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Serial over IP Technology
- TOP solutions to access COM over IP

Olga Weis Olga Weis

Serial over IP (SOI) technology gives a way to share serial (RS232, RS422, RS485) port data over the IP network among multiple networked computers or devices. This allows users of some managed systems like blade servers to access the systems’ programs via a COM port.

A wide range of specialized devices, including various medical and lab instruments, POS hardware and industrial machines, rely on RS232 interfaces to connect to computers. The manufacturers of modern computers and laptops, however, tend to replace serial ports with USB ports. As a result, users of serial-based equipment face a real challenge trying to connect their valuable devices to a PC.

serial over IP technology

At the same time, thanks to its flexibility and simplicity of implementation, the RS232 communication protocol is expected to be still used in many spheres of our lives for the foreseeable future. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that many modern devices such as barcode scanners, POS terminals, surveillance cameras, GPS devices, etc. connect to computers via serial ports.

Serial over Ethernet Connector is serial over IP software that provides the ability to direct data from all your COM devices over IP networks.
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Serial to Ethernet Connector
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It’s also possible that the RS232 standard will remain one of the most common ways to provide communications between PCs and their peripherals. New-generation devices that fit a USB port instead of a serial interface still have a driver that allows them to emulate RS232 port for connections to serial apps.

Serial over TCP IP software

You may find yourself faced with the need to access a serial-based peripheral device that is not located anywhere near your computer. If you are struggling to find a solution to this problem, let us suggest making use of serial over IP technology to connect to the remote equipment.

A serial over IP adapter converts data transmission from COM to IP format. It can be in the form of serial over IP hardware or software solutions. In either case, translation occurs on data sent through a COM port to TCP/IP format. This allows it to be transferred over an IP-based network like the Internet.

This TCP/IP converter software can be used for a variety of purposes, including:

  • connecting to serial ports from virtual environments such as VirtualBox, VMware, and Hyper-V;
  • creating virtual serial interfaces that emulate and are recognized by your machine as physical RS232, RS422, and RS485 ports;
  • sharing COM ports on Linux, Windows, and ARM-based devices and computers;
  • enabling the transmission of RAW data;
  • redirecting real or virtual serial traffic over UDP/IP.

There are no distance limitations when using Serial over Ethernet Connector (SEC), making the location of the connected device irrelevant. Simply install the application on the machine with a physical connection to the device and the computers which require access to it. That’s all that is needed to establish communication with the remote device.

Serial over IP software usage scenario with cloud infrastructure

How to set up a serial over IP connection

Following are instructions that will guide you in sharing a serial port device over the network with Serial to Ethernet Connector. Let’s define some terms first. When we refer to a “server” we mean the computer to which the serial device is physically connected. “Clients” are the machines that will obtain connectivity to the device via the IP network.

Just follow these easy steps:

Download Serial to Ethernet Connector and install it on all computers that will be involved in the COM over IP communication you will establish.
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Launch the app on the server and select the “Server connection” tab. Configure the connection parameters and click the “Create connection” button.
 Server connection
Start the program on a client and choose “Client connection” in the main menu. Configure the setting in the windows and click “Create connection”.
 Create connection

That’s it! Now, any device connected to the server’s COM ports will be available to clients anywhere in the network. The serial over IP Windows solution displays the equipment in Device Manager as if it were physically connected to your machine.

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Whether you're looking at redistributing our Serial port redirection engine as a part of your product or considering Serial over Ethernet software for an enterprise-wide deployment, we offer flexible and affordable corporate solutions designed to meet your needs.
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Support for USB and serial port connections
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Alternative serial over IP solutions

Serial to TCP/IP Connector offers a cross-platform solution that lets you share devices between servers and clients running different operating systems. It provides a user-friendly method of sharing any real or virtual serial ports over an IP network. Some alternative solutions are:

Serial-TCP/IP app for Windows

Serial-TCP/IP app for Windows

Windows users have some other ways to redirect serial traffic over IP networks. Serial-TCP/IP is a good choice for serial software and hardware developers. It enables you to enact communication with remote serial ports over a TCP/IP network for the purposes of testing and debugging. Some of its features include options to ping devices, display the state of COM ports, and log data.

Sharing serial over IP traffic on Linux

Most modern Linux distros have native methods with which you can enable communication with remote serial interfaces.

To establish serial over IP on Linux machines, you can use the netcat procedure. You will need to run a new instance of it for each connection you want to create. You can also build a persistent connection by using the xinetd service with the following configuration.

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

The /dev/ttyS0 parameter needs to be changed to the name of the serial device which will be connected. Use the stty or setserial commands to configure serial port parameters such as parity and baud rate.

Frequently Asked Questions

The TCP/IP model is the basic communication language or protocol of the Internet created in 1970s by DARPA, an agency of the US Department of Defence (DOD). It developed from ARPANET - the world's first wide area network and a predecessor of Internet. TCP/IP model is also called the Internet model or the DOD model.
This model was successful because it delivered such basic services as file transfer, electronic mail, remote logon - services everyone needs. Several computers in one department can use TCP/IP on a single LAN. The IP component provides routing from the department to the enterprise network, then to regional networks, and then to global Internet.
TCP/IP is a two-layer protocol. The upper layer - Transmission Control Protocol - assembles a message or file into smaller packets transmitted over the Internet and received by a TCP layer that reassembles these packets into their originals. The lower layer - Internet Protocol - manages the address part of each packet and controls that it reaches the correct destination. Every gateway computer on the network checks this address in order to forward the message (file) to its destination. Some packets of the same message are routed differently, but they are reassembled at the destination.
TCP/IP uses client/server communication model. In this model a computer user (client) requests a service (sending a webpage) and is provided with it by another computer (server) on the network.

We all know even higher layer application protocols that use TCP/IP to get to the Internet. They include Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), File Transfer Protocol (FTP), Telnet, and the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP). These and other protocols are often packaged with the TCP/IP as a suite.
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Access remote serial port over IP Network for Windows
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