My intention is to analyze all network traffic which is coming to and originating from a network connected device I have. From the configurations of the device I am able to proxy all the HTTP traffic originating from the device but I believe the device communicates over other protocols too.

The device and my machine both are on a switched network and I do not want to perform ARP cache poisoning to route all the packets through my machine. I am looking for a simpler solution where I would be able to replace the printer with a hub and then connect the printer to one of the ports on the hub. I want to connect my laptop also on one if the ports of this hub I introduced to the network. Technically, the hub would be flooding all the packets to all the ports and I should be able to sniff it from my laptop on promiscuous mode using wireshark.

A problem I identified to this approach was when I started searching for a 'hub'. The search itself gives results for 'switches' which are layer two devices. I am confused regarding the popular usage of the words switches and hubs. What should I buy for this purpose? Should it be a hub or a switch(Technically only a hub can be used for the purpose, but I want to know if the devices listed on websites are actually hubs) ?

  • Look for mirroring for switches. Cisco calls it SPAN, RSPAN, and ERSPAN. Other vendors may have something similar.
    – Ron Maupin
    Mar 24, 2019 at 1:37
  • While "hub" in networking is commonly used to indicate a repeater hub, the word itself just specifies a multi-port network concentrator that could also be a switch ("switching hub") which really is a multi-port MAC bridge.
    – Zac67
    Mar 24, 2019 at 8:55

1 Answer 1


Welcome to Network Engineering! While in theory, a hub would do what you want, they are, as you've discovered, an obsolete technology. You'd be hard pressed to find one for sale anymore.

  • That explains it. Any possible alternatives?
    – hax
    Mar 24, 2019 at 1:24
  • Nothing simple. Enterprise-class switches allow you to mirror traffic from one port to another, but they are not cheap.
    – Ron Trunk
    Mar 24, 2019 at 1:31
  • Depends on where you get them. There are several "pro-sumer" switches that can mirror as well. (anything with a management interface would be a good starting point.)
    – Ricky
    Mar 24, 2019 at 1:48
  • time to hit up the used market on ebay. Mar 24, 2019 at 4:44
  • @hax Get a USB ethernet adapter. Plug it into your computer. Plug the printer into this adapter. Set up your computer to act as a switch. Your computer will see all the traffic going through itself.
    – user253751
    Mar 24, 2019 at 22:08

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