Title: TCP/IP Illustrated, Vol. 1
Authors: W. Stevens
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Published: January 10, 1994
Edition: 1st Edition
How can you tell that “TCP/IP Illustrated, Volume 1 – The Protocols” by Richard Stevens is the definitive book on TCP/IP?
Even after 10 years, this book, having been written in 1994, is still considered to be one of the top, if not the top, rated books on TCP/IP. Not only does this book deserve credit, but his companion book – “TCP/IP Illustrated, Volume 2 - The Implementation”, which came out in 1995, is also highly favored.
If you go to your friendly neighborhood bookstore, you are most likely to find this book on the shelf in the networking section.
Despite its early publication, and its lack of information on IPV6, it is very relevant today. I was once trying to find out why my protocol analyzer was always showing PSH and I was curious as to why it was used. In my other TCP/IP books, there was only about a line or two on the subject, whereas in “TCP/IP Illustrated, Volume 2- The Implementation”, there were a couple of pages of information to peruse. Similarly with the RST flag, the information was detailed regarding its use and easy to follow.
All the protocols are given a very thorough treatise TCP, IP, UDP, ARP, ICMP, FTP, SMTP, Telnet and Rlogon are among the protocols that are illustrated in great detail. All the required information that is relevant to know about these protocols is provided. The examples are first rate and easy to follow and they are in abundance. Do you want to know how keepalives work? How about an example, complete with instructions, on how to simulate a crash and the tcpdump output you can expect to see. There are 2 other examples, just in case you missed the point!
He is obviously a unix afficionado, having written a very popular - “Advanced Programming in the Unix Environment”. Even if you are not a Unix user, and I am not one myself, his use of unix tools for the examples are very easy to follow and easily translate to common windows networking tools. He takes great pains to make sure you understand his examples, which I find refreshing.
Believe me it's everything you have ever wanted to know about TCP/IP and then some. If I had to have only one book on the subject, this would be it. Regardless of the level of networking you find yourself at, you should get more than your times worth of information out of this book