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Serial Over Ethernet Access: Definitive Guide

Flexihub is a straightforward serial over Ethernet software that will help you establish a connection between locally-attached COM port devices with remote computers over the network on Windows.

FlexiHub


Windows, macOS, Linux, Android
4.8 Rank based on 78+ users
serial over Ethernet software

What is Serial over Ethernet?

Serial over Ethernet is an extension of serial connections that enables data transfer between RS232, RS422, and RS485 interface devices over Ethernet. It is achieved by converting and encapsulating serial data to Ethernet packets and transmitting them over the network to the remote computers.

FlexiHub: effective Serial over Ethernet software

FlexiHub

Windows, macOS, Linux, Android
4.8 Rank based on 78+ users
FlexiHub provides the ability to access serial ports over Ethernet and offers high-speed connections and secure data transfer.
access serial ports over Ethernet

The software offers an effective method of implementing serial communication over Ethernet without the addition of extra hardware or cables.

The great thing about this RS232 to Ethernet extender is that its interface is really simple and intuitive. Just a couple of clicks is enough to share a COM peripheral over any distance.

Features of Serial over Ethernet software

Communications over a private server

FlexiHub offers a one-of-a-kind feature called Redirection Server. It allows connecting serial ports over the network between computers that do not have a public IP address. It means that connecting Ethernet COM ports from different subnetworks is possible with a few clicks without the need for configuring any additional settings.

Encrypted channels for data transfer

Thanks to the 2048-bit SSL encryption used by the software, you can be sure that all data sent by virtual serial ports over Ethernet will stay safe and won’t be acquired by any third party.

Virtual serial port functionality

Advanced COM port redirection technology is at the heart of FlexiHub and is the key to sending serial data over Ethernet. It creates virtual network serial ports and makes them available to remote users.

Serial redirection over the UDP protocol

When a direct connection between two nodes is not possible, FlexiHub may use a UDP channel and UDP hole punching technique to let two computers that are hidden behind NATs connect successfully.

Share serial devices over Ethernet
30-day demo period

How to access serial over Ethernet

To start sharing serial devices and connecting them to virtual serial ports over Ethernet, you will need:
1
Firstly, register your FlexiHub account. Then, select a subscription plan that will best fit your needs to start a free demo period.
 Register a FlexiHub profile
2
After that, install the software on the computer (server) with a serial device physically connected and the remote computer (client) that will access that device remotely.
 Download Flexihub
3
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.
 Login flexihub
4
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 software areas of use

Redirecting serial devices to virtual machines

Accessing the local serial ports of the host machine from within a virtual environment can be notoriously difficult. The complicated configuration is necessary to enable the redirection of the serial devices to virtual machines: Hyper-V, VMware, etc. FlexiHub removes those complications and offers a streamlined method of attaching locally-attached peripheral devices to virtual sessions in just a few clicks.

Improving industrial automation processes

Enhanced productivity can be achieved by connecting serial devices over IP where they can be monitored and controlled from a centralized, remote location. Both improved employee safety and reduced costs can be the result of implementing the connectivity of a facility’s RS232, RS422, and RS485 devices. Using serial over Ethernet technology, all of the robots, controllers, sensors and actuators can be redirected over Ethernet to the main data server.

Configuring IT equipment via Ethernet

Accessing remote serial ports of IT equipment is another valid use of serial over Ethernet software, which enables remote firmware updates or configuration changes. Traditionally, this needed to be done with a direct connection and console cables. By virtualizing the physical serial ports of routers, switches, and hubs, the devices can be accessed by a computer with serial over Ethernet capability.

Connecting medical equipment over Ethernet

Remote access to critical medical equipment introduces more flexibility in the placement and utility of the various monitors, nurses’ stations, and laboratories. With virtual serial over Ethernet connection, information from anywhere in the facility can be collected in a central location where it is available to the complete medical staff.

Connect virtual serial over Ethernet
30-day demo period

What is Serial to Ethernet converter?

serial to ethernet converter

RS-232 to Ethernet converter is a hardware appliance that redirects serial devices over the network by transforming serial input into TCP/IP data and vice versa. It is also sometimes called a Serial to Ethernet adapter. 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.

How to use Serial to Ethernet extender?

The RS-232 to Ethernet Extender provides connectivity to serial devices within 1,000 feet of your machine with only standard Cat5 networking cables. One scenario is to use the RS-232 to Ethernet Extender to connect with a local device and use a Cat5/5E UTP cable to reach a remote piece of equipment. One DB9 port is available on local and remote devices.

Connect to RS232 serial devices and applications over increased distances by using a Serial to Ethernet Extender. It enables you to remotely access serial peripheral equipment.

To use Serial to Ethernet adapter you need:

  • When you buy a serial to Network adapter, together with the hardware tool you get a driver known as 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.

List of best Serial to Ethernet converters

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.

The RS232 to Ethernet adapter employs the RS232 protocol to allow you to exert remote control over security devices, industrial monitors, and point of sale equipment as weak as any other serial peripheral.

Using a hardware serial extender is not the optimal way to address the issue of remotely accessing your devices. A software solution is not subject to the same distance limitations as a wired or wireless hardware extender. Another disadvantage of using hardware is that when using cables of over 200ft, the connection may be impacted by electrical interference.

But if you think that a hardware RS-232 to Ethernet adapter will perfectly fit your workflow, we’d like to tell you about the four most popular serial port extenders available today.

Software-based serial to Ethernet converter
30-day demo period

Serial to Ethernet converter by NetBurner

netburner serial over ethernet extender

NetBurner Serial to Ethernet converter is an efficient solution for communicating with COM port devices over an Ethernet network. This hardware serial port redirector can easily share up to 4 COM port devices. To configure your network connections, you should use a software app that comes included with the hardware. Here’s how it works: you simply connect your serial port device to the NetBurner Serial to Network adapter and access it over LAN as though the device were physically attached to your remote PC.

RS232 to Ethernet converter

perle 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 are 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

serialynx serial to ethernet adapter

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 adapter

lantronix serial to ethernet converter

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.

Top choice
FlexiHub
  • 4.8 overall rank based on 78+ users
  • Requirements: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android and Raspberry Pi. 8.89MB Size.
  • Version 5.2.14094. (6 Sep, 2021).