CS 456

CS 456 Computer Networks

Watch a video introduction to the course on YouTube.


This course provides an introduction to the fundamentals of network architectures and protocols. Emphasis is placed on protocols used in the Internet.

Intended Audience

CS 456 is a course for CS major students and is normally completed in the fourth year.

Related Courses

Prerequisites: CS 350 or CS 354; Computer Science students only.

Antirequisites: CS 436, ECE 358, 428.


Computer Networking, a Top-Down Approach Featuring the Internet, 6th ed., by J.F. Kurose and K.W. Ross, Addison-Wesley.


2 90-minute lectures per week. Normally available in Fall, Winter and Spring.


Overall Picture of Computer Networking  (6 hours)

Circuit Switching Vs. Packet Switching, Access Networks, Physical Media, Network Delays, Protocol Layering, TCP/IP architecture.

Application layer protocols  (6 hours) 

World Wide Web (HTTP), File Transfer (FTP), Electronic Mail (SMTP), Domain Name System (DNS), Socket Programming.

Transport layer protocols  (6 hours)

Design Issues, Connectionless Transport UDP, Principles of Reliable Data Transfer, Connection-oriented Transport TCP, Flow Control, Congestion Control.

Network layer and routing  (6 hours)

Routing approaches, routing in the Internet, Internet Protocol, multicast routing, routing for mobile hosts, tunnelling, router design.

Data link layer  (6 hours) 

Multiple access protocols and LAN's, address resolution protocol, wireless LAN's.

Multimedia Networking  (5 hours) 

Multimedia Applications; Audio/Video Compression, RTP/RTCP; Principles of QoS guarantees, Scheduling; Policing; IntServ; DiffServ.

Network Management  (3 hours) 

TCP/IP Management, Management Information Base MIB, Simple Network Management Protocol SNMP

Campaign Waterloo

David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science
University of Waterloo
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 3G1

Tel: 519-888-4567 x33293
Fax: 519-885-1208

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