Cisco Routers for the Desperate, 2nd Edition

Cisco Routers for the Desperate, 2nd Edition

Router and Switch Management, the Easy Way
by Michael W. Lucas
February 2009, 144 pp.

"If you are a new network admin, or a systems person just exploring routers and their use, this is a great investment."

Cisco routers and switches are the cornerstones of many networks. But when things break, repairs can intimidate even the most competent administrator. Luckily, just knowing the "in case of emergency" basics will take you far.

Just like the original, this second edition of the highly acclaimed Cisco Routers for the Desperate is written for the administrator in crisis mode. Updated to cover switches and the latest Cisco terminology, with a tighter focus on the needs of the small network administrator, this second edition gives you what you need to know to provide reliable network services and fix problems fast. You'll find coverage of:

  • Installation—how to get your router and network connections up and running right the first time
  • Troubleshooting routers and switches, so that you can determine whether your hardware or the Internet is broken
  • Security concerns, like how to keep your network equipment safe from hackers and install a private network between two offices
  • How to implement basic network redundancy to reduce the risk of network downtime

Cisco Routers for the Desperate, 2nd Edition is designed to be read once and left alone until something breaks. When it does, you'll have everything you need to know in one easy-to-follow guidebook.

Author Bio 

Michael W. Lucas is a network/security engineer with extensive experience working with high-availability systems. He is the author of the critically acclaimed Absolute FreeBSD, Absolute OpenBSD, Cisco Routers for the Desperate, and PGP & GPG, all from No Starch Press.

Table of contents 


Chapter 1: Befriending the Command Line
Chapter 2: Router Configuration
Chapter 3: Router Interfaces
Chapter 4: Wide Area Network Connections
Chapter 5: Troubleshooting Routers
Chapter 6: IOS Changes
Chapter 7: Redundancy with BGP and HSRP
Chapter 8: Cisco Switches
Chapter 9: Logins, Authentication, and Remote Access
Chapter 10: Cisco Network Services

Appendix A: IP Addresses and Netmasks

View the detailed Table of Contents (PDF)
View the Index (PDF)


"Michael is absolutely one of the best technical writers in the networking, computer, and security worlds. Plenty of others could learn how to write by studying his approach to teaching readers."
TaoSecurity (Read More)

Michael W. Lucas "focuses squarely on TCP/IP networking in an Internet environment and does not detour into channelizing circuits, VoIP, IPX, Apple-Talk, MPLS, prioritization, or any other of the other features available in Cisco-land. He instead helps readers discover how to learn these things themselves."
Golden Triangle PC Club (Read More)

Cisco Routers for the Desperate, 2nd Edition "condenses all you need to know about Cisco routers, and some switching, down to a mere 125 pages."
Cisco MARS Blog (Read More)

"For me, reading this book was like having one of the guys in my company who lives and breathes Cisco sitting down with me for a day and explaining everything I need to know to handle problems or issues likely to come my way. There may be many additional things I could potentially learn about my Cisco switches, but likely few I'm likely to encounter in my environment."
IT World (Read More)

"The author and the book have a strong focus on getting new users comfortable in the environment, so if you are brand new to managing a Cisco router and need somewhere—anywhere—to get started, Cisco Routers for the Desperate might be just the right starting place."
— (Read More)

"A helpful guide covering the key areas of Cisco Routers. Should be a good read in preparation for the desperate emergencies."
— (Read More)

"This really ought to be the book inside every Cisco Router box for the very slim chance things go goofy and help is needed 'right now.'"
—MacCompanion (Read More)

"This book provides an easy-to-read introduction to some of the more sophisticated aspects of routing."
—I-Programmer (Read More)

"Keeping with the nature of all No Starch Press books, Cisco Routers for the Desperate is light hearted and playful: an easy read, as well as a quick one. The book is really meant to be a reference book, in the hopes you will never need it."
—Utahcon (Read More)