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Book Review - Upgrading and Repairing Networks 4th Ed

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2003 12:14 am    Post subject: Book Review - Upgrading and Repairing Networks 4th Ed Reply with quote

Upgrading and Repairing Networks 4th Edition

Authors: Terry William Ogletree & Scott Mueller
Website: http://www.upgradingandrepairingpcs.com/
Publisher: Que
Book Specifications: Hard-Cover, 1224 Pages
Category: Computer Networking
User Level: Base level would be a general understanding of networks
Suggested Publisher Price: $59.99 USA/ $90.99 CAN/ 43.99 Net UK (inc of VAT)
ISBN: 0-7897-2817-6
Amazon.co.uk: Upgrading and Repairing Networks 4th Edition
Amazon.com: Upgrading and Repairing Networks 4th Edition

Info from Back: "Even if you aren't a bona fide pocket-protector sporting, high-water pants wearing geek, er, networking professional, Upgrading and Repairing Networks will explain those tough networking concepts in a way that won't make you reach for an aspirin or a revolver. Now in its fourth edition, this industry classic networking reference spills the guts on confusing networking architectures and protocols and helps you track down and repair networking bugaboos that are costing you and/or your company money."


I am quite strong on networking issues, the various protocols involved, low level TCP/IP and general troubleshooting but I do have some weak spots as with everyone. This book as far as I am aware is regarded as THE networking reference guide for anyone who has to deal with networking in any way. I have been looking for a book covering this subject thoroughly for quite some time as there are always things I haven't come across before or settings that I have forgotten. It truly is useful to have a complete reference to everything networking.

This is a book that covers a very broad area within networking and even gives some pretty comprehensive network security advise, many of the topics within the book have multiple books dedicated to them (VPN's, Security, TCP/IP and so on).


This book is split into 11 sections with 63 chapters (plus Appendixes), to give you some idea of the phenomenal amount of subjects covered, the contents alone are 15 pages. The sections are as follows:
  • I. Up Front: Network Planning and Design Concepts
  • II. Physical Networking Components
  • III. Low-Level Network Protocols
  • IV. Dedicated Connections and WAN Protocols
  • V. Wireless Networking Protocols
  • VI. LAN & WAN Network, Service, and Application Protocols
  • VII. Network User and Resource Management
  • VIII. System and Network Security
  • IX. Troubleshooting Networks
  • X. Upgrading Network Hardware
  • XI. Migration and Integration
  • Appendixes
The book starts with quite a verbose section about the authors, which I like as it's good to know what experience the guys you are trusting in have, this is followed by Acknowledgements. After this there is a good introduction to the book, a section on who the book is aimed at, how to use it and what you should expect to find inside (including what's new in this edition and what's missing from this edition, invaluable if you have purchased any of the previous releases).

At this point I generally pick out a few chapters of interest, the problem with this book is there's so many chapters, and so many interesting and relevant ones. A full Table of Contents can be found at the publishers site HERE.

Contents In Depth

The chapters tend to dive straight into the subject at hand without any lead in, or succinct introduction which may be a little daunting for some. In saying that though the chapters are split up very well and there are clear subsections aiding in the clarity of the information. Each chapter leads well into the next and often references are made to other chapters where information required is explained in more depth.

To be perfectly honest this book covers everything network related I could think of and more I have never thought of or encountered. It goes into a good amount of detail on every subject, for example with SNMP it covers MIB, RMON, V2 and V3. It covers pretty much every protocol you could think of, advanced networking topics such as source routing, RARP and every imaginable Wireless protocol.

To summarise the book covers network software, hardware, devices, protocols, peripherals, methodologies, theories, realities, security, topologies and more!. There is a very nice in-depth section on TCP/IP which would serve as a great introduction for newcomers or a top-up for those who are already au fait with the area (includes IP addressing, subnetting, OSI, CIDR, ARP, all TCP flags, sessions, UDP and ICMP). The book is also cross platform, it deals with UNIX, Linux, Windows and Netware.

There are a couple of useful charts within the front and back covers (usually wasted space), the one at the front covering subnetting and network classes and the one at the back showing a reference guide to cabling types and specifications (distance, max nodes etc.)

Style and Detail

The writing style of the book is quite formal and technical as the book is intended to be both a textbook for newcomers and a reference for more experienced networking practitioners. This is fine though as due to the size and scope it's not really a book you would read cover to cover, more of a book to have as a reference when an issue arises or you have to investigate something you aren't 100% familiar with (this is what made it so hard to review!).

There are a lot of very clear diagrams and illustrations where required, notes and tips throughout and a consistent layout style with good use of tables and text formatting. The book has been designed with it being used as a reference in mind and it makes it very easy to jump to a certain section and find the information you need quickly. It is clear the people who have written their respective sections are very familiar with the subject matter and a deep understanding of every topic is displayed and accentuated by the fact even complex topics are made easy to understand and put into practise.

During the more technical parts of the book a great amount of detail has been included including references to various RFC's and other relevant resources. Screenshots are also used to illustrate various options and settings where software and operating systems are being explored.


It did take me a long time to review this book partially due to the sheer size of it, combined with the fact it's not a book that's easy to read in a linear fashion. I guess this is the case with any reference type book, but this doesn't detract from the quality of the book and way in which it's written.

I can realistically see this book being invaluable and it's a shame it's so big as I would like to take it with me whenever I have to deal with any kind of networking issues. In comparison to the other networking type books I've read, Upgrading and Repairing Networks 4th Edition eats them for breakfast.

This is without doubt the best, most complete and thorough networking book I've encountered. I highly recommend this book to anyone involved in any way with computer networking in any manner.

The ultimate network reference book a well deserved 9/10

This review is copyright 2003 by the author and Security-Forums Dot Com, and may not be reproduced in any form in any media without the express permission of the author, or Security-Forums Dot Com.
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