Tucked away in this manual is the fact that this little switch will allow you to setup one of its' ports to monitor traffic flowing through the switch. I cant figure out why they left this out of the 'highlights' for the product. However, do be prepared to 'decipher' the vague manual decriptions and working with the configuration of the switch to get it working the way you need to; this isnt one of the best written manuals I've seen, and setting up the monitoring port does take some trial and error as the 'config' menu and responses on the switch are not very clear.
I just scooped up 6 of these things to replace hubs around my network perimeter.
Check it out and see if it may fit your needs and by all means, only buy 1 and test it out in your environment before buying more.
It worked for me (I needed something and couldnt afford the more expensive "ethernet taps" that I had considered) and the price couldnt be beat.
Thank you so much for this information. 4 ports should be enough for home networks, but companies would require a lot of these. Do you know if there are any 16 or 24 port inexpensive switches available?
Sorry, I havent found any inexpensive switches with more ports. I use it as a way to monitor bandwidth usage to/from the Internet at various points and to hang off monitors like NetProbe and SNORT; places where one wouldnt normally add any other hosts, so 4 ports was plenty for me; e.g 1 port for my isp connection, one port for my firewall connection and one port for a monitoring station. I am sure that 'real monitoring fanatics' will claim that we really should be using true ethernet taps, but when you work for a small company with very little budget for this sort of thing, one does the best that one can to get some kind of monitoring in place.
Allied Telesyn's AT-FS7016 and AT-FS7024 claim multi-port tx, rx or tx/rx mirroring, along with mirror filtering by source or dest MAC address and a "mirror divider" sampling feature to copy every 2nd-1023rd packet. Have not tried myself but have seen other A-T products work well.
USA street price around $150 for 16-port and $200 for 24.