Pack Your Trunk for the Trip to the Other Switch. Tale of Two Trunking Protocols. Chapter Summary. Chapter Review Questions.


8. Shipping Goods over a (Network) Roadway.

Neither Rain, Nor Sleet, Nor Dark of Night: E-Mail. Dropping Off and Getting Your (e)Mail. Postal Address Versus E-Mail Address. Rules, Schmools: Even More Rules? Building a Centralized Warehouse: File Transfer. Warehouse Lingo and Procedures. Rules, Schmools for FTP. Browsing Around the Internet Shopping Mall: The World Wide Web. Rules, Schmools for Web Retailing. Buy One, Get a Bunch for Free. Chapter Summary. Chapter Review Questions.

9. Choosing Shipping Options When Transporting the Goods over the (Network) Roadway.

'Hello, I'm at Your Service'. Full-Service Shipping. Shipping Basics: Controlling Shipments Using Shipping Labels. Purchasing Insurance for Your (Network) Shipment. Big Box, Small Truck-What Do You Do? Why Three Smaller Segments Is Better Than One Big Segment. My Little White Lie About Acknowledgments. Delivering the Package to the Right Person, Not Just the Right Address. The Chicken, the Egg, and the Destination Port of the First Segment. Starting Off on the Right Foot Using a TCP Connection. Chapter Summary. Chapter Review Questions.


10. Delivering the Goods to the Right Street (IP) Address.

Navigation Basics: Driving to the Right Destination. IP as the Postmaster General of the Network. Knowing the Address Before Driving to the Destination. Putting a Name on the Shipping Label. How to Run a (Network) Postal Service. One Location, One Zip Code, One Network Number. Three Sizes Fit All. The Actual Class A, B, and C Network Numbers. Subdividing a Network into Subnets. The Problem: Wasting IP Host Addresses. The Solution: Subnetting Saves IP Host Addresses. Chapter Summary. Chapter Review Questions.

11. Knowing Where to Turn at Each Intersection (Router).

A Short Trip from Your House (PC) to the Local Store (Server). Overview of the End-to-End Routing Process. Step 1: Leaving Your Neighborhood the Same Way, Every Time. Step 2: Choosing Which Road to Take at the First Intersection. Step 3: Choosing Which Road to Take at the Final Intersection. The Still Useful, but Still Short Life of an Ethernet Frame. The Routing Table at R2: Same Destination, Different Forwarding Instructions. Yet Another Short-Lived Ethernet Frame. Other Rules of the Road. Routing with Subnets. How to Drive When You Aren't Leaving the Neighborhood (Subnet). Chapter Summary. Chapter Review Questions.

12. Painting the Road Signs on Your Interstate (Internetwork).

Routing to Nearby Places. Painting Road Signs and Other Long-Lasting Directions. Dynamically Learning and Changing Routing Tables. Picking the Best Road (Route). Introducing the Long List of Routing Protocols. Chapter Summary. Chapter Review Questions.

13. People Like Names, but Computers Like Numbers.

Looking Up the Name and Number in the Phone Book (Host Table). Asking Someone Else to Look Up the Phone Number (IP Address) for You. Asking for Name Resolution Help Inside the Company. Asking for Name Resolution Help Outside the Company. How Names Should Be Formatted. Chapter Summary. Chapter Review Questions.


14. Leasing a (Network) Roadway Between Two Points.

Leasing the Cable When You Can't Run the Cable. You Can't Lease the Cross-Over Cable, So Lease Something Almost Just Like It. Differences Between a Cross-Over Cable and a Leased Circuit. A WAN Link Installation Plan. Routers and WANs: A Match Made in Heaven. You Can't Just Send Data; You Have to Send a Frame. Addressing on WAN Serial Links. The Choice of Two Data Link Protocols. Chapter Summary. Chapter Review Questions.

15. Leasing a (Network) Roadway Between Lots of Places.

Making the Telco Look Like One Big Whopping Switch. Cabling a Router to the Big Frame Relay Switch. Basic Logic Used by the Big Whopping Frame Relay Switch. If Two Sites Are Good, Three (or More) Must Be Better. It's Virtually Like a Leased Circuit, So Let's Call It a Virtual Circuit. Faster, Cheaper, Better-You Can't Go Wrong with Frame Relay. You Can Still Use Serial Links, but It Will Cost You Up Front. Get Your Free Bandwidth Here!Free Bits! Routers and WANs: Still a Match Made in Heaven. You Can't Just Send Data-You Have to Send a Frame Relay Frame. Addressing Is Much More Interesting on Frame Relay Than on Serial Links. Chapter Summary. Chapter Review Questions.

16. Driving from Home onto the Globally Interconnected(Internet) Roadway.

Once on the Interstate (Internet), You Can Go Anywhere. Using a Phone Line for Data. Making Data Sound Like Voice. What Phones Do for Voice, Modems Do for Data. How Fast Can You Talk? Calling the Internet!Calling the Internet! Now That I Know How to Talk, Whom Should I Call? Now That I Know Whom to Call, What Do I Say? Using the Phone Line for Data-the DSL Way. Dr Analog Voice and Mr Hiding Digital. Faster Is Better. Sending Data from Home Without Using a Phone Line. Chapter Summary. Chapter Review Questions.


17. Accepting the Right People and Rejecting the Wrong People.

Safe Driving by Using AAA. Checking for Fake Drivers' (Users') Licenses. Hey! How Did You Get in Here? Checking the License to Find Out if He Can Drive That Kind of Vehicle. Tracking Drivers' (Users') Violations. Making Sure (Internet) Drivers Have Valid Drivers' Licenses. No Appls Yet? Be a Good CHAP and Ask PAP. Stopping Someone from Using Your License (Password). You're Wearing Your Credit Card Number on Your T-Shirt. Chapter Summary. Chapter Review Questions.

18. Keeping a Watchful Eye Over Who Drives into Your (Network) Neighborhood.

Setting the Ground Rules. Enforcing the Ground Rules. Ways to Watch Your (Network) Neighborhood. Deciding When to Stop the Traffic. Safe Places Outside of Your Neighborhood (Network). Using the Police to Watch for Bad Guys. Watching for Wolves in Sheep's Clothing. Avoiding Catching Cold. Profiling What the Bad Guys Want to Do. Chapter Summary. Chapter Review Questions.


Appendix A: Answers to Chapter Review Questions.

Appendix B: Converting IP Addresses Between Decimal and Binary.


Back Cover

Your first step into the world of computer networking

  • No experience required
  • Includes clear and easily understood explanations
  • Makes learning easy

Your first step to computer networking begins here!

  • Learn basic networking terminology
  • Understand how information is routed from place to place
  • Explore Internet connectivity secrets
  • Protect your computer from intrusion
  • Build local-area networks (LANs)

Welcome to the world of networking!

Networking and the Internet touch our lives in untold ways every day. From connecting our computers together at home and surfing the net at high speeds to editing and sharing digital music and video, computer networking has become both ubiquitous and indispensable.


No experience needed!

Computer Networking First-Step explains the basics of computer networking in easy-to-grasp language that all of us can understand. This book takes you on a guided tour of the core technologies that make up network and Internet traffic. Whether you are looking to take your first step into a career in networking or are interested in just gaining a conversational knowledge of the technology, this book is for you!



Wendell Odom is a senior instructor with Skyline Advanced Technology Services and has taught introductory and advanced-level computer networking courses to thousands of students over the years. He is the author of numerous best-selling books, including introductory-level CCNA exam study guides from Cisco Press.