TCP/IP Illustrated, Volume 1: The Protocols is an excellent text that provides encyclopedic coverage of the TCP/IP protocol suite. What sets this book apart from others on this subject is the fact that the author supplements all of the discussion with data collected via diagnostic programs; thus, it is possible to "watch" the protocols in action in a real situation. Also, the diagnostic tools involved are publicly available; the reader has the opportunity to play along at home. This offers the reader an unparalleled opportunity to really get a feel for the behavior of the protocols in day-to-day operation. TCP/IP Illustrated, Volume 1: The Protocols features clear discussions and well-designed figures.
Volume two of this series, TCP/IP Illustrated, Volume 2: The Implementation, covers the implementation of TCP/IP. Volume three explores TCP for Transactions, HTTP, NNTP, and the Unix Domain Protocols.
For students writing applications that run over TCP/IP, or for those responsible for managing and maintaining a TCP/IP internet, this book's innovative approach helps readers at all levels to truly understand how TCP/IP really works. Rather than just describing the protocols from an abstract, standards-related point of view-describing what the standards say the protocol suite should do-TCP/IP Illustrated, Volume 1 actually shows the protocols in action. Stevens also recognizes that readers deal with multiple TCP/IP implementations on heterogeneous platforms. Therefore, the examples in this book show how current, popular TCP/IP implementations operate-SunOS 4.1.3, Solaris 2.2, System V Release 4, BSD/386, AIX 3.2.2, and 4.4 BSD-and they relate these real-world implementations to the RFC standards.