Test & Measurement


Ethernet tap for IO Ninja

25 March 2020 Test & Measurement

Monitoring network communications of your PC can be accomplished without any specialised hardware – just use the Pcap Sniffer plugin of IO Ninja. The task of tapping into the Ethernet traffic of a non-PC device, however, is significantly more complex.

One popular method is a PC-in-the-middle approach, where a PC is equipped with two Ethernet ports and is placed between the monitored device and the Ethernet switch. This works (after quite a bit of configuring), but the approach is cumbersome. Also, the PC inevitably injects its own network traffic into the stream, thus distorting the communications picture.

Other existing methods include using old-style ‘analog’ Ethernet hubs that copy all traffic to all ports, Ethernet switches equipped with a special monitoring port, and other variations on the hub/switch-in-the-middle theme. All these approaches are far from ideal as they require quite a bit of setup and preparation.

Enter Tibbo’s Ethernet Tap – this FPGA-based board transparently passes the Ethernet traffic between its two Ethernet ports. The Ethernet traffic flowing in both directions is captured and sent via the USB connection to the IO Ninja software for logging and analysis. The Ethernet Tap is compact, USB-powered, requires no configuration and is completely ‘silent,’ meaning it introduces no unwanted Ethernet traffic of its own.


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