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  • 4 February 2010 13:07

Opengear releases free software for managing virtual serial ports

Opengear’s new PortShare software enables distributed serial devices to be controlled from virtually anywhere

Opengear (, today announced the public release of its PortShare serial port redirection software. PortShare delivers the virtual serial port technology that legacy Windows and Linux applications need to open remote serial ports and communicate securely with remotely connected serial devices.

"Users range from retail chains where distributed Windows PCs control various food dispensers and display panels located in the outlets, to electric utilities with centralized Linux management applications controlling serial SCADA devices at their remote substations," said Bob Waldie, founder and chairman of Opengear.

"The common thread here is that the customer has a legacy software application that was designed to talk directly to a specific serial port device and with PortShare they can now transparently communicate with these remote serial devices over their local networks or over the Internet."

Opengear PortShare is an open source utility for Linux, AIX, HPUX, SCO, Solaris and UnixWare which creates pseudo tty ports for the legacy application to manage. It then uses standard TCP/IP protocols and encryption algorithms to securely map these pseudo tty devices onto the physical serial ports on console servers at remote sites.

Opengear's PortShare for Windows is a sophisticated commercial product that enables COM port-based Windows applications to control the serial port devices connected to remote console servers. If the remote connection goes down PortShare can automatically restore connection within a customizable timeout, without the Windows application knowing there was a failure. And to ensure optimal performance PortShare supports full hardware and software flow control, as well as tunable latency and throughput.

"So with PortShare the serial devices can be managed from virtually anywhere without the threat of compromising data security. PortShare is a simple remote control solution so one user can now control multiple remote serial devices in multiple locations or multiple users can access the same remote serial device. And our PortShare software is free," Bob Waldie said.

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