An Essential Guide for the Accidental Admin or as I would put it an up to date reference for anyone wanting to know more about networks.
Ease of Understanding/Practicality 22/25
Additional Features 15/25
Network Know-How by John Ross is a network setup and explanation guide that helps anyone who wants to know more about networks even if you’re not in charge of one. That admin part does not really matter as anyone just wanting to know more and have a better understanding of networks can pick up this book and really learn.
Network Know-How is not your dummies guide with little in depth knowledge, this book goes into plenty of explanations, programs for networking and technical details. It can not only help you understand and learn about networks but get the help you need in setting up and maintaining a computer network.
Network Know-How starts off with explanations of what a network is and the examples of uses then goes in depth into setting one up both in software and hardware so you can get yours setup easily. The book goes into great detail talking about things like handshaking and packets so you not only understand the basics but know exactly what a network does so you can maintain one.
The book continues with types of hardware and how to set them up using both common wired and wireless Wi-Fi networks that are in use today. The book explains from household small networks and even single computers with a few peripheral network devices to larger business type networks.
Network Know-How goes from the hardware to the software using the Windows XP and Vista operating systems, Mac and even includes some Linux and Unix systems. The book further goes into network storage file sharing and other devices on a network like printers and cameras.
Network Know-How also includes the all important security and how to set up protection of your system with encrypted systems as well as good explanations of these measures. While the book does not go into specific settings of various hardware routers and servers it does give good explanations of the terms and different encryption types so you know what the manuals and documents that come with the hardware you decide to use mean.
That is the major point of this book; it is not a specific step by step manual for specific routers and other hardware components. It does go in depth into general terms and even into the specific Windows steps to set up networks and get your system setup and secure.
The book adds a lot of useful information about those terms and descriptions of network hardware, programs and those words people keep throwing out that make a network sound so difficult and hard to understand. This book will demystify those terms and words so you can understand and know what is going on with your network and help you maintain it.
Network Know-How even goes into how to connect a stereo or television to your network so you can stream video and audio to a TV or stereo system setup on a network. The use of media centers and computers for media streaming has really taken off and Network Know-How will help you set up different devices to your network to make the most of your network.
The book also goes into other types of network uses like remote desktop, video conferencing and even multiple monitors across a network. The last section of the book is troubleshooting and helps you find out where any problems may be and how to correct them.
The nice thing with this book is they also offer some valuable advice on finding solutions on the internet after admitting that a book would not be able to possibly list all solutions to potential problems with a network. The book does offer an invaluable problem solving routine to follow to help you for every time you do have problems with your network.
These are not lists of problems and how to find solutions; this is a whole section of helpful routines and how to go about the general troubleshooting scenario that you should follow so that you find the problem and how to fix it. I found their problem solving process is much like the general routine I would have used when troubleshooting systems when I was in the military.
Helpful hints like keeping records and fixes of problems as well as taking a break as a way to tackle the job fresh so you have a clear mind makes a lot of sense and Network Know-How gives other choice words of wisdom to help you. The troubleshooting section is a real help not only for networks but for computers in general with plenty of helpful advice for solving the problems you may encounter.
Network Know-How is a great book that can help anyone wanting to learn more and setup or administer their network. The book starts off with the basics and goes in depth with network hardware, software, security and more for a complete guide to networking for beginners.
I highly recommend Network Know-How by John Ross for a great network guide book, the sub title says it all, An Essential Guide For The Accidental Admin.