Computing > Networking & Wireless

Good book suggestions to give me the best overview of networking and internet

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madires:
When you choose a book make sure it also covers IPv6.

h4x0r:
I don't want to discourage you from reading.

What I would suggest in lieu of a lot of reading is to follow a couple of tried and true methodologies.

1. Yes, get an up to date copy of TCP/IP illustrated - because it has basic coverage of topics you may not be 100% familiar with.
That is your leverage point to explore in depth topics you need to learn more about.

2. Industry standard textbooks.... now, as much as I loathe to say it, There are really only a couple of publishers out there who do this properly.

O'Rielly would be #1.   SYBEX is another.

There are online learning portals, some paid some not. Orielly has one again, Lynda has one

3. Look for basic certification texts from Juniper Networks or Cisco.  Start with a JNCIA or CCNA. If you choose to study them, you can opt for a certification. Personally I find certification at this level somewhat underwhelming and anyone with this on their resume/CV is not an interview candidate. (harsh, but true). If you endeavour to learn beyond this level - to at least JNCIP or CCNP, then you will have a respectable level of merit where knowledge alone (and zero experience) can get you a job.

I see this as valuable learning. Anything more casual than this level of understanding has potential to do more harm than good from a networking professionals viewpoint, especially with regard to privacy, security and leaving yourself or family/customers open to vulnerabilities they may not ordinarily have been exposed to.

I've been on the Vendor side of routing and firewall security in a Professional Services Consultant and Resident / Consulting Engineer roles for the last 15 years and will state at the outset that this is not an industry that stagnates. Every 6 months or so, there are quite obvious advances in the technology that sits on the basic principles of the OSI. The main issue we are all struggling with is automation, and validation.
Not just AI routing instance deployment scenarios, or standing up an sutomated provisioning service, or providing a replicable containerised framework for 3rd party consumption, but in the identification, validation and remediation of threats to the technology itself. The actual stack has limitations and most threats come from malformed packets, but there are many other exploits, and if you ever want to look at CVE's to find out just how many security vulnerabilities exist out there for vendors, then the CVE database and the NVD Databases are excellent repos for this stuff.

Broadly, in industry speak, vendors have siloed solutions to align with specific market niches. So you might find that what you want to know about applies across all-industry or only to a specific niche.
e.g. routing or WiFi.   because routing applies across almost all industry (or the capability is required by the majority), whereas Wifi is a specific type of device communication, often integrated into a networking appliance that happens to also do routing and maybe some kind of basic firewall, maybe even CoS /QoS.

There are also what I would call 'excellent' levels of implementation of the technology and principles and 'poor' levels. This can literally mean a hardware vendor choice decision, or a software install/upgrade which results in a less than favourable outcome.

If you want to understand routing, I'd suggest in addition to a TCP/IP handbook, that you also look for a vendor publisher text that works with or uses CLI examples, as most industry devices are still configured through terminal / CLI. e.g. Orielly publishes the official Juniper Networks publications (juniper staffers or ex-employees) and Cisco press are the difinitive reference for their products.
Yes there are gui's for the less serious or "monkey configs", but all professional engineers configure through CLI, whether that is ssh or oob.  It matters not whether you choose one vendor example over another - because the level of interpretation is quite easily translated once you have a good understanding of one vendor's method - e.g. If you worked on say, Juniper routing, firewalls or switching, then you can easily adapt that to Cisco routing/switching/firewalls and vice versa. Or if you can use Palo Alto firewalls, you might also be able to understand how checkpoint or fortinet work with minimal additional learning. Or if you once worked on Netscreen, then a PA FW will look like home.
So at the outset, being able to understand an interpret a CLI output and use the commands to diagnose, configure and verify is the key to understanding networking device logic.

These days it is more about the how than the what. The expectation is that you know the 'what' the problem is, the 'how' (because there are literally dozens of ways to perform the same basic task... not all are effiicient) is what is up for interpretation or 'configuration'. So again, as others have iterated, the bible is the TCP/IP handbook.

Here's some Free self-paced training
Juniper Learning Portal

Juniper Networks Certification Program

Cisco Networking Academy

Cisco Networking essentials

Word of advice:

Be Vendor agnostic.

Yes, I am a veteran on the Vendor side, but I did my time in corporate IT for some years before I 'got the invite'.
While I would always advocate the best and most efficient solution, it doesn't necessarily mean I'm an advocate for only one vendor.

Fifteen years at 'one vendor' does not mean one-eyed.  Anyone that can perform in a technical capacity in customer facing engagements for this long knows all too well that playing the vendors off against each other is unprofessional and leads to bigger problems than brand preference.

Stay away from marketing BS and corpspeak. You get a lot of that in industry tech pubs.   Stick with the technical trail and you will get a lot more fact and understanding in a far shorter period than reading up on industry web-publications. 

SOme 'less BS' websites would include The Register (security articles), and obviously reddit and look for an /r juniper or /r cisco  technical threads. Plenty of others, but be mindful of fact versus supposition.

I'm just picking the big two network vendors. I'm not suggesting there aren't others, but if you want to learn from established industry vendors, these are the two that literally run the internet between them.

best of luck with your learning.

cdev:
IMHO it depends on what level of the Internet your main needs exist at but my favorie all arond book so far (the only ones that I really like) are Computer Networks by Tannenbaum and Wetherall, and the Unix / Linux System Administration book by the late Evi Nemeth. I like the first book because of its easy to understand and remember descriptions of the essentials of why things have worked out the way they have. I also find myself consulting various TCP-IP reference books a fair amount but I have not bought one yet. 

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