Programmer Barry Nance, a columnist for Byte Magazine, penned this reference with topics listed by type of network and network application. Each topic features a thorough discussion of concept, needs analysis, product selection, implementation and ongoing support issues.
Learning networking has never been particularly easy. There are so many variables and acronyms that it's easy to be buried in minutiae at the outset or to get a skewed view that focuses on only one particular network operating system and its idiosyncrasies. Introduction to Networking starts to address the need for a solid, general purpose overview of how networks work and what the practical world of building, managing, and using networks is like.
The book does a good job describing the basics of connecting multiple computers and covers Novell Netware, Windows 95, Windows for Workgroups, Windows NT Server, Warp Server, and Warp Connect in specific chapters. Other topics include types of connections, protocols, using and installing network adapters, using file servers, network management products, and e-mail and network interoperability.
One weak point is that Introduction to Networking offers shallow and rather outdated coverage of Unix networks and the new generation of "network computers." However, this book is an excellent starting point for an overview of how networks work, and is a good starting point for PC users who need to know how to use the network, managers who need to start making decisions about networking investments for large businesses, and anyone who just wants to understand what happens when a computer is hooked into a network.