A network TAP (Test Access Point) is a simple device that connects directly to the cabling infrastructure to split or copy packets for use in analysis, security or general network management. Although the term “Tap” predates the networking industry by decades, the IT industry has generally adopted the term to mean Test Access Point.
A network packet broker (NPB) is a technology that implements a range of monitoring tools to access and analyze traffic (also known as “network packets”) across a network. Simply put, NPBs function as ‘brokers’ (or managers) of network traffic. The packet broker collects traffic from multiple network links, filtering and distributing each individual packet to the correct network monitoring tool. By doing so, network packet brokers ensure improved effectiveness from network monitoring and security tools, by delivering improved data from across the network.