I am a long time web developer looking to get into infosec. I was hoping to get guidance on material from a beginner's stance on TCP/IP and hopefully "networks".

I realise the massive generalisation I'm making but being helped in the right direction would be amazing.

I have a script-kiddie level of understanding of nmap and obviously I'd like to go beyond that, eventually tackling the OSCP, CREST and Tiger exams.

Having won the most creative answer for the SANS holiday in December hack after passing my CEH (please... I know) in November which is when I decided to go for it.

Looking at what would be seen as beginner's guides that move onto medium and then advanced, if such a path exists.

2 Answers 2


TCP/IP is a complex topic and there are probably many answers to your question. For a beginner, after reading the respective Wikipedia articles (often an underrated source), I can recommend the CCNA Study Guide, they are not only taking Cisco hardware into account and it's a renowned institution. The CompTIA Network+ Deluxe Study Guide is much more in depth, more like a reference book with around 800 pages.

After this, it would probably a good idea to set up some networks yourself in virtual machines (especially if you want to go for OSCP). The LPIC learning resources can help you a lot here.

You should be selective, tho, unless you want to work as an admin. Many of the functional aspects of networking can be skipped, as well as the more hardware related setup of networks. Most pentesting books assume just a basic knowledge of TCP/IP and you really don't need a huge lot more unless you are really into WiFi penetration.

  • Linking them should be fine, as long as you aren't spamming and/or working for Cisco. Jan 31, 2016 at 13:26
  • CCNA Study Guide is indeed a good one. Jan 31, 2016 at 19:22

I agree with AdHominem that TCP/IP is a complex set of protocols.

Based upon your self-ascribed "experience from curiosity", I think you would do great with a book titled

Guide to TCP/IP from Cengage Learning.

This is the current edition Amazon.com: "Guide to TCP/IP" Fourth Edition

I have the third edition Amazon.com: "Guide to TCP/IP" Third Edition. I think the third edition is perfectly fine; it includes IPv6.

» » »

IPv6 went thru some changes since it was adopted, so everything written about it should be viewed as "true as of the date of writing." In other words, gain your basic knowledge of IPv6 however best suits you, but go to the official IPv6 sources for the latest methods and knowledge.

» » »

The book above is focused on TCP/IP; it goes from a completely basic (beginner) intro, but then gets all the way down to the "expert engineer" level of detail. (and gets a lot of bad reviews from the college students who don't seem to love TCP/IP like I do.)

It's an easy read (I think), and I keep it now as a reference. (I have just passed my CCNA)

I have marked my copy up with tons of notes, and I think that's the kind of information source you are looking for. Something that you can dive in at the top, but go deep, if you wish.


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