Serial over LAN solutions: Software and hardware adapters

Contents

  1. Serial over LAN software for POS systems
  2. What is serial over LAN technology?
  3. Alternative solutions for remote access to serial ports over LAN
  4. Conclusions

Serial over LAN software for POS systems


The digital age has brought significant changes in the way retail businesses manage their operations. Today with the increasing demand for quick customer service, it becomes critically important for retailers to choose the right POS system that will streamline processes in their retail store. A good POS system helps analyze sales data, manage cash flow, track inventory and orders, connect with customers and boost the performance of employees.

POS system

At a modern POS, you can see a range of specialized devices like POS monitors, customer displays, barcode scanners, cash drawers, magnetic card readers, etc. To communicate with computers (system units), these devices usually use serial ports. If the direct connection is not possible, communications are established with the help of a serial to LAN software. A dedicated app like COM to LAN Connector allows redirecting serial data over a local network in such a way that remote POS devices appear in the central computer as though they were physically attached to that machine.

RS232 over LAN Connector is a professional utility that provides access to remote serial port devices over Ethernet or the Internet. The software lets you create virtual COM ports through which POS computers communicate with remote equipment. You don’t need any additional hardware, cables, or wires. With the app, you simply share a COM port over LAN and create its virtual copy on a remote PC. Connected to the shared port, a POS device becomes available for remote access and control.
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Serial to Ethernet Connector

Connect serial ports over Ethernet
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Serial to Ethernet Connector

How to redirect a COM port to LAN using this advanced software solution


Let’s imagine that you have a COM-based barcode reader which is located at a distance from your local computer. You need to access the device from an app installed on your machine. To achieve this, you should follow these simple steps:

  1. Download Serial to Ethernet Connector and install it on the computer (server) to which the reader is attached physically and your local computer (client) that will reach the device over LAN. Note that a client can be any real or virtual machine running Windows or Linux OS.
  2. Next, start the program on the server machine, set up the required parameters and create a Server connection by clicking the corresponding button. This will make the reader accessible over the network.
  3. Then, launch the software on the client and “Connect” to the shared barcode reader over Ethernet.

This is it! Now, all data from the remote device will be available on your computer as if it were your local peripheral.

When you establish a client connection to the server machine, in essence, the software creates a virtual port on the client and connects it to the real physical port of the server PC via a virtual null-modem cable. Once linked, the virtual port copies the behavior of the real port on the remote side.

What is serial over LAN technology?


Serial over LAN (SOL) technology provides the ability to manage networked serial devices over an RS232/RS422/RS485, Telnet, or Secure Shell (SSH) connection. The technology helps users access and communicate with systems that do not have the keyboard/video/mouse support.

Thanks to SOL, it becomes possible to receive data from virtually any remote COM port device no matter the distance. Best of all, the SOL feature eliminates the need for any special cabling, as it allows connecting to COM ports over a wireless network.

SOL technology is often used for forwarding serial over LAN to Windows and Linux platforms and is usually delivered as a component of specialized serial over Ethernet software.

Alternative solutions for remote access to serial ports over LAN


As mentioned before, Serial to Ethernet software is probably the easiest method to access COM over LAN. The software is simple to install and use and it doesn’t require complex configurations and programming skills. Alternatively, you can try sharing your COM ports with a hardware RS232 to LAN converter and see which solution is best for you.

Hardware RS232 to LAN adapter


RS232 to LAN converter (adapter, or device server) is a compact hardware device designed to transform serial data to and from network packets. This solution is a big help for those looking for an easy way to reach serial devices over a local network.

LAN adapter

Serial over LAN adapters usually come with a virtual port driver that allows configuring serial connections over Ethernet. The app should be installed on the PC to which your hardware will be connected. With the help of the program, you provide your system with a virtual COM port enabling it to see and access remote serial devices.

SOL with Intel Management Module Command Line Interface and DPCProxy utility.


If you need to connect from a client software running on a management workstation and/or central network proxy to the Baseboard Management Controller (BMC) over LAN, you can do this using Intel Command Line Interface and DPCProxy utility.

Note that DPCProxy utility can run as a Windows service or as a daemon for Linux. You can install it on the management console or in a centralized server. Also, you should initiate a Telnet session from the managing console to DPCProxy, no matter which OS (Windows or Linux) you are running on either system.

To start a telnet session to the remote server, do the following:

  1. At the command prompt of your OS, type “telnet xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx 623 ”.
    • ♦ xxx - the IP address of the system (e.g. a central network server) running the Network Proxy. If it’s a local system, type “localhost” instead.
    • ♦ 623 - default UDP port used for Intel Command Line Interface connections.
  2. Next, enter the IP address of the server (you’re connecting to) at the prompt “Server:”
  3. After that, provide the BMC username and password for the target system. Once authentication is complete, you should see a message indicating that the login is successful and the “dpccli>” prompt.
  4. Now, type “console” at the command prompt. This will start its redirection to the SOL Mode
  5. To terminate SOL, use “~.”

Want to avoid making complex SOL configurations for sharing your COM port device over LAN? Serial to Ethernet Connector will let you redirect serial over LAN with nothing more than a couple of clicks. All you need to do is install the app on the server and client machines.
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Serial to Ethernet Connector

Connect serial ports over Ethernet
4.9 Rank based on 52+ users, Reviews(86)
Download 14-day fully-functional trial period
Serial to Ethernet Connector

Accessing Arduino over LAN


If you are looking for a simple way to communicate with your Arduino over the network, a useful app, swDuino 2.0, will help you achieve this goal.


Arduino

swDuino 2.0 is a handy program designed to build interactive Human Machine Interfaces (HMIs). It enables seamless communications between client software and Arduino, which allows monitoring and controlling devices connected to the latter remotely through Web APIs. Thanks to this free solution, any client program supporting HTTP protocol can get the ability to exchange variables with Arduino over LAN.

swDuino 2.0 offers a dedicated plug-and-play Arduino library making it possible to access serial over LAN for work with Arduino. Also, this Windows-based software has a built-in multi-threaded HTTP/Web Server and lets you save your Arduino sensors' data to computer databases like SQL, MySQL, Oracle, and more.

Conclusion


Compared to other serial over LAN solutions, COM to Ethernet Connector seems to be a more efficient and secure way to share serial devices over the network. The app lets you easily redirect data from any serial POS device to the central server and back. Thanks to its outstanding features, the utility makes it simple to access a required POS device regardless of how far from your computer it is located, whereas any hardware-based solution is limited by the distance and cannot provide such opportunity. Also, this efficient program will be a perfect tool for those who don’t want to deal with tons of wires on their desk.

Serial to Ethernet Connector comes with a 14-day free trial, so you can try it out and see how handy it can be.

Serial to Ethernet Connector

Requirements: Windows 2000, Windows (32-bit and 64-bit): XP/2003/2008/ Vista/7/8/10, Windows Server 2012/2016 , 4.66MB size
Version 7.1.876 (27th Jan, 2017) Release notes
Category: Communication Application