Introduction to network "TAPs"

What are network TAPs?  

A "TAP" creates a permanent in-line access port to monitor full-duplex network traffic without data-stream interference:-

This example shows how a single port UTP TAP is connected inline with a computer network. The monitoring equipment may then be connected to the network via the TAP as and when required, without disruption. Using two cables as shown allows monitoring of traffic in both directions at the same time (full-duplex).

Why buy when I could make one from four RJ45 jack sockets and some twisted pair cable?

Answer: to avoid the wrath of your network users and company bosses. Impedance mismatches mean that at best homemade TAPs are liable to cause substantial errors and packet loss, to say nothing of downtime whilst getting them to work. If you are fiddling around at home, that's fine. However at work, never place homebrew TAPs inline with a critical production host or network. Don't say you weren't warned! With Gigabit networks, don't even think about it. Just contact us!


                       New Forest Electronics Tel. +44 (0) 1425 650089                 Issue 3.59    13 April 2017