Introduction to Networking: How the Internet Works
The goal of this book is to provide a basic understanding of the technical design and architecture of the Internet. The book is aimed at all audiences — even those with absolutely no prior technical experience or math skills. The Internet is an amazingly beautiful design and should be understood by all who use it.
While this book is not about the Network+ or CCNA certifications, I hope it serves as a way to give students interested in these certifications a good starting point.
I want to thank Pamela Fox of Khan Academy for coming up with the idea of an introductory network technology course using open materials.
I initially developed this material as a single week’s lecture in the SI502 – Networked Computing course that I taught at the University of Michigan School of Information starting in 2008. I refined and expanded the material to be three weeks of the Internet History, Technology, and Security (IHTS) course that I have taught to over 100,000 students on Coursera starting in 2012. This book adds further detail to create a standalone text that can be read for enjoyment or used to support an introductory course that focuses on the Internet’s architecture.
This book has been particularly fun in that it is a collaboration with my friends Mauro Toselli (@xlontrax) and Sue Blumenberg. I met Mauro and Sue in 2012 when they became volunteer Community Teaching Assistants (CTAs) for my IHTS course on Coursera. Over the past three years we have become friends and colleagues. It is a great example of how open education can bring people together.
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