Effective methods to share RS232 over IP network



The RS232 communication protocol shows no signs of disappearing in the near future. It is still a very popular method for communication with laboratory instruments, POS equipment, and industrial automation devices. Despite this fact, most modern computers do not come equipped with serial ports. This can pose a problem if you are trying to access devices using RS232 over TCP/IP networks. This issue demands the use of additional hardware or software to enable network connectivity with serial devices.

Contents

  1. Sharing serial ports with RS232 over IP software
  2. RS232 to IP hardware
  3. Software for sharing RS232 over Ethernet
  4. Conclusion

Sharing serial ports with RS232 over IP software


Connecting a local computer to remotely located serial devices seems to be a challenging pursuit. If both computers are attached to a network such as the Internet or a local LAN, establishing a serial over IP connection is not that difficult. It does not require magic or extensive cabling. The most effective way to initiate RS232 over Ethernet traffic is with specialized software such as Serial to Ethernet Connector.

Sec logo

Serial to Ethernet Connector

Access remote serial port over IP Network for Windows
4.9 Rank based on 52+ users, Reviews(86)
Download 14-day fully-functional trial period
Serial over Network Connector


This RS232 communication software lets you access COM ports over a network no matter where the Server and Client machines are physically located.

The application makes it easy to connect serial devices or control a COM port over an IP network with a few simple steps. Serial to Ethernet Connector is fully compatible with the Windows and Linux platforms.

Here is a scenario to consider. You have a serially connected barcode scanner that needs to transmit data to an application running on a remotely located, network-attached computer. Serial to Ethernet Connector creates a virtual connection to COM ports over an IP network. Using RS232 to IP technology lets you work with remote serial devices and ports as if they were physically attached to your computer.

How to share RS232 over IP with Serial to Ethernet Connector:

  1. Download Serial to Ethernet Connector.
  2. Install the software on all physical and virtual machines on your network that will share devices or access serial ports remotely.
  3. Select the “Create Server Connection” option in the program’s main window. This is done on the computer that will share a device.
  4. Configure connection parameters for your specific situation.
  5. Create a client connection on a remote computer in order to share the Server’s device.
  6. Begin working with a remote RS232 port over the network as if the device is locally connected.

RS232 to IP hardware


There are a wide variety of hardware devices which serve as RS232 to Ethernet converters that can be used to connect serial devices to the network. Serial tunnels can be created with a pair of serial to IP converters where the devices seem to communicate directly with each other. Another example is when multiple devices need to be connected simultaneously as in industrial automation implementations. Here you could run Serial to Ethernet Connector on a client machine and create a virtual connection to the hardware adapters.

You will find hardware serial to Ethernet adapters marketed under a number of different names. These devices may be called console servers, device servers, terminal servers or serial servers. Don’t be confused by the naming differences when selecting the equipment for your specific situation. They are simply marketing terms employed by their manufacturers in an effort to differentiate their products from the competition. They all possess similar functionality and are essentially interchangeable. Choose the one that best suits your needs regardless of how it is named.

Software for sharing RS232 over Ethernet


The software solutions for sharing RS232 communication over the network exist, in part, due to the absence of serial ports on many computers. They also provide a way to extend the utility of your serial devices by allowing them to be shared across the network as if they were locally attached to everyone’s computer. This is cost-effective and also saves time which would be spent swapping devices between machines. Monitoring multiple serial devices can be centralized on one computer, reducing and streamlining your IT staff’s workload. Here are several software alternatives to Serial to Ethernet Connector.

Network Serial Port Kit


Network Serial Port Kit

Network Serial Port Kit is an application that lets you share serial traffic on an IP network. It enables network-connected computers to access physical serial ports in order to share them locally or across the network. The tool makes it a simple matter to connect your machine to remote serial interfaces and devices. Another feature of the program is its ability to emulate physical serial ports as virtual ones that can be shared over your network. The emulated ports fully replicate the functionality of a physical port which confirms their compatibility with your serial applications. This allows computers that do not have serial interfaces to access serial devices via the virtual ports.

You can use Network Serial Port Kit to access and share an unlimited number of serial devices. The software runs on both the Windows 32-bit and 64-bit versions.

SERIAL-TCP/IP


SERIAL-TCP/IP

Extending serial communication through the use of your network is the primary function of Serial-TCP/IP. The tool enables network control software as well as any serial application to be accessed from any network-attached location. This utility can assist in analyzing your network with its options to log data, ping devices, and resolve IP addresses. These features can be very beneficial for developers who need to test and debug serial applications and devices. This program can be used on machines running older Windows versions including Windows 8, 7, Vista, or XP (32 and 64 bits).

Advanced Virtual COM port


Advanced Virtual COM port

Another application that is designed to enable the creation of virtual ports and sharing serial communication over IP is Advanced Virtual COM Port. Serial applications will perform flawlessly because the virtual ports fully emulate the setting and functionality of physical interfaces. You can create and monitor up to 255 virtual interfaces with this application. A nice feature of the program is the facility for dynamically creating and deleting virtual interfaces without restarting your computer.

You can use this tool to access serial devices on computers that do not have serial ports without the need for any additional equipment.

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.

TCP/Com


TCP/Com

TCP/Com is a simple software tool which can help address several issues revolving around network connectivity and serial signal conversion. It can be used to turn your machine into a Serial Device Server, perform mapping between TCP/IP interfaces, and establish remote access and control of serial interfaces. This RS232 to IP application enables network communication to be established between any serial programs. You can forward the data captured by a physical serial interface to a number of serial applications simultaneously. TCP/Com can be run on Windows systems from 98 to Win 10 on both the 32-bit and 64-bit varieties.

Conclusions


Depending on the specific way you intend to make use of connecting to remote serial ports and devices, one of these applications may be just what you need. The ability to connect to IP devices over a network is critical in monitoring and optimizing industrial automation systems and many other assembly line and production control installations. Creating virtual serial interfaces which fully emulate physical interfaces allows any network-attached machine to access peripheral serial devices.

When selecting the right solution, you can choose to use freeware or to make a financial investment in a paid software application. There are advantages to paid software that may influence your decision. If you run into problems implementing the tool, a paid product will offer technical support that can quickly resolve your issue. Contrast that to searching for free help on the Internet. A commercial software application will also provide program updates which correct bugs or introduce new features to the product.

Serial to Ethernet Connector

Requirements for Windows (32-bit and 64-bit): XP/2003/2008/ Vista/7/8/10, Windows Server 2012
Requirements for Linux: Kubuntu 9.10 “Karmic Koala”, openSUSE 11.2 , 4.66MB size
Version 7.1.876 (27th Jan, 2017) Release notes
Category: Communication Application