Network Know-How

Network Know-How

An Essential Guide for the Accidental Admin
by John Ross
February 2009, 288 pp.

Are the machines in your office living isolated lives? Do you have a few computers at home that you want to connect to each other and the Internet? The best way to share files on a group of computers is to create a network. But how do you do that?

Network Know-How is your guide to connecting your machines, filled with practical advice that will show you how to get things done. You'll learn the nitty-gritty of network setup, design, and maintenance, from running cables and placing wireless access points to configuring file sharing and printing. This practical and comprehensive guide will teach you how to implement security, create intranets, and more. You'll learn how to:

  • Connect Windows, Macintosh, and Linux computers
  • Implement network addressing
  • Configure your network adapters, hubs, switches, and router
  • Share music, photos, and documents
  • Automate household appliances and stream digital audio and video to your home entertainment center
  • Troubleshoot network slowdowns and failures

No matter which operating system you use, and even if you’ve never installed or run a network before, you’ll get what you need to know in Network Know-How.

Author Bio 

John Ross has worked as a consultant on wired and wireless networking for several manufacturers, including Motorola and AT&T. He is the author of more than two dozen books, including Internet Power Tools (Random House), Connecting with Windows (Sybex), Wiring Home Networks (Sunset Books), and The Book of Wireless (No Starch Press).

Table of contents 


Chapter 1: How a Network Will Improve Your Life
Chapter 2: Types of Network Connections
Chapter 3: Hubs, Switches, and Routers
Chapter 4: How Computer Networks are Organized
Chapter 5: Designing Your Network
Chapter 6: Installing the Network Control Center and Ethernet Cables
Chapter 7: Ethernet Network Interfaces
Chapter 8: Wi-Fi Networks
Chapter 9: File Servers
Chapter 10: Connecting Your Network to the Internet
Chapter 11: Connecting Your Computer to a Network
Chapter 12: Sharing Files Through Your Network
Chapter 13: Network Security
Chapter 14: Using Printers and Other Devices on Your Network
Chapter 15: Other Things You Can Connect to Your Network
Chapter 16: Other Network Applications
Chapter 17: Troubleshooting


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


Network Know-How "provides just enough TCP/IP, just enough basic networking equipment (hubs, routers and switches), just enough about wires and wireless connections, just enough security and just enough about software to give your neighbor, aunt or boss the vocabulary and know-how to manage their own small network."
—IT World (Read More)

Network Know-How "is very well written and delivers lots of practical information...Advanced readers would do well to pick up copies for their less technical friends or family members. Casual readers who already have a computer network will find the screenshots an excellent reference; they will also find plenty of interesting possibilities for their home network."
—Toolbox for IT (Read More)

"Ross's book does provide an excellent introduction to how to set up and maintain a simple home computer network. He has done the very hard work of culling out the most essential aspects of the voluminous data on network administration found in so many of the other more technical works and organized this into a superb computer network book that is a valuable resource for anyone interested in a home computer network."
—Golden Triangle PC Club (Read More)

"The book starts out with some basic theory, which is surprisingly helpful when starting your home network. (When you can understand how your machines can work together, it makes for a much simpler application.) It continues with detailed directions on how to set up and configure all of your devices (shared printers, for example). It concludes with a complete troubleshooting guide (which alone is worth the price of the book.)"
—Wisebread (Read More)

Network Know-How is "very, very well done. I have to give it a top rating."
— (Read More)

Network Know-How "is just awesome for parents whose family members have two or more computers, because it will show you step by step how to connect them together and to the internet."
—The Opinionated Parent (Read More)

"Network Know-How is a great book....I highly recommend [it]"
—Associated Content (Read More)

"Network Know-How is written in such a clear and organized manner that almost anybody will be able to use it to create their own home network. Just think of how impressed your teens will be."
— (Read More)

"One of the highlights of this book is the practical ideas given for designing and implementing the network control center using the appropriate network equipment and power supplies."
— (Read More)

"Network Know-How is a valuable resource for those users who have acquired a few computers and want to network them, or for anyone who can't afford a professional service provider. It is comprehensive, provides sufficient technical detail for the intended audience, and is well presented: clear, jargon-free, language, and makes good use of diagrams and images."
—Linux Users of Victoria (Read More)

"It feels like there is a lot of experience behind this book too; sometimes you read a book and you get the feeling the author just learned what they're writing about quite recently; you don't get that feeling with this book."
— (Read More)

"This book is definitely filled with practical advice in plain English. You'll be able to enjoy technology and impress your friends after reading Network Know-How."
—Lisa Reviews (Read More)

"For patrons who'd like to learn the difference between a switch and a router and a hub (and how to figure out which one you need), this guide fills in the information gaps with a lively but clear style—and some humor thrown in for good measure."
—The Tech Static (Read More)

"John Ross provides a wealth of technical information and passes the 'say that in plain English' test with flying colors."
—Greater Cleveland PC Users Group

"My husband is not a book reader, so I was surprised that he read [Network Know-How]...over and over. We want to network our home computers, and he said this book was such a helpful guide."
—Sassyfrazz (Read More)

"Ross provides readers with enough information to set up networks in the home or in a small business without overwhelming them with unnecessarily advanced details."
—Linux Pro Magazine, August 2009, Issue 105