Ever wonder how your office computer network works? Or how the Ethernet card inside your computer connects you to that network or to the Internet? How Networks Work will give you a thorough, detailed explanation of the inner-workings of network systems without getting you caught up in network jargon. Learn the basic principles of networking and how those principles work inside pieces of network equipment. Complete with illustrations to show how things work together, this latest edition also includes information on the newest technologies, including VoIP, wireless networks, broadband and more.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then Frank Derfler and Les Freed's fourth edition of How Networks Work
is worth about a quarter of a million words. With lavish illustrations on almost every page, this book--like the entire How It Works series--teaches technology with detailed visuals on everything from the inner workings of a modem to the configuration of a Token Ring network. Departing somewhat from the usual form of the series, however, the authors take a historic approach. Part 1 briefly discusses the operation of the telegraph, telephone, and printing telegraph. This material is of interest, but is not presented with any detail (Edison's Carbon Transmitter, for example, is depicted as a museum piece with a bit of textual explication). Where the volume excels is in its diagramming and simplifying of complicated networked systems. The Network Interface Card is dissected, fiber optic and STP wires are cut open, and Server-Based LANs are mapped out. While Derfler and Freed don't address the nitty-gritty issues of picking specific machines and setting up specific networks, How Networks Work
offers an essential first step toward understanding and implementing multiuser systems. --Patrick O'Kelley