Share RS232 over IP network
Let us have a look at the following scenario: there is a serial device connected to your local machine, and you want it to talk to an app on a remote computer in your network. Serial to Ethernet Connector makes it possible by creating a virtual connection to RS232 over IP, Ethernet or any other network. Install the software on the Server (in this case your local PC) and Client (a remote computer that needs access to a device) machines. Serial to Ethernet Connector will create a virtual bridge between the app on the remote machine and RS232 over IP thus allowing them to communicate.
If you need to share a remote RS232 over Ethernet, access a remote RS232 via IP network, Serial to Ethernet Connector is the solution you need. Install it on all your machines in the network, this will connect RS232 port to network and the functionality of a device connected to the port or the data stored on it will be available to all users in the network.
Working with serial devices with the help of RS232 to IP technology is no different from working with them when they are physically inserted into your machine.
How to use Serial to Ethernet Connector:
- Download the application.
- Install it on all computers in your network (or virtual machines with apps that need access to serial ports).
- Select “Create Server Connection” option in the app’s main window.
- Configure connection parameters.
- Create a client connection on a remote computer.
That’s it – you can now start working with a remote RS232 port over network.
The app supports Windows and Linux. Note, that the Linux version is the command-line one.
In situations where a direct serial connection to a server or PC is not appropriate or available, our partners at NetBurner offer a wide range of small Serial-to-Ethernet devices that can directly and securely network-enable your serial devices. For example, this could arise when multiple devices are distributed across a large area, as is often the case with remote sensors, electronic signs, device monitoring, etc. In this setup, the client (remote) PC would run the Serial to Ethernet Connector application and create a virtual bridge directly to the NetBurner Serial-to-Ethernet device. Additionally, you could create a serial tunnel with two Serial-to-Ethernet devices, such that each serial device thinks it is talking directly to the other.
RS232 to IP hardware solutions include Terminal Servers, Serial Servers, Device Servers and Console Servers. These terms might confuse you and you might want to know which is better for your needs when serial port over TCP/IP sharing is required.
The first thing you need to know is that there is no real difference as these are all just marketing terms for devices that perform very similar functions. Over time different companies developed marketing terms in an attempt to set themselves apart from the competition. Let’s take a look at the various terms and their meanings.
Serial Device Server
The newest term from a marketing perspective is the Device Server. Basically, a Device Server is a Console Server or Terminal server that is equipped with 1 to 4 serial ports. The number of serial ports is the determining factor, as the functionality is similar to that of a Terminal Server. In some cases, it will also feature functional security as would a Console Server.
COM Port Console
The distinguishing factor that separates Console Servers is their ability to permit secure and remote access to any network attached devices that have a console port. This includes Unix, Windows, and Linux servers as well as many peripheral devices. A primary use of Console Servers is to allow network operations center (NOC) personnel to create secure COM port over IP access and manage remote IT assets from any location. Using serial over IP connectivity, remote equipment can be controlled, monitored, and analyzed over the network will all data encrypted before transmission.
Serial Terminal Server
Terminal Servers are also called Serial Servers and allow COM over IP network connectivity with any device that has an RS232, RS422 or RS485 serial interface. They are usually very simple devices that do not offer security features such as user authentication and data encryption. These devices are used primarily for serial to IP access of server applications in cases where security and data protection are not critical.
List of best serial over IP software
If you need to use a serial device on a computer with no COM interfaces or want to access serial devices that are located remotely, there is a Serial over IP Connector technology that should be able to resolve your connectivity issues. Serial over IP Connector is a specialized software or hardware solution for connecting remote networked devices with a COM port interface over Ethernet.
COM over IP software tools we will be looking at address the problem caused by the lack of a serial interface on your computer. These applications also allow you to share serial ports over IP and access remote devices as if they were locally attached. This facility can save you time and money as expensive peripherals can easily be shared over a network rather than being swapped back and forth to different computers. It also makes monitoring the serial devices of a complete production operation possible from a single computer, simplifying the jobs of your IT staff.
TCP/Com is a basic software solution that helps resolve a number of serial and network conversion and connectivity issues. Some of the uses of this RS232 to IP software include modifying your computer to make it a Serial Device Server, remote access and control of serial ports, and mapping between TCP/IP interfaces. It also allows you to communicate over the network with any serial applications and lets you send data received from one physical COM port to any number of serial apps. TCP/Com run on Windows systems from 98 to Win 10 on both the 32 and 64 bit flavors.
This application extends the reach of your serial communication by employing your network and makes your current network control software and all other serial applications available from any location. Serial-TCP/IP has built-in options that let you perform tasks such as pinging, logging data, and resolving IP addresses that help in analyzing your network. As with all of these software tools, those developers working with serial hardware or software products will benefit from their facility for testing and debugging. If you need to share serial devices over IP network, this program will work for you if are using Windows 8, 7, Vista, or XP (32 and 64 bits).
Advanced Virtual COM port
Advanced Virtual COM Port is another software tool that allows you to share RS232 over IP as well as creating virtual ports on your computer. Any serial application will work perfectly with the virtual interfaces as they fully emulate the functionality of hardware ports. It offers the ability for dynamic creation and removal of virtual serial ports without the need to reboot your machine. Up to 255 virtual ports can be created and monitored simultaneously with this tool. It lets you use computers with no COM ports to access serial devices with no additional hardware requirements.
Advanced Virtual COM port supports Windows 2000 - Windows 8.1 (32 and 64-bit) and Windows Server 2012 R2. It also supports Windows CE versions: CE 5.0 (x86), CE 5.0 - 6.0 (arm), Mobile 2003 SE, and Mobile 5.0 - 6.5.
Network Serial Port Kit
Another program that lets you share COM port data over IP is Network Serial Port Kit. The application makes physical serial ports available to network-attached machines and enables you to share serial interfaces locally or over the network. With this tool connecting remote serial devices is an easy task. The program also emulates physical serial ports and lets you share virtual serial ports over IP. This ensures that they interact well with your serial applications as they have the identical functionality of hardware ports. The ability to create virtual serial ports lets you use serial devices with any computer, no matter what kind of interfaces it contains.
An unlimited number of serial devices can be accessed and shared with Network Serial Port Kit which runs on the Windows OS 32- and 64-bit versions.
Based on your particular situation, one of these applications may work for you when you require serial port over IP connectivity. This can be important in industrial automation systems and many other production control installations. They can also make serial devices accessible from any computer with the ability to create virtual interfaces that emulate a hardware port.
Some of these apps are free and some require a monetary investment. When choosing the solution that you intend to use, consider that a paid software product includes technical support that can help you resolve any issues when implementing the product. Program updates are also included with paid software and these can be instrumental in keeping your machine secure and taking advantage of new features added to the applications.