Introduction

Networking and the Internet have become one of the most influential forces in our lives today. They continue to change the way we work, live, play, and learn. In less than ten years, the entire world has become connected, making it easy and inexpensive to communicate around the globe instantly. Few would argue that the Internet has changed every aspect of our lives. It's improved education and made the world's information available to any student anywhere, anytime; it's how we communicate with our relatives; it's how we plan our vacations. We now have the world and its information at our fingertips—creating new opportunities for every business, government, educational institution, and individual.

This book s eeks to give you a fundamental understanding of the different concepts and technologies used in the field of networking. This book is a comprehensive reference that surveys a number of different networking technologies, protocols, and paradigms; legacy technologies are included as well as the most current technologies. It is our hope at Cisco Press that you will find the fourth edition of this book current, relevant, and useful, whether you are a networking engineer or other networking professional or a business decision-maker. This book is also helpful if you simply want to understand more about the Internet and the technologies on which it runs.

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