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How to access a remote serial port

Olga Weis Olga Weis Sep 18, 2020

It’s no secret that specialized serial port redirector apps and devices may significantly simplify the process of COM port device development and debugging. What’s more, with the help of dedicated software and hardware solutions, ordinary users may remotely access serial port peripherals when they have no possibility to connect the devices to a computer directly.

In this article, we’ll tell you about what solutions allow accessing a remote COM device in the most efficient and secure way.

How to access serial ports over network using dedicated software

COM Port Redirector software is designed to enable serial port remote access over the TCP/IP or UDP/IP network.
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Serial Port Redirector is a professional software application that works with RS-232, RS-422, and RS-485 ports. It provides access to serial devices over Ethernet and makes remote COM port peripherals available for use when you cannot attach them physically to your PC.

Step-by-step instructions on how to access a remote COM port

In order to access remote COM port over the network and use your device connected to this port, you should take several simple steps:

Share your serial device on the ‘server’ PC:

  1. First of all, plug the serial device, that you want to share, into your PC;

  2. Then, download Serial to Ethernet Connector and install it on this computer;

  3. Launch the program and Select Connection → New server connection from the main menu; Click Connect to the remote serial port
  4. Give a name to your connection;

  5. Specify the COM port to which your device is connected directly;

  6. Specify the TCP port that will be listening for the client connection;

  7. Select the data transmission protocol for your connection;

  8. Finally, click Create.
Create a connection with a remote serial port

Once done, the COM port and the device attached to it will be shared over the network and can be accessed from the client PC.

For more information on creating a Server connection with Serial to Ethernet Connector, click here.

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Connect to the shared serial device from the client computer:

  1. Install Serial to Ethernet Connector on the client PC from which you are going to access the COM device over the network;

  2. Launch the app and select Connection → New client connection from the main menu; New client connection with a shared serial device
  3. Give a name to your client connection;

  4. Select which of the local COM ports will be used for this connection;

    Note: You can check the box Create as virtual port, and the app will create and use a virtual serial port when connecting the remote shared device to your client PC.

    If you selected the virtual COM port option, you should also enable Strict baudrate emulation. It can be found in the Serial port settings;

    Check Strict baudrate emulation in the Serial port settings

    This will limit the baud rate of the virtual port to the value it is actually opened with and will usually prevent potential data loss.

  5. Select which data transmission protocol you will use for the connection.

  6. Enter the hostname or IP address of the server computer you are connecting to and the TCP port you specified when creating your Server connection.

  7. Click Create.

That’s it! Now the device that you have shared on the server machine will be connected to the client computer like it was a locally-attached peripheral.

It is also worth mentioning that the software offers a bunch of additional settings and options for remote serial port access. The app lets you configure Serial port settings, Connection settings, Proxy settings, Security settings, and Signal line settings. To learn more, click here.

Common usage scenarios with remote serial port access software

Now let’s see when the ability to access serial ports over the network will be the most useful.

Share your serial device on the ‘server’ PC:

  1. It often happens that the same COM-enabled device needs to be shared between several computers. COM Port Redirector can easily redirect virtually any serial port peripheral to multiple computers over LAN.

    This means you can attach your serial device to one PC and use the machine as a device server while multiple remote computers will connect to the device over the network and use its functionality remotely.
    Provide shared access to a local serial device
  2. Also, you may need to control and operate your serial device from a serial application installed on a remote PC.

    To do this, you simply create a virtual COM interface on the remote computer by using Serial to Ethernet Software and then connect your application to this port. Once done, you can use the app to establish a connection between your device’s real COM port and the virtual port of the remote PC over the TCP/IP channel.
    Control remote serial device
  3. Another common scenario is to share COM ports with virtual machines.

    As you know, connecting to a local peripheral from your guest OS may be quite challenging in some situations. But if you have Serial to Ethernet Software this task becomes much simpler. The app can easily share your real serial port on the host machine so that you can connect to it from your guest operating system with just a couple of clicks.
Reach a serial device from virtual machine

Hardware solution to access remote COM devices over the network

In case a physical connection between a serial device and a computer is not possible, you can use one of the hardware solutions provided by NetBurner. This company offers a wide range of compact Serial-to-Ethernet devices (adapters) that can efficiently and securely share your serial peripherals over the network.

Serial port redirector hardware come in handy for sharing serial equipment over local area networks or Ethernet. Their setup is not complicated. The client (remote) PC should run the software that is provided together with the hardware adapter. This software creates a virtual bridge with the NetBurner COM port redirector.

COM port connection to a NetBurner Serial port redirector

Specialized hardware will be especially helpful to those who cannot access serial ports directly. With the help of the hardware adapters, computers can exchange data with multiple remote serial devices at a time. The hardware tools make it possible to connect to serial ports embedded in networking equipment such as routers, switches, servers, etc.

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