The 3 Best Free Computer Networking Books

Where to Download Free Networking Books Online

still life of books with computer mouse
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The web is awash in resources to help people learn the basics of computer networking. Although people who are more book-focused tend to gravitate to Amazon to find free ebooks, several other sites offer a mix of PDFs, course outlines, industry white papers, and related information—all for free.

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free ebook centre
What We Like
  • Easy-to-follow side navigation structure.

  • Includes class notes and lectures.

What We Don't Like
  • Content is significantly hit-or-miss, and is rarely actually an ebook.

  • Some material is very old—too old to be useful for modern audiences.

The Free Ebook Centre website offers a mismash of content ranging from PDF books to course lectures and in-depth website tutorials. The content is well-organized, with links for common networking domains, but pay attention to the quality and the age of the content. Some material is old enough that it no longer reflects current thinking about network administration and security.

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ebook pdf
What We Like
  • Offers obvious date stamps and content snippets.

  • Clean interface.

  • Emphasis on PDF files.

What We Don't Like
  • Searching is clunky.

  • Feels like a clearinghouse rather than a curated collection.

The Ebook PDF site offers PDFs of various books, mostly from academic domains on the web. The Computer Networking directory lists dozens of pages of hits, although searching isn't easy.

Check the contents carefully—some of the stuff that's presented as a book is merely a PDF of something tangential, like a course syllabus in one instance.

Expect to find some good stuff you won't find on Amazon, but you'll probably have to dig for it.

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Free Computer IT Research Library

it research library
What We Like
  • Clean, easy-to-follow structure.

  • PDF thumbnails help sort content visually.

What We Don't Like
  • Requires per-asset registration.

  • Lots of trade/marketing materials.

The material at the IT Resource Library from Free Computer Books, a partnership with, is modern—but as a repository of content, it's a bit of a mixed bag. You'll find cutting-edge white papers mixed with marketing material.

For a good, quick overview of modern technologies or niche topics, it's a good go-to, but you'll have to register for each item you download, because your data goes to the original source of the material.