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How to access remote RS232 over IP/TCP

Olga Weis Olga Weis Oct 30, 2020

Many electronic devices like barcode scanners, pos terminals, and various lab instruments communicate by way of RS232 connections. The majority of computers manufactured today are not equipped with serial ports. This poses a problem when you need to access devices using RS232 over IP.

Due to its status as a flexible communication protocol, the RS232 interface is well-established. We can expect it to be used for the foreseeable future as there are many affordable software and hardware solutions that employ the RS232 protocol.

Serial to Ethernet converter There is a good chance that the RS232 interface will remain one of the most popular ways to connect peripheral devices to a computer. Newer devices that are designed to use USB ports to connect to a computer have drives that allow the emulate of serial ports, enabling them to communicate with software employing the RS232 protocol.

A problem of enabling a remote access to an RS232 device over IP network arises when you need to connect to your local computer a serial device that is not in your physical proximity. It is not as difficult as it seems to be at first glance – as long as your local and remote computers are connected over network, e.g. a local network or the Internet. Solving it does not require purchasing a very long cable or trying out sophisticated tricks, but special software. Things are much simpler with Serial to Ethernet Connector; this application enables you to provide access to RS232 port over IP/TCP/Internet regardless of how far Server and Client computers are located from each other.

The software easily conects RS232 over IP network and gives full access to remote serial port over IP. You need to make a few steps and start working with the COM port. The software works for Windows and Linux.
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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.

Serial to Ethernet Connector

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.

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How to use Serial to Ethernet Connector:

  1. Download the application.
  2. Install it on all computers in your network (or virtual machines with apps that need access to serial ports).
  3. Select “Create Server Connection” option in the app’s main window. Create Server Connection
  4. Configure connection parameters. Сonnection parameters
  5. Create a client connection on a remote computer. Create a client connection

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.

Alternative serial over IP solutions

Serial to TCP/IP Connector is a software utility that enables you to share devices among computers running different operating systems. Combined with its user-friendly interface, the ability to share physical or virtual serial ports with network-connected machines makes it a flexible, cross-platform solution.

Here are some alternative solutions that are specific to a particular operating system.

Sharing serial over IP data on Linux

There are native methods with which to communicate with remote serial interfaces that are included with the majority of Linux distributions. The netcat procedure presents a standard way to implement serial over IP communication on Linux computers. Each connection that is created requires a new instance of netcat. Persistent connections can be built with a combination of the xinetd service and the following configuration file.

{ port = 5900
socket_type = stream
protocol = tcp
wait = yes
user = root
server = /usr/bin/netcat
server_args = "-l 5900 < /dev/ttyS0" }


You will need to change the name of the /dev/ttyS0 parameter to reflect the name of the serial device you are connecting. Serial port parameters like baud rate and parity can be configured with the setserial and stty commands.

Serial-TCP/IP app for Windows

If you use the Windows operating system, Serial-TCP/IP is a tool that allows serial traffic to be redirected over an IP-based network. This application can be very useful for software and hardware developers working with serial systems.

serial-tcp

Testing and debugging products is facilitated by the ability to establish communication with network-connected serial ports on remote computers. The software lets you log data, ping connected devices, and display the status of your systems’ COM ports.

Conclusions

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.

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Serial to Ethernet Connector [Linux]

Requirements: Linux 32-bit or 64-bit
Version 8.0.822 (25 May, 2021) Download the trial version →