While I have come to learn some computer science, I find that I have next to no knowledge on computer networks.

Are there any good books at a basic level that cover some of the fundamental topics? Ideally something that doesn't overwhelm a newcomer and provides a good jumping-off point to get started with.

If it helps, my own background is primarily in mathematics, although I have covered a few topics in computer science, namely algorithms and computer graphics.

  • $\begingroup$ Computer Networks: A Systems Approach was one of the two books I used. It's in the 6th edition now. Much of the content is online, and there's even some open source content. It's nice in that it touches on many layers of the protocol stack and hence is a good "jumping-off point" to get started. $\endgroup$
    – C8H10N4O2
    Commented Oct 8, 2021 at 14:46
  • $\begingroup$ you could try computer-networking.info. $\endgroup$
    – Effie
    Commented Oct 16, 2021 at 22:30

1 Answer 1


Try this one out: https://hpbn.co/

It's concerned more with connection optimization however it still introduces a lot of concepts in a top down approach, meaning, starting from the application layer moving into the transport layer, HTTP -> TCP, as opposed to a lot of networking books which will start from a bottom up approach, twisted pair cables/signal encoding -> HTTP. I.E physical layer up to application layer.


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