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Making Everyone The Expert

Become the Expert with Network Critical

There's no need to referee your network and security teams. Network Critical's Network TAPs and Packet Brokers, along with their secret sauce, the Drag-n-Vu™ management system, are here to help by making everyone the expert.

The Network TAP

Test Access Points (TAPs), often referred to as Ethernet TAPs or Network TAPs, are stand-alone hardware devices that create an identical copy of all of traffic flowing between two end-points in a network. With decades of research and development, Network Critical promote this tapping technology to all network managers because it fully configurable, enables complex packet manipulation and achieves total visibility into the network.

Being able to use a fully configurable network TAP is important for network managers to obtain holistic control and flexibility of their network. The copied traffic undergoes complex packet manipulation, as it is output to various network tools; such as security and performance tools. All this is completed while the live traffic continues to pass through the network, without disturbance. This zero-impact of the network is crucial for avoiding downtime which could cost companies thousands, to billions, of dollars. 

Network Critical provide the highest quality network TAPs because it is crucial for achieving a secure base layer of Smart Network Access.




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The Network Packet Broker

Network Critical's Network Packet Brokers have been developed to collect information by facilitating security and monitoring technologies, allowing for network managers to gain insight into exactly what traffic is required for optimized performance. The packet broker is also able to minimize threats, resource waste and costs because they can apply specific rules and filters before they forward the traffic to your various network tools, such as performance management and network security.

The 'Broker' in Network Packet Broker refers to its ability to combine, integrate, separate, manipulate and process inputs from many sources, delivering the data to a wide variety of appliance and tool destinations. Delivering the right data to the right tool will optimize security and performance. Network Critical's SmartNA Network Packet Broker range are hybrid, so in 1RU device, both Network TAP and Packet Broker technology is present which makes the SmartNA packet brokers highly effective in saving costs and rack space.

  • Zero packet loss with total traffic capture

  • Single pane-of-glass GUI, Drag-n-Vu™ rule optimisation engine calculates all filter rule interaction automatically.

  • Load-Balance traffic to multiple monitoring and analysis tools.

  • Intelligent aggregation of traffic from multiple Network TAPs or SPAN ports.

  • Intelligent traffic filtering, ensuring that security and monitoring tools see all the data they need.

  • Application layer visibility allows for efficient packet processing on individual L7 protocols.

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The Bypass TAP

Network Critical's V-Line Bypass TAPs, have been designed to have consistent heartbeats that are sent to an Inline security appliance. These heartbeats indicate the functionality of the security appliance: regular beats means the Bypass TAP is functioning well. If the beats are not returned to the Bypass TAP the TAP automatically bypasses the appliance to allow the packets to be sent through, no matter how high the traffic is (see below). This is vital to users due to it's speed and ability to ensure no impact on the network. It is has a feature that detects the status of the appliance, so when it comes back online, this is detected by the TAP and traffic is once again directed through the appliance.

When an IPS or other Inline Appliance is installed behind the V-Line TAP, the TAP continually checks the status of the appliance and if it is online, will direct traffic through it. It also is very beneficial to the network team because if the appliance goes for maintenance or update, or any reason, the TAP will automatically bypass the appliance and direct traffic straight through to the network, ensuring zero downtime.

online inline bypass tap
offline bypass active tap
SmartNA-X modular tap

Intelligent Hybrid TAPs

Network Critical’s hybrid TAPs provide high quality performance and flexibility needed to manage tools that protect network infrastructure, secure information and keep up with the ever-changing attack environment. 

Active Ethernet TAPs

Bypass TAPs with heartbeat technology provide real-time network security without sacrificing network reliability or availability. Network Critical’s SmartNA-XL™ TAPs with 10G Bypass module provides the high-speed performance needed to connect security tools and protect network traffic in real-time. 

Ethernet taps

Passive Fiber TAPs

Passive Fiber TAP
passive network taps

These passive TAPs provide secure and simple access to the live traffic in your high speed production networks, without introducing latency or a point of failure. Installed into key links in your production network our passive optical LC and MPO TAPs pass all full-duplex traffic, including errors, to your monitoring network for unbeatable visibility.

Network Critical offers several Passive TAP solutions including:


The SmartNA-PortPlus™ provides a scalable range from 48 ports to 194 ports of 1/10/25/40 and 100Gbps visibility, enabling users to interconnect different network protection and monitoring tools quickly and easily. Packaged in a compact single RU chassis the SmartNA-PortPlus™ offers immediate value for today and an efficient path to the inevitable adds and changes for tomorrow.

100G network packet broker

SmartNA-PortPlus HyperCore™

next generation network packet broker

The SmartNA-PortPlus HyperCore™ offers 32 QSFP-DD interfaces, all of which can directly support port speeds up to 400 Gbps access in a non-blocking single RU chassis.  Breakout cables can be utilised to expand port count up to 256 ports of 10/25/40/50G, all from the same 1RU chassis. 


Compare The Products

Compare the entire Network TAP, Hybrid TAP and Packet Broker Range

network critical experts


Together, we can find the perfect solution for your network

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