A USB converter is a hardware or software protocol converter that is employed when converting USB data signals to and from other communication protocols is required. One of the most common types of USB converters is a USB to serial converter used to convert USB to serial data or serial to USB data. USB to serial converters that address the RS232 protocol are used in industrial, commercial, and consumer applications. There are also USB to serial converters that support the RS485/RS422 protocols that are primarily used in industrial implementations. Converting USB signals to the TTL-level UART protocol is accomplished by another class of USB to serial converter and are often used by students and hobbyists because they can be directly interfaced to a micro-controller.
The most common usage of a USB to serial converter is to allow computers with USB ports to communicate with serial devices that contain D-Sub (primarily DB9 or DB25) connectors or screw terminals. Secure data transmission is not usually an issue in this scenario.
A USB to serial port adapter can be either isolated or non-isolated. Isolated USB to serial converters prevent static electricity or other power surges to enter data lines by the use of optocouplers and/or surge suppressors. This eliminates potential damage to the adapter or the connected serial device. Conversely, a non-isolated USB to serial converter offers no protection against voltage surges or static electricity. That tends to make non-isolated USB to serial adapters useful only for communication over short distances and non-critical applications. There continues to be a need for USB to serial converters. This is due to the fact that though COM ports are not standard equipment on most modern computers, serial devices are still in use. In fact, there are devices manufactured today that use the RS232, RS485 or RS422 protocol to communicate.
So let's take a look at the list of the top USB to serial converters.
Requiring no hardware or long cables, USB to Serial Converter is a dedicated software solution that allows reliable communication between USB devices and serial-based applications. This USB to serial converter software captures the data transmitted by USB devices and turns it into serial signals. This USB to serial port converter enables dependable connections to be created between your computer’s USB ports and COM-enabled software. In essence, it uses a physical USB port and creates virtual serial ports that can access it.
Using this comprehensive USB to serial converter enables you to supply your computer with virtual serial ports for communication with physical COM interfaces built into serial devices. The application is designed to establish secure communications between USB devices and serial applications.
This flexible software is easily installed and serves as a USB to serial adapter for Windows 10 as well as the Linux and Mac operating systems.
Here is a hardware USB to serial converter that lets you use a USB interface to communicate with serial devices. Since most laptops and desktop machines on the market today do not have RS232 (DB9) ports, it can be very difficult to make use of many legacy peripheral devices that were manufactured with COM interfaces. The Manhattan USB to Serial Converter is equipped with an RS232 (DB9) serial port and Prolific PL-2303RA chipset. This enables the USB to serial converter to extend a single USB port so a connection can be made with serial devices. Using this USB to serial connector let you use serial modems, printers, GPS devices, telescopes, network switches and other devices on a computer with no physical COM ports.
The Chipi-X10 is the most recent and cost-effective version of FTDI's USB to RS232 converter cable. This USB to serial converter is also an evaluation cable for the FT231X. The minimum number of components that are needed to produce a basic RS232 converter are used. They utilize the FT231X chip, several capacitors, and an RS232 level converter.
This USB to serial converter is FCC approved and as one of the simplest USB to RS232 solutions is also favored by customer engineers. It is powered from the machine’s USB port and employs a standard DB9 connector. Using this USB to serial adapter along with FTDI's VCP drivers enables transmission rates from 300 to 250k Baud through the COM port that the device furnishes to your computer. This model comes with a white, sculpted matte plastic enclosure and a 10CM USB cable.
This USB to serial converter achieves device compatibility by using the PL-2303 family chipset. It allows any computer with a USB port to easily communicate with serial devices. Microsoft signed drivers make this USB to serial Windows 10 compatible, along with other Windows versions including Windows 8, Vista, and XP. Drivers for other operating systems are available, including drivers for Mac OS X 10.6 through 10.12. Linux kernels later than 2.4.31 are supported with open-source drivers. You can have drivers installed automatically on Windows 7 and later versions if you are connected to the Internet and have your Windows Update setting configured for driver installation.
Some of the uses of this USB to serial converter are to communicate with other computers through their RS232 ports, GPS receivers, routers, printers, modems, scanners, and any other device that employs an RS232 interface.
Software applications such as HyperTerminal, TeraTerm, WinDBG, Putty as well as Linux open-source serial software all work with this USB to serial converter.
Many of the USB/Serial processors that are currently available are not of the highest quality. Most of the USB to serial converters use inexpensive processors which lead to degraded performance. The Thunderlinx™ adapter is constructed using a new generation of the FT231X processor from FTDI Semiconductors. This newer and optimized version of the popular FT232RL processor has some advantages over its predecessor. This USB to serial converter offers improved reliability and uses MTP memory which is easier to access and modify that the EEPROM memory that was previously used. The quality of the drivers used in the FX231X processor is another positive feature of this USB to serial converter which improves its reliability and compatibility with most devices and operating systems.