Building a network? Managing one? Don't have a clue what you're doing? Have a few clues, but desperately need more? Check out Absolute Beginner's Guide to Networking, Third Edition, by Joe Habraken.
Habraken based this book on "my network administration experiences...the things I had learned on the job, and the things I wish I had known (things that certainly would have saved me some overtime and grief)." He covers a lot of ground -- deciding what kind of network you need, building your network infrastructure, working with network operating systems, sharing resources, working with applications on the network, and more.
Once your basic LAN's in place, Habraken walks through expanding it with WAN technology (including establishing Internet connections and hosting web sites); then protecting your network's data, troubleshooting your network, and the basics of network security.
The biggest knock on the previous edition of this book was that it had gradually become out-of-date. Habraken's dealt with that, adding plenty of new material (including, for example, a full chapter on networking PDAs), and judiciously pruning the old stuff. The result: all the "clues" a beginner (or relative beginner) could ever ask for. (Bill Camarda)
Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer with nearly 20 years' experience in helping technology companies deploy and market advanced software, computing, and networking products and services. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2000 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks For Dummies®, Second Edition.