Hardware Loopback Connectors

Hardware loopback connectors are simple devices that redirect outgoing transmissions from a system directly back into it. Hardware loopback connectors are used in conjunction with diagnostic software for diagnosing transmission problems. Loopback connectors are available for a number of ports, including RJ-45, serial, and parallel ports.

Specifically, a hardware loopback connector loops the outgoing data signal wires back into the system on the incoming data signal line. In effect, it tricks the system into thinking that the PC is sending and receiving data on the network, when in fact the data being sent is just being rerouted back in. Note that in some cases, a hardware loopback connector is referred to as an adapter or a plug.

Configuring Remote Connectivity

The capability to remotely access networks has become an important part of the modern IT infrastructure. All organizations, from the smallest business to the largest corporation, are taking advantage of the potential that remote network access provides. Therefore, today's network administrators are as likely to be responsible for managing remote network access as they are for LAN access. Configuring and managing remote access requires knowledge of the protocols and procedures involved in establishing a remote connection.

The following sections explore some of the common considerations in configuring a remote connection, including a discussion of physical connections, protocols (which facilitate the connection), software (which establishes the connection), the dial-up connection method, and security issues.