The simplicity and speed of this nicely designed app are stand-out. All connections created with the software are protected with an advanced encryption, so FlexiHub is basically a super secure way of sharing serial devices over LAN, Ethernet, or the Internet. Plus, the solution is well-suited for those who want to access a number of remote serial peripherals simultaneously.
It works like this:
- First, register your FlexiHub account. Then, select a subscription plan that will best fit your needs to start a free trial.
- After that, you install the software on the computer (server) with a serial device physically connected and the remote computer (client) that will access that device remotely.
- Start the software on both machines and log into your account using the same credentials.
- In the app’s interface on the client computer you will find the list of devices available for connection. All you need to do is select the peripheral that you’d like to connect to and click the “Connect” button, and this is it! Now, you can manage the device as if it were attached to your computer physically.
Serial to Ethernet Connector, which works under Windows and Linux, would be a great software alternative to FlexiHub. The software will allow you to implement various scenarios, like sharing one or multiple serial devices to one or many clients and vice versa, connect two serial applications via a virtual null-modem cable over the network, or redirect serial devices to virtual environment.
Serial to IP converter: hardware tool
A hardware serial to Ethernet IP converter basically allows users to redirect serial devices over the network by transforming serial input into TCP/IP data and vice versa. A standard serial to Ethernet converter may have from 1 to 20 serial ports embedded in it, so up to 20 serial peripherals can be shared at a time. With that, the hardware tool is rather easy to install and use, which makes it a convenient way to forward your fancy RS-232 port to a remote network machine.
Here’s how you can use it:
- When you buy a serial port to Ethernet converter, together with the hardware tool you get a driver known as a virtual COM software. The first step will be to install the software on a client computer.
- Once the software is installed, connect the hardware to the client PC with a standard Ethernet cable. Next, connect the converter to the power supply.
- After that, put the IP of the hardware into your browser’s address bar and hit ‘Enter’. Configure the converter to access it from your computer.
Now, any serial device plugged into your converter’s serial port will appear in the Device Manager of your computer’s OS.
Best hardware appliances to share serial ports over Ethernet
Hardware serial over Ethernet solutions are often delivered together with virtual COM applications. The dedicated software helps you create virtual serial interfaces which are recognized by your system and serial devices as standard ones.
If you think that a hardware serial to Ethernet converter will perfectly fit for your workflow, we’d like to tell you about the four most popular serial port extenders available today.
- NetBurner serial to Ethernet server
- Perle solution
- SerialLynx software
- External device server by Lantronix
Serial to Ethernet Server by NetBurner
NetBurner Serial to Ethernet Server is an efficient solution for communicating with COM port devices over Ethernet network. This hardware serial port redirector can easily share up to 4 COM port devices. In order to configure your network connections, you should use a software app which comes included with the hardware. Here’s how it works: you simply connect your serial port device to the NetBurner Serial to Ethernet device server and access it over LAN as though the device were physically attached to your remote PC.
RS232 to Ethernet converter
Perle has developed a great RS232 to Ethernet converter that ensures reliable data transmission over an IP network. This hardware is a simple way to remotely access your RS232 devices. The converter offers intelligent packet structuring and forwarding of data, so you can control the way your data is sent over Ethernet. The key advantages of this convenient tool is the ability to match the communication specifications of your serial devices and a built-in serial line trace capability.
Serial-to-Ethernet Adapter by SeriaLynx
If you need to get remote access to serial devices like scoreboards, time clocks, and wind gauges, it will be a good idea to try Serial-to-Ethernet adapter by SeriaLynx. The solution enables wired or wireless connections to two serial devices over a LAN using TCP-IP mapping. You can attach up to two serial devices to the adapter’s COM ports, connect the hardware to Ethernet via a wired Ethernet port, or share the devices over the network with the help of an antenna for broadcasting over an 802.11 wireless network, and that’s it! You gain access to the remote devices from any computer connected to the same network.
Lantronix UDS1100 external device server
UDS1100 is a small hardware converter able to redirect one serial device over LAN or the Internet. The converter can be configured via HTTP, DHCP, Telnet, serial or Lantronix DeviceInstaller app. The solution is fast, reliable and easy to install. By using this tool you can share, monitor and control RS232, RS422 and RS485 equipment over Ethernet quickly and effortlessly.
The main downside of the hardware solution, however, is that the number of devices it can share at a time is limited to the number of serial ports the hardware fits. In case you need to remotely access a big number of COM port devices simultaneously, a good idea will be to try a software solution like FlexiHub which works with an unlimited number of serial peripherals.