Study Guide

The following are useful resources (mostly links to free websites) for studying at SIIT, especially my courses on Data Communications, Internet and Security. There are also some resources for graduate (and senior) students conducting research.

Studying in ICT

Steve's Resources

SIIT Resources

General Resources

Internet, Communications and Security

The following resources are useful for studying in most of the courses I teach. The focus is on data communications and networking (often I will refer to it as simply networking), Internet technologies, and computer and network security, although other general computer topics are also covered.


Some of the more popular textbooks that cover networking, the Internet and/or security are listed below. Note that most of the textbooks are available from the SIIT Library, and also have online resources (including many of their own links to resources, examples and source code for download, figures and slides, and more). In addition, there are some textbooks available for free online.

Free Textbooks

The textbooks listed above can normally be purchased in a book store or borrowed from the library. Many of them are updated every few years to cover new technologies and offer additional resources and questions. However for some topics the thoery and concepts have not changed for many years. There are other, usually older textbooks that cover these topics equally well as those listed above. And for a few select books the authors/publishers have made the books free to download as a PDF online. Below are a few free textbooks that I can recommend (other sites such as Wikibooks may also have useful books, but I haven't personally read any books to judge their quality).

Many computing and networking companies have technical descriptions of protocols and systems on their website for free. Some good examples are: Microsoft, Cisco Systems, IBM, Intel and other large companies. Unfortunately most don't have an easy to find table of contents for such documents, so searching (either via their site or via a generic search engine) is the best way to find these resources. Below are some that may be useful:


Most of the protocols and algorithms used in computer communications and networking are standards, usually created by international or national standards organisations (although some are created by companies or consortiums). The standards are good as a reference for the detailed information about protocols and algorithms.

Terminology, Abbreviations and Acronyms

There are many acronyms, words and abbreviations used to describe protocols, concepts, algorithms and organisations in computing, and in particular in networking and security. There are various online references that can help you understand what these mean:

Protocols and Algorithms

The standards organisations are the primary source of information on protocols, however there are some websites that provide useful summaries of networking protocols and algorithms:

Programming and Languages

There are many online references for most programming languages and development tools. Here are some useful starters:


Technical and Research Papers

If you need to find research papers (remember, most journals and magazines publish introductory or tutorial papers on topics), then you can access the online databases of major technical publishers via the SIIT Library. Some of the most used organisations/databases that provide full-text (PDF) of papers are:

Reading and Writing Papers

Other peoples guides on reading and writing research papers:

Style Guides and Templates

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