How to access remote RS232 over IP/TCP

Darun Smith

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.


  1. How to access serial over IP with the software
  2. RS232 to IP hardware

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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Serial to Ethernet Connector

Connect serial ports over Ethernet
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Serial to Ethernet Connector

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.

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.
  4. Configure connection parameters.
  5. 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.

Special hardware

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.

Serial to Ethernet Connector

Requirements for Windows (32-bit and 64-bit): XP/2003/2008/ Vista/7/8/10, Windows Server 2016
Requirements for Linux: Kubuntu 9.10 “Karmic Koala”, openSUSE 11.2, 7.63MB free space , 4.66MB size , 4.66MB size
Version 7.1.876 (27th Jan, 2017) Release notes
Category: Serial Port Software