Serial over LAN: 2020 Definitive Guide


  1. Introduction to serial over LAN data transmission
  2. What is serial over LAN software?
  3. How to redirect RS232 ports to a local network
  4. Share serial devices with serial to LAN converter
  5. How to use RS232 over LAN adapters

Introduction to serial over LAN data transmission

Serial over LAN (SOL) software and hardware devices provide users the ability to enable input or output of data from serial ports to be transmitted over the network.

With serial over LAN solutions, data packets can be transmitted from both a real or virtual serial port. Serial over LAN makes this data transport easy.

Users of all skill levels are able to monitor, configure, and manage COM interfaces with serial over LAN.

No matter where in the world a user resides, serial over LAN allows configuring a serial port over IP connection making remote access to serial devices possible.

Are you interested in monitoring industrial automation systems or lab equipment via serial interfaces?

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This article covers different approaches the users can follow to work with serial devices over LAN. We’ll review the pros and cons of choosing a hardware version of serial over LAN versus a software version.

What is serial over LAN software?

Serial over LAN software is a pro-level utility for accessing remote serial port devices via Ethernet or Internet connection.

Serial over Network Connector software lets users create virtual COM ports. Thus, permitting computers and remote equipment to communicate with each other.

One of the most beneficial features of RS232 over LAN software is: it doesn’t need any extra hardware: there are no additional cables or wires necessary to connect a remote device.

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The user needs only to run the app. Once running, they can share a COM port over LAN; having created a virtual copy that functions on a remote PC.

RS232 to LAN is ideal for controlling serial devices on computers without COM port interfaces.

With RS232 to LAN converter software, it’s easy to add as many virtual serial ports as one needs. For being such an easy-to-use software, it can optimize flexibility and efficacy like never before.

After establishing a connection with the software, users can access their serial device(s). They will experience control over the device as if plugged into their remote system.

How to redirect RS232 ports to a local network

To redirect a COM port to LAN with Serial to Ethernet Connector implements a server-client architecture.

Server - A computer connected physically to the serial device.

Client - A computer accessing the serial device remotely.

The server component establishes sharable local and virtual serial ports that the client then accesses.

How to set up serial over LAN on Windows

To configure serial over LAN connection on Windows computers, follow these steps:

  1. Download Serial to Ethernet Connector on both the server computer and the client computer.
  2. Run the program on the server PC and select the “Server Connection” option.
  3. Enter a name for the created connection, select the serial port you want to share, and type in the TCP port used for the connection.
  4. Adjust any required additional settings and click “Create”.
  5. On the client machine, select “Client Connection”.
  6. Specify the name for the client connection and a COM port that will be used in the connection.
  7. Type in the server’s name or IP address and the TCP port, as discussed in step three.
  8. Finally, click “Create”.

Once the client connects, the data transmission between the serial device and the remote computer will be established over LAN.

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How to share serial over LAN on Linux

If a user wants to work with serial ports on a machine running Linux, that’s no problem: the native methods are available on the recent versions of Linux.

Using netcat, you will be able to redirect serial over LAN on Linux:

netcat port /dev/ttyS0

Please note: described RS232 over LAN sharing method will require users to run new instances netcat utility for each new connection the user wants to create.

To have a persistent serial over LAN connection, the user will need to create a xinetd service using the configuration provided below:

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

Users should then change the /dev/ttyS0 to the required serial port. To configure COM port parameters (such as baud rate and parity), use the commands: stty or setserial.

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Share serial devices with serial to LAN converter

Serial over LAN software is by far the easiest option for accessing COM ports over LAN: it has a straight-forward installation process and it means that there’s no need to wrestle with complex configurations.

However, if you are looking for a more robust way to share serial devices over LAN and eliminate a computer as intermediate, it’s also possible to share COM ports with an RS232 device.

serial to lan converter

You might have the question: “what is serial over LAN devices?”

A small hardware device, RS232 to LAN Converter (sometimes an RS232 to LAN Adapter or device server), transmits serial data to a remote computer by converting that data into the network packets.

For anyone needing a solution to allow connection to serial devices over a local network, this will be a big help.

How to use RS232 over LAN adapters

Serial to LAN converters usually come with a virtual serial port driver which is installed on the remote computer to accept and transform serial data from the network packets.

It allows configuring all required settings for the serial over LAN connection and without it it would be impossible to initiate the connection in the first place.

If the acquired serial to LAN adapter does not have a proper virtual serial driver or it is not compatible with your operating system (which is usually the case), you can still use Serial to Ethernet Connector with your hardware device to establish an RS232 over LAN link.

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