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University of Washington

Computer Networks

University of Washington via Coursera

This course may be unavailable.


Computer networks from ISPs to WiFi and cellular networks are a key part of the information economy. These networks are the foundation for the Web, and they enable companies such as Google, Facebook and Amazon. This course introduces the fundamental problems of computer networking, from sending bits over wires to running distributed applications. For each problem, we explore the design strategies that have proven valuable in practice. Topics include error detection and correction, multiple-access, bandwidth allocation, routing, internetworking, reliability, quality of service, naming, content delivery, and security. As we cover these topics, you will learn how the internals of the Internet work to support the Web and other networked applications. You will develop a detailed understanding of widely-used networking technologies such as TCP/IP, HTTP, 802.11, Ethernet, and DNS.


  • Introduction, Protocols and Layering
  • Physical and Link layers
  • Retransmissions, Multiple access, Switching
  • Network layer, Internetworking
  • Intra- and Inter-domain Routing
  • Transport layer, Reliability
  • Congestion Control
  • DNS, Web/HTTP, Content Distribution
  • Quality of Service and Real-time Apps
  • Network Security

Taught by

David Wetherall, Arvind Krishnamurthy and John Zahorjan


4.9 rating, based on 15 Class Central reviews

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  • Life is Study
    I believe the first running of the class was in late 2012, so the content is still quite current. The course lasts 12 weeks and walks you through a wide range of major topics related computer networks work from the physical layer of sending signals…
  • Kartik Kukreja
    This is supposed to be an introductory course to computer networks and doesn’t expect much on part of the students. Still, it covers the subject in great depth, from internet history to reference models, from framing techniques to multiple access schemes, routing protocols, congestion control, DNS, CDNs, Quality of Service and Network Security. I think it is a fun and engaging course.
  • Hi. Computer Networks is an excellent course that helps anyone, even without any prior exposure to Computer science, gain knowledge on how messages are transmitted along links, what are the diverse problems encountered in the process and what are the mechanisms in place to address these issues and keep up the network performance. Dr David Wetherall, with his great teaching skill, presents complex concepts in a very lucid style. I have repeated this course another two times after completing it, in the role of a Community TA. Since the course is rich in content, you gain a lot out of repeating it. Each time the course was repeated, the quizzes and exams have been improved and made challenging. The course demands serious involvement.
  • Anonymous
    Web Demystified: A great series of videos explaining web fundamentals, aimed at complete beginners to web development. Created by Jérémie Patonnier.
    The web and web standards: This article provides some useful background on the Web — how it came about, what web standard technologies are, how they work together, why "web developer" is a great career to choose, and what kinds of best practices you'll learn about through the course.
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