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Wrap Plug

Definition - What does Wrap Plug mean?

A wrap plug is a special connector that is designed to perform a diagnostic test called a loopback test. It is inserted into a port on a communication device and crosses over to the transmission line from the receiving line so that the outgoing signals can be looped back to the computer for testing.

The wrap plug can determine whether a device is in working order or has properly functioning nodes in the network. It can also be manufactured for specific tests and systems, or used as an attenuator to stimulate the path loss in an actual communication circuit.

A wrap plug causes the output signals to be returned as input signals so that a complete communication circuit is roused. In order to obtain accurate test results and avoid damage to the equipment during testing, the manufacturer's guidelines must be thoroughly followed.

Techopedia explains Wrap Plug

A wrap plug is a special connector that routes digital data streams or electronic signals from their origin back to the source without deliberate changes or processing. It is largely designed and intended for testing transmission infrastructure called a loopback test.

The loopback test can consist of four different types:

  • Remote Analog Loopback: Tests the line to the remote modem
  • Remote Digital Loopback: Tests operating conditions of the line and remote modem
  • Local Analog Loopback: Tests the modem's digital and analog circuits
  • Local Digital Loopback: Tests operations of the data terminating equipment (DTE), including whether data has left the computer port

A wrap plug interface has several uses. This may include network client software that communicates with server software on the same computer that tests services without network security threats. It can also be used to ping the loopback interface and test the IP stack.

A disadvantage for loopback addresses is the susceptibility to Internet pranks where the prankster can direct an inexperienced user to connect or attack their own loopback interface. This is because a lot of users are not aware that 127.42.69.93 stands for their own computer as well as 127.0.0.1. In addition, packets that are sent on an actual IP network using a loopback interface and source address can create several issues if the network software is older or has any bugs. These packets are called martian packets.

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