Best Computer Networking Books for MSPs [2023 Updated]

6 min

As an MSP or service provider of any kind, you need a solid understanding of computer networking. Although a lot of things can be Googled in seconds, nothing replaces a book with well-structured content and proven and practical examples. This is why we’ve come up with a list of the best computer networking books for MSPs. 

This year, National Book Lover’s Day occurs on the 6th of September. Let’s celebrate it with a list of powerful books that every Managed Service Provider (MSP) must know.

These books are the guiding stars for IT enthusiasts and professionals, aspiring network engineers, and professionals who navigate the complex web of data transmission and system management.

13 of the best computer networking books for MSPs and service providers

  1. Computer Networks
  2. Network Programmability and Automation
  3. Hacking: The Art of Exploitation
  4. Network Warrior 
  5. Network Security Assessment
  6. The Illustrated Network: How TCP/IP Works in a Modern Network
  7. Computer Networking: A Top-Down Approach 
  8. CompTIA Network+ Certification All-in-One Exam Guide
  9. High-Performance Browser Networking
  10. Networking for Systems Administrators
  11. The E Myth
  12. Package, Price, Profit: The Essential Guide to Packaging and Pricing Your MSP Plans
  13. Practical Cloud Security: A Guide for Secure Design and Deployment

#1 Computer Networks

Author: Andrew S. Tanenbaum 

Edition: 6th

First on the list of our best computer networking books for MSPs is Computer Network. This book covers various topics, including Bluetooth, fixed coverage of ADSL, 3G cellular as well as peer-to-peer networking. In addition, it covers the physical layer, medium access control, and the data link layer. As well as providing details on the basics, it does dive into advanced topics as well, ensuring it provides a great option for IT pros ready to expand their knowledge. 
Get it here.

#2 Network Programmability and Automation: Skills for the Next-Generation Network Engineer

Author: Jason Edelman

Edition: 1st

Network Programmability and Automation

Guess what? Manual work is no longer required! That is to say, there are a lot of systems to help, and network automation is becoming essential for network engineers, sysadmins, and for every IT pro. This book tells us more about how to use new tools like Python, JSON, XML, and Linux that use code to automate complicated network systems. 

Read more here.

#3 Hacking: The Art of Exploitation

Author: Jon Erikson

Edition: 2nd

Hacking the art of exploitation 

Here is a book about computer security and network security. To put it differently, this is a comprehensive introduction to the techniques of exploitation and creative problem-solving methods commonly referred to as “hacking.” 

This second edition of this book will give you a complete picture of network communication, programming, machine architecture, and existing hacking techniques. Learn about data and networking transport, virtualized networks and services, network topology, and reacting to topology changes. 

Find out more here.

#4 Network Warrior

Author: Gary A. Donahue

Edition: 2nd edition

This guide is written by a networking veteran with 20 years of experience and teaches MSP business owners how to operate and handle real Cisco networks. It provides step-by-step learning solutions covering an assortment of topics such as firewalls, routers, switches, as well as various other forms of network technology. 

Find out more here.

#5 Network Security Assessment: Know Your Network

Author: Chris McNab

Edition: 1st

Network security assessment

This is a practical book about network complexity. In particular, In this book, Chris McNab, a security expert and hacker, shares testing tactics that can be adopted to evaluate the security of networks. 

It’s quite technical but it gives you some very important tricks and tips on how to identify and assess risks in Internet-based networks. In addition, you can adopt this book using its testing model to deploy and manage networks that are immune from attack.

Find out more here.
Find out more network security books.

#6 The illustrated Network: How TCP/IP Works in a Modern Network

Author: Walter Goralski 

Edition: 2nd

the illustrated network

This second edition contains more than 300 diagrams and screenshots, as well as topology diagrams to explain how TCP/IP works. In fact, the author uses a working network configuration that includes workstations, servers, and routers. This book gives insights into the most up-to-date network equipment, operating systems, and router vendors. 
Find out more here.

#7 Computer Networking: A Top-Down Approach

Author: James Kurose, Keith Ross

Edition: 8th edition

The author of this novel teaches at the University of Massachusetts, and he specializes in areas such as network protocols, architecture as well as multimedia communication. To explain more, this is a widely recommended text for data communication courses and is suitable for those with absolutely no background in this area. The publisher’s website also provides useful animations to help those diving into this book for the first time, which enhances the learning experience. This makes it ideal for IT professionals. 
Find out more here.

#8 CompTIA Network+ Certification All-in-One Exam Guide

Author: Mike Meyers, Scott Jernigan

Edition: 8th

The latest version of CompTIA’s Network+ exam guide is a comprehensive resource for individuals preparing for the CompTIA Network+ certification exam. Authored by experts, this is one of the best books to learn about computer networks. 

It provides easily understandable information and real-world examples on topics ranging from network architecture, virtualization, cloud computing, and network monitoring to aid readers in grasping the fundamentals of networking infrastructure. 

The book also provides readers with several practice questions to crack CompTIA’s exams. However, that’s not all. The eighth edition includes updated content reflecting the latest industry trends and exam objectives. It offers clear explanations, diagrams, practice questions, and hands-on examples to aid understanding. This guide is designed to equip readers with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in the Network+ certification exam and excel in real-world networking environments.
Find more here.

#9 High-Performance Browser Networking

Author: Ilya Grigorik

Edition: 1st

High-Performance Browser Networking is a comprehensive guide to optimizing web performance. Grigorik explores the intricate world of web protocols, including HTTP/1.1, HTTP/2, and QUIC, while delving into various networking concepts and techniques.

Important to realize that the book offers valuable insights into reducing latency, enhancing security, and optimizing content delivery for web applications. Grigorik discusses the importance of front-end optimization, resource loading, and the role of browsers in rendering web content efficiently.

To sum up, this book equips developers, network administrators, and web performance enthusiasts with the essential knowledge to create faster, more responsive, and reliable web experiences in the ever-evolving landscape of online technology.

Find more here.

#10 Networking for System Administrators (IT Mastery)

Author: Michael W Lucas

Edition: 2nd

This book is a concise yet comprehensive guide that empowers system administrators with the essential networking knowledge needed to manage and troubleshoot modern IT infrastructures effectively. To clarify, Lucas covers key networking concepts, protocols, and tools, providing hands-on guidance for configuring, securing, and maintaining networks. This book addresses real-world challenges faced by sysadmins, including DNS, DHCP, IPv6, VPNs, and network monitoring. With practical examples and clear explanations, it equips readers with the skills to build and maintain robust, secure, and efficient network environments, making it an invaluable resource for IT professionals in their day-to-day operations.

Find more here.

#11 The E Myth

Author: Michael E. Gerber

Edition: 1st

“The E-Myth Revisited” by Michael E. Gerber is a business classic that explores the entrepreneurial myth. Gerber argues that many small business owners fail because they possess technical expertise but lack essential entrepreneurial skills. 

In his book, he introduces the concept of the “E-Myth,” which stands for the entrepreneurial myth and offers a comprehensive framework for building a successful business. In other words, Gerber emphasizes the importance of systematizing and working on your business rather than just in it. Through practical insights and real-world examples, he guides readers on how to create processes, delegate tasks, and develop a franchise-like approach to ensure long-term success and fulfilment in their ventures.

Find more here.

#12 Package, Price, Profit: The Essential Guide to Packaging and Pricing Your MSP Plans

Author: Nigel Moore, Richard Tubb

Edition: 1st

This is a must-read for MSPs looking to optimize their business strategies. The book delves into the critical aspects of packaging and pricing MSP services effectively. 

Moore and Tubb provide practical insights on how to create service packages that resonate with clients, establish value-based pricing models, and maximize profitability. Through real-world examples and actionable advice, they empower MSPs to align their offerings with client needs, streamline operations, and foster long-term client relationships. In summary, this comprehensive guide equips MSPs with the tools to thrive in the competitive IT services industry.

Find more here.

You might also be interested in more recommended books for MSPs.

#13 Practical Cloud Security: A Guide for Secure Design and Deployment 

Author: Chris Dotson

Edition: 1st

Do you look for an invaluable resource to navigate the complex landscape of cloud computing? Dotson provides a concise yet comprehensive guide to understanding and implementing robust security measures in cloud environments. 

You’ll find practical insights on secure design principles, threat mitigation, and compliance considerations. With real-world examples and actionable strategies, the book equips cloud practitioners, architects, and IT professionals with the knowledge and tools needed to safeguard data and applications in the cloud, ensuring a solid foundation for secure and resilient cloud deployments.

Find more here.

Read more on the best cloud security books in 2023.


To sum up, running an MSP business will always require a huge amount of the right kind of knowledge. However, arming yourself with the best books on computer networking is a great way to stay ahead and keep your knowledge up to date. Firstly, this will equip you with the right knowledge of computer networking. Secondly, it’ll make sure you have a relaxing way to keep your knowledge up to date. 

Any other books we should add to the list of our Best Computer Networking Books for MSPs? Drop us a line on Facebook.

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