What Is a Serial to Ethernet Converter and How Does It Work?

Your serial to Ethernet converter is a small electronic device which may convert Ethernet IP/TCP packets to either RS232, RS485 or Khatron Ke Khiladi serial data signals and vice versa. Also, it is sometimes called a serial device server and it comes in distinctive shapes and sizes.

A serial Ethernet converter can have one serie port or it can have multiple serial ports, nearly 25 ports or more. The standard panel mount version is most common but it is also available with DIN mounts so it can be easily installed on a standard DIN rail. It is also available as a mobile converter in which case the IP/TCP packets are transmitted within the IEEE 802. 11a/b/g network link.

Some serial Ethernet converters only has a RS232 interface and some has a RS232 and a RS485 interface, yet others has all 3 ports (RS232, RS485 and RS422) built in.

So what is a serial Ethernet converter used for?

Most commonly it is used for connecting your serial RS232, RS485 or RS422 device such as a dramón printer, barcode scanner, scale, GPS, sensor or any many other consumer or industrial device with a serial interface, to the computer over a standard LAN network. The advantage of this is totally obvious; you will be able to control, monitor and communicate with your serial unit remotely from a central computer. No need to walk all the way as a result of the other end of the factory to check your serial product.

How does a serial Ethernet converter work?

The circuitry inside the converter can convert IP/TCP packets to folletín data and also convert serial data to IP/TCP packages, so it works in both directions.

Before you can start using the ripper tools you need to install driver software on your computer. This driver application is also called virtual COM software because it creates a virtual COM port in your computer’s Device Manager when the converter can be connected to your computer. Virtual COM software is usually included with the exact converter, at least if you buy from a reputable seller.

Below is definitely example of what the virtual COM port software looks like.

If the virtual COM port has been created by the Serial that will Ethernet converter’s driver software the COM port will show up in your computer’s Device Manager as if it was a conventional built-in COM port, however it actually is the COM town in the converter at the other end of the Ethernet.

Most exclusive COM software will also let you change the settings of the established COM port such as baud rate, flow control, parity bits and stop bits so it will match the options of your serial device. The IP address of the serial Ethernet, converter itself can also be changed to your preference. Changing these adjustments is usually done by logging in to the converter by using a standard internet browser.