Adapted Preface to the First Edition

Introduction

This book describes the TCP/IP protocol suite, but from a different perspective than other texts on TCP/IP. Instead of just describing the protocols and what they do, we’ll use a popular diagnostic tool to watch the protocols in action. Seeing how the protocols operate in varying circumstances provides a greater understanding of how they work and why certain design decisions were made. It also provides a look into the implementation of the protocols, without having to wade through thousands of lines of source code.

When networking protocols were being developed in the 1960s through the 1980s, expensive, dedicated hardware was required to see the packets going “across the wire.” Extreme familiarity ...

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