Top 5 software to share serial over LAN – our best picks
Modern computer vendors do not prioritize serial device connectivity. This is despite the fact that serial ports are still in use, and are more common in many industrial applications than are USB ports. We have a solution for those users who need to connect a serial device to a machine with no COM port, or for connecting to a serial device that is in a remote location.
By employing software that enables sharing a serial port over LAN you can connect to COM devices that are located remotely. This same software lets you use COM ports on computers without a hardware COM port by using serial port over LAN technology.
Here are the top 5 serial over LAN solutions to create and use virtual COM ports anywhere:
1. Serial to Ethernet Connector
Serial to Ethernet Connector is a mature software product developed by Eltima Software and has been on the market for many years. This tool allows your computer to emulate multiple serial ports even in the absence of any actual hardware serial ports. You can also work with devices located across the world by using its COM port over LAN feature. The number of virtual ports you can create is only limited by your system’s capacity. Communication data is transmitted between your network and serial device by using a serial over LAN connection.
Serial to Ethernet Connector is a cross-platform application that supports Windows and Linux operating systems. Users can redirect serial ports to virtual PC, Hyper-V, VMWare, etc. with this RS232 to LAN software converter. This software tool lets you create virtual COM port pairs that can be connected to a program working with a serial device as well as programs running on other network connected computers. Virtual ports that you create and share act identically to physical ports and applications working with the ports treat them as if they were real ports.
Serial to Ethernet Connector supports Windows systems from XP (32-bit and 64-bit) to Windows 10 (32-bit and 64-bit) and Windows server 2012.
There is also a Linux version available for ARM-based devices and computers.
TCP/Com is a program offering a simple solution for issues surrounding device interfacing and RS232 to TCP/IP conversion. It can be used for a variety of TCP COM tasks. Some of its uses are to turn your computer into a Serial Device Server, using any app to send and receive data over a TCP/IP connection, and open serial ports on a remote machine and use them as if they locally connected. You can also map one TCP/IP port to another port as well as send data from a single physical network serial port to multiple RS323 serial applications. Windows systems from 98 to Win 10 (32- and 64-bit) are fully supported.
3. Network Serial Port Kit
Network Serial Port Kit is another RS232 to LAN software application that enables sharing of COM ports and serial devices locally or over the network. Using this tool enables physical COM ports to be available to other computers on the same network. This package makes it easy to connect to remote serial devices no matter where you are located. All virtual COM ports replicate the properties of the physical ports which present them to your system as if they were all physical ports.
Network Serial Port Kit supports Windows OS 32- and 64-bit and allows you to share and access an unlimited number of serial devices.
Serial-TCP/IP is another example of a program that enables serial over LAN on Windows machines. This tool can extend the limited serial communication distance by going over TCP/IP as well as allowing remote access to your TCP/IP control software. Your COM and TCP/IP network traffic can be analyzed using the tool’s built-in options such as “Ping”, "Resolve IP Address / HostName", "COM Port State LEDs", and "Data Logging”. As with the other software solutions listed above, this app can be an indispensable tool for debugging serial software and hardware applications. Support of this product is limited to Windows 7, 8, Vista, and XP (32 and 64 bits).
5. Advanced Virtual COM port
Advanced Virtual COM Port is a serial to LAN software application that includes the ability to create virtual serial ports. As with the other apps we have been discussing, the virtual ports created by this program act exactly like physical ports. This allows any programs interacting with the virtual ports to see them as real hardware ports. You can easily create and monitor up to 255 virtual ports. Ports can be created and removed without requiring a reboot of your system.
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.
If you require RS232 over LAN capability you should investigate these software products. Some are free while some do come with a cost. Considering that a paid application will also include dedicated technical support and provide timely updates, you should look at all options and not necessarily always go with the least expensive solution.