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7 Best Books and Courses to Learn Computer Networking, TCP/IP and UDP Protocols

These are my favorite ebooks to learn essential Computer Networking protocols like TCP/IP, UDP, etc.

5 Best Books and Courses to Learn Computer Networking, TCP/IP and UDP Protocols

Hello guys, if you are want to learn about Computer Networking basics and essential computer networking protocols like TCP/IP and UDP and looking for resources then you have come to the right place.

Earlier, I have shared best Computer Science courses and best courses to learn OS and in this article, I will share best book you can read to learn Computer Networking fundamentals and protocols, particularly TCP/IP and UDP.

Both TCP/IP and UDP are very popular networking protocols and in this era of the internet and a connected world, they have become even more important.

No matter, whether you are a computer science graduate or doing a master's in computer science, a software engineer, a network engineer, or a Java programmer, good knowledge of TCP/IP and UDP goes a long way to securing a job and doing well on it.

Even though I mostly interview for Java programmers, I almost always ask a couple of questions on TCP/IP and UDP protocol to check if the candidate is familiar with computer network basics or not because even if you work for Java application, you are exposed to the network.

In a distributed architecture, where multiple processes running on different collaborate with each other, most of the application connect to others using TCP/IP and UDP.

Many use multi-casting for fast messaging and if the candidate is not familiar with such a fundamental and important concept, he won’t be able to understand what’s going inside and not be able to troubleshoot or support properly.

In this article, I am going to share a couple of good books and online courses from Coursera and Udemy to Learn TCP/IP and UDP protocol. These books and courses will not only help you to learn the basics of TCP/IP, UDP, and other networking protocols but also help you to understand how they work internally.

This knowledge is very important to effectively use these protocols in your application and design a reliable and robust distributed application.

5 Best TCP/IP and Computer Networking Books and Courses for Beginners and Experienced

Good knowledge of essential computer network protocols like TCP/IP and UDP will also help you on a programming job interview because TCP/IP is a very popular topic, questions like the difference between TCP and UDP are very popular.

Many programmers only know that TCP is connection-oriented and UDP is connection-less, but they don’t really understand the meaning behind them and their consequences like how ordering and reliable delivery is attached to it?

How multicasting can leverage UDP, what will happen if the client stops consuming messages but the server keeps sending Nagle’s algorithm, and various TCP options? These books and online courses will give you the knowledge needed to answer all these questions.

1. The Bits and Bytes of Computer Networking [Google Course]

This online course is an awesome resource to start with computer networking. It is provided by none other than Google and it's available in Coursera to join.

It’s also part of Coursera’s famous Google IT Support Professional Certificate which is taken by more than 900K people to start their career in It.

This course is designed to provide a full overview of computer networking. We’ll cover everything from the fundamentals of modern networking technologies and protocols to an overview of the cloud to practical applications and network troubleshooting

Here are the key skills you will learn in this course:

  1. What is computer networks in terms of a five-layer model
  2. What are standard protocols involved with TCP/IP communications
  3. Understand powerful network troubleshooting tools and techniques
  4. learn network services like DNS and DHCP that help make computer networks run
  5. Understand cloud computing, everything as a service, and cloud storage

Overall a great introductory course to learn about Computer Networking basics and essential Computer network protocols. I highly recommend this course to every software engineer, developer, DevOps, and IT professionals.

Here is the link to join this course The Bits and Bytes of Computer Networking

5 Best Books and Courses to Learn Computer Networking, TCP/IP and UDP Protocols

By the way, If you are planning to join multiple Coursera courses or specializations then consider taking Coursera Plus subscription which provides you unlimited access to their most popular courses, specialization, professional certificate, and guided projects.

2. TCP/IP Illustrated

This is a three-book series on TCP/IP protocol by W. Richard Stevens. So far, I have read TCP/IP Illustrated Vol. 1: The Protocols and TCP/IP Illustrated Vol.2: The Implementation.

This series is probably the only series of books you need to fully understand how TCP/IP protocol works internally. It is also the most comprehensive guide of TCP/IP protocol.

All the basics like why TCP/IP is a connection-oriented protocol? what do mean by being reliable and ordered, what is a 3-way handshake, and how TCP ensures delivery of messages is nicely covered in this book.

Some of you may find it a little bit boring like Introduction to Algorithms but once you started understanding, you will appreciate this book. I often use this book as a reference book.

As I said this is a 3 book series, where volume 1 is focused on Protocol and volume 2 is focused on the implementation of TCP/IP and the third and final book covers TCP for the transaction by explaining HTTP, the most used protocol based on TCP, NNTP and UNIX domain protocols

best books to learn TCP/IP and UDP

If you need an online course for some active learning, you can also check Learn TCP/IP — Computer Networking Fundamentals course by Mark Nielson on Udemy. It nicely complements this book by squeezing necessary information into a 2-hour course.

3. Internetworking with TCP/IP

This is another great book to learn TCP/IP, UDP, and other computer networking protocols. It is also one of the most recommended books to learn TCP/IP and computer networking basics.

This is required reading for many courses on computer networking all around the world.

Some of you find it boring if you read it on isolation but if you are doing a course on computer networking, Internetworking with TCP/IP Volume One (6th Edition) by Douglas E. Comer can be a great textbook.

best TCP/IP books for programmers

4. Grokking Computer Networking for Software Engineers [Course]

By the way, if you are serious about learning Computer networks in detail and need an interactive then I also suggest you check out Grokking Computer Networking for Software Engineers course from Educative, a text-based interactive platform to learn Software development and Computer Science skills.

This interactive computer network course will teach you the fundamentals of networks, socket programming in Python, command-line tools, and the main protocols of each layer.

You will also have hands-on experience with not only socket programming, but with implementing network protocols that require distributed processing. Join us in a deep dive on everything network-related.

Here is the link to join this course — Grokking Computer Networking for Software Engineers

By the way, you can either join this course individually or you can take an educative subscription (recommended) to get access to their 250+ high quality, text-based, interactive courses to learn key skills for coding interviews, software development, and technology.

5. The TCP/IP Guide: A Comprehensive, Illustrated Internet Protocols Reference

This is my favorite and probably the best book to learn TCP/IP in detail. Even before reading this book, I was familiar with TCP and UDP in my work but the amount of detail given in this book just dwarf my knowledge. It feels that I only knew about 1% of TCP/IP before reading this book.

The best part of this book is the illustrations and diagrams which make it really easy to understand the inner working of TCP/IP protocol.

I have a hard copy of The TCP/IP Guide: A Comprehensive, Illustrated Internet Protocols Reference 1st Edition by Charles M. Kozierok (Author) in my library and eBook on my smartphone and whenever I need to learn anything about TCP/IP, UDP, or other essential computer networking protocol like ICMP, I refer this book.

best books to learn TCP/IP

It is useful for both professionals working in IT and Computer networking and students doing graduation and masters on computer network courses around the world.

7. Introduction to TCP/IP course by Yonsei University [Coursera]

And, if you need a course to combine with this book, I highly recommend you to join Introduction to TCP/IP course by Yonsei University on Coursera. This 8-hour long course is a great resource to gain practical experience about TCP/IP protocol.

You will not only learn the operational functions of Internet technologies like IPv4, IPv6, TCP, UDP, addressing, routing, domain names, and your PC/laptop’s security and gateway Internet setup and basic principles, but also you will go through a simple Wireshark experiment to see the TCP/IP packets and security systems in action that are serving your PC/laptop, that serves you.

Here is the link to join this course — Introduction to TCP/IP course

best course to learn TCP/IP

That’s all about some of the best books and online courses to understand TCP/IP and UDP protocol. These books are good for anyone who is interested in the internal details of the internet and networking because TCP/IP is the backbone of everything.

They are also great textbooks and online courses for any computer science student doing a bachelor’s or master’s degree.

If you are a software engineer or programmer doing application programming and didn’t have much exposure to computer networks in the past, these books and courses will give you all essential knowledge about TCP/IP and UDP.


Other Book and Course recommendations by me for curious programmers

Thanks for reading this article so far, If you like these best TCP/IP and Computer networking books and online courses then please share them with your friends and colleagues. If you have any good books to learn TCP/IP and other essential networking protocols to add to this list then feel free to share with us.

P. S. — If you are a complete beginner on Computer Networking or want to brush up on your computer skills and looking for a free course to start with then you can also check the Networking Concepts for Beginners free course on Udemy. It’s completely free. All you need to do is create a free Udemy account to access this course.

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