COM ports have been introduced a long time ago and have been an integral part of computers. These days however they become almost obsolete as more and more machines use USB ports or no ports at all. This doesn't eliminate the need for serial connections though, especially if we are talking about industrial equipment, lab devices, etc. Developers creating software to work with industrial devices need to test and debug applications before releasing them. That's where virtual serial port emulation comes into spotlight. If you are looking for a software to create a virtual COM port on Windows 10 or a virtual COM port on Windows 7 read about the virtual serial port emulator software that we consider to be the top solutions currently offered:
1. Virtual Serial Port Driver developed by Eltima Software allows users to create virtual serial ports that can be connected in pairs via virtual null modem (com0com) cable. Applications communicating with created virtual ports treat those ports the same way they would communicate with real ports. This software solution works on 32- and 64-bit Windows OS and supports operating systems up to the latest Windows 10. Virtual Serial Port Driver is officially signed by Microsoft.
Virtual COM Port Emulator
Virtual Serial Port Driver is an advanced COM port and null modem cable emulator. With Windows kernel technology Virtual COM Port allows you to create an unlimited number or COM port pairs, fully emulating serial port connections.
Using Virtual Serial Port Driver, you can create as many pairs of virtual COM ports as you want. The pairs are linked by a virtual null modem cable. A nice feature of the software is the ability to delete all of your created pairs with a single click.
When creating virtual serial ports with this application you have the ability to name them in any way that you like. You can even use the same names as the system’s physical COM interfaces. A simple search in Device Manager’s “Ports” group will display all of your virtual ports.
The virtual serial port emulator enables the virtual COM ports to be re-created when your system is restarted Your configured virtual serial ports are re-established before user login. You can also delete a virtual pair or modify their settings without closing the ports down.
All standard hardware signal lines are supported by Virtual Serial Port Driver. This include DTR/DSR/CTS/RTS/DCD/RI, etc. as well as software flow control (Xon/Xoff).
Virtual Serial Port Driver also can serve as a null modem emulator. Multiple null modem schemes are available with the tool, and they can be saved as templates for later use. The application lets you emulate a virtual serial line connection and its break.
With Dynamic Link Library supplied with VSPD (an OEM License) you can control virtual serial ports directly from your own app. Emulating the ports also gives you an advantage of a faster serial communication, than with a real null-modem cable, solely depending on your processor speed (average is about 5.5 Mbytes/sec)
You will not be surprised by any warning messages when performing serial port emulation on Windows 10, Windows Server 16, Windows XP or other Windows variations. This is due to the fact that the drivers are digitally signed by Microsoft and have all passed the Microsoft Windows Hardware Quality Labs (WHQL) tests.
Virtual Serial Port Driver is pretty flexible letting you create ports for the current user session only; allowing RDP users to create port with the same name (e.g. COM1) in each user session; letting you delete ports even if they were opened by other apps.
VSPD is hyper-threading and VMware friendly.
Virtual Serial Port Driver PRO version
VSPD Pro offers these features that enhance the utility of your serial applications and devices.
Splitting and Joining Serial Ports - VSPD PRO enables you to split a physical serial port into multiple virtual copies that fully emulate the original interface. This allows you to share a single physical COM port and its attached devices with several applications simultaneously. You can also combine the transmissions from several physical serial ports into a single virtual port allowing the redirection of data from multiple devices to a single application.
Creating Serial Port Bundles By creating bundles of physical and virtual serial ports, serial communication between an unlimited number of COM interfaces is made possible
Automatic Port Switching - Combine several physical ports into one virtual interface and create a software switcher to offer your application an open serial port on demand.
Merging COM Ports - Using this feature of Virtual COM Port Driver PRO you can enable communication between multiple devices and applications simultaneously.
2. Null-modem emulator (com0com) is an open source kernel-mode virtual serial port emulator for Windows, distributed under GPL license. One can create an unlimited number of virtual serial port pairs and connect one serial application to another with any created pair. This app can provide serial interface for device emulators and serial port redirectors.
3. Free Virtual Serial Ports by HDD Software is a Windows user-mode software that offers creation of virtual COM ports and emulation of physical serial ports. This app operates in user-mode exclusively and acts as a hardware COM port with full functionality, baud-rate emulation, configuration of data bits, parity, stop bits, XON/XOFF flow control, etc.
This serial port emulation software works on Windows desktop and server versions up to Windows 8/8.1 32- and 64-bit.
4. Virtual Serial Ports Emulator developed by Eterlogic is the next VSPE solution on our list. It is developed for software developers to create/debug/test applications that use serial ports. Virtualization of ports offers great possibilities: same device can be opened by different apps, physical serial port data can be shared among several applications, a serial port can be shared to local network (via TCP), one can create virtual serial port pairs, etc. This program supports Windows 2000, XP, Vista (32/64), Windows 7. Licenses for 32-bit platforms are offered for free, while 64-bit solution is paid.
5. Virtual Serial Port Kit is developed by FabulaTech and offers virtual serial ports creation with the possibility to connect them via virtual null-modem cables. All information written to one virtual port is immediately available on the other one of the pair. Virtual serial ports function the exact same way as hardware serial ports. This app also runs as system service meaning all virtual ports are available prior to user logon.
Prices and more details are available on developers' websites. Some solutions are free, but will require you to expose your source code when developing an app with them, also not offering support for the latest Windows OS. Some solutions require a payment but in return you receive an up-to-date software with regular updates and dedicated support service. Hopefully this brief overview will help you get the best virtual COM port solution for your project.
COM Port Data Emulator
This software tool allows the user to emulate the data stream generated by a serial interface or device. You can use the application to create data packets and send them to network-connected serial ports. The data packets can be randomly generated or read from a file to enable complete control of their contents.
The program offers flexible configuration options and can serve as a server or client on a TCP/IP network. Full duplex mode and flow control are supported on COM and RS232 ports. Log files of sent data can be saved for future analysis and data is visually displayed as it is sent and received. Developers and network professionals can benefit from the features of this serial communication application.