A million different things can go wrong with a computer network on any given day—from a simple spyware infection to a complex router configuration error—and it’s impossible to solve every problem immediately. The best we can hope for is to be fully prepared with the knowledge and tools we need to respond to these types of issues.

To truly understand network problems, we go to the packet level. All network problems stem from this level, where even the prettiest-looking applications can reveal their horrible implementations and seemingly trustworthy protocols can prove malicious. Here, nothing is hidden from us. ...

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