Recently I was contacted by one of the marketing people over at Packt Publishing and asked if I would like to take a look at their new OpenVPN 2 Cookbook. I guess they seen my post that on OpenVPN-ALS a while back and through this new book might be of interest.
Let me start out by saying that I have been using Linux (mostly Debian) since my freshman year of high school, a friend got me interested in it and ever since I have been using it as a platform for all sorts of tinkering. Along the way I have bumped into OpenVPN a couple times. Most of the time though I don’t really have a huge need for it though because I normally fall back on some sort of hardware security appliance… be it a Cisco PIX or ASA.
Regardless I agreed to take a look and my findings are what this post contains, so lets not waste any more of your time and get to the review.
At first glance the book can easily be classified as one that you will not be reading cover to cover… and after you get to about page 5 the author lays that right out on the table. Some pages of this book will probably never get touched by some readers, as they contain specific “how-to” information for a particular scenario. Overall I will say that if you are looking for a good technical how-to manual for OpenVPN and step-by-step instructions this is your book, however if you are looking for a read that will keep you on the edge of your seat… or something that you just cant put down… you are probably going to want to skip this one.
That being said, its pretty clear that this book is targeted at the person who is responsible for maintaining an open source based security system that could be in place between sites, or between the company and someones home. (Or one of many other situations) The book promises to be a great resource and reference manual for those people.
What I like about the book is the technical knowledge that the author conveys to the reader, while at the same time not talking over your head. The downside to this book is the price… in print it’s about $45 USD, and the print + ebook looks like its around $50USD. I mean it is aimed at a very targeted audience so if you are using OpenVPN you would probably really like having the book around… but at the same time a quick Google search will provide you with similar configurations or something similar. Obviously if you aren’t into looking very hard for your answers then the books index is much easier then Google, but otherwise I see most OpenSource users leveraging the internet before they would buy a $50 book.
In conclusion I would recommend that you head over to the publishers site… check out the sample chapter and make your own decision. If you are looking for ideas on what could all be done with OpenVPN, and want some examples this is probably the book for you. The publishers site is here http://www.packtpub.com and you will find other reviews as well as a sample chapter, and if your interested in purchasing it you can also do that there.Note: As with any product review on my site, this review was an unpaid review. I am not compensated in any way for doing it. In some cases I do receive hardware or software so that I can conduct the review, but the product is returned to the vendor upon completing the review.