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In order to get the most of The TCP/IP Guide, a certain level of knowledge regarding the basics of networking is very helpful. Unlike many other resources, however, I did not want to start with the assumption that my reader knew what networking was all about. After all, that’s why you are reading this Guide!
So, I decided to include this section, which provides an overview of some of the basic issues related to networking. This area is where I place discussions of some of the most fundamental networking concepts and ideas. It serves not only to provide you, the reader, with useful background material, but also as a repository for “general” information so that I don’t need to repeat it in many different places elsewhere in the Guide. This in turn allows those who already know about these basics to avoid having to skip over them in many other locations.
In this section I have provided several subsections that introduce networking and talk about some of its most important fundamental concepts. First, I introduce networking in very broad terms, discussing what it is and why it is important. Then, I describe several fundamental characteristics of networks that you will need to understand the various networking technologies. I discuss the different general types and sizes of networks and how they are differentiated. I then talk about many different matters related to network performance. I explain the importance of networking standards and standards organizations. Finally, I provide a background section that describes the fundamentals of how data is stored and manipulated in computers