Internetworking with TCP/IP, Volume I:
Principles, Protocols and Architecture

Douglas E. Comer

Prentice Hall 1995
A book review by Danny Yee © 1995
A new edition of Comer's classic introduction to TCP/IP is most welcome. The third edition is — I am glad to see — basically the same as the second, with some additional material and minor updating. The new material includes discussion of supernetting and CIDR, DHCP, MIME and SNMPv2, as well as entirely new chapters on TCP/IP over ATM, firewalls and security, and IPng/IPv6. Given the continuity, it's probably not worth updating from the second edition unless you are particularly interested in these topics.

Internetworking with TCP/IP covers the internal workings of the Internet: everything from ARP through routing protocols to specifications for mail headers. While this is a lot to fit in a single volume, Comer manages it very well: the result is not light reading, but it is clearly written and doesn't assume any prior knowledge of networking. It also avoids unnecessary detail and sticks to the essentials, with summaries of key points and lots of diagrams. I would recommend Internetworking with TCP/IP to any Internet user who is interested in how the thing actually works and is prepared to make some effort at understanding it.

For many years Comer's book was the introduction to TCP/IP. Now there is some choice, with the appearance of Stevens' TCP/IP Illustrated. My personal preference is for the Comer book, with its slightly more abstract approach, but the choice between the two is really a matter of taste, and many will prefer the more concrete Stevens.

June 1995

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%T Internetworking with TCP/IP, Volume I
%S Principles, Protocols and Architecture
%A Comer, Douglas E.
%I Prentice Hall
%D 1995
%O paperback, 3rd edition, exercises, bibliography, index
%G ISBN 0132169878
%P xxv,613pp