Recommended reading for networking beginners?
As title I am a real beginner to networking. I bought the definitive guide but rather too much is over my head so…..
Would anyone like to recommend some reading, either links or books, that will help me get up to speed?
I guess that just now I see all the wonderful features of Pfsense and think "ok, but what would I use that for?" and "So what are the pro's and cons of using this particular feature?"
My primary aim is to optimize use (speed) with MaJestic 12 distributed search, WCG, Folding and browsing in a home/single isp and maybe 6 computer enviroment so nothing particularly special but adding a second wireless is on the cards just because I can with this :)
Getting off topic....so to summarise.....What are the best sources of learning networking?
There are so many aspects to networking, so there is no easy answer (i.e. one book that covers it all). If you really want to, start with the basis: the core networking building blocks that matter to you (understanding all the layers of communication, i.e. ethernet, TCP/IP). After that, start with understanding the core protocols used over TCP/IP, like DNS, HTTP etc and then dive further into the protocols of interest. When it comes to core networking and firewalls in particular, way back I got most of my input from "TCP/IP Network Administration" and "Building Internet Firewalls" from O'Reilly. But these books might be too in depth and not even up to date anymore.
For the most part the best way of learning it, is using and abusing it. :)
Really simple introductory would be the Head First Networking (an O'Reilley)
Then maybe CBT Nuggets Jeremy Ciaora CCNA ICND1 (video lectures, very good and entertaining, not dry!)