There are a number of hardware devices installed on our computers and serial port plays an important role. A serial port is a physical interface for communications, which helps in transferring information. It is very important to know how serial ports work: Different kinds of data are being transferred with the help of serial ports; the port is connected between a computer and devices such as various peripherals and terminals. Some interfaces including USB, fire wire and Ethernet send the data in the form of a serial stream. Generally, the term “serial port” recognizes connected hardware, irrespective of being compliant with RS-232 standard which is supposed to interface with communication devices such as modems.

What is the use of a Serial Port?

With the passage of time and advanced technological development in computers, USB and fire wire used to connect different peripheral devices has replaced serial ports. Serial port is also known and referred to as RS-232 port. These serial ports are being used to connect the modem and mouse but it is not very fast. It also creates a delay in transfer of data. A Serial port works with a slow mechanism of sending data bit by bit. You can learn more about how serial ports work from following points:

  • You can see pin 1 and pin 5 on your computer port, connecting the modem port to pin 8 and pin 7.
  • Pin 1 and Pin 8 function share a common ground connection.
  • With the help of pin 5 and pin 7, the PC is able to detect the phone ling signal easily. Pin 6, located on both the ends, is ready to send data ready signal.
  • On the PC, pin 4 is connected to pin 20 of the modem, indicating that PC is now completely ready to receive the data.
  • On your PC, pin 7 connects pin 4, located on the modem, which is ready to send a data request signal.
  • While your PC is ready to get the data, pin 8 on your PC is ready to send the signal to pin 5, which is found on modem.
  • Now pin 2 on your PC is ready to send the data to pin no 3 located on the modem bit by bit. After this, pin 3 gets the data from pin 2 located on the modem.
  • At the end, pin 9 connecting pin 22 located on the modem, is ready to detect the ringing telephone.

These days, there are many modern personal computers having no serial port. However, in some applications like scientific analysis and industrial automation systems, serial ports are still being used. Server computers are still able to use serial ports to control the console for diagnostics, even though switches and routers (network equipment) generally use serial ports to console for configuration. Serial ports have many advantages- For example they are very cheap, simple and easy to use. In addition, their functions are widespread and highly standardized. Moreover, serial ports need very little supporting software from the host system.