TCP/Com creates a serial device server on any Windows PC without the use of expensive hardware. Simply plug in a serial device and configure TCP/Com to setup a TCP/IP server connection for the device's COM port.
Turn a PC into a Multi-port Serial Device Server
A Serial Device Server (also sometimes called a terminal server) is a hardware device that connects a serial instrument (balance, barcode scanner, PLC, serial terminal, etc.) to a network and provides an I/O path to the device through a TCP/IP port. TCP/Com performs the same function as a serial device server except it is a software program that runs on a Windows PC and uses the serial ports installed in that PC and the PC's network connection.
You can configure TCP/Com to open up to 256 serial ports at a time and associate each serial port to a different TCP/IP port either as a TCP/IP client or as a server. A hardware based serial device server typically costs about $150 and provides only a single serial port. If you had 16 serial devices that you wanted to connect to a network, it would cost around $2400 for 16 serial device servers to do the job. You can purchase a new Windows PC with a built in network adapter for under $500. A 16 port serial adapter can also be purchased for around $500. For less than $1300, you can make your own 16-port serial device server using TCP/Com. Because TCP/Com can do its job in the background, you still have a PC that you can use for other tasks. Most serial device servers also only support a single TCP/IP connection at a time therefore TCP/Com has the added advantage that it will allow you to connect multiple clients to a single serial device. TCP/Com also has many advanced error recovery options that allow it to automatically recover from broken network connections making it much more fault-tolerant than most serial device servers on the market.