The operation of Serial to Ethernet Connector (SEC) is very straightforward. Install the software on the local machine which will share RS232 traffic over the network (server) as well as the remote machines that will access the shared device (clients). The software then established a virtual bridge over which communication is conducted. A client connected to the remote device gains all the functionality of a direct physical connection to the peripheral equipment.
Here are the simple steps required to use Serial to Ethernet Connector to share serial devices over IP networks.
- Download and install the application on all of the computers that will be used to share serial devices access them remotely over the network. These can be physical or virtual machines.
- Start the software on a server and select the ‘Create Server Connection’ menu option. Modify the session parameters as needed and you are ready to share this device with remote users.
- Launch the program on a client computer and select the ‘Create Client Connection’ option. Configure the connection parameters for the session.
- Start using the connected device. Access is attained as soon as a port is shared and a device is attached.
Serial to Ethernet Connector is available for the Windows and Linux platforms. The Linux version is a command-line tool.
Hardware solutions for share Serial port over IP
There are also hardware solutions that allow you to share RS232 ports over IP/TCP/Internet. There are many models on the market that are sold under a variety of names. A typical Serial over IP extender converts the asynchronous signals of serial device communication into network-compatible TCP or UDP data packets. Hardware solutions may solve your device connectivity problems, but they have limitations that make them less versatile than using serial to IP software. Locating them properly can be challenging and you are constrained by the number of physical ports available on the unit.
Remote RS232 over Ethernet hardware devices are marketed under many names. The goal is to influence your purchasing decision, but essentially these variously named pieces of equipment all perform the same function. They present slight differences in configuration or features that are highlighted by manufacturers to differentiate their products. You will find hardware to share serial ports over IP called Serial Servers, Terminal Servers, Console Servers, and Device Servers. We’ll take a closer look at how these terms are used.
Serial Device Server
Device Servers are essentially a console or terminal server with from one to four serial interfaces. Their functionality ranges from that of a simple, unsecured terminal server to the security offered by console servers. They are marketed as more versatile devices due to the number of ports that they make available to the system.
COM Port Console
Console Servers are distinguished by the security that they provide to remote networked devices that are equipped with a console port. In addition to many peripheral devices, Windows, Linux, and Unix servers can also use a COM part console. One of the primary uses of a console server is to securely manage remote IT assets from any location. Network operation center (NOC) personnel make use of console servers to manage and control their remote equipment with the security of encrypted data transmission.
Serial Terminal Server
Terminal Servers, or Serial Servers as they are also called, are used to implement serial over IP communication with devices containing an RS232, RS422 or RS485 port. Terminal servers do not provide security features such as encryption and authentication and are used in situations where these factors are not important.
Now you know how to access remote RS232 devices using both software and hardware solutions. One of the big advantages of software is that you can create as many virtual serial ports as you need and are not limited by the physical ports on a hardware device.